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Friday 19 December 2014

Another boot in ribs for Blues reputation

FROM this point forward, he will be known as Eden 'The Hitman' Hazard, scourge of ballboys across the land and not a man to be messed with.

By name, he's a curious mix of paradise and danger. By nature, he clearly leans towards the latter. This Belgian kid is bad, bad to the bone.

Hoary and gnarled defenders will quake in their boots lest he draw back his trusty left peg when they're down and out and give them one in the ribs before snarling "remember the ballboy pal".

But seriously, was he mad? Short of kicking a small yipping Yorkshire terrier owned by a blind, wheelchair-bound octogenarian granny, he could not have committed a greater sin on a football pitch in the eyes of the common man.

Well, maybe if he pulled out a gun. Don't rule it out. It would certainly put manners on ballboys, referees and linesmen.

It was very hard not to laugh when Swansea's 12th man struggled to his feet clutching his floating rib and puffing his cheeks after what appeared to be an assault by Hazard.

Video footage confirmed that he gave the lad a right kick and more than deserved the red, never mind the fact that the ballboy was clearly trying to slow the game down.

His ribcage will sting for a week or so but his immortality is guaranteed and pub quizzes down through the centuries will honour his memory.

Hazard too will become part of football's folk history but for all the wrong reasons, which is a pity. He's a lovely footballer but clearly has anger management issues.

At the root of the kick he delivered was frustration. Chelsea were handled with some ease by Michael Laudrup's 10-behind-the-ball approach.

Swansea have players who can hurt any team on the break but Chelsea simply didn't have the power or the enthusiasm for the task in front of them and if anything, Laudrup's team edged it in terms of chances.

Once Hazard lost the plot, Chelsea's League Cup goose was cooked and another handy trophy slipped out of Rafa Benitez's grasp.

Just before the final whistle, he had the unique experience of listening to two sets of supporters singing "you'll be sacked in the morning".

There is nothing right about his current circumstances and he would be wise to take the money and get out of Stamford Bridge as fast as his feet will take him.

Never has there been a greater mismatch in football, yet just 24 hours before failing to beat a Premier League minnow to qualify for a Wembley cup final against an even smaller fish, he was boasting about how happy Roman Abramovich is with the job he's been doing.

Abramovich was definitely not happy when he woke up this morning to pretty lurid pictures of another bad night for his football club.

But he doesn't seem to care and definitely lacks the sensitivity needed to understand how a team like Swansea mock his outrageous expenditure on managers and players simply by existing and flourishing.

This isn't the first time a Chelsea player has been involved in conduct unbecoming and in the past, Abramovich wasted no time and made his presence felt in the dressing room or on the training ground.

But he wouldn't have much credibility if he did that now given the thoughtless and often brainless way he tosses aside personnel and traditions which used to be the foundation of the game like loyalty, grace in defeat and fortitude.

That's why everyone other than Chelsea supporters were chuckling mightily when the ballboy winced and Chris Foy pulled a red card from his pocket.

Nice one son.

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