Perhaps only a few can tell the difference between Chelsea’s glory days and the Eden hazard era(the past 4 years), a lot of Chelsea fans idolize Eden hazard and label him Chelsea’s best player without doubt. Yes, Hazard was Chelsea’s best player and currently ahead of his peers by miles, but the Belgian’s reluctant attitude has been instrumental to Chelsea’s inept performances in the past few seasons in the champions league and in the league, last season.
Eden Hazard now plays with a different kind of attitude ever since he was crowned the best player in the league and his attitude has majorly affected the team. Upon his arrival at Stanford Bridge, the team changed a lot from their typical game play involving square plays, set pieces and crosses to suit Eden hazard style who is more of a player that likes to dribble into the box. It turned out well for the next 3 years when Eden Hazard still seemed hungry and he had the ‘Do or Die’ attitude of players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, but last year it was evident relying on a single player to carry a team like Chelsea could be disastrous.
Hazard is a gifted player who is very comfortable in possession but particularly in some matches last season, it was very easy to single him out as the flop of the match, This is why,in Hazard’s first three years in EPL, he was arguably the most fouled player in the Europe’s major leagues, no matter how good or bad the entire team plays, Hazard just did he’s thing (dazzling dangerous dribbles) and he either created chances, assists, scores or gets fouled and creates a penalty or dangerous free kick.
From last season Eden hazard has become a shadow of himself l and all Chelsea have to gain from his ability have reduced in numbers and frequency. Eden Hazard only brings on his A – game when the entire team game is up and when things are bad, Eden hazard like salt in water disappears, he seizes to try his dangerous runs into the box and Chelsea has no other option because they have been threading a dangerous line for so long, The over reliance on Eden hazard’s quality showed clearly last season (kudos to Willian but he’s just not hazard). Since Hazard’s arrival Chelsea’s dangerous crosses into the box have reduced. Chelsea’s widemen (Hazard, Willian, Ivanovic, and Azpillicueta) cannot make decent square plays and crosses into the box from their respective wings, costing Chelsea the top 4 spot last season and now beginning to affect their performance this season too.
Chelsea is a great team just as Hazard Is a player with world class quality, but Hazard’s attitude makes it impossible for the team style to be built around him at least not anymore, Unless Antonio Conte improves on the full backs (LB and RB) cross ins and square plays or orientate the 14/15 PFA Player of the year on how he needs to re discover his ‘Do or Die’ attitude Chelsea might be in for another hellish season and Conte might be shown the exit door too early.
By Olaoye Malik @mhalikbass1