Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard believes last season's Champions League success saved many players from being shown the exit at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues saw off Bayern Munich in May's final to deliver owner Roman Abramovich the one bit of silverware he desperately wanted - a European title. And Lampard admits the Champions League victory helped save the club from a summer of sweeping changes.
"If we had gone out of the Champions League, God knows what would have happened. Looking back, there probably would have been wholesale changes," he told The Times.
"That's the beauty of winning the Champions League. We remain in the Champions League and can look at spicing things up with new players.
"I didn't really think at the time that that was the end, but looking back, it probably would have been the break-up of that team."
Lampard also insists he has put behind him his rift with Andre Villas-Boas, who was sacked as Blues boss last season and is now in charge at Tottenham.
"Looking back, we were slightly different personalities," he said.
"What I found hard to handle was not so much the not-playing side, it was the communication - or the not talking about it.
"There are no hard feelings, certainly not from me. We sent messages after he left. I wish him all the best."
- Frank Lampard
- Champions League