Former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright has backed Derby County as the “will he stay or will he go?” saga surrounding manager Frank Lampard rumbles on.
Lampard is odds-on favourite to succeed Maurizio Sarri as head coach at Chelsea, where Lampard was a legend as a player.
Chelsea are expected to make a move for the 41-year-old but at the time of writing, Derby had still not received an official approach from the Premier League club.
This has not stopped ex-players having their say on the Lampard and Chelsea situation, and Wright says this has left him angry.
The TV and radio pundit believes such comments have been disrespectful to Derby.
“Give it (the Chelsea job) to the legend, give it to somebody you are going to give time to – the fans will have patience with him (Lampard),” Wright said on Radio 5 Live Sport.
“But the point I was going to make is, (it is) so disrespectful to Derby and the Derby fans everything I am reading with ex-players, ex-players who should know better talking about Derby like they are a non-entity in all of this.
“Frank has done brilliantly with the opportunity given to him by Derby.
Derby County 2019-20 fixtures released
“Derby took a chance. Whoever the person was who said: ‘You know something, let’ go for Frank Lampard’, somebody else would have said: ‘No, he’s got no experience, he’s just come out of the game, it would be a massive gamble’.
“They took the gamble, and the gamble nearly worked in respect of them coming up and this is why it has been so disrespectful the way people are dismissing Derby’s involvement in all of this.
“I don’t blame Frank for whatever he is going to do because I believe he will do the best thing for himself and everybody involved because that is the kind of guy he is, but I just hope if he does leave that Derby do get compensated to the hilt because they are a team (club) that have got credibility, they have had Brian Clough there for crying out loud.
“So it really does make me really angry the way people are dismissing Derby and the Derby fans in all of this.
“I hope Frank makes the right decision for himself, which I am sure he will but like I say, Chelsea have come because I don’t think they have got many other choices.”
Wright clarified that the disrespect for Derby is not coming from Lampard.
“No, it is ex-players,” he said.
“Listening to people talking about Frank should go and what a great opportunity (it is). Of course it is, but it is an opportunity that has come a lot earlier in Frank’s football career than he would have expected because let’s face it, if Derby go up and they win that play-off final against Villa, would Frank leave? No, he would probably stay and have a go with Derby in the Premier League to see how he went.”
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