Richard Keys has some advice for Jose Mourinho over how to use Eden Hazard when he doesn't pick any strikers.
Richard Keys had some pearls of wisdom for Jose Mourinho last night; play the ‘new Messi’ Eden Hazard through the middle against PSG.
Hazard thro the middle up top tonight? Why not? Been saying it all season. New Messi! No Ba Torres or Eto'o tonight.— Richard Keys (@richardajkeys) April 2, 2014
Few would have been surprised when Mourinho named a side for the game, which didn’t include a cast iron centre forward with German Andre Schurrle taking up the role as the main striker.
Why move Hazard? He’s been world class for the Blues out on that left hand side, which has created statements such as the above from Keys, with the Belgian terrorising defences up and down the country.
However, Chelsea were notably flat last night when they were forced to chase the game with Hazard one of the better performers, showing great composure from the penalty spot to originally equalise.
They needed an iconic figure up front, someone who could either grab the team by the scruff of the neck with power and strength or someone to get on the ball and make things happen.
The idea that Hazard can play through the centre of attack is a good one and something that Mourinho may need to consider over the rest of the season.
Hazard is at his very best when he’s coming into central spaces to make the most of gaps, which have been created by his teammates.
If Mourinho gives him a free role in attack, it allows him to dance from flank to flank as well as occupying different defenders throughout a game which makes him difficult to keep a hold of.
Schurrle has been effective from wide positions this season and with Willian taking to playing down one of Chelsea’s flanks like a duck to water, it could be a good idea for Mourinho to give it a try.
However, the opportunities to do so may not appear over the rest of the season.
The only match the Blues have left this season where Mourinho could use a similar setup to the one he used last night, is the Premier League game away at Liverpool.
That’s a fixture which could decide the season and a game where Mourinho could justifiably pack his midfield with good ball players, allowing Hazard to nudge forward to the very top of the attack.
Let him off the leash, why not?