Frank Lampard insists that improving Chelsea is not a quick fix, and believes it will take a lot of time to replicate Arsenal’s transformation into Premier League title challengers. Arsenal host Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday evening with both sides on very different paths this season, as Mikel Arteta’s squad remain in the race with Manchester City for the title, while Lampard is attempting to prevent his team from recording their lowest points tally in Premier League history.
When asked if he believes Chelsea already have a squad that can grow into title challengers like Arsenal, Lampard said: ‘I think it’s interesting to compare the Arsenal story because we all had a little insight into Arsenal with the Amazon series and I think when you see what they are producing now, looking myself as a football person, the interesting thing about watching the series and seeing before that when I went up against Mikel when I was the Chelsea manager in that first year, was that there’s a long process to get to where you want to get to. I remember playing against Mikel’s teams in that early stage which were sometimes five at the back, sometimes four, sometimes they build with a four and defend with a five, and all these things, and now they have a very, very clear identity and they have a clear, through recruitment, change of squad, pretty much the team completely, other than maybe the players who have come through, and obviously you always need academy players to come through of a high level and they’ve had that.
Lampard praised Arsenal for standing by Mikel Arteta, noting that the process of transformation can take two or three years and requires making a lot of right decisions and working in a good way. He believes that Chelsea have the possibility to do the same, but it will take time and good decisions along the way.