At the end of the great mid-90s action movie Speed (the one with the iconic and hilarious bus jump) Sandra Bullock turns to Keanu Reeves and warns him that “relationships based on intense experiences never work”. But it’s a Hollywood ending and it works. (At least until Speed 2: Cruise Control, which is the Mourinho Season of Speed movies.)
The Hollywood ending for Chelsea and Hazard is making us wait for it a bit longer however.
After the intense experience of a match-winning brace against Watford made him the tenth player in club history to reach 100 (and 101!) goals, Eden Hazard declared his desire to become a Chelsea legend and cement the relationship 6.5 years in the making. But if Hazard is to reach the status of Lampard, Terry, or Drogba, he’s going to have to sign his new contract first and not leave us for Real Madrid. And so his declaration was taken as intent, or at least a hint, of his true plans. After months and months of waffling and winking at Madrid, he was finally giving us the star treatment.
In the cold light of day, the reality remains that he’s not going to make a decision until the end of the season.
“I am just focused on the pitch. I will see at the end of the season.”
Oof. Snap back to reality, spinning like Francis Coquelin.
Another thing that isn’t really changing is Hazard’s preference to play on the wing, although it’s only been four games since Sarri redefined him as a false-nine. Despite three goals and three assists and a general happiness in playing for Sarri, Hazard still feels better on the wing. He’s not just another Dries Mertens, after all.
“Dries is more of a striker than me,” he insisted. “I am more like a playmaker. Since I started [playing] football I like to come and touch the ball. Dries is not like this, he just wants to stay in the box. That’s why he scores a lot of goals.
”We are different, but I know Sarri likes to change some positions and that happens sometimes.”
“But I will score more goals also if I play as a winger... my position is winger. I feel better as a winger, but like [against Watford] I did well as a striker, against Brighton I did well as a striker, so the manager chooses where to put me on the pitch and then I try to do my best.”
-Eden Hazard; source: ESPN
It would appear that Hazard’s true desires are just as hard to pin down off the pitch as he is to tackle on it.