Carlo Ancelotti has blamed Chelsea’s poor season on injuries to key players, insisting that his side were not able to cope with such absences during key periods of the campaign.
The Italian conceded defeat in the title race on Tuesday, and believes that the club’s challenge is officially over.
This leaves Arsenal and Manchester United to fight it out. But even if the Blues manage to finish second, the Italian still believes the season will be a failure.
Speaking to reporters, Ancelotti said: “Second place is better than third but it’s not very important. At the start of the season your dream is to win, not to finish second.”
The two-time Champions League winner went on to talk about the strength of his playing squad, and believes the damage had already been done prior to the investment that was made in the January transfer window.
“I don’t think the squad was good enough this year,” said the former AC Milan boss. “At the start of the season, we couldn’t have envisaged having very important players out at the same time. We struggled to manage this.”
Several times this season, the Blues have been without key players, as Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba in particular missing portions of the season. The midfielder, in particular, missed four months of action due to a then persistent groin problem, while the Ivorian had to battle against Malaria.
He added: “Without Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, John Terry and Alex it was very difficult.
“At one point, we needed to put Paulo Ferreira in at centre back because we had lost all our other centre backs.
“Without Lampard and Drogba in the difficult moment, it was not easy to move on without these kind of players, not just their technical qualities but their personality and character. We missed them in November and December when we didn’t play well.”