Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard has come under fire this week after a fourth consecutive disappointing display Saturday against Crystal Palace.
Hazard, who has yet to score a goal in the early going of the new Premier League campaign, has been criticized by his manager, Jose Mourinho, and former Chelsea player-turned-ESPN-analyst Craig Burley.
Mourinho didn't use Hazard's name when he voiced his displeasure with his squad's 2-1 home defeat against the Eagles, but he alluded to last year's Barclays Premier League Player of the Year as one of the top underperformers.
"If you are the best player in the league, I think it should be a good responsibility to have a similar season than in the previous season," Mourinho said, via The Daily Star. "I don't want to analyze individual performances. In general terms, it is difficult to have a consistent performance when some of the players are not performing at a good level.
"When you have six or seven performing and three or four who are not at an acceptable level, it is hard for a team to be consistent in the performance."
Burley echoed Mourinho's sentiment and wasn't shy about calling Hazard out on ESPN FC on Monday.
“At the end of the 2013-14 season (Mourinho) told Eden Hazard that he needed to work harder, or he's not going to be at this club," he said. "And he did last year en route to becoming the BPL Player of the Year. But I just wonder how big his head is now, because I’ve looked at a couple of games (this season) and he’s not putting any work in."
Hazard plays on the left wing for Chelsea, and his dazzling dribbling and wizardry in tight spots caused Mourinho to proclaim in July that his player outperformed Cristiano Ronaldo last season.
"Last season, yes," Mourinho said about Hazard being the second-best player in the world, via ESPN. "In spite of the fact that Ronaldo was fantastic. He (Hazard) was fantastic, too.
"He (Ronaldo) scored an incredible number of goals. I am not saying he (Ronaldo) is not fantastic. I am just saying that, in my personal view, every football player in the world should understand that a team has to be in front and no titles (are important)."
But Chelsea has already dropped eight points in four matches to start the season, and Hazard has been conspicuous in his absence. The team as whole needs to get better, and if Chelsea is going to gain back those eight points it has lost on Manchester City, Hazard especially will need to raise his game.