There have been many to judge Eden Hazard and question him prematurely following his display against Manchester City during the Community Shield clash at Villa Park yesterday, most likely because he opted for a move to Stamford Bridge and not Manchester United or the Citizens, but the Belgian isn’t letting that bother him and is looking onwards.
Hazard showed plenty of spark early on an will cause plenty of headaches for defenders in the coming season, but following Branislav Ivanovic’s red card he quickly faded as he had to do a lot more defensive work. Everyone’s lasting impression of him was his doomed attempt of a back-heel, which was admittedly amusing.
The 21-year-old quickly brushed off the defeat and spoke positively about his move, insisting he made the right choice. He told French publication L’Equipe:
“The red card killed the match.
“Manchester City are a team playing very well and – down to 10 – we had difficulties against their pace early in the second half. But the first half was encouraging.
“I’ve already found what I came for in England – beautiful stadium, beautiful pitch and big atmosphere.
“I tried to do what I am used to do. Down to 10, I had to defend a lot and it was more complex.
“Beyond the result, I am happy with that first test. I felt at ease. We still have to sort out some details in attack but it will come. I am confident. I have adapted quickly.”
There has also been a lot said about his supposed arrogance and demand to play in the number 10 role for Chelsea, but he says that he knows that he will have to earn his place and will fill in wherever he’s needed:
“Playing playmaker or not? I have just arrived and the only important thing to me is to play – in any position. I would be even keen to play at left-back.
“There are a lot of talented players in that team. There is competition – it is the highest level.”
It’s good to see that Hazard isn’t too downbeat following our defeat yesterday and hopefully we’ll see better from both him and Chelsea when we play Wigan in our opening game of the Premier League season, and I would like to see him play behind Fernando Torres to show us what he can do in that position as I believe him to be less effective in a wider position and Juan Mata is in need of rest after a busy summer.