Chelsea star Eden Hazard standing up to the challenges of English Premier League
Will Eden Hazard be able to meet with the physical demands of English Premier League? That was the question in the minds of all analysts. The frail looking 5-ft-7-inch attacking midfielder looked like a single tackle would sideline him for the season.
However, the Belgian wonder kid never fails to impress. The youngster is packed with some serious power, some of which was displayed in the Community Shield matchup against Premier League champions Manchester City.
In an interview after the game, Eden Hazard told reporters he was relishing the physical demands of the Premier League.
The English Premier League is well known for its physicality. Being the most famous and notorious league in the world means top notch players around the world will exhaust their engines in attempts to get in the spotlight.
Moreover, the English style of play asks players to buff up before stepping on the field. Bad tackling is considered a part of Premier League. It’s not that players intentionally commit to bad tackles; it’s just that somehow players in the Premier League lack the ability to make defensive tackles.
This means Eden Hazard will not only have to put his body against the line, but also fire up all of his engines for the fast game play in English Premier League. The 21-year-old has proved his pace and creative skills with Lille in the French League, but would he be able to perform on a bigger stage?
Chelsea better hope he does because they paid £32 million for him. Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo believes Eden Hazard will prove to be the x-factor for Chelsea in the future. In the 71 minutes Eden Hazard played against Manchester City, the youngster proved that he was worth every single dime Chelsea spent on him.
“I've already found what I came for in England - beautiful stadium, beautiful pitch, big atmosphere and a very competitive match,” Eden Hazard said after his side’s 3-2 defeat to Manchester City.
“Beyond the result, I am happy with that first test. I felt at ease. It's very fast and I believe it's a perfect style of play for my qualities.
Eden Hazard, who scored 50 goals and assisted 38 times in 192 appearances for Lille, understands that the English and French game play is different.
“I'm here to play these very intense games,” Eden Hazard said. “In France, it could be intense during ten or 15 minutes but the match can be very quiet during the next ten or 15 minutes. Here, it is always at the maximum.
“I was stopped sometimes by big tackles, but people have always tried to stop me playing hard. But when it's fair like that it's OK.
“The first half was encouraging but the red card killed the game. Down to ten players, it was really difficult because City pass the ball very well. I had to defend a lot in the second half and it was very hard physically.
“I was pleased with my performance. I can do better of course, but I am confident.”