Hazard can’t ex­plain loss of form

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

club and coun­try this sea­son, and has 12 goals in his last 14 Pre­mier League starts.

In con­trast, Giroud scored three goals in 11 ap­pear­ances for Arse­nal so far, draw­ing crit­i­cism for his in­con­sis­tent dis­plays and lack of killer in­stinct in front of goal.

“At Arse­nal, I am in com­pe­ti­tion with Theo for the striker po­si­tion. But he is do­ing well at the mo­ment, so there is no rea­son to change,” Giroud told re­porters.

“Whether it was at Tours, Montpellier or Arse­nal, I have never ex­pe­ri­enced a sit­u­a­tion like this, I have of­ten played from the start. I need to take pos­i­tives and to har­den my­self men­tally. It is some­thing new for me.

“I was in (Wal­cott’s) place in pre­vi­ous sea­sons at Arse­nal. I imag­ine what he must have been think­ing. But I feel that the coach be­lieves in me,” the 29-year-old French striker added.

Giroud is not wor­ried over his lack of play­ing time and is con­fi­dent he will pounce on any op­por­tu­nity to win back his place in the start­ing line-up.

“It has been for sev­eral matches now that I have played less, that is for sure, but I do not need to be wor­ried. I need a bit more game time but also to be­lieve more in my abil­i­ties,” Giroud said.

Arse­nal, who are sec­ond in the league ta­ble af­ter eight games, travel to face pro­moted side Wat­ford on Satur­day.

FULL WEEK­END FIX­TURES Oct 17: Tot­ten­ham v Liver­pool, Man City v Bournemouth, Ever­ton v Man United, Crys­tal Palace v West Ham, Southamp­ton v Le­ices­ter, Chelsea v As­ton Villa, West Bromwich Al­bion v Sun­der­land, Wat­ford v Arse­nal.

Oct 18:

New­cas­tle v Nor­wich.

Oct 19: Swansea v Stoke. — AFP LON­DON — Chelsea’s Eden Hazard (pic­tured) can­not ex­plain why he is strug­gling for his club this sea­son and said man­ager Jose Mour­inho has been right to drop him from the start­ing line-up as he is in the “worst form of his life”.

The Bel­gian was the Pre­mier League’s best player last sea­son as Chelsea cruised to the ti­tle, but paid the price for his stun­ning fall from grace this term when Mour­inho dropped him from the start­ing line-up for the Cham­pi­ons League de­feat by Porto on Septem­ber 29.

Hazard has no goals and just two as­sists in 11 ap­pear­ances for the club this sea­son, a slump that has con­trib­uted to Chelsea’s slide down the ta­ble, where they cur­rently sit in 16th place.

“This is the first time in my ca­reer that I have had a dif­fi­cult spell like this,” Hazard was quoted as say­ing by the Bri­tish and Bel­gian me­dia.

“I can’t re­ally ex­plain it. All I know is that I will need to work hard in or­der to bounce back. At Chelsea we have con­cerns both as a team and in­di­vid­u­ally,” the 24-year-old winger added.

Hazard ad­mit­ted his poor per­for­mances meant he was no longer “un­touch­able” as one of the first names on Mour­inho’s team sheet, but praised the Por­tuguese and backed him­self to bounce back when the league re­sumes on Oct. 17 af­ter the in­ter­na­tional break.

“I was left on the bench against Porto in the Cham­pi­ons League, and I am no longer im­mune to be­ing left out.

“You can be un­touch­able when you play well, and that has not been the case with me,” Hazard said.

“I think the man­ager wanted to send me a mes­sage by mak­ing me a sub. I don’t read every­thing he says, but he ex­plains every­thing.

“I am not too wor­ried for him - Mour­inho is the best coach in the world when it comes to deal­ing with pres­sure. I am an op­ti­mist, and I know I can learn a lot from tough spells.

“I hope to come back stronger, and I am ready to play and do my best,” he added.

— Reuters

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