Villas-Boas willing to omit big names
But Blues boss Villas-Boas insisted it would take far more than the pair losing their international places for him to consider axing them from his star-studded line-up. Lampard was dropped for a competitive England match for the first time in four years when he was left out of the starting side for last Friday's UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier in Bulgaria.
And Torres' career arguably hit a new low four days later when he did not even make the bench for Spain's thrashing of Liechtenstein. However, Villas-Boas launched yet another passionate defence of £50million man Torres, who has now scored just once in 27 games for club and country.
But the Portuguese insisted he was not guilty of blind faith and he knew at what point he would need to get tough. "The moment when it compromises the running of the team, I think it has to come to an end, which is fair enough," said Villas-Boas, who also insisted he would not be afraid to drop Lampard, adding: "I have no problems of that kind."
Lampard was recalled by England for Tuesday's Wembley win over Wales, although his performance did little to suggest his best days were not behind him. The 33-year-old, who admitted he had not started the season well, arguably has never fully recovered from a three-and-a-half month injury lay-off last term.
But Villas-Boas said: "Lampard's an extremely fit player. I think as a player, he feels well. He feels he can compete with the others. With this kind of competition that he has at Chelsea, you've seen him selected three times straight away in the first Premier League games. For us, at moment, he's up at the top."
The Chelsea boss was even more combative when it came to Torres, whose dramatic loss of goalscoring form also coincided with his recovery from injury. Villas-Boas insisted the striker had lost none of his pace, adding of his goal drought: "For you guys, a big problem. For me, no problem. Played three games and we have seven points. I try to explain to you guys and I think it will be a never-ending debate."
He added of Torres, who has now played 21 times for Chelsea: "You didn't lose your talent because you went 21 games scoring just one goal. The talent is there. It's a question of regaining that confidence.
"Regaining that confidence comes with training and time and finding the back of the net. You just have to persist. It's not just about scoring goals, it's about creating opportunities and I think he's been doing that."
Lampard said after the Wales game that he would continue to fight for his England place, and Villas-Boas was confident the midfielder had plenty more to give at international level. "This is one of the top players in England and in the Premier League," said Villas-Boas, who revealed he had no intention of speaking to the midfielder about his axing.
"I saw through Frank's interview that he made himself available and he wants to keep performing club-wise to be performing for the national team. He has this kind of challenge to himself and I think all the top players have it, and I think he's up there with the best."
Villas-Boas refused to criticise England manager Fabio Capello or Spain counterpart Vicente Del Bosque, both of whom confirmed they had picked their sides on form. He added of Torres: "If he wasn't selected, he just has to up the level in Spain. And if he's not selected here, he just has to up the level at Chelsea."
Despite his travails, Torres could be forgiven for assuming he will start Chelsea's next two games after Didier Drogba was ruled out of Saturday's Premier League trip to Sunderland and Tuesday night's UEFA Champions League opener against Bayer Leverkusen.
But Villas-Boas said: "You have seen Fernando playing from the start against Stoke and against West Brom and against Norwich. You'll have seen Didier come in for the Norwich game. We just have to make choices regarding what we see in training."