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Former Chelsea boss Glenn Hoddle wasn’t happy with Maurizio Sarri’s decision to put Chelsea’s Europa League’s hopes at risk by resting Eden Hazard.
Hazard started on the bench for Chelsea in Thursday’s game at Frankfurt, a decision that surprised many Chelsea fans.
Hoddle was baffled by Maurizio Sarri’s decision not to start Hazard.
Hoddle said: “When the teams came through we were both scratching our heads, to say why would you leave him out?
“We’re coming to the end of the season, not like he’s got a massive load of games to play ahead.
“He’s got a game on Sunday, so he’s got rest time, he hasn’t played since last Sunday at Manchester, so I really for the life of me can’t understand why you wouldn’t play your best player in this semi-final and I’m sure those Chelsea fans that have travelled or are watching in tonight will be scratching their heads because you need your best players in the semi-finals.
“You play your best team, you get to the final and then you try to win the trophy – which puts them back in the Champions League! I for the life of me… it can’t be to rest him.”
Hoddle added: “Just imagine (the Frankfurt) dressing room, when the teams come in, and Hazard’s not starting — what a lift that gives you!
“It will do, yes they might have worked a few days on how to stop him, they might not, but Hazard, one of the best players in the world… not playing against that, you’ve got to be happy about that.
“Suddenly, without stepping on the pitch you’ve got a bit of emphasis, a bit of intent.”
Explaining his decision not to start Hazard, Sarri said: “First of all he’s played the last 10 matches in a row, and second he is usually able to change the match from the bench. I don’t want him to play for 90 minutes.”