The first year of a magician at Chelsea
The drama about the young Belgian was high. Where is he going to land? Half of the planet was behind this man. This man, who won the Player of the year in France twice, as a 21 year old. This man, who many speculate as the talent of the century. This man, whose name says everything about his style, causing enormous danger for the back-line of the opponents 90 minutes in a game. The name of this rocket is Eden Hazard.
As his hype is getting bigger every day, the attention in the media rose too. Both Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Tottenham and even Arsenal (they couldn’t afford him anyway) were the favourites to land the talent of the century, after he ruled out a move to Spain. His destination became more precise after he said he only wanted to join a team that qualified for the Champions League next year. Manchester City and Manchester United became the top-favourites after the media speculating him searching for a house in Manchester. Hazard to Manchester seemed to be certain.
But everything changed on a magical night for Chelsea history. The 19th of May 2012, when Drogba got his last shot for Chelsea in the back of the net. Chelsea, European champions. This win meant that Chelsea was automatically qualified for the Champions League next year. Suddenly, the pursuit of Hazard changed. It was a dramatic twist in the Hazard-Saga. All of a sudden we became attractive for the young Belgian again.
Reports from France claimed that Hazard is considering a move to West London again. Still, Manchester United was confident to sign the Belgian after he said that he wanted to be a regular starter, what City couldn’t guarantee. The situation reached its peak when Hazard revealed that he has already chosen his future team on 28th of May on his Twitter account. And on that very same day, Hazard wrote something on his Twitter page what the Chelsea fans had been waiting for: ‘I’m signing for the champions league winner’s.’ Chelsea officially confirmed the transfer on the 4th of June.
After a decent pre-season and Community Shield match versus Manchester City, Hazard’s first opponent in a BPL match was Wigan Athletic (2-0). He made a great impression on his debut by providing an assist for Ivanovic and winning a penalty, which Lampard scored. At his second game against Reading (4-2), Hazard made another 2 assists and won another penalty. He scored his first BPL goal for Chelsea in his third game at a 2-0 win over Newcastle United by converting a penalty. He also made an assist with his backheel (irony) in the very same game. After his first 3 games, Hazard already had 1 goal and 6 assists in his account, with 3 additional man of the match awards, making him the first ever player to win the award in the first 3 matches.
Hazard continues to fascinate by his energetic offensive power. Dynamism, explosive acceleration, world class technics and a crazy shot belong to his repertoire. He’s a complete offensive all-rounder, his name in comparison to the world greatest: Messi and Ronaldo. The opponent’s didn’t take long to realize that Hazard is more than danger.
However, it was difficult to keep his magnificent form, and with the whole team, Hazard’s form turned rather poor towards the end of autumn.
The appointment of Benitez caused a low of atmosphere at the Bridge. The first home win at the Bridge under Benitez resulted in a total destruction of Aston Villa in a 8-0 trashing. Hazard scored his fourth BPL goal in that game, hammering the ball into goal with his left-foot after a superb solo on his left side. He scored another cracker versus Stoke City in a 4-0 win from 25-yards in January.
His personal low he suffered at the second-leg game versus Swansea in the Capital One Cup. He did something a professional mustn’t do. The famous Swansea ‘king of all ball-boys’ provoked, and Hazard fell for it. He ‘kicked’ the ball boy in the stomach after the ball boy tried to waste time by covering his body over the ball. But like a wise man said: ‘It’s better to learn early than too late.’ No Chelsea fan can forget Drogba’s moment of madness 5 year ago. Back then in 2008, the rainy night in Moscow, he hadn’t got his emotions under control. He slapped Vidic in the face and got sent off, which was a turning point of that game.
Hazard’s action resulted in a ban, but he took responsibility from that game. He came back from the ban stronger than ever before. He wanted to show the world and redeem himself at us, the Chelsea fans.
He proved his importance in the team while none of the games were won during his ban (including an embarrassing draw versus Brentford). Hazard returned with a bang by scoring his 7th BPL goal at the demolition of Wigan (4-1). His form kept getting better after his 3-match-ban. He also scored the winner against Sparta Prague (1-1) in injury time to secure a last-16 place in the Europa League. This winner goal was followed by stunning goal at Old Trafford (2-2) in the FA Cup and a fantastic game with a great individual goal in the London Derby versus West Ham (2-0).
A hamstring injury, which Hazard suffered at the Villa Park, kept him out of the Euro League final. His dynamics and pace were missed in that game versus Benfica. Nevertheless, Chelsea could win the final with 2-1 (with a bit of luck), Ivanovic scoring a header in injury time.
You don’t have to be a professional scout to see how good Hazard is at the age of 22. It’s really fun to watch him dribble down the left flank and scoring magnificent goals, crowned with an epic celebration. And as Zidane says, this player is different, really different.
What a season it has been for our new our new play-a-maker! 13 goals and 24 (!) assists in 62 games in all competition for a 22-year old in his first season in the Premier League is impressive. He belongs rightly to the PFA Team of the Year, and he was also alongside Mata one of the 5 contenders for the PFA Player of the Year award.
At the end it’s only one medal for Hazard this season. However for the young Belgian, this season could have been the most important season in his life. He learnt immensely much here at Chelsea and he’s grown from a great talent to a world class player. His future looks more than promising at his current age of 22; he may even win the ultimate prize for an individual footballer, the Ballon d’Or, one day.
Hazard, what a player! Leave me your impression of his first season at Chelsea in the comments! Jonny (@jonny9fan)