Frank Lampard in Dubai: ‘It’s not a conspiracy’ why Chelsea sacked Jose Mourinho

Ali Khaled reports from the Dubai International Sports Conference, where Frank Lampard gave his thoughts on the recent turmoil affecting Chelsea and costing Jose Mourinho his job.
British football player Frank Lampard gestures as he attends a the Dubai International Sports Conference  on Monday. Ashraf Mohammad / Reuters / December 28, 2015
British football player Frank Lampard gestures as he attends a the Dubai International Sports Conference on Monday. Ashraf Mohammad / Reuters / December 28, 2015

DUBAI // Frank Lampard has rejected the idea that it was a players’ mutiny at Chelsea that lead to the departure of Jose Mourinho from the club last week.

“I think if there’s a conspiracy then you have the wrong type of people at the club. I know the Chelsea players and the club, and it’s not a conspiracy,” he said. “It’s people not performing, people on the outside always look for a conspiracy, but the answer is always on the pitch.”

Read more: Greg Lea on Chelsea, stripped of their aura and now closer to solving their problems after Jose Mourinho exit

Speaking as part of the Dubai International Sports Conference, the New York City midfielder said that he understood the Chelsea chairman’s position and the reasoning behind Mourinho’s departure.

“I’ve been fortunate to work under great managers, and Jose is at the top, him and Carlo Ancelotti in particular had a great impact on me,” Lampard said. “I wouldn’t say [owner Roman] Abramovich is right or wrong, but Chelsea are now one of the best clubs in the world, and one that cannot be in 17th place.”

He added that it was not easy to sum up the reasons behind the dramatic drop in form that sees his old club down in 15th place in the Premier League table.

“We only have one hour (to talk),” Lampard joked. “It’s difficult from the outside, but too many players are underperforming. When six, seven or eight players don’t perform you can’t win the championship. When these things happen, everybody has to take responsibility.”

Lampard would have liked to have seen Mourinho stay in the job until the end of the season but conceded his position became untenable.

“I understand the position, and Jose will understand, because Chelsea cannot be where they are, “ Lampard said. “A decision had to be made, because they have to recover and make the best of the season. As for Jose, all the top clubs will be in for him.”

The club’s all-time top scorer rejected the suggestion that Chelsea players have in the past also conspired to get managers sacked once things started to go wrong.

“I was at Chelsea for a long time, at the time of Scolari and Ancelotti, and I for one didn’t see a conspiracy,” he said. “At any big club if results aren’t good some players will be unhappy with the manager, and the manager will not be happy with some players. But they have the responsibility not to a create conspiracy, it’s a bad word used to create trouble. At Manchester United now it is the same.

“At Chelsea there is only one question – how to show they are the same players they were last year,” Lampard added.

The former England midfielder said Chelsea legends like himself, Didier Drogba, John Terry and Petr Cech “really felt for the club” but was unsure if he would ever return to Chelsea in a top capacity.

“I don’t know about being a manager or coach,” Lampard said. “Everybody knows Chelsea was my club for 13 years, but as a player I’ve had my time. Sometimes you have to know when to move on. You’ll certainly see my face at the club, but how I’m involved is not up to me. I don’t want to say now if I can be coach and personally I’m not sure I want to be.”

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Published: December 28, 2015 04:00 AM

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