Wednesday 6 May 2015

Frank Lampard: Chelsea player power was not behind the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas

Published 05/09/2014 | 16:12

Frank Lampard and Andre Villas-Boas
Frank Lampard and Andre Villas-Boas

Frank Lampard has denied that Chelsea's players were in any way reponsible to the dismissal of Andre Villas-Boas as manager in 2012.

Villas-Boas was sacked in March 2012, just eight months after Roman Abramovich had paid over £13 million to release the young Portuguese coach from his contract at Porto, where he had just won a league and Europa League double.

At the time player power was cited as the main reason Abramovitch decided to part company with a manager, with the Chelsea squad failing to adapt to his methods.

But in an interview with The Sun Lampard says that it is nonsense that the players had any part to play in his dismissal.

"AVB had played his cards and it hadn't worked," Lampard said. "I don't know if he was too young or whether it had come too early for him.

"One thing I will address is that a lot of people said when he and Phil Scolari and some of the other managers left it was all down to player power at Chelsea. That's a load of crap. I'm being completely honest. OK, AVB and I were not very close but I don't need to be close to my manager - but I am definitely not the type to act up.

"No one at the club was. Even Ash [Cole], who I know wasn't happy not playing week-in week-out, would never have run off and said, 'Please sack the manager, we've had enough of him'. That's plain ridiculous. We are professionals. Can you imagine what Roman Abramovich would've said to him? 'I pay your wages, I make the decisions, now f--- off and play.'"

Lampard also revealed that he still does not know who made the final decision to end his time at Chelsea and he was desperate to remain at the club.

Lampard left Chelsea in the summer after 13 years at Stamford Bridge, signing a contract with New York City FC.

He has since moved to Manchester City on loan until January while he waits for the new MLS season to start.

But the midfielder - who announced his retirement from England duty last month - says he would have been mad not to sign a new contract had he been offered one.

"I had a chat with Jose Mourinho and both he and the club were always great with me," he said. "The decision was made - and I don't know who made it."

Meanwhile, Manchester City have named loan signing Frank Lampard in their 21-man Champions League squad for the season.

City are only permitted 21 names in the A squad rather than the usual 25 as a sanction for breaching UEFA's financial fair play regulations.

The restrictions also limited City to 16 non-homegrown players, but the departure of Alvaro Negredo to Valencia on Monday spared Manuel Pellegrini a difficult decision.

Serbian defender Matija Nastasic, strongly linked with a move away prior to Monday's transfer deadline, is not included in the A squad but will still be able to play matches as he was under 21 at the turn of the year and can be part of the B squad.

City's A squad for the Champions League: Hart, Caballero, Sagna, Kompany, Zabaleta, Kolarov, Mangala, Clichy, Demichelis, Boyata, Fernando, Milner, Nasri, Navas, Lampard, Silva, Fernandinho, Toure, Dzeko, Aguero, Jovetic.

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