Frank Lampard has chosen a combined Chelsea team from the title winners in 2004/05, which he starred for and the current Premier league champions.
When was asked by the Premier League to select a combined XI of players from the 2004/05 side and Conte’s men he selected Cesar Azpilicueta, N’Golo Kante, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa.
“I’ve chosen a back four because it helped me get the players I wanted to get into the team,” said Lampard.
“I played with [William] Gallas, [Ricardo] Carvalho and [John] Terry in that team, and they were so strong. I didn’t want to change that too much, but I just had to get [Cesar] Azpilicueta in there.
“I think he’s been brilliant in his seasons at Chelsea. He’s improving all the time, professional, can do that solid right-back job. He’s one of the best in the world.”
Owen Hargreaves, who helped select the side, explained the inclusion of Claude Makelele and N’Golo Kante.
“He’s got the perfect two hoovers in behind in Makelele and Kante,” said the pundit.
“These two do a job for the balance of the team. Then you think about Frank and Robben and Hazard and Costa. Drogba, at this time, hadn’t regularly featured.”
Lampard went on to justify the exclusion of Drogba.
“If you ask me the best players and teams over a period of time, Didier Drogba is in there every day of the week. But if we are looking at that first year, Didier played some games, Eidur Gudjohnsen played some games, so for the consistency of this season, I’ll go for Costa.”
He added: “The biggest problem I had was with myself really. This wasn’t my favourite position.
“I don’t see where I would have played with the back three at Chelsea now. He’s got pace in the team with Hazard and Pedro or Willian, and I didn’t have that much pace!”
Frank Lampard’s combined Chelsea 2004/05 and 2016/17 XI
Cech; Azpilicueta, Terry, Carvalho, Gallas; Makelele, Kante; Robben, Lampard, Hazard, Costa.