Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham has spoken out in support of teammate Antonio Rudiger after a section of the club’s fanbase turned on the German over claims about his role in the sacking of club icon Frank Lampard.
Lampard was given his marching orders by billionaire Blues boss Roman Abramovich this week after 19 months as manager.
Among the factors behind Lampard’s demise was supposed discontent from parts of the dressing, with reports claiming center-back Rudiger was among a group of players to have “caused issues” for the 42-year-old manager.
Rudiger appeared to be surplus to requirements under Lampard at the start of the season, as Frenchman Kurt Zouma emerged as the preferred partner alongside Thiago Silva at the center of defense.
However, Rudiger was picked by Lampard to start his last two Premier League games in charge, against Fulham and Leicester.
After the rumors swirled that the 27-year-old German was a disruptive force in the dressing room, some fans upset with Lampard’s departure had bombarded the star’s Instagram account with messages of hate.
“Leave Chelsea!!” screamed one reply to a post by the defender, while another simply wrote “guilty.”
“You don’t deserve to play for this club anymore,” wrote another disgruntled fan.
The messages prompted a show of support from striker Abraham, who tweeted: “Hearing some mad stuff about @ToniRuediger on social media today. Complete nonsense. Toni is a big bro to all of us.”
Lampard was swiftly replaced by German former PSG manager Thomas Tuchel, who was officially appointed on Tuesday and took his first training session later in the day.
Tuchel will be in the Stamford Bridge dugout when Chelsea host Wolverhampton Wanderers in a crunch Premier League encounter on Wednesday night.
Lampard departed with the team on a woeful run of form which had seen them lose five of their past eight Premier League games.
Chelsea are 10th in the Premier League table, six points off the Champions League places.