Being intimidated by the arrival of the new manager, Jose Mourinho, doesn’t make Eden Hazard any less confident he can continue and develop for Chelsea, hopefully becoming one of the best players in the world, whose mentioned in the same discussions as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
After his last two seasons for Lille, Hazard certainly looked to be on the way there. He led the small club to a title in 2011 and won the Ligue 1 player of the season award for helping the team make it into the Champions League once more the following season, scoring 20 goals and adding 11 assists.
And how did he do for Chelsea? It’s hard becoming a superstar at 21, making your first foray in a much tougher league, with a lot more expectations, some of them coming thanks to the £35 million price tag he came with. Hazard did well initially, especially when he played in a more central role, but was later pushed to the wing, and found it harder to express himself and his talent from there until later in the season, not to mention his long suspension after the weird incident with the Swansea ball-boy.
Hazard finished the year scoring 13 goals and adding 24 assists in 62 matches for Chelsea in what seemed like a never ending season. He had his ups & downs, but he established himself as a player that’s on the verge of bursting into stardom, only needing a little bit more consistency and understanding of how things work in a new position and a new league to make it happen. After being compared to Messi when he emerged in the French League, Hazard wants to reach those exact same heights with Chelsea.
At such a club you never have time to rest. You have to be 100 per-cent all of the time. But even if Chelsea bought nobody, I would still have to fight for my position. Obviously I can improve. I want to score 50 or 60 like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. I lack that killer instinct. Messi and Ronaldo are born to score, it’s in their nature but I still choose the nice dribble or the beautiful pass too often. I have to shoot more.
Another season at third, especially with the arrival of Jose Mourinho and the heightened expectancy for mega-spending from Abramovich this summer, will be a huge disappointment for anyone involved with the club next season, which might be a bit intimidating, especially for young players like Hazard.
Jose Mourinho is someone special and it’s a pleasure to have him as a coach. Maybe in the first training session I will be a bit intimidated. After all, it’s Jose Mourinho. But he is also a man, with two arms and two legs and so, in the end, I will have a normal relationship with him, just as I have with my previous coaches.