Eden Hazard apologizes to former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho
Hazard also revealed that he nearly rejected Chelsea, only joining because the Blues won the Champions League
Eden Hazard has apologized to former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho for his role in the Portuguese manager’s sacking. The Belgian sent a text message to his 53 year old ex manager apologizing for his poor form this year, with Mourinho replying and wishing him all the best.
In a wide ranging interview with the Guardian, Hazard revealed that he had sent the text message apologizing to Mourinho a few days after his sacking, saying “I sent him the message to say I was sorry he had gone and well, just that I was sorry.”
The Belgian underlined the guilt he felt at his poor form, while also revealing Mourinho’s magnanimous reply, saying “We’d enjoyed all that success together last season, 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.”
Chelsea’s form baffles Hazard
Chelsea’s disastrous start to the season shocked the Premier League and resulted in Jose Mourinho’s sacking, months after lifting the trophy back in May. Guss Hiddink has come in and stabilized the club, with the Blues having been undefeated under him but still continue to languish in the bottom half of the table in 13th place with 29 points.
Hazard noted that he has no explanation for Chelsea’s disastrous start to the season, saying “For a team of champions to go through what we have this year even I can’t explain. Things have been better recently, but we’re still not winning games quite as we used to. No one can put his finger on what’s happened at Chelsea.”
“Maybe this season a bit more than last year, given last season was exceptional. We knew Chelsea would be the team to beat this year. That made life harder, but it doesn’t explain everything. Personally, it’s nice to have a good season, but to follow it up again is even better still. This is my fourth year in English football so, maybe, a spell like this was always on the cards. Maybe I should have seen it coming.”
Hazard almost rejected Chelsea
Unlike this season, Hazard has mostly been one of Chelsea’s best performers ever since joining in 2012, but the Belgian revealed that he nearly rejected the Blues and only joined because they had won the Champions League that season, saying “Playing in the Champions League was important to me. So, if Chelsea hadn’t won it, I doubt I would have signed.”
Faced with the prospect of no Champions League football next year, Hazard is disappointed, saying “When you’re used to playing every year in the Champions League, then yes [I could cope]. Even if missing out for a year, for for the club, would be difficult. Financially. But, this year, we’ll be where we deserve to be. If we’re not in the Champions League, we’ll not have deserved to be in it. We’ll not have done enough to make the top four.”
Given that it is February, Chelsea’s last remaining chance to qualify for the Champions League is by winning it, with Hazard hopeful, saying “You can eat away at 10 or 11 points very quickly, but it’s easier if you still have 30 matches to play. We only have 14 so I think the Premier League is finished. So we’ll have to win [the European Cup] to qualify. Why not? Look at 2012. That’s why I always say we have to target the Champions League.”