Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard says Jose Mourinho is right to suggest that he needs to up his game.
Hazard, 24, was the star player for the Premier League champions last season, picking up both the PFA and Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year awards.
Chelsea have had a stuttering start to their title defence, however, claiming just four points from their opening four matches. Defeat against Crystal Palace last weekend prompted Chelsea boss Mourinho to single out Hazard for criticism, saying that it should be “a good responsibility” for the Belgian to try to match his form from last season.
Currently on international duty, Hazard has readily accepted Mourinho’s assessment.
“It’s obvious,” he told French sports daily L’Equipe. “You don’t need to know too much about football to compare what I did last season and what I did this season. I’m not as good. “It’s more of a collective problem than an individual one. We’re professionals. We knew this season was going to be more difficult… but within the squad we have the quality to bounce back.”
Now in his fourth season in London, Hazard said he hoped Belgium’s upcoming games against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus would have a knock-on effect for his club. “Individually and collectively, we’re not up to scratch,” the former Lille player said of Chelsea’s start to the season.
“Starting with me. “We had a difficult month in August. I hope that the international break will allow me to rediscover my form.”