Lampard and the rest of the Blues’ so-called ‘old guard’ defied the critics once again last night with another epic backs-to-the-wall victory in the final against Bayern Munich. The match was billed as a last hurrah for the likes of Lampard and match-winner Didier Drogba amid speculation of a mass clearout at Stamford Bridge.
But Lampard claimed there was no reason why Saturday night should herald a break-up of the squad that have been together for most of the past decade. “Teams are always changing, but why should we stop now?” said Lampard, the first man to captain Chelsea to the Champions League. “We want to carry on, move forwards. We’ve won the FA Cup and now the Champions League and the determination and spirit we have shown, it’s been fantastic.
The key players have been there a long time. In the dressing room we have a tough group.” Lampard’s days at Chelsea looked numbered three months ago after a falling out with then manager Andre Villas-Boas, who appeared determined to phase out their older players. Caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo’s decision to embrace them paid off as they delivered the greatest moment in the club’s history.