Chelsea were given a harsh lesson by one of footballs European giants on Tuesday night.
Frank Lampard’s side were gunned down with a 3-0 thrashing from Bayern Munich in their own backyard, and reality quickly set in about just where this squad is right now in terms of ability.
The Blues were lucky to come through the group to make the knockout stages in the end, but they now find themselves with an impossible task to go through to the next round.
The fans know that summer reinforcements are badly needed, they know that this squad needs a mini overhaul and some quality added, they know that Lampard needs to be given the tools that he needs to succeed, and it might take some time.
Lampard himself is also perfectly aware of what is needed, and he expects some big moves this summer.
Speaking after his press conference yesterday, as reported by Goal, Lampard said:
“We have to be real, we have to be honest. We can’t pull the wool over our own eyes and think all of a sudden we have a divine right at this level to go up against Bayern Munich and beat them.
“There’s a reason why we are where we are at the moment. We have not challenged in the Premier League for a couple of years. We have to fight and work as hard as we can on the training pitch and in games to close that gap.
“Come the summer, we want to move forward and make some decisions. But the gap is there. Tuesday showed that. But that should not dishearten us – now it’s how we finish the season.
“I think the landscape of the Premier League has changed. Man City and Liverpool have set incredible standards in the league, and also we had some outside influences with the ban and with circumstance, a huge player left the club.
“Those things are there. We are certainly on the same page here when I speak with the board and we have all our conversations, there is no doubt we know we are fighting for fourth place.
“It is a very dated phrase, when people say: ‘You’re Chelsea, there’s no way you should be happy with fourth’. No, the Premier League has changed. It is not like it was for Manchester United players 15 or 20 years ago, or Chelsea players when we were first or second for a period in the mid-2000s.
“It’s not like that any more and that is the reality. We do want to climb and bridge the gap and I strongly believe we will. But I am very aware of what that is. The players need to be aware of it and we are as a club.”