Everton star claims Frank Lampard had something personal against him
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Frank Lampard had one of the worst campaigns of anyone in the Premier League last season and he's been accused by a former player of having something personal against him.
Lampard started the season as Everton manager and only won four games in all competitions before being sacked, one of those being against League One Fleetwood Town in the Carabao Cup.
He was then sacked and replaced by Sean Dyche, who ended up keeping the Toffees in the Premier League thanks to Abdoulaye Doucoure's brilliant goal on the final day.
No one would have expected Chelsea's all time top goalscorer to end up back at Stamford Bridge in charge of his former team, but that's exactly what happened.
That move didn't prove fruitful for the Blues with the team winning just one game under their interim manager and finishing the league in 12th place, far closer in points to the relegation zone than the top four.
Fans were worried just how much standards had dropped at Stamford Bridge under the club legend and some were calling for Chelsea Women's manager Emma Hayes to take over before the campaign finished.
Now Doucoure, the man who saved Everton from the drop, has opened up on his former manager explaining that he nearly left the club last January because of the former Derby County boss.
"It was hard because it was the first time in my career that I didn’t play as much as I want, especially for reasons I don’t know," the midfielder told the Athletic on his 18 games without a start at the beginning of last season under Lampard.
"I was one of the fittest players in the team and someone who always gave everything, so to not be able to help the team in bad moments when we were losing many games in a row was so hard."
Speaking about the previous manager, the 30-year-old added: "If the previous manager had stayed a few weeks more, I would have been gone.
"It was impossible to not play for a year, but I think with him that was the plan. Even if I was training well and fresh, I don’t think he’d put me in the team. It was like he had something personal against me.
"I knew if the club changed manager, I would get a chance again. So I had to keep my head down, waiting for my chance and it worked well. I was happy to be the one to score the goal to help the team stay up.
"It was a long season with low and high moments. For me personally, it was a challenge but it helped me to grow and achieve more success. Since the new manager came in, there was a lot of hard work from everyone and we deserved to stay up.
"I was very close (to leaving) but was happy to stay and help Everton."
Under Dyche the former Watford star started 15 games in the league and only missed three through suspension.