Eden Hazard has launched a subtle dig at Jose Mourinho by claiming that this season under Antonio Conte is his ‘best moment’ since he joined Chelsea.
Hazard was a key figure in the Blues’ title success under Jose Mourinho in 2014-15, but, along with many of his team-mates, was hugely disappointing last season, as a collective downturn in performance levels saw the Portuguese manager sacked in December and the team ultimately finish a distant 10th.
The west London side have responded emphatically following the arrival of former Juventus and Italy coach Antonio Conte, sitting eight points clear in first place.
And the contribution of Belgium international Hazard has been a big reason for their march back to the top of the standings.
“Last season everyone knows I was not good enough,” he said.
“But you learn from your mistakes. I gave everything to come back and now I am in my level.
“So I started this season well – fit, with no injuries and it is better to play when you are ready. I want to enjoy being on the pitch. So this is the key.
“It is always a difficult to come back after a bad season, but the boss changed something and tried to give us more confidence.
Hazard was named Premier League Player of the Season and PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2014/15.
Next up for Chelsea is a league match at home to Swansea City on Saturday.