Eden Hazard’s Injury Is Beneficial To Both Chelsea FC And Himself


An injury to a star man is never normally a positive development, but Eden Hazard’s knock may just be beneficial to both Chelsea FC and himself this time around.

During Chelsea’s 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace, a visibly frustrated Eden Hazard hobbled off the field with just 16 minutes on the clock. With the scoreline at 0-0 at the time, Blues fans would have been forgiven for believing that luck was simply not on their side this season.

Fortunately, the rest of the team rallied after his substitution to put in what was arguably their best performance of the 2015/16 campaign. Chelsea dismantled a confident and high-flying Eagles side in their own backyard, coming away with a 3-0 win and a renewed sense of optimism.

In the aftermath, Hazard’s injury was identified as a groin issue which would keep the Belgian out for at least a week. This prognosis was perhaps better than some people feared as he trudged off the pitch, but he will still be reportedly unavailable for the club’s next three fixtures.

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While Hazard almost single-handedly carried the Blues over the line last season, this knock comes at an opportune time for everyone involved.

Hazard’s absence last term would be akin to a vital organ being removed from the body that is Chelsea FC. The Belgian was spectacular and was justifiably rewarded with a plethora of personal accolades come the season’s end, including various Player Of The Year awards.

This season, though, Hazard has been a shadow of himself. He has so far struggled to find that same spark that set Blues performances alight and has tumbled from the extraordinary to the ordinary.

It must be stated that the displays from his teammates haven’t helped as almost every member of the squad has looked flat and uninspired, but when you are the talisman, you are expected to stand out in such situations.

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However, it is this status that has perhaps hindered Chelsea. His position as the face of the club has warranted his consistent inclusion in the starting line-up. No matter his performance levels, he has been sent out there each game. Jose Mourinho did indeed drop him momentarily, but for the most part it appears as though he has continued to be the first name on the teamsheet.

Again, we must view this in a team context and consequently it will be pointed out that there have been very few notable personnel changes throughout the campaign. Having said that, it is more significant with regard to Hazard because he is then expected to be the main artery through which all of Chelsea’s attacking moves must pass.

This is not to imply that he has demanded the ball, but he is depicted as the Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo of this team. Due to his dominance last season, his colleagues have continued in that same mindset instead of trying to be bold themselves.

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Hazard’s withdrawal at Selhurst Park paved the way for a reinvigorated Chelsea display. For Willian, one player who has certainly impressed during these tough times, he would have felt that he was now the Hazard of the team. He was the main man. Many have even stated that the Palace performance was the best seen from the club since the opening exchanges of the 2014/15 campaign.

The Belgian’s absence will provide the likes of Willian to assume greater responsibility and thus Chelsea’s football will run through a player who is actually in form. This sentiment is only reinforced by the fact that Hazard’s unavailability is forced rather than managerial-based as his replacements, so to speak, will not have the associated controversy and murmurs surrounding them.

This is not to say that Hazard has been the sole root of all problems. Chelsea have been awful as a unit and that must be understood. However, his lack of production has played a significant role in the club’s downfall.

As for the player from a personal point of view, he has been evidently burnt out throughout the course of 2015. Chelsea’s gruelling schedule (which included unnecessary post-season tours) coupled with his international commitments have evidently taken a toll on the Belgian. This is illustrated by his two seemingly innocuous injuries in a short space of time.

Again, his teammates were faced with similar mountains but few of them had to deal with pressure of being the focal point of both his club and international team.

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If anything, this season has proven that Hazard is not close to being in the same echelon as Messi and Ronaldo yet. However, this is not to say that he won’t be in the future. All great players suffer set-backs and this is the Belgian’s biggest test in his career. He should embrace the time off and only return once he is feeling 110%.