When you own one of the best attacking players in Europe you’d think to play to his strengths, right?
Well not if you’re Chelsea, apparently.
Eden Hazard cut a horribly frustrated figure throughout the defeat to Man City on Sunday, asked to fulfil a role as a false nine rather than allowed to impose himself normally.
The service to the Belgian was dire and he managed just 31 touches in his entire 88 minutes on the pitch – three more than City goalkeeper Ederson.
And his reaction to being substituted said it all.
With Chelsea chasing an equaliser in their bid to keep their top four hopes alive, Hazard was inexplicably hooked off for Alvaro Morata with minutes remaining.
Blues fans were as perplexed as he was and he responded by walking straight past Antonio Conte without any acknowledgement.
Not exactly the camaraderie you want between your manager and best player.
The reaction will fan the flames of Hazard’s discontent at the club further, with Real Madrid lurking whilst he continues to stall over a contract extension.
And can you really blame him?
Hazard is at his best when he’s given free reign, not when he’s up against two physical centre-backs on his own.
Yes Chelsea had to contain free-scoring City but when they went forwards themselves they had no plan or purpose.
It leaves Conte with even more questions to answer as their season careers dangerous close to implosion in March.
- Antonio Conte subbed off Eden Hazard at Old Trafford – but was he right to?
- Chelsea’s struggles point to their TERRIBLE transfer business last summer
- QUIZ: Can you name the starting teams the last time Arsenal faced AC Milan?