It was a moment that no Chelsea fan will forget in a hurry. Super Frankie Lampard, garnished in his yellow and black Chelsea kit sitting on big Petr Cech’s shoulders, on parade to 3,000 who made the trip up to Birmingham. He had done it. Super Frankie Lampard becomes Chelsea’s all time top scorer, with a staggering 203 goals to his name.
Frank Lampard started his football career to the east of Stamford Bridge, at Upton Park – home to West Ham United, for whom his father had previously enjoyed a successful eighteen years at. Frank was a prospect of manager at the time, Uncle Harry Redknapp, and moved to London rivals, Chelsea, in a deal worth £11million.
Just the other day, I read an extract from a BBC article from when Frank joined in 2001, calling him the ‘most over-rated player and new signing in England’. It went on to say other quotes from football fans such as ‘The worst buy this season has to be Lampard’, ‘I can’t honestly understand why Chelsea bought him’ and my personal favourite, ‘What actually has Lampard achieved in the Premiership?’ Well my friends, ‘overrated’ Frank has since become the Premier League’s all time top scorer with 165 goals. I think it’s safe to say those idiots can eat their words! I’ve also seen a video from, I’m assuming a fans event at West Ham, where Frank, along with other West Ham players and staff, including Harry Redknapp, are answering questions from the West Ham fans. One fan in particular criticises the fact that Redknapp plays ‘young Frank’, and has sold other midfielders such as Matt Holland and Scott Canham. Again, I’m sure this fan regrets these words as he know looks like a moron to the 430,000 who have viewed the video. Redknapp claimed that Frank with go ‘right to the very top’ – and wasn’t he just right.
The criticism of Frank soon died down, as Frank was putting in some good performances at Chelsea. However, 15 goals in two seasons didn’t have anybody thinking that he would overtake legendary Bobby Tambling’s record.
Villa Park. Chelsea are 1-0 down to a first half Christian Benteke strike, and didn’t look like they were going to get an equaliser. Both teams had ten men on the pitch. Ramires had received a second yellow for a high foot, and so had Benteke. Chelsea needed a win to secure a top four finish, and that all important Champions League place for next season. Suddenly, the young Belgian who goes by the name of Eden Hazard cuts in from the right hand side of the field. The ball finds it way to the feet of 201 goals, Frank Lampard. Lampard shifts the ball to his left foot, just inside the box. Shoots. Goal. Lampard meets Bobby’s record. Chelsea have hope to win the game.
87 minutes in, and the score is still tied at one apiece. There’s a glimmer of hope, but most Chelsea fans are coming to deal with a 1-1 scoreline, meaning the job of getting Champions League football must be done at home to Everton. Hazard again cutting in, this time from the left. Eric Lichaj and Ashley Westwood hovering over him, he plays the pass to Ashley Cole. Escaping from his markers, Hazard finds space at the edge of the six yard box. Rapidly, Hazard punts the ball with his right foot, with Frank Lampard in sight. Lampard meets the ball. Goal. He had done it. Frank Lampard, Chelsea’s all time top goal scorer with 203 goals.
Lampard had been searching for this goal for a while now. Coming into the season on 186 goals, Frank new that this could be his last season to try and reach the landmark. With media reports claiming that owner, Roman Abramovich won’t renew his contract – Frank knew he had to do it this season, and he picked a great way to do it. Lampard matched the 43 year old record and beat it in the same game. As well as securing the win, securing Champions League football, and who knows, maybe even the Mourinho appointment if you are to believe media speculation.
Now I know I’m just going to go on like any other Chelsea fan here and say ‘sign him up Roman!’, but no, seriously Roman. Sign him up. Please? Frank gives his all to this club. He loves it, and it loves him. In my eyes, the greatest player in Chelsea history must be given some respect. Some may argue he’s passed it. I admit he’s not the player he was, he may have lost his pace, but his eye for a goal hasn’t gone – and goals win you football games after all. Frank claims he can go on for another four years. I say why not?