Mourinho not the only Hazard coach to criticise him on defending

Mourinho Dugout

Marc Wilmots made the exact criticism in October 2012 - does Eden Hazard have a serious problem to address?

Yesterday Chelsea fans were quite shocked to see their manager Jose Mourinho hand out a public dressing down to Eden Hazard.

Hazard was in hot water for his comments after the Atletico Madrid defeat in midweek - made on French TV.

And Mourinho had this to say about his PFA Young Player of the Year:

"Eden is the kind of player that is not so mentally ready to look back to his left-back and to leave his life for him. If you see the first goal of Atlético you completely understand where the mistake was and why we conceded that goal. I'm not happy. I speak all season and I try to improve him all season."

They were harsh and true words but whether they needed to be aired in public is another question entirely. Hazard has improved his tracking back this season - but Juanfran made a mockery of him on Wednesday night.

And Mourinho is not the only one of Hazard’s coaches not happy with his work-rate going backward.

The Chelsea player has in fact been in this very position with his national team coach Marc Wilmots.

After beating Serbia in October 2012 the Belgium manager admitted that Hazard can sometimes be a hindrance despite his immense talent - telling media:

“Nacer Chadli and Eden Hazard had to switch positions because we were all over the place in the opening exchanges and very fortunate not to fall behind in the first seven minutes. I spoke to him after the game…Eden should know that, in football today, changing from defence to attack and from attack to defence are essential. But I support him. Step by step, we will get there."

Just a couple of months earlier and Belgian FA vice-president Phillipe Collin suggested Hazard needed a ‘kick up the ass’ to get him defending in big games - so this is not a new problem.

The solution is simple. Either play Hazard through the middle or don’t play him at all - he will soon learn to defend if it means getting playing time.

But one thing for sure is this - Hazard must improve his defensive game, as Mourinho is not the only man calling him up on it.

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