Now, first and foremost, I want to apologize for the somewhat big-headed article title. Yes I was at the DW Stadium on Sunday, but do I really need to mention it when reviewing Chelsea’s new Belgian prospect? I had hoped not. However upon reading Monday’s papers and seeing such headlines as ‘Hazard display delights Di Matteo’ and ‘Hazard inspires Chelsea to victory’, I felt I had to give my honest opinion on his performance.
Hazard got Chelsea off to a flier when he skilfully span past one and then slotted Ivanovic through, who put Chelsea ahead. It was a moment of individual brilliance from the Belgian who created something from almost nothing. Hazard featured once again when Wigan’s new signing Ivan Ramis clumsily brought him down just moments later. Cue a Lampard spot-kick and cheers from the Chelsea fans when the lead was doubled in the 10th minute.
Despite a bright start however the game dwindled from that point onwards, as did Hazard. Where in the first 10 minutes everything had gone right for Hazard, for the rest of the game he played fairly average. The moments of magic and brilliance that the £32m Belgian had pulled off early on, just didn’t have the same effect in the rest of the game. This is why I feel many of the reviews of Hazard were wrong as, I felt personally, it was merely a good performance from the youngster. If you only saw the highlights of the game, which showed Hazard’s brilliance, and not the rest it would be easy to be fooled. For the rest of the game, I felt Juan Mata outshone Hazard in creativity and all round dictating the game. If Hazard’s performance was ‘outstanding’, why was he taken off for Oscar? Yes it was a good debut, far better that £50m man Fernando Torres, but was it quite outstanding? I’ll let you decide. For me Hazard’s flashes of brilliance showed what a talent he could be, but perhaps isn’t quite the full article yet.