Chelsea FC manager Jose Mourinho has demanded more protection for his Belgian superstar Eden Hazard, after continued fouls from opposition players on the 24-year-old during matches.
Mourinho feels that Hazard has grown up, and refuses to complain after every rough challenge that an opposition makes on him, while insisting that last season’s Player of the Year, was “very lucky not to have his leg broken” and demands a better protection from the officials for him.
He was lucky, he could have been injured many, many times – Mourinho on Hazard
Ahead of Chelsea FC‘s friendly against FC Barcelona, the Portuguese issued fresh reminders for the officials to protect his prized asset. The 52-year-old has previously on many occasions, called for referees to protect his players, especially Hazard, who according to him is subject to many crunching tackles. He said:
a I would like more protection for him, but ita s beyond my control.
a Hea s getting stronger and stronger, not just in his body, but in his attitude. Hea s mentally tough. Hea s not the kind of boy who overreacts.
a After a bad tackle he never rolls and rolls like other players do. He doesna t try to push referees to make certain decisions. Eden is not this guy.
a Hea s loyal and honest, and gets lots of respect from opponents because of that.
a But the reality is that last season he was lucky a leta s see what happens next season. He could have been injured many, many times.a
The 24-year-old flamboyant winger was indeed the most fouled player in the English Premier League last season, and according to Mourinho, he ended up taking painkillers after more than a few matches.
a He suffered more than a couple of nasty tackles and could have been in trouble. I saw lots of players breaking legs and ankles with less than that,” he added.
a I dona t want to say names because last season is finished and leta s have a fresh start. I wona t name Mr A, Mr B or Mr C, but he had some very nasty tackles last year.
a The only thing I can do is what I am doing and what Eden is doing, which is to work and work and work to be stronger and stronger. I dona t want to change his mentality or personality.
a I dona t want him crying or overreacting. I dona t want someone to touch his shoulder and he reacts by throwing his hands in his face like some players do. I want Eden to be what he is a absolutely fantastic.a
What can the referee’s do to prevent unnecessary fouls on Hazard?
While, Eden Hazard’s style of play is such, that he invites tackles, as he glides past opposition players, putting to good use his low center of gravity, but that doesn’t justify the huge numbers of tackles committed on the Belgian, considered to have the potential to be one of the best in the world. While, the referee’s can not just keep handing out cards for every challenge on the 24-year-old, they need to be strict when an un-professional or career threatening challenge is made on a player.
In the Premier League it has often been noted that stricter bans and fines are levied on players for the use of abusive language, or for the use of racist remarks as against to career-threatening tackles. While such type of behavior cannot be defended, and the ban et al are welcomed and justified, a stricter approach is also needed on player’s who are used to committing career-threatening or dangerous tackles. A longer ban should be handed out in the event of a player getting injured due to a malicious tackle or challenge, however, not in the case of accidental one’s.
A stricter albeit a more fairer approach is needed by the officials, if such events, which are not in the spirit of the game be curbed and ultimately eliminated.