Belgium Manager Admits Eden Hazard Problems
By Chandrashekar Srinivasan | October 15, 2012 10:52 PM EST
Chelsea's star playmaker Eden Hazard may have to be content with a place on the bench when Belgium host Scotland in a World Cup qualifier after coach Marc Wilmots raised questions over his willingness to track back, defend and help his team mates.
Hazard, who joined the Stamford Bridge club for £32m in the summer, has had to face similar criticism on a few other occasions this season, most notably when the Belgian FA's vice-president, Philippe Collin, said the youngster needed a "kick up his ass".
"He has technique, explosiveness and positioning. At some point he will have to work on defending, and he has no choice with that. But I have confidence that [Belgium manager] Marc Wilmots will occasionally give him a kick up his ass," Collin explained, adding, "The learning process is slow but good. If Messi should work for the team and defend, then I see no reason why Hazard should not do likewise."
Wilmots appears to agree with his chief's sentiments and pointed to the effect of tactical changes involving Hazard and PSV Eindhoven midfielder Dries Mertens (a reported target for Liverpool) in the Red Devils' 3-0 win away to Serbia in Friday's qualifier. Hazard started the game but was substituted after 55 minutes for Mertens.
"On Friday I had to move him away from the centre and put him out on the flank to restore the balance in the centre with [Nacer] Chadli, [Mousa] Dembele and [Axel] Witsel. I spoke to him after the game," Wilmots, who made 70 appearances for the Belgian national team, said after the Serbia game, adding: "Eden should know that, in football today, changing from defence to attack and from attack to defence are essential. But I support him. Step by step, we will get there."
Wilmots also insisted that nobody, not even Hazard, was guaranteed a place in the first team, and that he expected all his players to work as hard as they could in every game.
Belgium presently top Group One, with seven points from three games. Wilmots' will prepare his side for Scotland's visit (the Scots are fifth with two points from three games and in need of a morale boost, after a Home Nations derby defeat to Wales) before a double-header against Macedonia in March next year.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Still The World Champions: Team USA Overpowers Serbia, 129-92 To Win 2014 FIBA World Cup [PHOTOS]
- Pope Francis: World War III Has Started On Piecemeal
- After Win Over Maidana, Mayweather Says He Is Prepared To Negotiate A Fight With Pacquiao
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
Join the Conversation
- The Rock Reveals He And John Cena Nearly Fought Backstage [VIDEO]
- Manny Pacquiao Begins Training Sans Freddie Roach
- Maria Sharapova And Grigor Dimitrov Break Up News
- Boxing News 2014: Showtime VP Favours Pacquiao As Mayweather’s Next Ring Opponent; Money May Insists Fight Should Be Over Showtime PPV Only
- Three Reasons Why Brock Lesnar Must Fight The Undertaker At Night Of Champions And Not John Cena [VIDEO]
- Google Release Roundup: Nexus 5 2014, Nexus 6, Nexus 8 and Android L Killer Features
- Samsung Attacks iPhone 6 Plus Through New Galaxy Note 4 Commercial: Apple Claims Imitating Galaxy Note Phablets
- Pregnant Kate Middleton May Call Off Malta Trip Due To Sickness: Royal Couple Will Move To Anmer Hall Residence
- iPhone 6 And IPhone 6 Plus Sold Out, New Stocks To Arrive In October
- Moto G (Gen 2) vs. Xiaomi Redmi 1S—Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Nexus 6, 8 Release Dates Imminent as Moto X Pre-Order Begins & Nexus 7 Deals Ramp Up
- iPhone 6 And iPhone 6 Plus Shipping Has Begun, Expected To Reach Customers’ Doorstep On Sept 19 Launch Date