Surely the Lampard situation could only be to do with 'player power.' It seemed that certain previous managers were somewhat undermined from within by the central core of players (i.e Terry, Lampard, Drogba), who naturally would benchmark any new experience against the hugely successful and harmonious Mourinho years.
From an outsiders perspective all you ever hear is what a model professional Lampard is (and his prolonged success supports this), but perhaps Abramovich just wants to clear the decks in terms of removing all the entrenched influential personalities from the dressing room to both appear to make the job more appealing to a big name manager (i.e does not have to contend with a powerful player lobby from day one), while making it clear to everyone else at the club what will happen to anyone else who presumes to see themselves as more than employees with pre-defined roles.
I do shudder to think how well Lampard might do were he to end up at United. I think his goal yesterday encapsulates how his experience can rub off well on younger players. He could have blasted it (as 95% of players would have) and the shot would have been faster, but a more 'saveable' height for the keeper, yet instead he sacrificed power and stabbed it along the ground and the keeper couldn't get there, even though it wasn't near the corner.