Eden Hazard has been a staple of Chelsea Football Club since his arrival in 2012. Having rarely missed a game due to injury or fitness or form in the past three seasons, his absence in the starting line-up in Chelsea's game against Porto for the Champions League last week despite him being in perfect condition to play certainly raised some eyebrows. But to Eden's father Thierry Hazard, his son missing a game isn't all that bad.
"Every cloud has a silver lining."
"If [Eden] plays less, he would arrive less tired at the Euros which he is so keen on playing because it takes place in his back garden [France], with his own watching."
But even if taking a break here and there from Chelsea matches isn't that bad in his opinion, Thierry Hazard believes his son will still work hard to achieve what he expects going forward at the club.
"Eden plays since the age of 16 years in the first team. In almost six years, he has never been suspended or suffered a big injury. You have to put things in perspective. Each year he sets new goals that he makes a real point of achieving. Personally, he is conscious of having to improve his stats. His strength lies in knowing exactly where he is at, but never gets overwhelmed: he does not purposely miss a penalty."
Thierry Hazard also knows his son has been under criticism from the media and fans alike due to his loss of form coming into this season. But even at the face of adversity, he knows his son won't back out.
"Eden takes [criticism on his form] well."
"He plays, he works and fun is still there. He is only missing -- but it makes for a lot -- success."
Eden Hazard's father also commented on his interactions with José Mourinho, and his opinion on how the Chelsea manager deals with his son in the team.
"I've dealt with [José Mourinho] on two occasions to discuss the loan of Thorgan [Hazard, younger brother of Eden and currently at Borussia Monchengladbach] and Eden's contract extension.
"I like what he has to say. I continue to support his choices. Eden, as well, understands and accepts them. Moreover, I think he handles him well. When he drops him, he is not punishing him, I am sure, but it is by tactical choice. And if still nothing changes? I will advise."
-Thierry Hazard; Source: The Times
Hazard's father plays a big role in shaping his sons' careers, and his words in this regard are good news as far as Eden's happiness and commitment and such things go (especially with the Real Madrid rumors picking up recently again). Hopefully Eden Hazard is indeed taking Mourinho's message as well as his father is in the press, as we will certainly need him back in his good form to turn things around for Chelsea this season.