An exhilarating positive stroke goes down from your head through your spine and then to your complete body, you step into a super trance phase where every bad thing that happened to you disappears, when your favorite player does good for the team you worship day in-day out. Something similar happened to me. Eyes shut off axiomatically, the world around me mutes, I cannot hear a word, heart skips a beat – WHEN LAMPARD SCORES FOR CHELSEA!!
This is never going to happen again. He is no more with us. Yes, I have moved on and everyone has to! However, it hurts when he scores against us, when he scores for the light shade of Blue, when he helps them get all the three points single-handedly, when he equalizes against us and manages to put one behind the Chelsea goal-keeper to grab a point for them Citizens, when he scores the winner and puts Manchester City at par with Chelsea on top of the table. But, this is the part of the game, right?
After all that he has done for Chelsea in his 13 years’ stint with the Blues and the way he has carried the heavy weight of expectations and hopes of the fans all these long years makes him no less than a Living Legend of Chelsea! He has always been looked upon by fans and the management in good and bad times. He has won everything with Chelsea that an English footballer can dream of. During his sparkling career with the Blues, Lampard won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, one Europa League and the greatest of all, the UEFA Champions League in 2012! One doesn’t simply become the Blues’ out-and-out top goalscorer, despite playing in the midfield.
When Lampard scored his 200th goal against West Ham on March 17, 2013 with a header at the Bridge, there we many speculations from critics that he only scores deflected goals. However, as per an article published in The Guardian, only 8% of his goals for the club had been deflected. Even if you take his all penalties out of the equation, Lampard has scored 10.2 “clean” strikes for everyone deflected effort. His first goal against Aston Villa on May 11, 2014 took him on par with Bobby Tambling’s record and then came the second in the same match; with his well-timed run into the box ended in perfection as he got past the record of highest goals scorer of the Club. Another when he netted a spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out as Chelsea won the Champions League on May 19, 2012.
2004-2005 was his best season, he scored 22 goals as Chelsea won the league title for the first time since the days of Ted Drake. He was voted Football Writers’ Player of the Year and came second in the Fifa World Player of the year and Ballon d’Or. Now, if I keep writing about his individual records and breathtaking performances and goals throughout his Chelsea spell, this article will go on and on till eternity. It is a story of over achievement more than anything else.
Then on one fine day, Chelsea bid farewell to their legend. The news that he intended to leave Chelsea, with Major League Soccer his most likely destination, brought down the curtain on one of the Premier League’s most constantly fine and gracefully conducted careers. Never a player for the show, Lampard still moves about the pitch with that cross-country runner’s style, shooting on sight – master of the favourable returns and providing relentless and decisive presence across the mid-field.
No one back then in Chelsea ever thought that he would return to the Premier League after his departure to the MLS side. And that too, on loan to Manchester City was never seen coming. His contract had expired and Mourinho was sighting Fabregas in the young squad he wanted to build. Lampard was told through negotiations that his playing time would be greatly reduced. However, Lampard always describes the split as “very mutual”. Then, Chelsea had no right to select a destination for him to move out. However, Lampard opted for New York City from all the many options he had. No one was very clear how the links between the new MLS side and Manchester City, it’s parent club would work. However, thankfully, by the time we had to prepare to face him in City colours in September, Chelsea was flying with rainbow colours and taking on all the other Premier League teams one by one and stayed on top since then.
However, Mourinho hit it back saying:
“I was not expecting this. But it was his decision. It’s his life. When he left for New York, I thought he was going there. But it is his life, his decision, and he has my respect for that.”
About the transfer mess, Lampard said,
“I had sat down with Ferran (Soriano, the chief executive of Manchester City and New York City) and it was all about New York. There was no mention of Man City. If they had wanted to speak to me on behalf of Man City, with New York in the pipeline beyond that, because I was a free agent, but that was never the question at all.”
“To be honest, when I thought about five or six months off, I thought it was quite a result. I thought, I’ve been playing solid for a long, long time. It will be a good break. I’ll find a way to keep fit. I thought I maybe could train with Chelsea”, he added.
Although, he has always been a public hero, he never overlooked the fans. He went to the Chelsea crowd and applauded when he scored his 200th goal and even when we won the Champions League. He also went to the crowd after the match against Chelsea at Etihad and thanked them for their continual support when he sported the City colours. It was really a very emotional match for Super Frank. He refused to celebrate the equalizer, even when the city players surrounded him and congratulated him for the strike. He walked, his shoulders hanging down in a slow pace back to his place. Chelsea supporters sang Lampard’s name in the match, showing the support to their legend.
“When he decided to become a direct competitor of Chelsea, then love stories are over” – Mourinho said after Lampard’s equalizer.
Mourinho always values experience in his dressing room. So, he re-signed Didier Drogba and is using him tactically since then. Off-loading Lampard, to build a younger team and then signing Drogba, was a contradictory move. However, as per Mourinho’s plan, he required guard in the front and also wanted a mentor to Diego Costa upfront. Mourinho has succeeded in that and thus this has proved to be a successful move by the Portuguese boss. And since then, Fabregas has built a strong bond with Matic in front of the back four and currently, Chelsea looks like a team to be scared of in the League.
Team / Club is always greater than a Player. Players come, they go, team stays, the Club stays! But yes, few players go on and become legends like John Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Petr Cech. So, we do respect their decision. They have given us a lot to show off and flaunt our Blue throughout our life!
Recently Lampard said to the Times, he won’t celebrate if he scores against Chelsea. Let’s see what he said exactly,
“In a million years I wouldn’t celebrate if I scored against Chelsea. I used to celebrate when I scored against West Ham, there was a different situation. When I left West Ham there was a hostility from me towards them over certain things – old new now. But, with Chelsea? Never.”
He also added that, “I swear to God, if I went to the Bridge and they booed me for 90 minutes and I scored the winner, I still wouldn’t celebrate. It would never come into my head and I think the fans there understand me and how I feel about it. I would never celebrate against Chelsea. That would be ridiculous.”
One isn’t simply called “SUPER FRANK”! We do understand you Frank. See you soon back at Bridge! KTBFFH!!
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Edited By: Ojas Tripathi