Frank Lampard has hit back at critics who claim Chelsea's squad is past it – and declared there is more to come from the Premier League champions.
Carlo Ancelotti's men have started the new campaign the way they finished the last one – with three successive victories, including 6-0 routs of West Bromwich Albion and Wigan, while they are yet to concede a goal.
Much has been made of the age of their senior men, like Lampard, 32, captain John Terry, 29, and striker Didier Drogba, who will be 33 in March. However, England midfielder Lampard, currently sidelined by a hernia problem that forced him out of last night's opening Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria at Wembley, rejects any suggestions the Chelsea players are over the hill.
Speaking to the October edition of the club's official magazine, Lampard declared: "It is a load of rubbish when I hear talk about there only being one or two years left in our spine. This has been going on for a year or so.
"Sometimes, that is mind games from other managers or press talk and we proved them wrong last year.
"We have got players here who are experienced and you can't buy experience in football – look at Didier, he is a specimen and he will overpower any 24- or 25-year-old. People have been waxing lyrical about Paul Scholes, and rightly so, because, if you take him out of the United team now, they will want to replace him and they probably won't be able to."
Lampard may have a trophy cabinet full of honours, but the former West Ham player maintains his hunger for success.
"Every year, I set my goals again, I don't lose any ambition or drive," Lampard insisted. "I would love to win the Champions League one day, but I would love to win more Premier League titles as well, so it's quite easy to self-motivate.
"I think also that, the older you get, the more you appreciate what you have got as a footballer. I think it's one of my strong points that I always want to do more because you don't play forever.
"If I can keep my level up to the way I am playing now, I believe I can go on playing for many more years."Reuse content