When you mention the name Frank Lampard to any Chelsea fan, one of the first words to enter their head would be legend, and quite rightly, Lampard is a modern day legend of the club, a pioneer, a gentlemen and a role model.
With another legend Didier Drogba recently leaving the club for a lucrative offer from the Chinese club football revolution, this now makes Lampard the oldest member of the squad, and the ‘oldest guard’
Turning thirty-four recently Frank Lampard has continually received criticism from fans, pundits and the media questioning whether he still has what it takes to be play at the highest standard. Lets take a look at some of the concerns raised so far.
We’re not allowing opportunities for younger talent to come through such as McEachran?
He spent last season on loan with Swansea City not really getting too many chances their and is likely to go out on loan again this season. Now I believe he is good enough to come in to the Chelsea first team and grow in stature, but his lack of chances has not allowed this as yet, he still has time and I believe he can be Frank’s replacement, he has to stay determined and focused and in the next two seasons will get more chances with the squad rotation.
Lampard is too slow now?
Many critics have claimed that Frank has lost his pace. This is natural when you get the wrong side of thirty. But, his match engine and stamina seem as good as ever and he still hits both boxes on that pitch many times in a match making him still to be a brilliant box-to-box midfielder. Frank will be the first person to tell you that he feels as fit today as he did when he was twenty-four. Players play for longer in this day and age, their diets are better and they work a lot harder in the gym.
He’s had his run, time to move on, he’s too old now?
Is he though? Does he not still cover as much of that pitch as any other player on the field? Does he not still show the same desire and passion as when he joined us from West Ham in 2001? Does he not still prove on a daily basis that he has the work rate, the passing ability and the goal scoring finesse to still be one of Chelsea’s finest current players? I believe he does.
But he’s not providing as many assists as he has done previously?
True, but he has still provided us with sixteen priceless goals from midfield. To his standard, that is also lower than average. But you simply have to look no further than our tactics last season, gone was the storming attacking play and in came this new defensively solid unit as a team. This meant Lampard playing a much deeper role and leaving the creative side to the more advanced Juan Mata. In my opinion, Lampard played the deeper role more than affectively providing help for John Obi Mikel in the holding role.
You only have to look at last season’s victorious Champions League campaign to see how important the old guard are. When the going got tough, we needed to dig in, and Lampard put as much as their heart and soul into winning every ball, chasing down opponents and pressuring the ball than any other player out there. He is Chelsea through and through and bleeds blue blood.
Lampard is surely a player who would stroll into any of the best midfields in Europe and do a superb job. He has the technical abilities that will match any other player in the league and wears the number 8 shirt with pride and passion.
I fully believe Lampard still has two/three good years left in him at Chelsea FC albeit in a different role than he and the fans have been used to. I believe the deeper lying Frank Lampard will be hugely affective within the next couple of seasons and he will provide the base for faster and creative players such as new signing Eden Hazard and Spanish genius Juan Mata so get forward and cause havoc. With more signings expected at the Bridge this summer I do feel that Lampard will be rotated more and game time will decrease, but so will the whole squad.
Frank Lampard has a part to play in our resurrection back to league champion contenders.
Super Frank, number 8, machine, legend, true blue