He may have been arguably the Premier League’s finest player over the last few seasons, inspiring Chelsea to a couple of league title victories, but Eden Hazard has had a few games he’d rather forget recently, most notably Chelsea’s defeats to both Manchester teams.
The 2015 PFA Player Of The Year was hauled off by Antonio Conte in both matches, having been almost anonymous in both outings. The 27-year-old didn’t exactly look thrilled about his early exit against Manchester United and was even less pleased when he was subbed against City during the Blues’ 1-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium, yesterday.
But following the match, Hazard has claimed Conte’s tactics did nothing to help the Blues’ cause, with the Belgian forward failing to muster a single attempt at goal in his false nine role.
“I wouldn’t have got a touch even if we played for three hours, even if we improved in the last 10 or 15 minutes.
“We were better with the ball, but we needed to do that during the whole match.
“For me personally, it’s hard to play well if you only get the ball three times. But, when we got the ball, we had to use it better – we made the wrong choices.”
While Hazard admits he and his teammates weren’t good enough when they had the ball, he also implies the tactics stifled the champions and didn’t allow him to flourish as he so often does.
The defeat leaves Chelsea five points outside of the top four and is surely another step closer to the exit door for Antonio Conte, who is expected to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the campaign, if not potentially before. Former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has been heavily linked with replacing the Italian.