Jamie Carragher and, especially, Gary Neville are just about the only two pundits with national exposure* working in the English game nowadays who are worth listening to. Which is possibly quite telling, and not just because of their unfortunate origins as Liverpool and Manchester United legends, respectively.
* Chelsea's own Pat Nevin is pretty great as well, but he's mostly just on Chelsea's website or perhaps BBC radio.
Here's Sky's dynamic duo on Monday Night Football running the rule over Chelsea's poor start to the season, with Carragher bringing up an interesting point about Mourinho that we had alluded to after the weekend as well — "some managers, [when going through a tough time] might think we need goals and we need to be more attacking, he goes the other way [and he needs clean sheets]" — and Neville, straightforward and unsparing as usual, showing zero sympathy for Hazard's struggles and his eventual benching last weekend.
"I've got no sympathy for Hazard. I expect more of him."
"The level he got to last season, you started to see a great player [...] there was talk last season of him getting into that Messi, Ronaldo bracket. Of course they have off periods but even in the off periods they still contribute, they score goals."
"I've got no sympathy for [Hazard] in the sense that the question mark hanging over him is in respect of 'can he go to that next, next level?' He's got to pull himself out of it. I've got no sympathy for the very top players with the best talent, the best skill, they really have got everything at their feet and I'd expect them not just to go and be player of the year this year, I'd expect them to take it forward and get confidence from that and go and score 30 goals next season, be the best player in the league again and dominate and dominate."
"He hasn't done that at the start of this season and he needs to pull himself out of it. Every player goes through a tough patch but he's got to do it quickly because that's what the best players do, they come out of these patches very quickly."
-Gary Neville; source: Sky
You know, he's quite right. Unfortunately.
(Or, perhaps fortunately, in the end, if Hazard does in fact rise to the latest challenge from Mourinho and not only return to his previous level, but he manages to raise it even further.)
P.S.: Yes, I realize that Hazard liked some photo on Instagram. No worries though; Messi's coming to Chelsea.