What a difference 12 months makes!
After 11 games last year and with Jose Mourinho in charge of Chelsea, Eden Hazard had failed to find the onion bag all season and was looking like a shadow of his former self. Losing the ball in possession, disappearing in big games, failing to torment opposition defenders. It was like watching Superman being stripped of his ability to fly.
But luckily, one of the Premier League’s most exciting talents has found his mojo again – delighting fans everywhere. Hazard has already found the net in six of Chelsea’s games and has eight goals in his last eight games for club and country. His quick feet, rapid change of pace, and eye for goal may have us drooling from the sofa, but one man who is less than impressed is Paddy Power himself.
So why is Paddy so upset with Hazard’s upturn in form? It’s because, while the Belgium midfielder has been giving Premier League defenders nightmares – he’s also dishing out a few sleepless nights to the bean-counters in Power Tower.
A £10 bet on Hazard to score first every week this season, would have given you a profit of £150 so far – after Hazard bagged the opening goal against West Ham, Burnley, Southampton and Everton. If you’d stuck £20 on him each week to find the onion bag at anytime, you’d also be laughing all the way to the bank, with a profit of £96.90.
He might not be the most profitable player in the league – you can read how that honour falls to Etienne Capoue here – however it’s enough to give the Christmas Party drinks fund a significant hit. Hazard could make it worse for Paddy this week as Chelsea travel to Middlesbrough on Sunday afternoon. He’s a massive 9/2 to open the scoring at the Riverside, and 11/8 to get his name on the scoresheet at anytime.
As a lover of the beautiful game, I hope he does. As a man who also enjoys a well-stocked bar at a Christmas Party, I kinda hope he doesn’t!