Belfast Telegraph

Luiz denies Lampard criticism

David Luiz has denied publicly criticising Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard in an interview with the Portuguese press.

Blues defender Luiz was quoted by O Jogo newspaper as commenting on team-mate Lampard's widely-publicised problems with manager Andre Villas-Boas. But the 24-year-old was adamant his words had been taken out of context and were not directed at Lampard individually but were more general in nature.

Claiming Luiz had criticised Lampard, O Jogo quoted him as saying: "No one has to be someone's father or son in a football club. There are no privileged people there. He simply has to listen to the coach when he gives orders and take them. No player can forget that they are just an employee of the club."

But Luiz tweeted on Thursday afternoon: "This is media, Frank know me, and I never said about him! I said generaly! I only talked about coaches and players in general. Always CFC."

Any perceived criticism of Lampard by Luiz would increase speculation about a split in the Chelsea dressing room between the Portuguese-speaking contingent - all of whom are reportedly 100% behind Villas-Boas - and some of their more senior team-mates.

Villas-Boas admitted earlier this month that not all his players backed his "project" to revamp an ageing squad amid what is proving a turbulent transition at Stamford Bridge.

He insisted at the time that did not matter because he had the full support of owner Roman Abramovich but he has since confessed to the first doubts about whether or not he would be sacked.

Luiz claimed Villas-Boas had been unfairly castigated, despite Chelsea being fifth in the Barclays Premier League and in danger of Champions League and FA Cup elimination.

"Last season, there were teams who were in a poor position in the table, and no one talked about it," Luiz said.

"It is a lot easier to talk about Andre, because Chelsea are a big team who always fight for the first place. And when they are third or fourth, it gets easy to slam the coach. But Andre has an immense capacity, he is an excellent person and I am sure he will have a great future at Chelsea."

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