Halfway through the international break, we've heard from many of the players already about how they still trust Jose Mourinho, how they take personal responsibility for Chelsea's current quagmire, and how they have belief and the desire to make it all right with better performances. Sure, it's been all talk, but until we actually have a game, that's all we can do.
One player who's been conspicuously absent during this media blitz has been Chelsea's and the Premier League reigning Player of the Year, who's matched the rest of his Chelsea teammates in producing not much at all to start the season. Eden Hazard has not only looked a bit out of shape (nothing new there for the notorious slow starter), but after all the talk last season and over the summer of raising his game to the next level, he's actually regressed by a decent amount. We have seen flashes of the old Hazard at times, so we know he's not been completely replaced by some evil doppelgänger — 10-20 minutes here, 45 minutes there; pre-season against Barcelona comes to mind, too — but by and large, he's been quite disappointing.
His father spoke about that a few days ago, but now, ahead of Beligum's match in Andorra on Saturday, we get to hear from the man himself.
"I know, you guys. [My form] could be better. But I'm not worried. Personally, it is not very good, but also the team (Chelsea, ed.) is in a dip."
"Honestly, I do not know [the cause]. For me it is the first time that the momentum is a little less. But is not that normal in a football career? Sometimes you happen to fall."
"I have no problems with [Mourinho putting me on the bench against Porto]. Then it is my task to encourage the boys on the field. All I especially think the coach me that way was trying to tell me something. He is still the best, eh."
-Eden Hazard; source: Voetbal Krant via Google Translate
Judging by the quotes, the answers were delivered in that classic Hazardian, jovial style, probably with a mischievous smile or two inserted at opportune times. As someone who likes to enjoy his football, he's not one to put a super-serious face on. Though I can't imagine he's enjoying what's happening at Chelsea too much at the moment (just like everyone else associated with the club).
Still, he usually gets the message and he's responded very well to previous public challenges from Mourinho. He, like everyone else who has spoken out, remains in full support of Mourinho as well.
Hazard: "There's no better manager to handle the pressure than Mourinho." #cfc— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) October 9, 2015
Okay, sounds good. First things first, don't get hurt on Andorra's artificial turf. Then let's get to work.