Jose Mourinho's decision to leave Eden Hazard out of the Chelsea team against Aston Villa on Saturday was 'harsh', according to Tony Cascarino.
The Belgium international failed to secure a place in the side as the Blues secured a 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge.
However, despite the victory, ex-Chelsea man Cascarino claims Hazard 'can make things happen' for the west London outfit.
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Speaking to Sky Sports News HQ, Cascarino stated: "Hazard is not performing like he did last year when he was voted PFA Player of the Year. He was sensational. I think he's found it hard this year because the team are not playing as well. I look at him and think 'Really? Substitute?'
"I think it's harsh. He's such a big influence at Chelsea. If you want to play a style and you need someone to make a difference, he's your guy. Hazard can make things happen.
"I don't think Hazard's done that much wrong. He's just not reached the levels, and you could say that for five or six Chelsea players.
"His forte is going forward and making things happen, and I still think his work rate is very, very high."
Ultimately, Portuguese tactician Mourinho will say that his decision to leave Hazard out of the team played a part in his side securing all three points against lowly Villa.
But, Chelsea weren't exactly back to their sublime best despite claiming those all important three points.
Hazard was exceptional for Chelsea last season as he played an integral role in helping them secure the Premier League title. The versatile forward was the league's standout player, so it's bizarre that he's struggling this term.
He deserves the backing of his manager. Despite an inconsistent start to the campaign, Mourinho should be showing loyalty to his best player. Hazard can become the club's talisman once again, but his manager must handle him correctly.
Chelsea fans: Was Mourinho right to drop Hazard? Have your say below!