What did di Matteo really say about Hazard and Zola?

WIGAN, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo embraces Eden Hazard as he leaves the field after being substituted during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Chelsea at DW Stadium on August 19, 2012 in Wigan, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

When I saw the headline "Di Matteo: Hazard can be the next Zola", my eyebrows did their best interpretation of Carlo Ancelotti's magnificent tufts, rising high enough over my forehead that NASA had temporary jurisdiction over their flight path. Eden Hazard has enough pressure on him without his manager proclaiming him to be the equal of the man many regard as the finest to ever put on a Chelsea shirt.

And then I read the actual quotes.

It's difficult to compare players. Gianfranco was a wonderful talent, an artist I would say. Eden might become an artist as well. After one game, it's probably a bit too early. He had a good start, but it's one game out of 38 in the league.

It certainly gives him and the others confidence, starting with a new club like that. It was a pleasant day for him. He's a talented man, a talented young boy. We'll have to see how he grows into a man, and how quickly he will be an important player for Chelsea.

It was great to see him enjoying himself as well, and getting his teeth into the Premier League. You're never quite sure how the new players will adapt, and I'm sure it will take him a bit of time to get used to the physicality and tempo of the Premier League. It's good he got used to it quickly because that's how it's going to be. He's a strong man, a strong boy. Strongly built as well. It will certainly help him.

We spoke during pre-season about the Premier League. He's a young man but he already has a lot of experience in terms of playing games. He knows how to handle himself.

-Source: ESPN Soccernet.

At what point exactly does Roberto di Matteo claim that Hazard could be the next Zola? The closest he came was when he said that Zola was an artist and that Hazard might be an artist too. I mean, the headline 'Eden Hazard is next Monet' would be at least as appropriate to extract from the quotes in question.

I don't really understand how the media (of which I am, reluctantly, a member) chooses its headlines. It seems to me that someone wanted to write a story about Hazard being the next Zola, asked the manager about it, didn't get the answer they wanted and so wrote up the original story anyway. All a bit sad. Anyway, the title struck me as disappointing, and then the content of the article itself disappointed me again, this time in a good way. What di Matteo said was completely sensible. Writing that he said that Hazard 'can be the next Zola' is not.

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