Chelsea star Eden Hazard admits he hates "pointless" tracking back under Antonio Conte
What's the story?
Eden Hazard is arguably the best player in Chelsea's squad, but he risks drawing the ire of his manager Antonio Conte after he made some comments in an interview with France Football.
The Belgian who broke his ankle in international duty has yet to start in the Premier League and when he was asked by France Football about playing under Conte, Hazard replied:
"You don’t need that [tracking back]. You can write that. Don’t tell Conte, but you can write that it’s pointless. If you defend too much, you tire yourself out.
"If I’ve spent the whole game defending, forget about me being useful after the 60th minute, and I’m quite fit. There are people who are meant to defend, while others are there to attack.
"After that, it’s up to the manager. If that’s what he wants, you need to do it, otherwise you sit on the bench. I defend too. I don’t like it, but I have to with Antonio [Conte]."
It will be interesting to see how Conte reacts to Hazard's comments.
In case you didn't know...
Conte's sides are known for their defensive discipline and the Italian often makes it a point to drill it into his attackers to track back and make a defensive contribution as well. One of the victims of Conte's tactics was Fabregas.
The Spaniard was often left on the bench last season and only made his way back to the team once Conte was satisfied that Fabregas had learned his defensive duties. While Hazard is undoubtedly the most skilled player in the squad, the Belgian while playing under Conte will be expected to make a defensive contribution in every match.
The heart of the matter
Whether fairly or otherwise, supremely talented players like Mahrez, Ozil and Hazard have often been accused of not tracking back defensively. In the modern game, luxury players cannot be afforded and it is for this reason that Conte wants all of his attackers to contribute to the defensive part of the game.
Although Hazard might not be pleased with the situation, the Belgian winger has no option but to follow his manager's commands.
Having slowly recovered from a serious injury, Hazard will be hoping to get back to top form soon and hit top form under Antonio Conte this season.
While Hazard might not like tracking back, Antonio Conte will not take any shirking of defensive duties lying down and he will be expecting the Belgian to put a shift and trackback whenever he is on the pitch.
Who needs to track back when you can play like this eh? Antonio Conte will be having nothing of that sort though.
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