Greatness is bestowed on few; Geniosity on fewer still, Frank Lampard is a footballing genius. A player with great footballing ability and unmistakable talent, Frank is a veteran of 19 Barclays Premier League seasons with West Ham United and Chelsea and a player who has achieved almost everything the game has to offer.
There are players who are born with talent, little bit of training and you are good to go and then there are others. Frank came from a footballing family, father a footballer and his uncle a manager. Football in his blood but was he that good from day 1? Not so, the road was rocky. I remember reading Frank’s biography a long time ago and in that he explained how much of an influence his father had on him as a player. Those rigorous post training sessions with his father after the regular sessions ended really shaped him up and turned him into a player he eventually became. League titles, Champions League winners medal and a host of individual awards.
Lampard Acknowledges his Dad’s contributions and how he shaped him up as a professional:
“Dad put that work ethic in me, though. As a youngster, he always made me very aware of my weaknesses. He would go on about my pace, getting in the box, scoring goals. He let me know there was no easy way to get there. It was extra runs, extra hours practicing shooting and finishing. It became ingrained in me. In my younger years, he probably bullied me into it a bit. I didn’t always like it but I can’t thank him enough for it now.”
Frank Lampard is not a typical British street footballer, he was different. A player with a higher an exceptionally high IQ, proper schooling and not coming from the working class made him different. Lampard was determined, he wanted to become a footballer and he was not going to let anything come his way. The criticism he faced at the start of his professional career at West Ham was huge and people doubted his ability. Accusations were made that Frank was at West Ham just because of his uncle was the manager and his father was in the coaching staff.
The incident still remains fresh in the memory and that is something that has spurred Frank on to newer heights. Frank remembers:
“I’ll never forget it, everyone has their opinions. He voiced them at a young kid. I thought that was wrong. I know exactly who it was but there are no individual gripes. He’s probably quite tough anyway being from east London. But some people do forget it was tough, or they try to change history and say it wasn’t like that. It was. I had the nepotism one thrown at me regularly there and as a kid I found it quite hard to deal with. Certainly that day I did. I watched the clip… my embarrassing curtains hairstyle and chubby face.”
Uncle Harry stood up to support Lampard that day and since he has always been full of praises for the England International. On the occasion of Frank’s 100th England Cap Harry said:
“I never had any doubts that he’d make it, his attitude and determination has always been fantastic,” said Redknapp, who handed Lampard his professional debut when in charge of West Ham. He’s a brilliant role model for any kid who wants to be a footballer; he is proof that if you work hard enough and practice hard enough you can achieve your goals. Every day when he was at West Ham, without fail, he would be out on that training ground until it was dark. All the other players had gone home. He was so determined to be a top player and he fully deserves his 100th England cap.”
244 (career goals), Numerous club and international awards, Premier League Player of the Decade (2000-2009), 204 goals as a Chelsea player (Club’s All Time Top Scorer) and 100 England Caps later Frank Lampard has joined a group of unique individuals, an elusive group as he becomes only the eighth player in the history of English football to get to 100 caps. An honour, an achievement a player like Franky thoroughly deserves.
Frank Lampard is an inspiration; a proper professional on the pitch, a true gentleman off it. One of the best midfielders to grace the premiership and the definitely the best goal scoring midfielder of all times.