Antonio Rudiger denies involvement in Frank Lampard's sacking, says he is 'pretty sure' Lampard will be back soon

Antonio Rudiger (L) and former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard
Antonio Rudiger (L) and former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard
Namit Kumar
Modified 04 Feb 2021

Following a poor run of form, Chelsea FC's decision to sack club legend Frank Lampard drew a lot of heat from various parts of the British media. Suggestions were made that influential players in the Chelsea dressing room, such as Antonio Rudiger, had a role to play in the decision, and that a divide in the dressing room led to Frank Lampard's eventual demise.

Recently, German defender Antonio Rudiger - a key member of the Chelsea dressing room accused of causing the divide - has opened up about the 42-year-old's departure, and refuted any claims that he had spoken to Chelsea's hierarchy about the decision.

"There have been so many nonsense rumours around about me since last week," Rudiger said. "I've never talked with the board about the situation of the coach or on any other topics."
"Frank Lampard trusted in my abilities after Christmas in a very difficult situation and I was thankful for this. It was also the main reason why I told my representatives not to look for a possible winter move anymore," the German said.

Antonio Rudiger also revealed that many young players in the Chelsea squad who were given opportunities by Frank Lampard are extremely grateful, and believes that everybody always wanted the best for the Englishman.

"Unfortunately, it was not meant to be for our team to turn things around for the coach. We always wanted the best for the manager and for the club," Rudiger said. "He took over the manager position last season when things were very complicated for all of us. But we managed to qualify for the Champions League together with him."
"He has given so many young players a chance in the first team and they are still doing an amazing job. I'm pretty sure we will see Frank Lampard back again at another club very soon."

No rift with Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta: Antonio Rudiger

Antonio Rudiger (L) and Cesar Azpilicueta
Antonio Rudiger (L) and Cesar Azpilicueta

Following Frank Lampard's departure from Chelsea, rumours were rife about a divide in the Chelsea dressing room, with media reports claiming two separate camps were formed during the Blues' poor run of form.

Commenting on the same, Antonio Rudiger vehemently denied the claims, particularly those rumours about a training ground bust-up with club captain Cesar Azpilicueta.

"There has never been any problem with Azpi," Rudiger said. "He's my captain and I'm very thankful that he and also Tammy (Abraham) reacted that quickly after they'd heard the rumours on social media."
"It looked like people from outside wanted to bother our unity in the squad. Hopefully, this negativity will go away again very soon and we can continue performances like in the Burnley game," the Chelsea defender concluded.
Published 04 Feb 2021, 00:17 IST
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