Jamie Redknapp believes Chelsea will be a ‘long way off’ challenging for the title next season and says it could take ‘a few years’ for the Blues to be in a position to win the Premier League again. This was after Chelsea were beaten 1-0 by champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. Despite spending almost £600 on new signings over the past 12 months, Chelsea have slipped to 12th in the Premier League – 45 points behind City and 26 outside the top-four places.
When asked if he believed Chelsea could compete with Man City next season, Redknapp told Sky Sports: ‘No, not next season. I think they will be a long way off. It’s going to take a few years for Chelsea to get in that position again. I don’t see who can compete with Man City right now, they’re going to get stronger and stronger. They’re incredible – if you like football, you like this team. There’s nothing to dislike about the way they play. It’s total football, they’re a joy.’
Chelsea caretaker boss Frank Lampard heaped praise on Premier League champions Manchester City after the 1-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium. He said: ‘I think they are outstanding. They’ve shown to be outstanding and that’s why they’re on for a possible treble. Their level of play in the last two months has been outstanding. I think they’ve set a benchmark that’s pulled them apart. They’ve built this over years – incredible vision of a club. I worked here for a year I understand the people at the top and how well organised it is and then they’ve bought in a great coach and so many good players. They are the benchmark.’
When asked how Chelsea can reduce the gap to Man City, Lampard added: ‘City have not won three in a row through trotting out at intensity or just going through the week. They work and work and work – Pep’s work in terms of changing the team and keep moving it forward and all those things. Everyone involved to get to this level where you’re lifting trophies, there’s a load of work. The players just have to understand that, if I want to get there and be like Haaland and De Bruyne today, I need to put in the work.’