Having agreed a short loan deal with Chelsea’s Premier League rivals Manchester City, some have claimed that Frank Lampard has tarnished his legacy at Stamford Bridge, however, nothing could be further from the truth.
Who could have imagined, the young upcoming central midfielder signed from West Ham in the summer of 2001 for just £11 million would have such a lasting impact on Chelsea Football Club?
Lampard became an ever present part of Chelsea’s midfield from the moment he arrived, and would go on to set an appearance record for most consecutive games played by an outfield player in the Premier League.
It wasn’t until the arrival of Roman Abramovich and Jose Mourinho, when Chelsea first made an impact on European football, that Lampard showed his true calibre.
The heartbeat of Chelsea’s three-man midfield, who always knew the right moment to arrive into the penalty area and find the back of the net.
There won’t be a goal-scoring midfielder like Frank for many years to come, whose Premier League goal tally is something you would come to expect from a centre forward.
However, there’s much more to Lampard than what he brought the team on the pitch. An exemplary character, who has never brought the club into disrepute. When Chelsea needed its leaders, Lampard was always there.
Bolton 2004, Lampard scored the two goals that meant Chelsea were Champions of England for the first time in 50 years.
Munich 2012, Lampard captains Chelsea to their first ever Champions League win, making them London’s first European Champion.
Amsterdam 2013, Lampard captains Chelsea to the Europa League title, making them back-to-back Champions of Europe.
13 years of outstanding service, three Premier Leagues, four FA Cups, a league cup, a Champions League and a Europa League winners medal. Lampard has done it all and has done it all for us.
With the rise of Chelsea and Lampard, the club have attracted new followers from all over the world, pre-season tours to Asia and America have given the club global support.
Television rights and the internet boom mean you can watch a Premier League from anywhere in the world, which often means the most successful teams have the biggest followings.
Of course, in financial and business terms, this is great. Chelsea signed a sponsorship deal with Asia’s biggest electronic company Samsung after successful tours to Asia and not to mention the hundreds of thousands of extra merchandise sales that come with the new supporters.
These ‘fans’ however, do not understand the history and heritage that comes with Chelsea Football Club. They’ve only been there during the good times, and not struggled through like most of the regular home and away Chelsea followers.
None of these have called Lampard a traitor or have suggested anything other than Lampard will always be a Chelsea legend.
Lampard has started a new chapter of his life in New York and with both New York and Manchester City having the same controlling financial group; it makes perfect financial sense for Lampard to earn his money at City.
Of course, Frank could have decided to join Melbourne City like his new team mate David Villa, but Frank always wants to push himself at the highest level and by training with the current Premier League Champions, Frank will be in the perfect condition to become a success in the US.
It is also highly unlikely that Frank will play a major part during his loan spell, City are blessed with midfielders and with the greatest respect, at 36, Frank isn’t going to get into the starting line up ahead of the likes of Yaya Toure, Fernando and Fernandinho.
Lampard has also made it very clear that he wants no involvement in any game against Chelsea, so that tells you all you need to know about the type of man that Lampard is.
My dad got me my first season ticket in 2002, I haven’t seen Chelsea without Lampard, while others have come and gone, grabbing the headlines as they did, Lampard remained ever constant.
Picking the team and his team mates up when they fell, leading from the front and putting his all on the line for our club, for his club.
And when Frank was down, when his mother Pat passed away, the board, the players and the fans rallied around him and gave him the support he always gave us. His penalty against Liverpool will forever by my favourite Lampard goal.
What Frank achieved at Chelsea will never be forgotten, a couple of subs appearances for Manchester City won’t change that.
He will be welcome at Stamford Bridge with open arms for the rest of his life and we will always be indebted to our greatest ever player.
Super, Super Frank, Super, Super Frank, Super, Super Frank, Super Frankie Lampard.