Eden Hazard has revealed the details of a crucial conversation he held with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho over his poor form – and what he demanded in a bid to turn around his and the team's season.
A constructive conversation is the last thing you would expect between the Belgian playmaker and the Portuguese manager. A number of reports would have us believe that the connection between the two has completely broken down.
But the reigning PFA Player of the Year has denied the suggestion that he is ready to give up on life at Stamford Bridge if Mourinho remains in charge, instead insisting they are still enjoying a healthy working relationship.
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And that was in full flow before a match between Stoke City (League Cup) when Hazard approached Mourinho with some much-needed tactical advice. He wanted a new role within the team and the Special One duly obliged.
The change has yet to reap rewards with the 24-year-old still searching for his first goal of the season, but he was at least looking something like his old self in the 1-0 win over Norwich City.
After that game, here is what he told reporters:
“We spoke together before the Stoke game. I said to him: ‘Maybe we have to try something, to change something. Maybe I have to play a No.10 because we have to try.’
“We did and I played a very good game in the Cup in Stoke. And, [against Norwich], it was the same.
“I tried to play my own game. I didn’t start the season well. I know that. I gave everything in training and on the pitch when I played. Now I hope I can get a lot more form and try to help the team win games."
Winning against the Canaries certainly did not drag the Blues out of their crisis. They remain 15th in the table and 12 points short of fourth-placed Arsenal.
In times gone by, Mourinho may have found himself out of the job by now, but it seems Roman Abramovich is ready to back him so long as the fans and players remain on his side. The fans definitely still want him there and Hazard has confirmed that at least he is still committed to Mourinho's philosophies.
"It’s my fourth season now, and we won a lot of trophies last season. I won a lot, too. Maybe the attention here is greater now. But I have to play with this responsibility. I try to be the best every time.
“I don’t have a problem with Mourinho. I’ve heard a lot of things about this, but no. Everything is good with him. He is the best manager.
“He is the best manager for Chelsea, and we hope we can win a lot of trophies together. Maybe not this season because it will be difficult, but next season and on.”