Why Eden Hazard must outshine himself at Euro 2016
March 15, 2016
What’s worse than having a miserable season and watching your only hope of competing in the next Champions League campaign disappear? Well, having your out-of-form star player swap shirts with the opposition, halfway through a European tie you’re losing is surely up there. While Guus Hiddink was vocal about his disappointment regarding the whole Eden Hazard-Angel Di Maria saga, the interim manager underplayed the incident in order to avoid any disappointment in the dressing room atmosphere ahead of a testing period.
Hazard has had a rollercoaster of a season, with poor performances, transfer speculation and general discontent there for all to see. After Jose Mourinho got the sack, the Belgian revealed he apologised to the former manager due to feeling partly responsible for Chelsea’s poor performance following a phenomenal season where he was mentioned in the same breath as world-beaters like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. However, from being termed as one of the best in his profession, he’s fallen down the pecking order at the club itself and his potential transfer-related comments and aren’t going down well with the Stamford Bridge faithful.
With the Euros just around the corner, the winger needs to make sure he gets back to his very best and starts firing on all cylinders in June. Belgium are available at odds of around 11/1 to win the tournament in the international football betting. But if their star fails to find his feet, they could exit as early as the group stages. Rivals Sweden, Italy and the Republic of Ireland all have aims higher than just participation.
So what exactly has Hazard got to do to set things right and start regaining praise from the football world?
For starters, he needs to make a decision on where his future lies. After recently stating his interest to join PSG, he has got a lot of flak for not helping Chelsea to deal with the rough patch they’re going through. But if the Belgian is determined on the move abroad, so be it. Sheltering a disinterested player could prove infectious for the rest of the squad and that’s the last thing Chelsea need right now. However, the twist in the tale is that he can’t move until the summer and that’s when the Euros take place. So, all the transfer hullabaloo isn’t really helping any party.
If he could just get his act together for now with Chelsea, and help them finish their season strongly, he would attract the attention he seemingly desires from the big clubs. It would also help him rediscover his much needed form, which would aid his country in achieving the target they’ve set for France.
Should the storyline go in this manner, he could yet sidestep the landmine. But should it not, Hazard would find himself being picked out as the scapegoat for club and country in the space of just a couple of months. If that isn’t enough motivation to do well, what is?