Tuesday, February 27News That Matters

Thiago Silva criticises Chelsea owners after Champions League elimination

Thiago Silva criticised Chelsea’s ownership after their Champions League exit and says a poor transfer strategy has contributed to disharmony in the dressing room.

Chelsea were knocked out of the Champions League on Tuesday as Real Madrid ran out 2-0 winners at Stamford Bridge to secure their place in the semi finals.

Frank Lampard will take charge of Chelsea’s remaining seven matches but the club are almost certain to miss out on Champions League football next campaign as they sit 17 points off fourth place in the Premier League.

Chelsea’s recruitment team are searching for Lampard’s permanent successor with Julian Nagelsmann and Luis Enrique interviewed this month.

But Silva claims ‘indecision’ from Chelsea’s hierarchy has played a major role in the club’s downfall this campaign.

‘I think the first step has been made. An incorrect step, but it has been made,’ Silva said.

‘We can’t be blaming the managers if we don’t take responsibility. It’s a hard period for the club, with a lot of indecision.

‘Change of ownership, new players arriving – we had to increase the size of the changing room because it didn’t fit the size of the squad.

‘A positive point is that there are amazing players in the squad but on the other hand there are always players that are going to be unhappy.

‘There is always going to be someone upset because not everyone can play. ‘The manager can only pick 11 from a squad of 30-something – that’s tough.

‘Some can’t make the squad, we signed eight in January, we need to stop and put a strategy in place otherwise next season we could make the same mistakes.’

Silva also dismissed claims that a new manager could improve Chelsea’s situation immediately.

‘Everybody talks too much about replacing managers. I think we, as players, must also take responsibility,’ said the Brazilian.

‘We have had three managers this season, plus a fourth with Bruno where we failed to win. We have lost today and with Lampard we have failed to win.

‘Everybody is talking about the manager but we must look at what has been done wrong and try to change.’

Silva, who looked emotional on the pitch after full-time, also acknowledged that the defeat to Real Madrid is likely to be the last Champions League game of his career.

‘It has been a very difficult season and a frustrating one for me personally,’ Silva said. ‘It might have been my last match in the Champions League.

‘I have only one year left on my contract and my career is reaching the end. It’s a very sad day. ‘But I think we must continue working to try to win as many matches until the end of the season.’

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