ENGLAND – Former Chelsea midfielder, Ramires, says forward, Eden Hazard, was the club’s best player, but what former Blues manager, Jose Mourinho, did to him at Stamford Bridge in 2014 affected the whole squad.
Mourinho had publicly criticised Hazard for lacking defensive work after Atletico Madrid defeated Chelsea 3-1 on aggregate in the 2014 UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg encounter at Stamford Bridge following a goalless draw in the first leg in Spain.
Ramires believes Mourinho, who is presently the coach of Tottenham Hotspur, started to lose the dressing room following his criticism on Hazard months before the club dismissed him in late 2015.
He also said that Hazard, who is currently playing for Real Madrid, used to collect the ball and attack the opponent, but the Belgian started to pass the ball much more, and that affected Chelsea’s attack.
“The public criticising of Hazard had a big impact because Mourinho started to lose control of the squad,” Ramires told FourFourTwo.
“It is one thing to say something internally, but it’s different to criticise someone publicly.
“Hazard was our best player, and what Mourinho did affect his style play.
“He used to take the ball and attack the opponent.
“Hazard started to pass the ball much more, and we missed our main attacking threat.”
“The atmosphere became heavy. Some guys were already angry because they weren’t playing,” Ramires added.
“When something like that happened with Hazard, some players who were not featuring in games had another ally against the Mourinho.
“It became a snowball that only got bigger and it reached a level where nothing would improve.”