Mourinho right to criticise Hazard, Arsenal must swoop for Remy
EDITOR'S COLUMN: Why Jose Mourinho is right to hit back at Eden Hazard and Arsenal must swoop for Loïc Remy this summer
Mourinho right to hit back at Hazard
Jose Mourinho’s public criticism of Eden Hazard on Friday will have raised some eyebrows amongst Chelsea fans, but the Portuguese manager is well within his rights to respond after the playmaker questioned the Blues’ style of play earlier in the week. Mourinho has consistently talked up Hazard’s potential this season but has also stressed that there is much room for improvement from the PFA young player of the year. “Does he still make mistakes? Of course he does. It’s a career that is only starting,” said Mourinho, before softening his stance a tad. “He’s a young guy and his evolution is fine”. Nevertheless, Mourinho provided a scathing assessment of Hazard’s work-rate, suggesting that the 23-year-old was to blame for Atletico Madrid’s opener at Stamford Bridge because he failed to track back. The outspoken Hazard would do well to keep his head down and let one of Europe’s top coaches bring out the very best in him next season.
Wenger must deliver in the summer
Much has been made of Arsenal’s failed title bid this season, but what most fans will agree on is that the Gunners have lacked firepower up front. True, Olivier Giroud has 21 goals to his name this term but a return of 15 in the Premier League is not enough for the first-choice striker in a team aiming to challenge for the title. Arsenal are in need of a forward capable of delivering consistently in the top flight and a striker should be at the top of Arsene Wenger’s summer shopping list. The Frenchman would be wise to consider an attempt to prise Loic Remy away from Queens Park Rangers, with the 27-year-old having netted a respectable 13 goals in 23 Premier League starts. The Hoops are likely to offload the striker if they fail to gain promotion back to the top flight via the play-offs and his future will probably be in doubt even if they do. Things have improved at Emirates Stadium this season, however. Arsenal’s dramatic fall from grace in February and March has tainted what has actually been a decent campaign. Considering that Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool are all facing the prospect of trophyless seasons, a potential top-four finish and FA Cup triumph is looking all the more respectable.
Give Big Sam the respect he deserves
It was thoroughly refreshing to see West Ham United stick by Sam Allardyce following a winter of discontent at Upton Park. The struggling Hammers were languishing in 19th over the Christmas period before the east London club’s board publicly backed the 59-year-old as the right man for the job. If a Premier League club can have three different managers in a single season and still not beat the drop, West Ham’s stance is a welcome and sensible one. Allardyce clearly still needs to win over some sections of Hammers fans but with the primary objective achieved for another year ahead of the club’s move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016 – when top-flight football will be even more essential – the ex-Bolton boss should be applauded, not jeered.