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Tammy Abraham debunks rumor of Antonio Rüdiger bullying Chelsea youth

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Fans are the worst

Chelsea FC v Lille OSC: Group H - UEFA Champions League Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Every Chelsea managerial sacking is accompanied by a whole host of rumors, speculation, blame-shifting, finger-pointing, face-saving, and all the other unsavory airings of dirty laundries we’ve seen over the years. We only have to think back to the final days of Antonio Conte or Carlo Ancelotti, or the terms “palpable discord” or “player power”. And that’s a very brief list.

Frank Lampard’s situation was no different and not immune to this phenomenon either. In a way, it was probably exacerbated by his legendary status. But what has made it worse than “normal” has been some of the social media overreaction to not only media reports but also entirely unverified guesswork and theorizing and assumptions.

And no one has gotten it worse than Antonio Rüdiger, for supposedly having an all-powerful starring role in agitating for and engineering Lampard’s demise and dismissal. Describing some of the comments abuse directed at him on social media as disgraceful, disgusting, and shameful would be a massive understatement.

One of the many things Rüdiger has been accused of doing behind the scenes was bullying the youth players, which stemmed largely from reports such as the one by the Telegraph’s Matt Law about a training ground argument involving Rüdiger and someone else, with César Azpilicueta stepping in as one would expect from the club captain. Usually, this wouldn’t be anything too out of the ordinary for a team in a bad moment, especially involving a player who’s never been shy about telling it how it is, even in public, but in the echo chamber of Twitter, this was amplified beyond reason, twisted into something far more sinister, with far too many “influencers” influencing the easily influenced, and not in a good way.

(See also the initial rumors of Rüdiger supposedly going to the Board to complain about Lampard, which came mostly from this entirely speculative bit from a talkSport talking head, former Liverpool player Danny Murphy.)

Players would be wise to ignore all social media of course (or at least turn off comments because what is even the use?), but in the modern age, that’s probably not a realistic proposition. The abuse has obviously not escaped the team, prompting both Tammy Abraham and Azpilicueta to show some support for their teammate. And that part is nice to see, even if the circumstances prompting these tweets are abhorrent.

Obviously, emotions have been running high since Monday, but that doesn’t excuse the behaviors we’ve been seeing online from these so-called Chelsea fans.

Be better, please, or go away.