Frank Leboeuf believes Chelsea’s season is already over – and has urged Andre Villas-Boas to use the rest of the campaign to “build a new generation”.
Chelsea are ten points adrift of Manchester City in the Premier League and could crash out of the Champions League tonight if they fail to get the right result against Valencia.
Speaking to Keys & Gray, Lebouef claimed his former club should concentrate on having a mass clear out and forget about winning any major silverware this season.
“Some players are at the end of the cycle and they really need to get rid of some players to buy new players and start a new generation, a new era,” he said. “The [Jose] Mourinho era is over and if Villas-Boas wants to be the ‘Special Two’ he has to build a new generation.
“I think the season is already over for Chelsea. They have to go into transition this year. They have won the last two games and they still have some hopes but winning the title is going to be very, very hard and they really have to think about the future - and the future is next year.
“They can win the FA Cup but the goal for Chelsea is either winning the Premier League or the Champions League and I don’t see them winning the Champions League. I support Chelsea like crazy, I hope they can do something, but you have to be realistic and I think this season will be a black season.”
Nicolas Anelka and Alex look set to leave Stamford Bridge in January after having transfer requests accepted and Leboeuf wants more players to follow them out of the exit door.
“Maybe [Florent] Malouda, [Salomon] Kalou, [Jose] Bosingwa, [John] Obi Mikel [should also move],” he added.
“I belonged to a Chelsea team who had 17 different nationalities but our two main guys were Graeme Le Saux and Dennis Wise and we were happy to have some English guys in the team,” he said.
“You have to keep the spirit and for me they are the symbols of Chelsea and England and getting rid of John Terry and Frank Lampard would be a big mistake. They belong to Chelsea forever.”