This story was covered in our Chelsea blog, and it raises some interesting comments made by Frank Lampard in the Evening Standard after Chelsea’s 7-0 thrashing of Ipswich yesterday:
“The important thing is not to think we’re back but make sure that we carry this performance over and get a few wins together. Earlier in the season we were up at the top of the table playing great stuff but now we’re not and it’s a test of the squad and a test of the character. You can’t always be winning Leagues and going on a great run where you’re winning 5-0, 6-0, 7-0, like we were at the back end of last season. Sometimes it’s not rosy and that’s when you have to stand up individually, put your hard work in and help the team turn it around.”
“There was a time like this near the end of the Luiz Felipe Scolari reign when we were struggling to get wins. Everyone has spells like that to an extent but this one has been a little more prolonged over a period of time. That’s the upsetting thing. It is certainly time for us to change it now. Not winning games is the biggest thing that has affected us. There are quite a few reasons for that, a lack of confidence being one of them, but there has also been a lack of quality and work-rate. We need to step it up across the board to get back to where we want to be. Everyone at Chelsea understands we’re not expected to have the run of results we’ve had. We have high standards and the results we’ve had the last two months is not the level we expect. The League games coming up are very important and we need to take the spirit and energy we showed against Ipswich, which has maybe been lacking before, into the next few matches.”
Now different people have highlighted different parts of Lampard’s quotes with most of the attention centered around we need to work harder. But to me the biggest part of the quote is the ” there has also been a lack of quality” part.
It is obvious over the last couple of transfer windows that Chelsea have not been adding experience or quality to the squad, instead those players have been leaving. You can make the case that the last Chelsea manager to actively invest in the squad was Jose Mourinho and he left in 2007. This is the 7th transfer window since Mourinho left.
For the most part the leaders within Chelsea (Terry, Lampard and Drigba) have been pretty quiet about Chelsea’s lack of activity in the transfer market, but I wonder if Lampard’s comments reflect the worry of the senior players that time is running out on them and that if Chelsea do not invest in the squad then Champions League football and trophies could be a thing of the past.
What did you think of Lampard’s comments?