Eden Hazard had admitted that he is in the worst form of his playing career and says that his place in the Chelsea team is no longer guaranteed.
Most of the focus regarding Chelsea’s desperate start to the season has been on their error-prone defence, but Hazard has also looked far less dangerous than last season, when he was named PFA Player of the Year.
The Belgian is yet to score for Chelsea this season, after his side’s second goal against Arsenal was changed to a Calum Chambers own goal. He has provided two assists in the Premier League, but looked less able to dominate matches as he did so effectively last season.
“This is the first time in my career that I have had such a difficult spell like this,” Hazard said.
“I can’t really explain it. All I know is that I will need to work hard in order to bounce back. At Chelsea we have concerns both as a team and individually.
“We all thought that our recent win against Arsenal would give us lift-off – but instead we fell straight back into our bad ways.”
Hazard was also dropped by Mourinho against Porto, and admits that he can no longer expect to be a guaranteed starter for Chelsea.
“I was left on the bench against Porto in the Champions League, and I am no longer immune to being left out,” he said. “You can be untouchable when you play well, and that has not been the case with me.
“I think the manager wanted to send me a message by making me a sub. I don’t read everything he says, but he explains everything.
“I hope to come back stronger, and I am ready to play and do my best. I see my two games for Belgium this week as a launchpad for my season with Chelsea.”
Chelsea face Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge next weekend, followed by a trip to Kiev in the Champions League.