Home / Featured / What the hell happened to Eden Hazard?

What the hell happened to Eden Hazard?

There are not too many players in the history of the game who achieved as much as Hazard did till the age of 24, having won the league and cup double in France (2010/2011), as well as in England (2014/2015), and a UEFA Europa League trophy (2012/2013). Concerning his individual awards, and there are more than 20 of them, I will only mention that he was the Premier League Player of the Year last term, as well as Chelsea’s best player in previous two years, a success managed by just four more Chelsea players before him, and none as young as him.

Hazard makes instant impact in EPL

He was merely a boy when he came to Chelsea in 2012 and, frankly, I feared he would suffer the destiny of so many greenhorn lads before him who came to the toughest league in the world prematurely and were gulped down by the ruthless defenders of the Premier League. But, fortunately for him, he soon proved me wrong. Since he made his first appearance for the Blues, the Belgian star was often ranked as one of the best players in the world by his colleagues, other coaches and football experts around the globe. In the media he has been described as a superb passer, with tremendous creativity, technical ability and astonishing pace. In his first season he managed to add 13 goals to his name and become an integral part of Roman Abramovich’s army. The club’s legend, Frank Lampard, stated that the boy had everything, he was only 22, and had the world at his feet.

Quickly develops into a world-class footballer

Next term (2013/2014), Hazard lifted his performance to a much higher level. He ended the season with 17 goals in all competitions, became the Young Player of the Year, and was inches away from winning the Player of the Year title, only to be beaten by Suarez. He became a world class player before he turned 23. Mourinho praised Eden’s performance with the words: “He is already a top player and his evolution has been fantastic. He is still very young and he can become the best player in the world”.

But, this constant praise would become a serious burden for Hazard from time to time. His work-rate was frequently questioned, a couple of times he was accused of being too lazy in practice, even Mourinho stated that he needed to stay firm on the ground, that he was the best young player in the world, but needed to work much harder if he wanted to be like Messi or Ronaldo.

And he did. In the previous season he was simply astonishing. It seems that when he took the number 10 from Mata, his reign started. Eden’s performance was outstanding, he was simply unstoppable: incredibly fast, almost impossible to dispossess and with a top notch finishing. He boasted a 100% penalty record, with 16 penalties, was crowned the Premier League best Player of the Year and rightfully considered as one of the top three players in the world.

But, on the other hand, his quarrels with Jose Mourinho started in that season. Hazard was not happy with Jose’s style of play, always playing on counter attack, making him spend too much time wasting his energy in defense. The Special One criticized Eden several times, stating that he was still not mentally ready to help his defenders, and blamed him directly for more than one conceded goals. Nevertheless, times were good, Chelsea was winning and there was no room for serious disputes.

From hero to villain

Then came the 2015/2106 season and all hell broke loose. Chelsea are displaying the worst performance in the last couple of decades, and one of the main culprits is below-par Eden Hazard. Some newspapers are stating that his rubbish play this season is a mere boycott of Jose Mourinho’s game style, and that he is clearly pushing his club to sell him to Real Madrid. Hazard seemed frustrated with life under the Special One, he was obviously fed up with Jose’s defensive tactics, and it seemed he was not alone in this fight. Some conspiracy theorists said that Fabregas, Ivanović, Matić, Costa and even John Terry were trying to exclude Mourinho out of the team, hence their disastrous performance this term. It was supposed that in this manner Hazard and the lads were pointing out their discontent with the current state of affairs at the club. With barely any goals and assists this season, the current Player of the Year in Premier League went from a tiger to a cat.

The main problem concerned the team position he played – Hazard wanted to play as a number 10, but Jose insisted he lacked quality for such a place. Recently Hazard stated that the atmosphere in the dressing room was far from good, that the players were unhappy, mostly because of the current run of results, but he denied he had any confrontation with his boss. The word is two of them had a private meeting, but reached no solution, and the agony continued, the results were obvious.

It seems that Roman Abramovich realized that he cannot change the entire team, but can change Jose and his associates. Hence, the Portuguese manager is now out of work, Hiddink came back to try and save the day once again, and time will tell whether the main problem for Hazard’s poor form was actually Jose Mourinho, or his former success and various worldwide praise simply turned him into a mere jack in office.

About IST staff

IST employs a team of writers with an extensive experience in the gaming industry, who are passionate about football and ready to go the extra mile to provide our readers with inside information on top football clubs, players and national teams. We always ensure to only use reputable sources and we hope you will enjoy the content on our site.

Check Also

Diego Costa – A mischievous boy or a despicable bastard?

Diego Costa – A mischievous boy or a despicable bastard?

Chelsea’s bad boy is way out of form at the moment, and I am quite ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>