Frank Lampard: Player power not to blame at Chelsea

AVB Alone

The Blues legend has revealed that player power did not force the departure of Andre Villas-Boas and Luiz Filipe Scolari from the Stamford Bridge touchline.

The midfielder ended his 13-year spell with the West London club this summer, moving to New York City FC at the expiration if his contract - before joining Premier League rivals Manchester City on a six-month loan deal.

The Chelsea all-time top scorer was considered one of the key men at Stamford Bridge during his career, and, along with John Terry and Ashley Cole, were seen as the men controlling the dressing room during periods of bad management.

However, Lampard has moved to distance himself from such claims, telling the Express that player power had nothing to do with the high rate of outgoing managers from Stamford Bridge.

Speaking about the departure of former head coach Andre Villas-Boas, who left just nine months after his appointment, Lampard said: "AVB had played his cards and it hadn't worked. I don't know if he was too young or whether it had come too early for him.”

During his tenure with Chelsea, Villas-Boas came under criticism for leaving the senior members of the playing squad out of the first-team fold. Reportedly, it was these senior members who colluded to have their manager removed from his job, but Lampard believes that is all hearsay.

The former England international said: "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 rubbish. I'm being completely honest. Okay, 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 [Ashley 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.

"It just didn't work with AVB. He then went on to Tottenham and had another experience which was negative. Now he's apparently doing pretty well at Zenit so good luck to him. We all learn.”

The claims never came to fruition following Villas-Boas’s departure, and, with the professional manner that Lampard is known for, many suspected them to be part of a larger power struggle between manager and playing squad.

The Portuguese coach went on to have a fairly successful spell with Tottenham Hotspur end in much the same manner - being sacked after a string of poor performances.

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