Marcel Desailly believes Chelsea need to be more competitive in midfield if they are to challenge for honours this season.
Chelsea find themselves well adrift in the title race, with Manchester City 11 points clear of the west London side, and their failings this season have often been highlighted.
Most of the criticism so far this term has been levelled at manager Andre Villas-Boas, his error prone defence or profligate strikers.
However, former Blues captain Desailly is of the opinion that the problems lie in midfield, and believes there is nobody with the ability to provide the killer ball to the likes of Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres.
"The big question is the capacity of the midfield to give a high level of plain," Desailly told the Evening Standard.
"This is the key. When they were unlucky to lose to Barcelona in the semi-final of the Champions League in 2009, Chelsea were amazing in midfield.
"When you have a midfield performing the like that, the defence suffers less and the attack is supported and fed by them, too.
"Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres are quality, they are not the problem. It is how the midfield can protect the defence and bring balls to the attack."