Frank Lampard believes Chelsea are «too good to play against», while club captain Cesar Azpilicueta says this is «the worst run» the club has had since arriving in 2012.
The Blues were comfortably beaten 3-1 by London rivals Arsenal on Tuesday night.
This result was Chelsea’s sixth defeat in as many games since Lampard returned as caretaker manager and means the Gunners now have 78 points, double the tally of their London rivals; which is 39, by the way, if basic arithmetic isn’t your forte.
It’s been a painful season at Stamford Bridge and Lampard was brutally honest in his post match interview.
The former Blues midfielder says his side are too «passive» but insists his players care.
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«We weren’t good enough, we were too nice to play against, too passive,» Lampard told Sky Sports. “In possession we weren’t playing balls over their press or winning second balls.
“Chelsea have been very successful for 20 years at home and in the Champions League, we are not in that position at the moment. But from the moment I was here it was evident that we are too nice as a team.
“We can’t change things overnight, but we’d better sort them out quickly because we have another game over the weekend and games to come.
“The passive nature of our game can be attributed to many things. There’s the easy go-to that players don’t care enough, but they care.
“You can be low on self-confidence but still show a dynamic side to your matches. All the things we talked about before the game we didn’t do.
“At the moment we are a bit conditioned, which makes us too nice to play against. Maybe it was a different gap years ago but this is football.
“We have to think about ourselves and perform on a level. From what this season tells you, from start to finish, we need to find reasons quickly. It’s not an overnight solution.
“This is something that really needs to be fixed. There are many sides, Arsenal is a team that has been building for three years. They work on an idea and a way. It’s impossible for me to go in for three weeks and work on these things.
“The main answer is simple. We have to do the basics better and then we will make progress. It’s clear tonight for me. The first half is nowhere near good enough. But it’s the reality. That’s what I’ve come to.
“Football moves fast, we have to be aggressive about it. It is a collective, a performance. I don’t think players don’t care. I don’t believe it. The standards are clear.»
Defender Azpilicueta added that this season is his worst since joining from Marseille 11 years ago.
«We were pretty passive in the first half,» he said. “We know they are a dangerous team and will bring on a lot of people, but we should have done better with the ball.
“In the second half we showed some reaction, in the first half we were far from there. It’s hard for everyone, we’re not in a good position. The reality is what we have now. We have to go through it.
“We are all disappointed, the fans of the club. We have to take responsibility and this is the only way. It’s very difficult, we didn’t expect to be here but that’s where we are.
“We have five games left, we need to show positive energy and win games.
“It’s the worst run since I’ve been at the club. We are the ones who play on the pitch and we have to turn the situation around. It’s hard for everyone and we have to overcome these moments. Off the pitch we have a lot of things to work on.”
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