It’s been a while since Chelsea played anything this season, but a lot of pride is on the line heading into the final day.
A 4-1 defeat at Manchester United was the latest disappointment in what has been an utterly dismal campaign for them.
The five-time Premier League winners are already guaranteed to finish in the bottom half of the table this season, something that hasn’t happened since the 1995/96 season.
But failure to beat Newcastle on Sunday means Frank Lampard’s men are at serious risk of hitting new, truly embarrassing lows.
Chelsea are currently 12th in the table but a loss to the Magpies and if Wolves beat Arsenal and West Ham get the upper hand over Leicester, the west London side will finish 14th, which would be their lowest Premier League finish .
A loss will also see them equal their lowest points tally of 43, while a draw or defeat will see them claim the fewest wins in a Premier League season (11).
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They are close to racking up their lowest goals tally in a season with Chelsea, who have 37 so far, needing nine strikes against their opponents just to match their current low.
On their lack of firepower, the lack of a goal on Sunday will see Chelsea equal their most games without finding the back of the net in a Premier League season (14).
That misery is a far cry from Lampard’s days as a player, or even his first stint as manager, and the club legend may see a massive drop in standards since his last appearance.
“It’s a simple thing to say because any team that wins or regularly achieves results in the Premier League has them as a base,” Lampard told Sky Sports.
“Without that, tactics don’t matter. It doesn’t go that far.
“Training well every day, trying to improve, being a collective unit but there are variables for the players – everyone talks about the great team, I understand that. It’s hard for the coaches this year at the club, I understand, because I have been living this for eight league matches.
“Sometimes you can say it’s a factor, if you want to call it an excuse, but as a player you have to put that aside and focus on your own game.
“Since I’ve been here, some of the collective norms, and it’s up to the individuals among those to realize who they are inside of that, what they’re doing.
“It’s not a cover. We have to find the reasons why the club is where it is, and there are a lot of them.
“It’s not a finger pointing at the players, because it’s certainly not a lack of effort from the players, an effort tonight. But you build credit, training, preparation, and you build resilience.
When it comes to solutions to Stamford Bridge’s many problems, Lampard has kept his cards close to his chest, but there is no doubt that a big restart is needed.
“It’s been a bad year for the club and a lot of clubs have this kind of year where they had huge success,” added Lampard.
“The important thing is that you know how it is improving and that it needs a restart.
“Generally everything needs to be improved to reach the level.”