LONDON: Frank Lampard has urged his Chelsea players to learn from the example set by Manchester City’s treble challenge when the teams meet at the Etihad on Sunday.
City will retain the Premier League title and win the first of the three trophies they are chasing this season if they beat Chelsea, and could already be champions by the time they kick-off depending on Arsenal’s result on Saturday.
If City take the title, it will be the fifth time in six seasons that Pep Guardiola’s team have been crowned champions of England.
They then have a second Champions League final in three years to come against Italy’s Inter Milan plus the FA Cup final against local rivals Manchester United.
City’s brilliant form was there for all to see with a 4-0 humiliation of European champions Real Madrid on Wednesday, a 17th win in their last 19 games.
Chelsea, once a challenger for major trophies, are currently languishing in 11th place despite co-owner Todd Boehly splashing out some £600 million ($747 million) on transfers during the last 12 months,
Caretaker Chelsea manager Lampard, who may be replaced by Mauricio Pochettino should the former Tottenham supremo be confirmed as the Blues’ new permanent boss, said his side should take heart from City’s work ethic.
“The only inspiration the young players should need is what it’s taken Man City to get where they’ve got,” said Lampard.
“It’s not the moment of lifting the cup, it’s Kevin De Bruyne’s journey, and (Erling) Haaland’s journey, and (Ilkay) Gundogan’s journey, and John Stones’s journey.”
The former Chelsea and England midfielder added: “A player has to understand that the cup-lifting moments are because of all the work done over the years against the odds, whatever it is, how hard they work.
“That team clearly works hard and then when one has to stop working hard the next one steps in and works hard. That’s what the players have to understand.”
Lampard said he had watched the documentary series The Last Dance, about NBA side Chicago Bulls’ success in the 1990s, in preparation for Chelsea’s final games of the season.
The interim manager, who will stand down following the final game of the season against Newcastle on May 28, said the series had some valuable lessons for his squad.
“Any group that lifts trophies has to understand what standards are and how you push and what you do, and that the weekend is a culmination of everything you do through the week, from how you prepare, how you train, that you train at a level that then transfers onto the pitch,” said Lampard, a multiple medal-winner at Chelsea.
He added: “There’s a lot of failure on the way to success. I think that’s the thing that a player in the modern day has to listen to, not casually but to actually listen to it and act upon it.”