José Mourinho explained why he left Eden Hazard on the bench against Aston Villa: according to the Portuguese manager the Belgian wasn’t doing enough work for the team, maybe playing more in a selfish way:
“I left [Eden] Hazard out because we are conceding lots of goals,” revealed Mourinho.
“We need to defend better. We need our midfield players to be just worried about the central area of the pitch, not to be worried about compensating for the left side or the right side.
“Playing with Pedro and Willian, the midfield players don’t have to look to the left or the right. Willian and Pedro did amazing defensive work on very good offensive players, Hutton and Richardson, and later Amavi. They allowed the midfield players to be very comfortable, and to have performances like Ramires and Fabregas had, totally controlling the centre of the pitch.
“It was just a tactical decision leaving super quality on the bench but bringing tactical discipline and hoping that the team could be solid. I continue in that way or he [Hazard] comes in our direction and tries to replicate the same work Willian or Pedro did.”
Mourinho also admitted that he didn’t speak to Hazard to explain him why he didn’t start:
“I told the players this is not the moment to think about themselves, to moan, to try to be selfish in their approach – this is the moment for the team, just the team and nothing else. I asked them exactly that: to look at the picture in a different way to a normal situation, to look at a picture where I have to try to make decisions to bring results back, and when the results are back and we have better stability in our confidence levels, then go back to what you are.”