PLAYER PROFILE – FRANK LAMPARD
Frank James Lampard, was born in Romford, Essex on June 20th 1978 and is the son of West Ham legend Frank Lampard Sr. With his big frame Frank has the ability to dominate and impose himself on games, running them from the centre of the field.
A dubious £11 million signing from West Ham in 2001, it took Frank time to settle at his new club on the other side of London, the dust having still not settled with disgruntled fans of one of Chelsea’s London rivals.
Frank was a product of the famous West Ham youth team, that has given us such talent as Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand and Glen Johnson. He made his first team debut for West Ham at 18 in 1996 and never looked back. Despite the controversy of being promoted to the senior team at such a young age when his Uncle was manager and his Dad was assistant, Frank proved his critics wrong with a series of impressive performances.
Although relatively inexperienced at the highest level, Claudio Ranieri’s audacious gamble in paying a fee deemed by most as well over the odds has certainly come good now, Frank being worth well over double.
His seeming invincibility and blistering form over the past couple of season’s has seen Frank establish himself as an indispensable member of the Chelsea team, being rewarded with vice-captaincy, and earning himself a guaranteed starting place at the heart of the England team; taking the creative role in the centre of midfield previously held by Paul Scholes.
His wide range of passing, his vision, and eye for the goal obviously make him an attacking threat, but under Jose Mourinho his defensive side has thoroughly improved making him a real box-to-box midfielder. If you combine this with his technical ability; free kicks etc, and his high work rate, discipline and stamina set him apart from most players, making him an invaluable member of any team.
Frank set a new record in British football, after recording 167 consecutive league appearances, starts, not substitute appearances I might add, the most for an outfield player, ever. Frank ended the 2004-2005 season as the club’s top scorer with 19 goals, ending the season also as the second top goal scorer of all English players. Quite a feat for a midfield player. Quite fitting then that he scored a brace at the Reebok Stadium in Chelsea’s 2-0 win earning Chelsea their first title in 50 years.
Now into the prime of his career, Chelsea’s talisman has already got his hands on a bundle of trophies and medals, including a League Title, a League Cup Winners Medal and two Community Shield medals. He also had the honour of being crowned the Football Writers’ Association player of the year for 2005, and the runner up in 2004. He was awarded the Professional Footballers Association runner up 2004, and again in 2005 to our very own John Terry.
Officially crowned CFC player of the year for two years running and a member of the Professional Footballers Association team of the year for two consecutive seasons, it is clear it’s not just the Chelsea fans who can appreciate his immense talent.
Having scored three goals in four games at Euro 2004, and some crucial goals in England’s World Cup qualifying campaign, he is guaranteed to be an important member of England’s campaign at the 2006 World Cup.
Whenever he is asked the question, ‘Do you regret joining to Chelsea?’, Frank is quick to get in his answer “Coming to Chelsea has been the best decision of my life.” And the fans share the same sentiment.
There is no doubt Frank could go on to be one of the most successful English players of all time. How many more titles and awards will Frank win? As long as he stays with Chelsea, then I’m sure there is more to come.