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Keown: Mourinho was right to drop these three greats - Here's why

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown says that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been proven correct to get rid of some of the club's stalwarts.

Arsenal great Martin Keown says that Jose Mourinho has been proven correct in his decision to sell Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole and drop Petr Cech to the bench.

Lampard and Cole left Chelsea on a free-transfer to many people's surprise this summer, after Mourinho allowed their contracts to expire, whilst Cech has been usurped in goal by Thibaut Courtois.

It is the marking of a new era at Stamford Bridge, but there was some scepticism about the decisions over three players who will go down as legends at the club. 

However, Keown believes that Mourinho's management was right and he feels that the squad has been upgraded as a result of their summer spending. 

"Mourinho spent most of last season telling us his Chelsea team were not good enough," he wrote in the Daily Mail. "A lot of people, including me, thought it was just mind games but he was right and quickly identified the players he needed in the summer.

"Financial Fair Play rules made him a better wheeler-dealer too: he balanced the books well by selling David Luiz and Romelu Lukaku for big money and bringing in Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Filipe Luis.

"Mourinho has consistently made quick, ruthless decisions since his return to Stamford Bridge, selling Juan Mata, allowing Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole to leave, dropping Petr Cech and moving on Lukaku and Luiz.

"He was right to do all of those — you haven’t noticed that Cole, Lampard and Cech, who made 1,469 appearances between them, aren’t playing as their replacements are arguably better."

Cole has been directly replaced by Filipe Luis, but the Brazilian is yet to force his way into the Chelsea line-up because of the form of Cesar Azpilicueta.

Lampard, meanwhile, has seen his upgrade in the form of Cesc Fabregas.

The Spaniard has been an integral part of Chelsea's impressive form over the early part of the season and he will look to continue to maintain these high standards as the season progresses.

The Blues are unbeaten in their first six Premier League fixtures and the task for them will continue their momentum and extend the five point lead which they have already gained at the top of the table. 

Keown will be wary of the threat that Chelsea pose to his former club Arsenal when they take on the Gunners this Sunday. 

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