Frank Lampard has claimed that Chelsea’s poor run of form this season is down to a lack of personalities in the changing rooms.
Lampard, along with John Terry, Petr Cech and Didier Drogba, formed Chelsea’s ‘old guard’ and were an integral part of a dominant Chelsea side that won three league titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Champions League and Europa League between 2004 and 2013.
Drogba was the first of the quartet to leave the club in 2012, followed by Lampard and Cech. Terry looks set to complete the exodus should Chelsea fail to renew their captain’s contract before May.
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Not one of the men mentioned have been replaced adequately and Lampard believes that “to be a big team, you have to have big personalities.”
In an interview with the Daily Mail, the former England international went on to say that he believes the team has to find a way to evolve and replicate a solid spine of players capable of leading from the front.
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“The team have to evolve and whether John leaves now or in a year, it will be a new bunch to what I know. But you have to keep that backbone. You have to have players who can dig in when it gets hard. Arsenal have lacked it for years. That’s why they’ve not won the league.”
The three-time Player-of-the-Year winner at Stamford Bridge recognises that Roman Abramovich wants Chelsea to play in a more attractive style but warns that without players who can grab the game by the scruff-of-the-neck and pull the rest of the team to victory, the Blues will struggle.
“Chelsea are looking for a more beautiful way. Fair play if they get to that beautiful way. Then we will all be happy with it. But that way doesn’t come that easily.
“The club have been trying to push it down that route with the players they have recruited. The problem is do you fall in the middle, somewhere between tough and beautiful? It’s nice football at times but it’s not that nice and it’s not really winning games. It’s not beautiful, beautiful stuff.”
In order to retain their Premier League crown, the 37-year-old states Chelsea require reinforcements, something that was well known coming into the season and is the core reason why the Blues have failed to defend their title this year.
“They’re not a million miles away but need to buy two or three big players. Being 12th in the League is ridiculous. A bad year, they should be in the top four. A good year, they should be winning it.”