It’s been a while since Chelsea have had anything to play for this season, but a whole lot of pride is on the line ahead of the final day.
A 4-1 defeat at Manchester United was the latest disappointment in what’s 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 term, 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 reaching some truly embarrassing new lows.
Chelsea are currently 12th in the table but a defeat to the Magpies and if Wolves beat Arsenal and should West Ham get the better of Leicester, the west London side will finish 14th, which would be their joint-lowest Premier League finish.
A defeat will also see them equal their lowest points total of 43, while a draw or defeat will see them collect their fewest wins in a Premier League season (11).
They’re set to wrack up their lowest goal total in a season with Chelsea, who have 37 thus far, needing nine strikes against their opponents just to equal their current low.
On their lack of firepower, failure to score on Sunday will see Chelsea equal their highest number of matches without finding the back of the net in a Premier League season (14).
This misery is a far cry from the days of when Lampard was a player, or even in his first spell as manager, and the club legend can see a massive slide in standards since he was last there.
“It’s a simple thing to say because any team that wins or consistently gets results in the Premier League has them as a base,” Lampard told Sky Sports.
“Without that, the tactics don’t matter. It doesn’t get that far.
“Training well every day, trying to improve, being a collective unit but there are some variables for the players – everyone talks about the big squad, I understand that. It’s hard for the coaches this year at the club, I get it, because I’ve lived that for eight league games.
“Sometimes you can say it’s a factor, if you want to call it an excuse, but as a player you’ve got to put that to one side and focus on your own game.
“Since I’ve been here some of the collective standards, and it’s for the individuals amongst that to realise who they are within that, what they do.
“This is not a blanket. We have to find the reasons why where the club is where it’s at, and there are many.
“It’s not a finger point at the players, because it’s definitely not a lack of effort from the players, effort on this evening. But you build up the credit, the training, the prep and you build up a resilience.”
With regards to solutions to the many problems at Stamford Bridge Lampard kept his cards close to his chest but he’s in no doubt one big old reboot is required.
“It’s a bad year for the club and many clubs have this kind of year where they have had massive success,” Lampard added.
“The important thing is that you get to the bottom of how it improves and it needs a reboot.
“Generally everything has to be improved to get to the level.”