The weekend interview part one: Eden Hazard
news Fri 29 Aug 2014
In the first of our two-part weekend interview with Eden Hazard, the Belgian discusses the opening two games of the campaign and his World Cup experience…
As starts to a new season go, there is little more you can want than six points from a possible six, but while Eden Hazard is delighted with the victories secured against Burnley and Leicester City, he believes there is plenty of work to be done in the months ahead in order for the side to fulfil our objectives.
Our impressive opening-day 3-1 win at Turf Moor preceded last Saturday’s 2-0 victory against the Foxes, a game in which Hazard netted the second of our two goals, his first of the new season.
Having beaten two newly-promoted teams, Jose Mourinho’s side face what promises to be a tough examination when we take on Everton at Goodison Park tomorrow. We need to carry the form we’ve produced early on into the game on Merseyside.
‘It’s very important to start with six points from two games but we need to remain focused,’ Hazard tells the official Chelsea website.
‘Our aim is to be champions at the end of the season so we need to make sure we take three points from as many matches as possible, but it’s certainly been a good start for us and very good for the confidence in the squad.’
Five goals from two matches, with four separate players writing their names on the scoresheet, is the attacking versatility the manager will have wanted to see from his side during these early stages of the new campaign.
As well as ending last season as the club’s Player of the Year, Hazard also finished as our top scorer, and he knows if he can replicate that potency in front of goal this time around the team as a whole will reap the rewards.
‘For the attacking players it’s been very good; we’ve been scoring a lot of goals and creating a lot of opportunities as well,’ he explains. ‘I think we can continue to do that as long as we remain clinical in front of goal and take the chances when they come along.
‘I’m pleased with the way it’s started for me, I think I played well against Burnley and then I scored our second goal in the game against Leicester, but the most important thing is to make sure I continue playing well, that will help the team.
‘Last season I scored 17 in all competitions and 14 in the league. I try not to set myself targets at the start of the season in terms of scoring but obviously my aim is just to improve on the previous season.’
At the other end of the pitch, the 23-year-old’s compatriot Thibaut Courtois has adjusted quickly after returning to Stamford Bridge from his loan spell at Atletico Madrid, impressing in both of our matches to date and making a game-turning save against Leicester with the scores level.
Hazard admits he hasn’t had to do too much with regards to helping his team-mate for both club and country settle into his new life in the capital, but is pleased to see him performing so well.
‘He’s playing for one of the best clubs in the world and has already shown his quality,' Hazard says. 'He made some very good saves against Leicester. He lives with his wife and I’m with my family but we are good friends.’
A large chunk of Hazard’s summer was dominated by Belgium’s first appearance at a World Cup since 2002, with Marc Wilmots’s side eventually eliminated by Argentina at the quarter-final stage.
Widely regarded by the viewing public as one of the most memorable tournaments in the competition’s history, Hazard says the players taking part were equally enthralled by events in Brazil, and cited Belgium’s game against USA as one of his highlights.
‘Yes, it was the same for me,’ he recalls. ‘You play against the best teams in the world, even if you only reach the semi-finals, or quarter-finals, like we did. It was my first experience and, as a young player, I think it was very important for me.
‘We scored two beautiful goals (against USA), we had so many chances, around 30 shots on goal and Tim Howard made a lot of good saves. It was a great game to be involved in, very stressful but good in the end because we won.’
In part two tomorrow, Hazard talks further about the game at Goodison and looks ahead to a busy September.