Mourinho questions Hazard’s attitude

At the Hawthornes

Jose Mourinho questioned Eden Hazard’s appetite for sacrifice after the Belgian forward’s costly defensive error on Wednesday. Hazard’s failure to track the Atletico Madrid right-back Juanfran led to Adrian Lopez’s equaliser in the Champions League semi-final second leg and Mourinho blamed Hazard’s lack of application.

“Eden is the kind of player who is not so mentally ready to look back at his left-back and live his life for him,” Mourinho said. “If you see Atletico’s first goal, you understand where the mistake was.”

Mourinho was more frustrated with Hazard’s defensive work than with his comments to French television that were seen by some as a criticism of Chelsea’s style of play.

“When the comments come from a player like Eden, it is normal. He is not the kind of player ready to sacrifice himself 100 per cent for the team and his mates. But at the same time, the comments were not critical,” Mourinho said. “Normally you get this kind of comment from players like him: from players who can’t resolve a problem like we had with the first goal.

“Against Atletico in Madrid, Willian played on the left side and Ashley Cole was protected all game. Against Liverpool, [André] Schürrle played on the left and [Liverpool right-back] Glen Johnson was completely under control.”

Mourinho also insisted that Hazard’s comments, that Chelsea were better equipped  for counter-attacking than for possession football, were not surprising. “It’s the same type of words he said in relation to the Belgium side a few weeks ago. There is nothing there.”

Nevertheless, Mourinho is pleased with Hazard’s development overall. The Belgian was named PFA Young Player of the Year and Mourinho added: “He’s had a good season. I think he was brought to a different level of performance and understanding of the game. He’s a young guy. His evolution was fine.”

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