2015/16 was a horrible season for us, not just because we had the worst ever defence to an EPL title or because we were at our worst ever form as a team for years, it was because most of our players were remarkable poor on the field.
Before last season, Eden Hazard was consistently in great form. Since his acquisition from Lille in 2012, the Belgian had been in amazing form for us, and he was rewarded for it in 2014/15 when he was voted player of the season by his fellow professionals in the division. However, in 2015/16, there was a very big dip in form for Hazard, he didn’t score near as much goals as in the previous season, and he was poor in his overall game, although one could cut him some slack because he was down with injury too often.
Hazard’s form quickly changed towards the end of last season, thanks to an inspiring performance against a spirited Tottenham side. He scored in that game, and from there on, his brilliant form returned. He carried it into this season, and has been wonderful for us. He has not only shown up against small opposition, but against the big boys too. His goal against Arsenal in the return fixture will go down as one of the greatest solo performances ever, but lately Hazard has seemed a different player. Not only has he not scored in a while (bar the Arsenal game), he has dropped in his overall performance. He doesn’t have the same consistency level he had in the earlier stages of the season, and while it’s understandable, after all, he’s only human, not a machine, I also think it is not good for us at this time of the season. The league only gets tougher at this stage, and teams will rely on their star players to keep them going. So far, the likes of Pedro have stepped up for us in matches, but he cannot do it alone. We need Hazard to return to his brilliant best if we’re to maintain our momentum.
I also feel concerned because I am a huge fan of the man and I’d like for him to reclaim the ‘Player of the season’ title he lost last season. If his poor form lingers, that may only be a wish, because competition for it is already tight as it is, but hopefully, the magical Hazard works more magic in time before the close of the season.
If we must win the league, and even the double, we’d need Hazard to be at his best for us always.