Chelsea look to have fully recovered from their shock opening day defeat against Burnley, following it up with four wins and a draw in the league.
Antonio Conte’s side sit third, three points behind the two Manchester clubs after thrashing Stoke 4-0 at the Bet365 stadium on Saturday.
With Alvaro Morata starting his career at Stamford Bridge very impressively, things are certainly looking good for the Blues.
In fact, their recent form has been so good that many have forgotten about the absence of a certain Eden Hazard.
Hazard broke his ankle whilst on international duty with Belgium at the beginning of June and is slowly working his way back to full fitness. He has made substitute appearances for Chelsea but still has plenty of work to do to get back to his best.
Of course, Conte demands all of his players to be 100% fit as they’re asked to work extremely hard in his strict system.
And in an interview with France Football, Hazard revealed it’s an aspect of the game that he doesn’t particularly enjoy.
As one of the two playmakers behind the striker, Hazard is expected to track back and help defend from the front. However, the Belgian would rather concentrate on producing magic on the ball rather than tiring himself out.
Hazard on working hard
When making the perfect player with attributes from different stars, Hazard claimed that you don’t need work-rate as a player.
"You don’t need that," he said.
"Don’t tell (Blues boss Antonio) Conte, but you can write that it’s pointless. If you defend too much, you tire yourself out. If I’ve spent the whole game defending, forget about me being useful after the 60th minute, and I’m quite fit.
“There are people who are meant to defend, while others are there to attack. After that, it’s up to the manager.
“If that’s what he wants, you need to do it, otherwise you sit on the bench. I defend too. I don’t like it, but I have to with Antonio.”
The last time Hazard stopped defending
But Hazard knows he has very little choice but to do as Conte asks or else he'll find himself sitting alongside him on the touchline.
After all, the last time Hazard stopped working hard, former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho dropped him.
"I left out Hazard because we are conceding lots of goals. We need to defend better," Mourinho said in 2015.
"Willian and Pedro did amazing defensive work and allowed the [central] midfield players to be very comfortable.
"I continue that way, or he comes in our direction and tries to replicate the same work that Willian and Pedro did."
While Hazard has obviously learned his lesson, his hatred for defending remains.
During the interview, Hazard picked his perfect footballer by combined attributes from a number of footballers.
He picked Luis Suarez’s finishing ability, Cesc Fabregas’ vision, Cristiano Ronaldo’s power, Karim Benzema’s off-the-ball movement, John Terry’s leadership, Andres Iniesta’s class, Christian Benteke’s heading ability and Zinedine Zidane’s elegance.
Yeah, that’s a player that would beat Lionel Messi and Ronaldo to the Ballon d’Or.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms