Blues believe that Eden Hazard, in particular, is being targeted.
Chelsea have indicated that they want better protection from referees for the club’s array of exciting attacking talent, report the Express, with winger Eden Hazard in particular having come in for some rough treatment in recent weeks.
Chelsea coach Steve Holland, who was filling in for Jose Mourinho on media duties after the Portuguese’s FA charge, believes that a tackle by Phil Bardsley on the Belgian, for which the Stoke City man only received a yellow card, is indicative of the treatment their players are receiving:
“Watching the replays five times to highlight how a player has spent more time in the air than he should’ve done is not a difficult job. But look at Hazard at Stoke. If he doesn’t see that tackle coming and get his studs up, that finishes his career.”
The issue has become even more pronounced due to Chelsea’s belief that some of their players have been unfairly yellow carded for simulation – with Cesc Fabregas’ booking at Southampton after a foul by Matt Targett being a prime example.