Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew feels Chelsea's new signing, Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard, can lead the Blues to the Premier League title all on his own, after watching the former Lille attacker engineer a 0-2 defeat for his team in a league game at Stamford Bridge. Pardew also said he believed Hazard was just the man to revive Spanish striker Fernando Torres' troubled career.
Hazard and Torres were key as the reigning European champions eased to a comfortable win over the team that finished fifth last season, with the pair scoring a goal apiece. The strikes take Torres' haul this season to three goals in four competitive appearances; this time last season he was yet to open his account for the club and wound up with only 12 goals to his name for the whole season. Hazard, meanwhile, scored his first goal for Chelsea after Torres was fouled in the box by Newcastle's new signing Vurnon Anita, and went on to set up Torres for the second. He now was a goal and four assists from the season so far.
"You can see why so many top clubs were chasing Hazard and he has certainly given Chelsea an extra dimension in the first few games of this season. My team won 2-0 at Stamford Bridge last May, but Chelsea have a little bit more than they had in their locker last season with Hazard," the 51 year old explained in an ESPN report, "He has that little bit of arrogance and composure top players tend to have when they get on the ball and he was a real threat against us."
Pardew was equally generous in his praise for former Liverpool star Torres, who has not had an easy time of things since his £50m transfer. However, the Spaniard is showing signs of returning to his best, under the influence of Hazard's play.
"That was as good as I have seen Torres play in some time and I have seen a lot of him," he said in ESPN's note, adding, "He looks to have a little something back in his game and looked dangerous playing Hazard. They (Hazard and Torres) are giving them a little extra up front and they will have a good season."
"My confidence is back because I'm playing more," Torres, who returned from the break with a European Championship medal, explained to the club's Web site, "When you play more often you are confident, and with the new players we've signed, the team are playing more attacking football. t is great to see players like Eden Hazard come here and it is a privilege to play with him and Juan Mata who are the kind of players who play between the lines."