Ex-Chelsea boss has slammed the Blues squad in the aftermath of their worst ever Premier League season, claiming that the ‘level wasn’t enough’ and accusing plenty of coasting through the final part of the campaign.
Lampard was appointed interim coach at Stamford Bridge for the final two months of the season but could not inspire a change in results as the Blues finished a lowly 12th place in the Premier League, meaning that they missed out on European football for the upcoming season.
He won just one of his 11 games in charge, losing eight and taking just five points from his time at the helm, making him statistically the worst manager that the club have ever had.
It was not all down to him, though, with the club legend coming in to a situation which saw Chelsea spend a record amount in January, and have a squad of 32 players which meant that some players had to change in the corridors of Stamford Bridge because they couldn’t all fit in the changing rooms.
Nonetheless, even when he arrived, Lampard knew he was in for a tricky assignment.
‘I could see in training the the level wasn’t enough’, he told the Steven Bartlett Diary of a CEO podcast. ‘It wasn’t enough to get a result at Brentford at home or whatever, let alone Real Madrid,
’‘When I got there I could see the team spirit and the togetherness was not there. It was nothing bad, but you have to train elite to be elite.’, he continued.
‘The minute we didn’t get through against Real, you’re in to that end-of-season zone and what are you playing for and that is not the norm at Chelsea.
He added that even before that, there were issues in the squad which almost certainly pre-dated his arrival, but made his job even harder than it already was.
‘When I came in, I noticed very quickly that some players were thinking the season was going to peter out and what the future would look like for them,’ he added.
‘If I’m a player that’s not been playing for seven months and think I might be leaving in four weeks’ time, I’m probably going to struggle to motivate that player. I haven’t got a magic wand to motivate them.
‘When you have international players in a big number, you’re telling internationals they have to stay at home. It’s not easy.’
Chelsea have since appointed Mauricio Pochettino and have begun offsetting their mass recruitment from last season, with eight players having already departed the club and a further eight expected to follow before the end of the transfer window.