Chelsea’s Eden Hazard has been a thorn in the side of every Premier League team that he has faced so far. In order to keep him quite, Manchester United’s former player Brown has come up with a solution.
Manchester United and Chelsea face off at the Stamford Bridge on Saturday in the standout clash of the Premier League’s ninth weekend. The Red Devils have not won at west London in each of their last two visits and their chances look bleak this time out as well. In order to get something out of the game, they will have to nullify Eden Hazard.
The Belgium international is enduring the best start to a season in his career and has been rampant of late. With 7 Premier League goals, he tops the scoring charts and has been vital as Chelsea have commanded to the top of the Premier League standings next to Manchester City and Liverpool.
Manchester United’s former defender Wes Brown has now revealed how the 27 year old can be stopped and has compared him with the world-class Lionel Messi.
“I like the idea of man-marking,” Brown wrote for Manchester United’s official website. “I remember the manager, Sir Alex, asked me to do that against Messi and Barcelona one time, with help from the team! I think it is quite simple: the less that Hazard gets off the ball, the less of a threat he is, so if someone can get tight on him pretty early on then hopefully he passes the ball off every time or we get a tackle on him. That’s a good game plan because, even though Chelsea have started the season really well, he is definitely the main threat.”
Brown also noted it how the Messi instruction differed from what Ferguson normally liked to do, and while it was certainly a difficult task, he relished in the opportunity the challenge provided.
“Obviously, man-marking Messi was hard,” he said. “I remember thinking ‘just don’t dive in!’ But it was good and I enjoyed it. It was the Champions League semi-final when we were all focused, we all knew our jobs and you can remember that night yourself at Old Trafford, it was a great one to be involved in. It was a rarity for Sir Alex to specifically ask someone to man-mark an opposition player.”
“He wasn’t really into man-marking someone as such, but we all knew what Messi could do and it was more of a case of necessity. The less he had of the ball, the more chance we had, because he’s one of the best footballers ever to be. I wouldn’t say that Hazard is Messi, but he’s started this season really well and he’s one of the top players in the Premier League. He is a clear and obvious threat.”
A point at the Stamford Bridge will be of top value to the Red Devils and a win would be a big bonus with Jose’s future at the Old Trafford on the line. As Brown said, the key to getting something out of the game is keeping Hazard quite. If that happens, then the Reds are 50% sorted because Chelsea lack a variety of goals at this point in time now.