Frank Lampard may have three Premier League titles to show for his time at Chelsea, but he feels their recent record in the competition has been poor.
When Jose Mourinho led the Blues to the title in 2005, it was their first such success in half-a-century. They retained their crown the following year, and bounced back from Manchester United’s hat-trick when they wrestled it back under Carlo Ancelotti in 2010. And now that the Special One is back in the Stamford Bridge dugout, there is high expectation in the capital that they can be crowned champions once again in May.
However, Lampard believes Chelsea’s recent record in the Premier League is nothing to boast about. Since last winning it, United have gone on to win it twice and neighbours City once, whilst the Londoners have had to settle for second, sixth and third positions. And this, claims the England international, represents huge underachievement.
“When you look at our squad, one Premier League title in seven years just doesn’t feel right for Chelsea,” Lampard told Sky Sports. “But there is a real feeling that things are fitting into place under Jose Mourinho. We had a mentality from Jose’s first time at the club that coming second was a disappointing year. That’s the way we regarded it.
“The last two years have been the worst two in recent memory in terms of league performance although obviously we’ve done really well in Europe. But coming sixth and third domestically doesn’t feel good enough. For those of us who are still here from Jose’s first time in charge, we know what he is like week in and week out, and you can sense he is bringing that winning mentality back. Consistency is everything though, it’s what we need and there is the feeling that we have that now. It’s very exciting.”
The Blues have passed three huge challenges over the past week or so. First of all they assumed control of their UEFA Champions League group when they won at Schalke, which was followed by a late 2-1 home win over title rivals Manchester City. And 48 hours later, they progressed into the last eight of the League Cup after winning at Arsenal.
Mourinho now takes his side to St James’ Park to face Newcastle United in the early Premier League kick-off on Saturday. A win against the Magpies would ensure Chelsea top the table at least until the evening, when their two current closest challengers, the Gunners and Liverpool, face each other at the Emirates Stadium.