As we are all well aware, our great Vice-Captain, midfielder Frank Lampard, broke Bobby Tambling’s all-time goalscoring record for the club on Sunday while spearheading a come back against Aston Villa at Villa Park, virtually securing our place in next seasons Champions League.
The Chelsea fans rejoiced, the media went crazy, but super cool Frank simply re-in acted his trademark salute to the skies, in tribute to his Mother who sadly passed away in 2008. He went on to state that ‘it means everything to me‘ and nobody, not even his critics can ever doubt that statement.
A random fact about Lampard that you may not be aware about, our goalscoring machine is actually a very intelligent individual, recently signing a contract to release his own series of children’s books entitled ‘Frankie’s magic football’, he also scored abnormally high in an IQ test with club doctors.
Frank started his career as a fresh faced youngster at West Ham, enjoying a loan spell in Wales with Swansea along the way. Rated highly, the then 22 year old made his dream move to Chelsea in 2001 for fee of £11 million after West Ham sacked both his father, Frank Senior (Assistant Manager), and his uncle Harry Redknapp (Manager). When you consider what Lampard has given Chelsea not even taking into account his 203 goals, you can say that the fee of £11 million is a true bargain.
With Chelsea, the veteran terrace hero has won the Premier League 3 times, the FA Cup on 4 occasions, the League Cup twice, the Community Shield twice, the Europa League and who can forget him finally receiving his deserved and biggest achievement to date, the UEFA Champions League last season.
When you consider that Lampard has made over 400 appearances in a blue shirt, you might say that this particular achievement is his greatest. Many players have been and gone during his 12 years as a Chelsea player but super Frank has continued to feature on a regular basis and not only feature, but remain a key player and a real center piece with the rest of the team being built around him. With billionaire owner Roman Abramovich hungry for success, it was fair to say that many players would not make the grade, but I’m certain that even up until this season, Frank Lampard would be the first name on that team sheet regardless.
Growing up, youngsters who enjoy football need a role model. Lampard certainly hasn’t avoided his controversial moments but on the pitch he has always been the best possible role model and player to imitate, even to this day. A gentleman on the pitch, Lampard will always be that player who stops to pick an opponent off the ground, or the one to always makes sure he shakes the officials hands regardless of their decisions during the game, the type of man who will always genuinely appreciate the supporters coming to watch him and make a point of this by going over to clap them after every match.
In a football sense, Lampard simply has to be considered as one of the best all-round midfielders to ever grace the beautiful game. I’m not talking about his achievements now, they go without saying, but watch this player from a football sense, watch him tactically. It’s difficult to find anyone better. His movement, positioning, decision making, his timing of runs, these are all his best traits that often get overlooked. His pace has slowed down over the years so these skills have become even more essential for him. I touched upon this a moment ago, but is there any other player in the world who is better at arriving in the box at that inch perfect time to slot home a sublime finish? I think not.
Good on the ball, clear vision for a pass, a great right foot, hard in a challenge, strong, ability to read the game, I could go on and on, but he’s one of the best at it. These are just some of the reasons why he is one of the most loved players to ever wear the badge on his chest. Respected, loved, admired, Frank Lampard is a true Chelsea legend in a time where the word ‘legend’ is one of the most over-used in football, but this man fully merits the title. There are not too many true players like Lampard around today, players who play for their pure desire, passion and love for the game.
I will take this opportunity to remind everyone of his dedication to his national side as well, something that other players may take too lightly, not Lampard, close to reaching 100 appearances for England, he shows his pride every time he pulls on the shirt of the three lions.
With the announcement that Super Frank has signed a new contract, I can’t wait to see him continue to deliver in a Blue shirt.
Written By Simon Phillips @CFCneteditor