Derby boss Wayne Rooney says Frank Lampard’s sacking by Chelsea came as no surprise, but feels his former England team-mate deserved more time.
Lampard, who had one year of managerial experience with Derby County before taking on the role, was told his time was up as Chelsea head coach on Monday morning before being swiftly replaced by Thomas Tuchel.
Chelsea managed to secure Champions League qualification in Lampard’s first campaign in charge, while under a FIFA-imposed transfer ban, but results began to slip this season and the hierarchy’s patience wore thin.
Rooney, now following the same path into management, is sympathetic to his former team-mate and says Lampard’s project was showing real signs of progression but unsuitable for Chelsea’s “demanding” business model.
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“I wasn’t surprised, if I’m being honest,” said Rooney.
“That’s obviously the way Chelsea operate their business, and it wasn’t a huge surprise to see Frank get sacked. I think he deserved more time, he did a great job last year with Chelsea.
“He’s brought players in, which will take time to build his team and to challenge for titles. I don’t think they were too far away points-wise from being able to challenge for titles.
“It’s obviously disappointing for Frank and his staff, but you’re asking me if I was surprised and the answer is no.”