Andre Villas-Boas admits he would drop Frank Lampard and Fernando Torres from his Chelsea side if it was in the team's interests to do so.
Lampard was dropped for a competitive England match for the first time in four years on Friday, while Torres did not even make the bench for Spain against Liechtenstein. Villas-Boas launched yet another passionate defence of £50million man Torres but insisted he was not guilty of blind faith and he knew at what point he would need to get tough.
"The moment when it compromises the running of the team, I think it has to come to an end, which is fair enough," said Villas-Boas, who also insisted he would not be afraid to drop Lampard, adding: "I have no problems of that kind."
Lampard was recalled by England for Tuesday's Wembley win over Wales, although his performance did little to suggest his best days were not behind him. The 33-year-old, who admitted he had not started the season well, arguably has never fully recovered from a three-and-a-half month injury lay-off last term.
But Villas-Boas said: "Lampard's an extremely fit player. I think as a player, he feels well. He feels he can compete with the others.
"With this kind of competition that he has at Chelsea, you've seen him selected three times straight away in the first Premier League games. For us, at moment, he's up at the top."
The Chelsea boss was even more combative when it came to Torres, whose dramatic loss of goalscoring form also coincided with his recovery from injury.
Villas-Boas insisted the striker had lost none of his pace, adding of his goal drought: "For you guys, a big problem. For me, no problem. Played three games and we have seven points. I try to explain to you guys and I think it will be a never-ending debate."
He added of Torres, who has now played 21 times for Chelsea: "You didn't lose your talent because you went 21 games scoring just one goal. The talent is there. It's a question of regaining that confidence.
"Regaining that confidence comes with training and time and finding the back of the net. You just have to persist. It's not just about scoring goals, it's about creating opportunities and I think he's been doing that."
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