Last season, fans around the world watched on in baffled confusion as Chelsea, a side that had strolled to the title the year before, fell apart.
Many concluded that the players had simply turned on their then manager, Jose Mourinho, as no other explanation could account for their shocking and sudden drop in form.
Fingers were pointed at Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard in particular, with many believing that all three were fed up with the Special One and were intentionally making less of an effort on the pitch in order to see the Portuguese boss sacked.
With Chelsea fans still head over heels with Mourinho at the time however, the players all spoke positively of their manager in public, offering no explanation for their bizarre drop in form.
Out of the entire squad, Hazard’s performances were the hardest to comprehend as the reigning player of the season looked like a shadow of himself as he failed to score one league goal for Mourinho last season.
Upon the Portuguese manager’s sacking, the Belgian forward stated that he felt somewhat responsible for what had transpired given his absurd transformation in form over a matter of months.
“We’d enjoyed all that success together last season,” said Hazard. “But this time round we hadn’t. I felt a little bit guilty because I’d been player of the year.”
“I’d been one of the most decisive players, and this year I’d performed less well. I hadn’t been at the same level. So I sent that text to José and he came back to me, wishing me all the best for the future.”
However, despite Hazard’s insistence that all was rosey between the pair, it seems that the truth is now finally emerging out of the woodwork as the Chelsea forward has today, rather bizarrely, launched an unprovoked jab at his former manager.
Speaking to the Mirror, Hazard praised the club’s new manager, Antonio Conte, while simultaneously slipping in a very unsubtle dig at Mourinho, suggesting he was glad to be rid of the Portuguese manager.
“Conte puts trust in his players and now we are good after an ugly season last year.” said Hazard.
“I’ve always been the same player but Conte knows how to treat players having played at the highest level himself.”
With Mourinho having famously never had a successful career as a footballer, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out who Hazard was firing shots at with his latest comments.
Given the fact that the Belgian is once again looking like the version of himself that we saw in the 2014/2015 season, taking his latest comments into consideration along with the baffling stats below… At this stage it certainly seems safe to at least ask the question; was Hazard intentionally under-performing last season in an attempt to see Mourinho out the door?
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