Chelsea FC stars Eden Hazard and Branislav Ivanovic have come under increased criticism for their poor form that has been a key reason for Chelsea’s struggles this season. Speaking ahead of the Arsenal FC tie, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has defended the duo, saying that “best will be best” and it is only a matter of time before they strike form.

Chelsea FC have had a stuttering start to the new season, with just 4 points collected from a possible 15 in the opening 5 games. The defence as well as the attack have not performed to the standards one would expect from them. Two primary culprits are the players who were arguably in the form of their lives last season – Branislav Ivanovic and Eden Hazard.

Ivanovic has been blamed for many mistakes that have caused Chelsea to concede goals this season while Hazard has been slammed for his subdued performance after a season that saw him win the Player of the Year award in England.

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Mourinho defends Hazard

Manager Jose Mourinho has defended the form of the pair ahead of Arsenal game. He was quoted saying by Premier League official website: “He [Hazard] is the best player in England. As I was saying the other day, because [Wayne] Rooney doesn’t score for three games, it doesn’t mean he is a bad player.

“Eden is the best in this country. The best will be the best again. I don’t know if it’s tomorrow or next week, but one of these days he’ll be man of the match.”

Ivanovic, Terry reports a work of fiction: Mourinho

Dismissing the recent speculation over Ivanovic’s future at Chelsea, Mourinho said that it was merely “something you [the media] said, not me”. The manager backed the Serb to bounce back and also refuted suggestions of rift with captain John Terry.

“Terry is a player of my total confidence,” Mourinho said. “Because he’s on the bench one game and I take him off at half-time, nothing changes. I don’t know if Terry will start. He is the captain, one of the good faces.

“You don’t see me being critic with him [Ivanovic]. I don’t think the question is for me, I’m not trying to isolate individual players from the context.”