BY PAUL LAGAN
Eden Hazard reckons Spurs may have a nice, new shiny stadium, but he would prefer simply to win trophies rather than play in a bling environment.
The north Londoners have been bereft of a trophy since 2008 when they won the League Cup.
In that time, Chelsea have secured eight major titles including Premier Leagues and a Champions League. On Wednesday night, Spurs opened their stadium with glitzy fireworks.
At the same time Hazard was lighting up the left wing of Stamford Bridge on his own with a scintillating performance against Brighton, scoring a wonder goal in a 3-0 demolition of the Seagulls.
Hazard, 28, said: “I think Tottenham for two or three years have been one of the best teams in England. That is for sure. We are Chelsea, and it is a big derby. I don’t like that to be fair but we have to accept it.
“For the Premier League it is good. [They have a] new stadium, they have top players. But at the end you know, at Chelsea we have won a lot of trophies, they have not, so I hope this continues.”
Flying on the right wing was Callum Hudson-Odoi. The 18-year-old was handed his Premier League debut by under fire Maurizio Sarri and the South Londoner did not disappoint.
He set up Olivier Giroud for the first Chelsea goal and was a constant thorn in the side of the South Coast outfit. Hazard knows what it’s like to be a teen star – he was in the same position in France for Lille.
He joked: “At 18, I was better than Callum. “I think he was waiting to start a game in the Premier League but he is ready. It is the decision of the manager, if he plays. We want young players and also English players because we are in England. But we also have Willian, Pedro, me – we have not only two wingers, we have four. But his time is coming. He will play a lot in the future.
“You can see the way he is taking the ball, he is playing with a lot of confidence. He is still young and can improve of course, but yeah, he is already very good. Since day one he trained with us he showed great skills.”
Has the Belgian star offered any advice to his young team-mate? Hazard said: “No, you know we just train together. We don’t need to talk. If he wants to ask me something I will tell him, no problem, but he is a great player already. If he wants advice I can teach him but you know he has everything already.”
Hazard believes Hudson-Odoi won’t go off the rails like many young players who are thrust into the limelight – he made his full international debut before his league one.
Hazard said: “When you are young you just play and sometimes you just try and miss. But the good thing is to give freshness in the team. I think Callum can play three games in quick succession. He can run, he has the legs for 90 minutes. At 28, I get a bit tired at the end. He is in a good team to learn and we are happy to help him.
“I told him to stay humble. For me it is the best thing. Just work in training, score goals, and then just be happy on the pitch. He can go very far. “When I was younger, my family helped me to stay humble. In football things can happen very quick. You can be at the top within two months and then in two months later, everyone can forget about you.
“I think for him it is easy because the players he has around him are quite humble, so if we were all thinking we are the best, for him it can be hard to stay humble. But he is intelligent, has a family that cares for him.”