Lampard says Villas-Boas ignored present over future

London: Veteran Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has praised former manager Andre Villas-Boas’ intelligence, but believes in pursuit of laying the foundation for a good future at the club, he completely lost sight of the present.

The evident rift involving Lampard and Villas-Boas seemed to have exemplified the trouble times, the Portuguese faced at Stamford Bridge.

“The boss was an intelligent fella and very across everything. In his short time at Chelsea, he attempted to do everything right. He was there from seven in the morning until seven at night and maybe through the night,” a daily quoted Lampard, as saying.

“He was looking to the future and his plan was long-term. But somewhere in the middle of that, the present didn`t go so well — and that`s where the problems came. It became the thing that Chelsea needed a revolution and to move out the older players. To be fair to AVB, that was part of the remit and I get that we need to move on and change,” he said.

“But you can`t lose sight of the present, as a team like Chelsea, with the quality we have, can`t be fifth in the league. We should be pushing higher and there`s a lot of strength in our squad which you can hold up against any in the Premier League,” he added.

Lampard said players should be in the team on merit based, and if players like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs could still stay at the top of their game at their age, even he can be.

“You can`t force change. It has to be a more careful process. If young players are coming through, who deserve to be in the team, I have no problem with that and would stand aside. But they have to earn their place and show they deserve to be in,” Lampard said.

“I know I can`t play every game. But I look at Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs and see no reason why I can`t play on as long as them,” he added.