Chelsea confirmed Frank Lampard’s dismissal on Monday and replaced him with Thomas Tuchel

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Gary Neville has expressed his concern that Chelsea players may have “stuck the knife into” Frank Lampard.

The club confirmed on Monday that Lampard had been dismissed, and the Stamford Bridge legend has been replaced in the dugout by former PSG and Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel.

Since taking over the club in 2003, Roman Abramovich has now sacked nine managers, with Lampard joining a list that includes Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho (in 2008 and 2015), Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Carlo Ancelotti, André Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Matteo and Antonio Conte.

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Lampard made 648 appearances for the club during his playing days and will have been familiar with Abramovich’s cutthroat nature.

The 42-year-old was sacked after a run of five defeats in eight Premier League games that saw Chelsea slump to ninth in the table, and former Manchester United man Gary Neville says he hopes a familiar pattern with sackings at the club hasn’t played out.

Speaking on Sky Sports News, Neville said: “I’m not wholly surprised, as much as I would’ve been this time last week.

“There were rumours starting to surface towards the end of the week that Frank was coming under pressure. When that happens at Chelsea, the end is pretty much a consistent one whereby the rumours start to come out and then it happens pretty quickly.

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“I was a little surprised when I heard the news given that Frank has only had a short amount of time with a new group of players, but he was given a period last year when the club were under a transfer embargo, and that almost shielded him.

“He did a great job in that period but the minute the club started spending the money that they did in the summer and brought those players in, it was always going to bring a lot more expectation. We know what happens at Chelsea when more expectations come, in the sense that they want instant results.

“With one of the biggest budgets in the league and the biggest transfer spends comes greater expectations, and at Chelsea over many years their approach to managers has been very consistent. Frank knew that when he took the job.

“I don’t think he’d want anyone to feel sorry for him. He’d just want an understanding of the fact that he went into a club that has always been like this with managers and he knew that he would’ve had to succeed straight away.

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“The inconsistent form and results of the last six weeks has cost him probably a lot sooner than he would’ve imagined because of the fact that he’s a club legend. All of us would’ve perhaps felt he’d have been given a little bit more time than he has been, but I suppose it’s unsurprising in the way in which it’s happened.

“My problem with Chelsea in the past is that it’s always felt that the players have stuck the knife into the manager at times; I would hope that it’s not happened on this occasion.”

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