One thing you can’t accuse Eden Hazard of is dramatic mood swings.
Whether things are going well or poorly, he always seems to have the same happy-go-lucky attitude to his life. While that can infuriate people who think he’d be even better if he were more intense, it also means he doesn’t carry the weight with which Álvaro Morata insists on burdening himself.
Take Eden’s recent form for example. In nine appearances (six starts) he’s scored seven goals, with two assists, in all competitions, including a jaw-dropper against Liverpool in the League Cup.
The more I watch Hazard’s goal, the better it gets pic.twitter.com/hrG8jTE3NL— Sacha Pisani (@Sachk0) September 27, 2018
But as always, the only goal that truly counts is winning. Form is temporary, as they say, and in an interview with SPORTbible, Hazard does, too.
“At the moment I’m good but in two months it can be different. I just keep practicing on the pitch, training and we will see what happens. If I score I’m good, if I don’t score and I’m playing good, for me it’s perfect. I just need to keep winning games.”
While the football world sees Hazard’s absurd skill, pace and strength, and wonders if he’ll ever displace goal-machines Lionel Messi (maybe not) and Cristiano Ronaldo (increasingly likely), Eden insists he doesn’t measure himself by scoring totals alone.
“Maybe for you it’s people who score more goals, another one is not thinking about that. At the moment I’m good - if I’m the best, If I’m not I don’t care.
”In the Premier League we have a lot of top players. [Sergio] Aguero is one of the best, [Kevin] De Bruyne is injured but he’s one of the best, Mo Salah was the best last year, N’Golo [Kante] in the team is one of the best so we have a lot of good players.”
And since the team is winning, he even understands that sometimes it’s better if he gets a bit of rest on the bench.
“Like I did against Huddersfield, like I did against Arsenal at the beginning of the season - when you go on the pitch and you feel all of the players are a bit tired and you are fresh, you need to produce something.
”To be fair I prefer to be on the pitch than the bench but in the team it’s not just one or two players, we have 25 players that can play every week so when I am on the pitch I try to score or change the game.”
Hazard efforts have vaulted him to the top of the goalscoring charts in the Premier League. He may or may not stay there, but as long as he keeps up his newfound penchant for shooting more, he just might. He started with similar intent a couple years ago in the 3-4-3 under Conte as well, it should be mentioned, before reverting back to something closer to his career mean.
HAZARD'S FAST START IN STATS— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 3, 2018
We take a look at how Eden Hazard's numbers for Chelsea this season compare to his previous campaigns with the club: https://t.co/qu0Y8TwpPx | @WhoScored pic.twitter.com/S3BUDFJERk
The feeling remains that the only that will stop Hazard is Hazard himself ... or the still incessant fouling and targeting from the opposition. Hazard’s used to all that by now and doesn’t complain — even when refs miss the gang-tackling as Paul Tierney did in the Newcastle match — but it sure would be lovely if he got a bit of protection from the referees.
“It’s part of the game - if the defender kicks you and they try to win the ball, that’s fair; that’s football.
”The problem is when they kick you and are not trying to kick the ball. I think I have got protection from the referees because I have played seven years in England so I am used to it and the referee can make the decision. I always try to stand up and do something good.”
That something good for this season is the top four and a Europa League title, at minimum. Hazard’s made no secret about his desire to play Champions League football next season, and if Chelsea can’t provide that, he will have to go looking for it. Or he could just get us there.
“Stay in the top four, win the league of course but we know it’s going to be difficult because three or four teams can win. Be back in the Champions League next year and try to win a cup or Europa League. It’s going to be good.”
-Eden Hazard; source: SPORTbible
Let’s hope so!