• Champions League

Robben: Chelsea lost sparkle after I left

ESPN staff
May 18, 2012 « Khan v Garcia talks faltering | Chartbeat test »

Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben feels that Chelsea have played a less expansive style of football in the years since he left the club.

Netherlands international Robben, 28, won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and Carling Cup during a highly successful three-year period at Stamford Bridge.

Since he left Chelsea in 2007, the club have regularly played second fiddle to first Manchester United and then Manchester City - with the notable exception of the Double won under Carlo Ancelotti.

This season they finished sixth in the Premier League, and will not play in the Champions League again next term unless they overcome Bayern in the final on Saturday.

And Robben has told his former employees that they will not have the element of surprise in their favour against Bayern, who will play the final on home turf.

"They've changed the system a bit since then and often play without wingers," Robben said. "But when I was there we were nice to watch and with two wingers played some attacking football. Maybe tactically they're a bit more defensive these days.

"Chelsea don't have any secrets. A lot of players have been at the club for a long time, which may be a failure but can also be a point of strength. They've tried a lot of new players, but not all of them have been that successful.

"They have lots of leaders in their team and for a lot of the players it will be their last chance to win the Champions League. They're all getting a bit older, with respect."

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