Frank Lampard says there are no guarantees that Chelsea will improve next season.
The Blues have endured a dismal campaign under their new owners – a group made up of Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital and others – and will finish in the bottom half of the table despite having spent more than £600m on new players.
Mauricio Pochettino is set to take over at Chelsea ahead of next season, replacing Frank Lampard who was appointed as interim boss until the end of this season.
Lampard has already ruled himself out of staying at the club next season, and admits he does not know whether the Blues can improve on their disappointing campaign.
“I don’t know that, because the Premier League moves very fast,” he explained.
“Everyone is moving on. You see the emergence of Newcastle, Brighton and Aston Villa, these teams who are trying to get themselves into the equation now for top four, at least this season.
“My experience of football is if you switch it off, it’s not easy to switch it on. That doesn’t always become an overnight remedy.
“That’s obviously not going to be my responsibility, but from my experience of being in a consistently performing club and squad for many years, the moments you do switch it off it becomes very hard to switch it on.
“I think that will be the test next year.”
Lampard has just two games left before a miserable return to the club comes to an end – a trip to Champions League chasing Manchester United before a home clash with third-placed Newcastle.
And the former Blues midfielder says he has been able to understand some of why the team has been so poor this season.
“The usual requirements and the basics, which I’ve spoken about a lot since I’ve been here, they’re not easy to switch on, you have to train and prepare, and it has to be a standard set,” he said.
“Unfortunately we haven’t met that standard this season regularly enough.
“In my time here the one thing I can say is I’ve probably seen some reasons why. In the short-term, for the two games that are left in three days, the players have to reach the standard and level of performance.
“I think we did at Manchester City to be fair, it wasn’t easy for the players to approach that game because of what was going on at their end.
“I thought we deserved more out of the game and the performance I can say, yeah, there was lots to improve, but the attitude, the application and all the basics were good.”