Schurrle puts Chelsea struggles down to Hazard

Matt Stead

Andre Schurrle has blamed his difficult spell at Chelsea on the fact that Eden Hazard was granted more freedom by Jose Mourinho.

German international Schurrle made just 20 Premier League starts in 18 months at Chelsea, and continually struggled to achieve a regular starting place at Stamford Bridge under Mourinho.

Schurrle, 24, left for Bundesliga side Wolfsburg in February, and lamented the fact that the manager “didn’t trust” him during his spell, but granted Hazard complete freedom on the opposite wing.

“I had a good time at Chelsea and was accepted in the team, so it’s difficult to explain why I left,” Schurrle told The Times.

“My performances were good, but there was a time in my second season when I felt I didn’t have the manager’s trust any more, and didn’t play many matches from the start.

“It was difficult to leave, but when I had the chance to come back to Germany to join an awesome club like Wolfsburg I felt it was a good decision.

“I don’t know why Mourinho didn’t trust me. It all felt a bit weird to me. I started a few games, was on the bench for a few, then started some more.

“It was up and down the whole time. I didn’t get any consistency from the manager so found it hard to produce my best. That’s probably the biggest reason I wanted to leave.

“I had a lot of good talks with the manager and respect him a lot, as he told me to my face what he wanted me to do. I had some very good games, but there was often an ordinary game soon afterwards as well.

“It was hard because I felt like I was training well and working really hard, but I wasn’t getting in the team. It was always up and down.

“It’s difficult for young players at Chelsea because they’re a big team with big stars,” Schurrle said. “It’s not easy to play every match.

“It’s even harder for the wingers as there are only two in the team and Eden plays always, as he’s the best player in the league.

“So you have one position on the right wing, which was between Willian, Oscar, myself, sometimes Mata, occasionally De Bruyne.

“The other thing is that Eden is given more freedom so the other winger has to work even harder.

“You have to work for that freedom, and Eden deserves it as he creates everything up front. He scores goals and makes assists so it’s right he should have that freedom.

“It’s a bit different for the right winger. You have to work back a little bit more. When one player gets more freedom the rest of the team has to adjust, but it makes it a little bit more difficult to play on the right side.”