Gary Neville says Eden Hazard can’t afford to drift in games if the Chelsea midfielder wants to be considered a world-class player.
The Belgium international was impressive in the first half of the west London side’s opening Premier League game against West Ham United on Monday night.
He is a world-class player but the mentality for a world-class player means that you go for it all the time
Hazard made the breakthrough at Stamford Bridge from the penalty spot in the 47th minute before Diego Costa’s sealed a 2-1 victory after James Collins’s equaliser.
The 2015 PFA player of the year scored four times in 31 Premier League appearances last term in what was a disappointing 2015/16 Premier League campaign.
Former Manchester United defender Neville accused Hazard of arrogance in his analysis of the Belgian’s performance in Monday night’s Premier League opener.
“He was the best player on the pitch, but we’ve seen it before with him over the last few years,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“When he gets confident in a game and gets it by the scruff of the neck, he’s got to go for the kill – but he doesn’t, he steps off. There were 54 minutes on the clock and he went into walking mode, standing still and walking, showing ‘I’m the boss, I’m arrogant’.
“I wasn’t surprised when Conte took him off. He went into drifting mode, he stopped being positive and stopped being direct from the edge of the box. He cannot do that. He is a world-class player but the mentality for a world-class player means that you go for it all the time. That frustrated me.”
Hazard netted 14 times in 38 Premier League games as Chelsea won the Premier League title under Jose Mourinho in 2015.
Chelsea are in third place behind title rivals Liverpool and Manchester United after Monday night’s 2-1 victory over West Ham.
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The Blues will make the short trip to Watford in their next Premier League game at Vicarage Road on Saturday afternoon.
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