Conte deserves the praise for Hazard’s dazzling form – Hoddle

By Richard Johnson


Former Chelsea and Tottenham midfielder Hoddle reckons Hazard is benefitting from Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 system.

Asked if Conte should take credit for Hazard’s revival, Hoddle said on BT Sport: “Well a lot of it’s got to go down to him because of the change of system.

“They’ve gone three at the back and that gives him a wing-back in behind him and you’ve got a left-sided centre-half that can cover people if they go down that side as well.

“He’s covered off defensively and that’s allowed him to take the chains off him and go and play and he can sit out sometimes.

The Belgian struggled under Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink last term as Chelsea finished a dismal 10th.

Hazard netted just four goals in the league before heading off to the European Championships and helping the Red Devils to the semi-finals of the competitions.

But the winger has been sensational for the Blues this term and looks to be back to his best with eight goals to his name already.

Hoddle continued: “If the manager’s set it up like that and they get the ball to him, he’s got the freedom of the park.

“The opposition have got come up with something that’s going to force Hazard to go back and defend.”

Chelsea’s 1-0 win over West Brom yesterday was their ninth league victory on the trot as they maintained their three-point advantage at the top of the table.

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