Frank Lampard has been sacked by Chelsea.
We both surprised and totally not shocked in equal measure.
On one hand, this is what Chelsea do in the Roman Abramovich era. If you’re not winning trophies, you’re gone. And with Lampard spending almost £250m in the summer, sitting in ninth simply isn’t acceptable.
But then again, he’s a club legend and his appointment was supposed to be a step in a different direction for the club.
Having some a legendary status at the club, you’d think that Lampard would have the respect of the players at the very least. But that wasn’t quite the case.
In a fascinating report from The Athletic, they revealed how some players complained about his ‘lack of tactical instruction’ and ‘not being spoken to for month’. Some also felt Lampard showed ‘no empathy’ and disliked his public criticism.
“The problem was, the manager didn’t talk to the players — well only the ones he liked,” one source said. “I know of players who weren’t in the team that didn’t hear from him for many months. That’s very frustrating for a player because you don’t know what you have to do to do better, what the manager is thinking. It’s crazy."
Another added: “It was very weird for me that Lampard’s way of working was to be distant to the players. He was a player until very recently (retired 2016). He should know how to approach players but he seemed to have forgotten.”
And one more said: “The communication of Lampard with the players was not fluent. When I met with one of the players last year I was asking if the manager was telling him things. He said to me: ‘No, but usually he never speaks to the players’. I said I could not understand that because Lampard needs a professional relationship with every player. You need to know players need information and guidance.”
But who were these players who didn’t get on with Lampard?
Well according to pundit Danny Murphy, via Chris from the Fulham Broadway’s Finest podcast, Mateo Kovačić and Antonio Rudiger.
Murphy was on talkSPORT on Monday morning after Lampard’s sacking and claimed: “A source told me that Rudiger & Kovacic went directly to the board to talk about Lampard.”
Rudiger has been limited to just four Premier League appearances - although he has played three of the last four matches. Meanwhile, Kovacic has started 10 out of 19 Premier League matches but clearly wasn’t happy with the role he was playing under Lampard.
It will be interesting to see how they fare under incoming manager, Thomas Tuchel.