The former Lille man won the PFA Player of the Year award last season but the Blues manager has hinted that the Belgian needs to return to his previous level
Jose Mourinho has suggested that Eden Hazard must improve his performance level after Chelsea slipped to a shock 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Goals from Bakary Sako and Joel Ward gave the Eagles all three points on Mourinho’s 100th home game in charge of the club – with Alan Pardew’s men inflicting only the second defeat at Stamford Bridge of the Portuguese’s Blues reign.
Mourinho has hinted that Hazard – who won the PFA Player of the Year award last season – and a number of senior players must start performing after the Blues’ stuttering start to their title defence, having taken just four points from four games thus far.
“If you are the best player in the league, I think it should be a good responsibility to have a similar season than in the previous season,” he said.
“I don’t want to analyse individual performances. In general terms, it is difficult to have a consistent performance when some of the players are not performing at a good level.
“When you have six or seven performing and three or four who are not at an acceptable level, it is hard for a team to be consistent in the performance.”
Mourinho insists that he will work day and night to ensure that Chelsea return to form in the coming weeks, but says it would be “sad” if his players were demotivated.
“For myself, I feel the opposite. When I win, I want to win again, I want to win more. I feel fantastic motivation for more,” he added.
“If you win it once and the next you are not on fire, not ready for at least to fight for more, that is sad.
“You have players who have fantastic seasons and fantastic moments and the next season do not have the same.
“If you ask me: ‘Will I accept this, cross my arms, sit in a nice chair and wait calmly for the performance level to be back?’ No.
“I have to work, react, analyse and if I feel the players are not in conditions to react and give more, I have to make changes. I have never had a problem with that.”