Chelsea Players Didn’t Force Out Andre Villas-Boas Insists Frank Lampard

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Lampard says senior stars not responsible for AVB’s Stamford Bridge exit.

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Chelsea star Frank Lampard has insisted the club’s senior players were not responsible for the sacking of former manager Andre Villas-Boas.

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AVB was dismissed by the Blues in March 2012 after less than ten months in the job, and has consequently been sacked by London rivals Tottenham.

The Portuguese, who was just 33 when he took the Chelsea job, used veterans John Terry and Lampard sparingly at Stamford Bridge and was accused of a lack of respect as he tried to phase out the old guard.

But Lampard has insisted he has no issue with his former boss and says the players were not responsible for AVB’s departure.

“My relationship with him was OK, but it was not as close as I have had with other managers. I wasn’t particularly close with Fabio Capello either. He didn’t work that way, and I don’t think Andre wanted to work that way either,” Lampard told FourFourTwo.

“I don’t know what his philosophy was with the club. He didn’t seem to want me playing regularly in the same position, and I went along with that. It was a funny season, and we got some bad results midway through, and it didn’t really work for him at the club.”

Villas-Boas started life in English football as assistant to Jose Mourinho during the Special One’s first spell in West London and also worked with his compatriot at Porto and Inter Milan.

Like Mourinho, Villas-Boas made his name as Porto boss, winning an unprecedented treble and going unbeaten during his solitary campaign in charge of the Primera Liga club.

Naturally, the duo have been closely compared but Lampard says his relationship with Villas-Boas was different to that with Mourinho.

“I was very close with Jose [Mourinho] when he was first at the club, but it was different with Andre. I don’t want to sound critical of Andre, because he was trying to do his thing; I just think it was a difficult job for him at our place at such a young age. There is no bad blood between me and him.

“What did annoy me was when he left people loved saying, ‘It was the players that made that happen.’ That certainly wasn’t the case. The players tried to get results whoever the manager was, whether it was him or Scolari. I have no problem with AVB at all.”

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