Complacency stopping even a modicum of success at Chelsea 0

Conor Kelly from The Final Third laments the lack of any great tangible desire in the current Chelsea squad…

Eden Hazard, Chelsea

There is a real problem standing in the way of any lasting success at Chelsea right now. Complacency. This would seem bizarre considering this squad boasts World Cup and European Championship winners, as well as members of the victorious Champions League side in 2012. Yet, much to Jose Mourinho’s frustrations, they are not giving the effort required of a championship contending team.

Today’s performance against West Brom at Stamford Bridge highlighted the litany of problems afflicting the blues. A 2-2 draw snatched with a penalty gained after an embarrassing dive by Ramires will clearly not do. Player for player, Chelsea have one of the strongest squads in the Premier League on paper. The problem is, these players seem to be void of conviction and killer instinct. The primary culprit is Eden Hazard, a player of supreme ability and potential.

Hazard has many gifts as a footballer. Strong on both feet, fantastic close control and dribbling, pace and an effortless ability to glide past defenders. Yet, he fails to show the consistency to influence important phases of play in important games, despite his ability. It appears as if the Belgian is stuck in a comfort zone. Playing at a major European club, on great money and living in a wonderful city clearly has its merits. A player’s motivation should not waver, there is no excuse. Hazard is clearly a nice guy, but if he is ever to be recognised as a true great of the world game, he must apply himself more.

Hazard, of course, missed Chelsea’s Champions League match against Schalke in midweek. He attended former club Lille’s 2-0 victory over Monaco on Sunday, lost his passport, missed his flight back to London, and was absent from Monday’s training session. Missing a flight back from a foreign country just a couple of days before a crunch Champions League tie and arriving late for training is hardly professional behaviour. Mourinho rightly dropped him and possibly the penny will finally drop.

It would be remiss just to signal out Hazard though. There is a serious attitude problem within the current squad as a whole. One would think playing for one of Europe’s top clubs, with a guaranteed opportunity to win silverware every season would inspire the supposed “cream of European” talent. And yet, there are too many players coasting, happy to win some games and relatively indifferent to the prospect of losing others.

Mourinho cuts a frustrated figure at the moment, and it seems he has a lot of work to do to instil the winning attitude of previous Mourinho teams into this current side. The potential is there, but a lot of problems still persist. Creating a great side out of this team would be among his greatest achievements.

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