Arsenal’s recent success in the Premier League could provide the blueprint for Chelsea’s bid to rebuild after a disappointing season, interim manager Frank Lampard said.
Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat by Brentford last week left them 12th in the standings, stumbling towards their worst campaign since the 1993-94 season — when they finished 14th under Glenn Hoddle — despite their huge outlay under Todd Boehly who took over the club last summer.
On Tuesday, Chelsea face an Arsenal side that finished outside the top four for six straight seasons between 2016-2022, but now find themselves locked in an intense title race after significant improvement under manager Mikel Arteta.
“There is a long process in terms of getting to where you want to get to. I remember going up against Mikel in that early stage,” Lampard told reporters ahead of the trip to the Emirates Stadium.
“Sometimes they played five at the back, sometimes four; now they have a clear identity. There has been a lot of work through the team, Mikel, alignment and good recruitment. Do we have the possibility to do that? Yes. Will it take time and good decisions? Absolutely, yes. But you can get there.
“The manager was being questioned, the players and owners were and that process can take two or three years. They are a great example of that done well.”
Lampard said that Chelsea’s players are “low on confidence” due to their poor run of form, but challenged his side to counteract their lack of self belief with hard work.
“You can only work to get a level of performance to bring confidence back,” Lampard said. “I’ve been here in moments where confidence has been low because nobody likes losing games. I had moments as a player where we dropped our standards as a collective and we had to lift it.
“Looking through history, we managed to get it back through hard work. We can only consider the future and work really hard to get the squad where we want it.”
Lampard added that defender Kalidou Koulibaly could be “out for a while” after injuring his hamstring against Real Madrid in the Champions League.