Thursday, February 02, 2017

Goodbye Frank

So Frank Lampard has announced his retirement. To be honest I thought he had retired when he left Chelsea but apparently the brief spells at Manchester City and then some little league outfit in the States weren't part of his testimonial tour they were part of his career.

Anyway, Frank was one of the outstanding players of the Premier League era, one of the 'golden generation', his self-belief, determination and sheer hard work brought their rewards as they should do for anybody possessing those three traits. His personal quest to be regarded as a good footballer in his own right rather than just another lucky bastard whose Dad happened to be a half decent professional and on the staff of his local club saw him win every possible team award and only miss out on the two big personal awards in world football thanks to some bloke called Ronaldinho.

You don't have to be partisan to marvel at the player who holds the records for most Premier League goals from outside of the penalty area, who scored two goals in one match to secure his teams first title in fifty years and who also 'scored' one of the best 'non-goals' in World Cup history.

Frank might not have lit up the international pitch in the way that contemporaries Xavi, Iniesta or Pirlo did but in England and across Europe he was one of those players who you knew would annoy the hell out of you by simply being good for the opposition.

Frank has always said that he would like to be the manager of a Premier League club one day rather than learning his trade lower down the leagues. That may seem a touch arrogant but there are certain players who you know can communicate their ideas to lesser talented mortals (Stuart Pearce being the most obvious) whilst those quiet thinkers about the game (Mourinho and Wenger) can exploit those natural talents that the best footballers possess and Frank is more in the mould of the latter than the former when it comes to talking about the game.

Football fans are often quick to dismiss players who play for their club, at least domestically, but Frank was a player who I would have loved to have stayed at Upton Park as part of the group of home grown players that would include Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, Jermain Defoe and then Glen Johnson and Mark Noble but he left for a better club and the chance to prove that he was more than just the son of Frank Lampard snr.

So congratulations to the fourth highest goal scorer in Premier League history, to the record goalscorer for Chelsea, the record penalty goalscorer for England, the third most appearances his Premier League history, the second player on the list of assists in Premier League history and tenth on the list of all-time England international scorers. Those are just the personal highlights.


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