English Premiership

Lampard admits Chelsea flaws

2012-03-26 17:22
Frank Lampard (File)

London - Frank Lampard has delivered a blunt appraisal of Chelsea's season so far by saying: "We're not as good as we used to be."

The England midfielder has also warned the Blues to forget about playing in next season's Champions League unless they up their game in the closing stages of this Premier League campaign.

Lampard said Chelsea had let their standards slip since they came back to knock Napoli out of the Champions League a fortnight ago - a result that set up Tuesday's quarter-final first leg away to Portuguese giants Benfica in Lisbon.

Chelsea sacked manager Andre Villas-Boas in between the two legs of their tie with Napoli and promoted his assistant Roberto Di Matteo, the former Blues midfielder, to caretaker coach.

Since beating Napoli at Stamford Bridge, the west London club have reached the FA Cup semi-finals but have taken just one point from two Premier League games and are now five points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur after a goalless draw with Harry Redknapp's side on Saturday.

"The fixtures and where we are in the table doesn't lie - we're not as good as we used to be," Lampard told Chelsea TV.

"We used to have a fortress here and, for whatever reason, we're just not doing it. It's something we must all put right.

"You know a derby against a very good Tottenham side is going to be tough. But I don't think we were at it enough. We had to play more with the urgency we showed against Napoli.

"Against Tottenham, we didn't really do enough to lift the fans. We had the high of Napoli, then we got beaten by Manchester City and now we need to up it again."

Chelsea have finished in the top four for nine successive seasons and Lampard said: "Chelsea should be in the top four. No disrespect to the other top-five clubs but, with the ability we have, we should be in there.

"It is far from over. There is no point being downbeat about it at the minute. It's five points and the gap has been bigger than that. It's up to us now to get ourselves right for Benfica and the league games coming up."

But Lampard said it would take a huge effort to overhaul Tottenham and finish fourth.

"That's due to dropping points throughout the season, not drawing with Tottenham at home," he insisted.

"It's losing games we should have won home and away. We have to take all the league games now as knockout matches.

"It's very cliched but we're fighting from behind, and if we lose a game and lose points then the gap is bigger and the amount of games left is shorter.

"So we know, especially after that draw, the gap is still five points and there is no more room for slip-ups."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
19 April 2014
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham, White Hart Lane 13:45
West Ham United v Crystal Palace, Boleyn Ground 16:00
Cardiff City v Stoke City, Cardiff City Stadium 16:00
Newcastle United v Swansea City, St. James' Park 16:00
Aston Villa v Southampton, Villa Park 16:00
Chelsea v Sunderland, Stamford Bridge 18:30
20 April 2014
Norwich City v Liverpool, Carrow Road 13:00
Hull City v Arsenal, The KC Stadium 15:05
Everton v Manchester United, Goodison Park 17:10
21 April 2014
Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion, Etihad Stadium 21:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team do you think will win the English Premiership?

 
 
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.