Andy Gray: Eden Hazard transforming Chelsea into title contenders

Sharethematch.com ambassador Andy Gray was talking exclusively to tribalfootball.com…

EDEN Hazard has been outstanding for Chelsea in their opening games of the season.

He has already had a huge influence as we saw in his performances against Wigan and Reading, and I think Chelsea fans have taken him to their hearts very quickly.

Hazard has already contributed five assists, playing a part in all but one of Chelsea’s goals this season – it’s clear he has hit the ground running.

I would have liked to have seen him try to score himself though when he went through in the last minute against Reading because I think that would have been a great way to cap off his home debut.

But he showed his unselfishness by laying the ball off to Branislav Ivanovic, which not many people would have expected him to do, and that’s always great to see.

I saw quite a bit of Hazard last year in League 1 in France, and I spoke to his former Lille team-mate Joe Cole about him on a few occasions when they were there together.

Joe believed that in the future Hazard could become one of the best players in the world – that’s how highly Joe was rating the lad.

Only time can tell whether he can ever be that good because that is definitely a huge ask, but all of the indications so far suggest he could be.

What you see is what you get with Hazard – he is a very gifted young footballer who is technically sound, very quick and has the ability to beat players in small areas.

There are a lot of good things about Chelsea at the moment going forward – they look a threat, they look like they will score goals.

They’ve got more pace and directness than they had last year too – they have players running with the ball at speed and moving the ball around quicker, which really seems to be helping them.

But at the back Chelsea haven’t been quite as strong – I think in both games they’ve rather surprisingly shown a frailty and weakness in defending which we haven’t seen over the years.

They’ve always been one of the best, most organized, tough to beat teams in the Premier League, and as they showed last season on their way to winning the Champions League, in Europe too.

But even though Chelsea won 2-0 on the opening weekend, Wigan still had plenty of chances and created a lot of opportunities as did Reading on Wednesday, which will be worrying for Roberto Di Matteo.

Once they sort out their defensive unit out then they might just provide a real title challenge this year.

 
Andy Gray is an official ambassador for Sharethematch.com – Football’s Social Network. Available now for FREE online or at the App Store; http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/share-the-match/id450784289?mt=8

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