Lampard: United weaker without CR7

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard believes Manchester United can only be weaker following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, adding that Lionel Messi is the only man who could fill the Portuguese's boots. The Red Devils, who have started slowly in each of the past two campaigns, have remained true to form in 2009/10, with an uneasy 1-0 home success against Birmingham City last weekend followed up by a shock 1-0 reverse to newly-promoted Burnley on Wednesday night. And Lampard, who opened his account for the season in midweek with a penalty against Sunderland, feels the champions will need some time to adjust to life without the FIFA World Player of the Year. "It is very difficult to replace Ronaldo," he said in The Times. "I don’t think he [Sir Alex Ferguson] will look to replace him, he will look to make the team strong as a whole by not having him. That is the only thing they can do. "Messi is probably the only player you could replace Ronaldo with. The amount of times I flicked on the telly and saw Ronaldo had scored and they had won one or two-nil. "In United’s case, you don’t want to draw the promoted teams so early in the season. They come out of the blocks to try and get some points. "It [losing to Burnley] wasn’t completely unexpected. I thought it might be a difficult game for them. We have now got a little bit of a lead over them and Liverpool. It is nice to get your noses in front." CHELSEA FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Kerry Dixon, Guus Hiddink One on One Gianfranco Zola, Nicolas Anelka Boy's A Bit Special  Michael Mancienne, Scott Sinclair Perfect XI Ruud Gullit, Marcel Desailly Celebrity fans Vidal Sassoon And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan Plus! Ruud Gullit on Weekend Wonders and Chelsea on Talentspotter UNITED FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Wayne Rooney, Peter Schmeichel, Carlos Tevez Q&A Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud Van Nistlerooy One on One David Beckham, George Best Ask A Silly Question Bryan Robson Boy's A Bit Special Danny Simpson Perfect XI Garth Crooks, Bryan Robson, Sir Bobby Charlton, Eric Cantona What Happened Next? David May, Norman Whiteside Sing When You’re Winning Dominic Monaghan, Ian Brown And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan Plus! Rate United players (and others) on Talentspotter