Eden Hazard admits changes at Chelsea in the summer of 2017 made things “different” for the defending Premier League champions.
Despite having restored domestic dominance in some style during Antonio Conte’s first season at the helm, the decision was taken to tinker with a star-studded squad.
Diego Costa, Nemanja Matic and Nathan Ake were among the proven performers to be ushered through the exits, with English top-flight novices such as Tiemoue Bakayoko, Alvaro Morata, Antonio Rudiger and Davide Zappacosta drafted in.
That refresh has not gone entirely to plan, with Conte falling under ever-increasing pressure after seeing his side hit a serious slump which has uncomfortable questions being asked of the playing and coaching staff.
Too much tweaking has been blamed for the reversal in fortune, with Belgian forward Hazard telling ESPN FC on the evolution at Stamford Bridge: “We changed a couple of things, we lost players, we brought some new ones and every year is different.
“That’s why we love football – if there is only one team that wins it would be boring. That’s why football is special. You never know what’s going to happen, especially in England.”
He added: “I think the Premier League is difficult.
“It’s hard to win every year. Last year we didn’t have the Champions League. This year we have less time to be ready for the games. Every week there are three games.”
Chelsea’s next three games will see them face West Brom, Hull City and Barcelona across three different competitions, with things not getting any easier after that as they take in back-to-back fixtures against Manchester giants United and City.