It wasn’t the start most of the bookies expected, all of the bookies I guess, Sol Bamba had nodded in what was Chelsea’s first goal conceded at home this season in the 16th minute, a shock! Everyone thought, until as has happened many times already this season, Eden Hazard happened.
Th Belgian has bagged 7 goals in his last five appearances this season and is increasingly looking like a player who’s finally found the platform to break off that very barrier that most think has held him from being in the mix when the conversation of who is(are) the very best in the business is had, THE GOALS.
Maurizi Sarri had a point when he said “I thought Hazard was one of the best players in Europe. But now I change my mind maybe he is the best now.” Few will argue with this point, Hazard’s form for both club and country have been nothing short of brilliant. It is not surprising that he has scored, assisted or picked up the man of the match award in every game he’s played this season. This is a player who is enjoying his football and producing the performances we’ve been expecting from him for a long time.
The impact of Maurizio Sarri’s tactics and brand of football has been a major reason for Eden Hazard’s surge in form. He already showed at the World Cup that under the right tactics he could carry a team on his shoulders and produce performances that could propel the team to greater heights.
Roberto Martinez designed a system that was entirely built on the genius of Hazard, a system that doesn’t burden Hazard with defensive work and allows him to freely roam the pitch at will making him the focal point of attack and in the end Belgium reaped the benefits, he was one of the best players at the World Cup and Belgium picked up the bronze medal.
Eden Hazard has already heaped praise on Sarriball stating that although it’s different from Mourinho’s and Conte’s it’s the one he prefers and enjoys. “I just want to have the ball at my feet.” Of course we know what Eden Hazard can do with the ball at his feet and he’s seen a lot of it this season. He had the most touches in any game since he joined Chelsea against Newcastle and we all saw what he did.
“Hazard is a good player, isn’t he?” Neil Warnock remarked afterwards “I supposed as a neutral its great to watch him like that. He’s unplayable at times.” Indeed he was, Eden Hazard bagged a hatrick in the match and Cardiff had no antidote whatsoever to stop him all day. Chelsea ended up running away 4-1 winners with Willian scoring fouth.
Worth of note was the partnership between Hazard and Giroud all game, the Frenchman is widely known for his selflessness in front of goal and he showed that once again by teeing up Hazard twice in the game, if Olivier Giroud continues to link up well with Hazard I’m sure he’ll eventually become a starter ahead of Morata. Hazard has become the tree in the middle of the Garden and the other trees only look to complement him in the best way they can.
The Europa league is on the horizon and it’ll be interesting to see how Sarri shakes up his squad for that competition, one player he’ll be looking to protect from the exertions of Thursday Night Football would be Eden Hazard, he’s already shown at the start of the season that he’ll be looking to rest him and ensure he’s fully ready before fielding him. After all he’s the main man, the key cog, the one the Sarriball attack revolves around and if he continues with his early season form Chelsea will surely be up there when the season ends.