The former Blues forward has excluded his former club from the title race after their disappointing draw with Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea are a “crisis club” according to Chris Sutton, who thinks that the Blues season is likely to become “ugly” under Frank Lampard.
The sense of optimism that surrounded Stamford Bridge at the end of the summer transfer window has been replaced by a growing sense of unease and frustration in recent weeks.
Chelsea had apparently thrown their hat in the ring for the title after a 17-game unbeaten streak in all competitions but a 1-0 loss to Everton at Goodison Park on December 12 marked the start of a downward spiral.
Lampard saw his side collect just four points in their next four games, with further losses inflicted by Wolves and Arsenal either side of a win over West Ham.
Blues were only able to draw a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge Monday night, which leaves them behind the league leaders Liverpool by six points after playing one more game.
Sutton fears Lampard’s position could be in serious jeopardy if he fails to remedy the team’s recent slide and believes the title is now out of reach for his former club.
“At the moment they are a club in crisis because they are underperforming,” ex-Chelsea striker said BBC Radio Five Live. “They are flat and that is why Frank needs to get a few wins under his belt and extremely quickly because it can, as we know, get ugly at Chelsea.
“Whether we like it or not, it’s a whole different season for Frank. The pressure is on, he has spent a lot of money. Now the pressure is going to rise.”
“I don’t want to go too early on Chelsea and Frank because if they win three on the spin they’ll be in second place and we’ll be like ‘can they win the title again? ” and that’s how.
“I don’t think Chelsea can win the title. They have to get back to a way of playing where they really find their rhythm.”
The Blues invested a combined total of £ 127.5million ($ 172million) in the talents of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz earlier this year, but they failed to produce the same form they showed regularly during their respective periods to RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen.
Sutton says Lampard will continue to be judged harshly if he fails to get an tune from the German duo, as he added: “Timo Werner was a huge disappointment and Kai Havertz was too. When you spend a lot of money , so the pressure is really on for Frank this season – and it wasn’t last season.
“I don’t think Frank has a say in the signing policy for Chelsea. I think there would be some sort of transfer committee. In all fairness Havertz is a young man and a really talented player, but we haven’t seen him yet at Chelsea.
“I think Werner was a bigger disappointment. He missed some really big opportunities. I know he’s capable of playing a number of positions and playing them well, but I’m just wondering if Werner would rather play like central striker. “