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Jose Mourinho blames Eden Hazard for Chelsea's Champions League exit

Date

Jeremy Wilson

"If you see the first goal, you understand where the mistake was and why we conceded": Chelsea's Jose Mourinho.

"If you see the first goal, you understand where the mistake was and why we conceded": Chelsea's Jose Mourinho. Photo: Reuters

Jose Mourinho has accused his star player, Eden Hazard, of being unable to sacrifice himself fully for the team and bluntly told the Belgium winger that he was to blame for the crucial first goal in Chelsea's Champions League defeat by Atlético Madrid.

Hazard had appeared to criticise Mourinho's tactics immediately after the 3-1 semi-final loss when he was quoted on French television as saying that Chelsea "are not made to play football, we are good on the counter-attack". Hazard also added: "Often, I'm asked to do it all by myself and it's not easy."

"He's not the kind of player ready to sacrifice himself 100 per cent for the team and his mates": Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho on Eden Hazard.

"He's not the kind of player ready to sacrifice himself 100 per cent for the team and his mates": Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho on Eden Hazard. Photo: AP

Mourinho has since studied the transcript of the interview and, although he is adamant that the comments were not a criticism of his managerial style, he did deliver an extraordinarily candid appraisal of Hazard's contribution. Pointedly, in what was a rare and stinging critique of one of his team, Mourinho also claimed that Hazard's remarks could be expected "from players like him".

"It's normal because he's not the kind of player ready to sacrifice himself 100 per cent for the team and for his mates," said Mourinho. "Eden is the kind of player who is not so mentally ready to look back at his left-back and live his life for him. Normally you get this kind of comment from players like him: from players who can't resolve a problem like we had with the first goal. If you see the first goal, you understand where the mistake was and why we conceded.

"Against Atlético in Madrid, Willian played on the left and Ashley Cole was protected all game. At Liverpool, André Schürrle played on the left and a dangerous player like Glen Johnson was completely under control.

"I just say the perfect team at the top level cannot make this kind of mistake. Normally, if you go to half-time winning 1-0, the game is another game because Atlético have to chase the game and we, with stability, have conditions for more."

Mourinho dropped Hazard this season for returning late from a trip to Belgium after he lost his passport, while his preference for César Azpilicueta over Ashley Cole at left-back has clearly been influenced by his reservations about Hazard's team play. Mourinho's critique of Hazard will be of particular interest to Paris St-Germain, who are keen to bring him back to France this summer.

PSG, though, have just been sanctioned for breaches of Uefa's Financial Fair Play regulations and would struggle to make such a major signing this summer. Mourinho is also adamant that Hazard will stay and stressed that he was not offended by the former Lille playmaker's remarks about Chelsea's style.

"I listen to the interview," said Mourinho. "There was nothing critical in what he said. There is nothing there." Despite agreeing that he was "not happy" with parts of Hazard's game, Mourinho did also highlight both his young age and considerable development. Hazard has been Chelsea's most creative player and, having been shortlisted for the PFA's Player of the Year award, was named Young Player of the Year last Sunday.

"Eden's had a good season, and an improvement," said Mourinho. "I think he was brought to a different level. Remember the performance at Man City, which was a very complete performance? I have no problem with him. He's a young guy. His evolution was fine. Does he still make mistakes? Of course he still makes mistakes. It was the first time in his life he'd played a Champions League semi-final. It's a career that's he's just started. Of course he understands."

Mourinho still fully expects either Manchester City or Liverpool to win the Premier League but, at the end of what would be his first full season in management without a trophy, he gave a detailed defence of his record.

"I'm going to tell you something, a bit of the history of my career," said Mourinho. "My career reached, at Inter, the maximum you can reach when you win everything. In 2010 I won everything. After that, this is the history of my career. In the first season [with Real Madrid] I won the cup against the best team in the world [Barcelona] and finished second in the league after the best team in the world. The next season I was league champion against the best team in the world, the champions of the records - 100 points, 126 goals, the record team - and we won that league.

"In the third season we won every match against the best team in the world, in the league, the Super Cup, the Cup. We lost the league, finished second, and we lost the Champions League semi-final by one goal. And the fourth season, which is this one, and probably the first where I don't win a single trophy, I go to the Champions League semi-final and fight for the title until the last. So these are the four bad seasons of my career."

Asked where it all went wrong, he added: "It went wrong by going year after year like nobody else did. You arrive at a level where finishing second is not good, losing a semi-final is not good. So I'm proud of that. Proudly guilty of that."

London Telegraph

5 comments so far

  • Oh Mourinho. How about praising the opposition for once? Athletico Madrid outplayed you once your park the bus tactics were thwarted. How about blaming yourself for not getting the best out of your players and having an effective Plan B. I'll be cheering for Man City or Liverpool this weekend to see Chelsea go without a trophy this season after all that spending. David Moyes might have a job after all at Stamford Bridge next year as Putin's buddy doesnt like bare trophy cabinets and he's pretty much hired every coach under the sun.

    Commenter
    Spike
    Date and time
    May 03, 2014, 11:18AM
    • typically blaming anything but himself...such a sore loser.....zero class.

      Commenter
      dexjnr
      Date and time
      May 03, 2014, 12:29PM
      • C'mon Chelsea, now win the premiership , no one wants the scallies or scum to win!

        Commenter
        Bonzo
        Date and time
        May 03, 2014, 5:23PM
        • Mourinho is the biggest hypocrite I have seen in elite sport. The tactics that he employs in most games against quality opposition are "19th century football" when others play them against Chelsea. He is happy to personally attack other managers but lives off past glory when his own failures are raised. Hazard was simply confirming what everyone else expects: that Mourinho's football is as boring to play as it is to watch

          Commenter
          Bas
          Date and time
          May 06, 2014, 8:37PM
          • I hope Abramovich is regretting getting rid of RDM.

            Commenter
            A person
            Date and time
            May 07, 2014, 9:59AM

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