Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has got the Blues playing in a different way from previous managers.
Sarri has brought the much-famed Sarri-ball to Stamford Bridge, and has got the Chelsea team playing in a certain swagger. Chelsea have dominated possession in every game they have played this season including the games against Arsenal and Liverpool. This is a far cry from when Chelsea sat back and defended against big teams, relying on breaks to win those games.
Hazard who has featured under title-winning managers Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte has revealed how the team’s style of play has changed on the pitch under Sarri.
He said: “You see [what has changed] on the pitch. We have different players, players we didn’t have last season, players who like to have the ball. We have more possession than before. The attacking players benefit from that. We get more touches, more opportunities to create chances, to dribble more, more chances to shoot on target.
“Sarri is a manager who likes to have the ball. That makes a big difference. Besides that, he’s an Italian. Just like under [Antonio] Conte there’s a lot of tactics and we have to work hard in training.
“I don’t feel like saying that I didn’t have any freedom under my previous managers. Conte and [José] Mourinho also let me do what I wanted in the last third. That’s why I could excel under them too. Defensively I know what I have to do.”
Hazard has been the magic man for Chelsea in Maurizio’s Sarri-ball and it was evident in the solo goal he scored against the Reds in the Carabao Cup third round clash at Anfield on Wednesday night.
Hazard is in the form of his life and is scoring goals for fun, and the Belgian captain even joked that the Italian should come and manage the Belgium national team.
“I don’t want to be disrespectful towards Roberto Martínez but maybe, when his spell at Belgium is over, we can start thinking about Sarri,” he said, laughing.