Frank Lampard has revealed that Eden Hazard almost derailed Chelsea’s season mid-way through the campaign, but was swiftly dealt with by manager Antonio Conte.
The Blues suffered a heart-breaking 2-1 defeat to Arsenal at Wembley on Saturday, denying them the opportunity to become the first side since 2010 to do the double.
Chelsea romped to the title, setting a new win record along the way, but gave an uncharacteristically lethargic performance at Wembley, with goals from Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey securing Arsene Wenger his seventh FA Cup.
Hazard was practically anonymous in the match despite having a stellar Premier League campaign, and Lampard has now revealed that Conte had to get tough with him when he started acting up in training.
Hazard had a woeful 2015/16 season under then manager Jose Mourinho.
‘Antonio Conte took on a team in a bad place and there were a few individuals who had their worst seasons in Chelsea shirts and he fixed it,’ Lampard told the BBC.
‘Mid-season there were rumours that Eden Hazard was being a bit difficult on the training field but Conte dealt with it immediately.
Chelsea were well beaten by Arsenal, with the Gunners dominating throughout.
‘He came down on it with an iron fist and then he put an arm around him and that has brought the best out in him.
‘With the older players, you just want honesty from the manager and that is what has happened with John Terry – he laid it on the line early with John and that has really helped with his season.’
Hazard scored 16 goals and laid on another five assists for Chelsea last season, narrowly pipped to the PFA Player of the Year award by midfielder N’Golo Kante.