The Frank Lampard saga continues to go on, rumours flying in every week talking discussing possible teams that “Super Frank” has attracted interest in (Manchester United, AS Monaco, Lazio, Fiorentina, etc.) The Chelsea fans have certainly voice their opinion – “Sign Him Up” and wanting Roman Abramovich to offer the Chelsea legend a new contract extension that would keep him at the club for at least another year. However, Roman has a tendency of offering players over 30 a contract extension of 1 year, which most players don’t find interest in. Lampard’s agent has said that talks aren’t going anywhere at the moment and Lampard himself doesn’t seem too keen on staying at times. A legend for a fact, but is he needed at Chelsea? I’ll explain the stats, effect and necessity of the move for both Lampard and Chelsea.
Who is Frank Lampard? :
Here’s a summary of Frank Lampard as provided by WhoScored.com.
What can Frank Lampard do and where? :
Here you can see how WhoScored.com see Frank Lampard and what he can/can’t do – Frank Lampard is a very good player still to this day and you can see how he likes to play.
Here’s how WhoScored.com rate Frank Lampard in each position, it’s obvious that when he is playing better when he starts compared to when he’s a sub. He has more playing time as a DMC over MC, but when he played as a MC – he was MOTM.
How has Lampard played this season? :
Frank Lampard has been rated a 6.96 by WhoScored.com this season. Decent numbers, but Lampard isn’t even in the Top 10 for best Chelsea players this season!
When Lampard has played – Chelsea have won 15 games, lost 6 and drawn 2, that translates into a winning percentage of 65.22%. That means that there is a positive correlation between games played by Frank Lampard and Chelsea winning.
How does Lampard compare to rest of team? :
Lampard is 11th place in Squad ranking according to WhoScored.com, in that position.
What’s the buzz around the football world? :
A lot of people have come out and talked about the whole Frank Lampard saga that has surrounded Chelsea and most of the football world as they are eager to know how things will play out. Here are some quotes from various people :
Andrea Pirlo :
‘And from what I see, Lampard is still one of the best central midfield players in the world.
‘If he wanted to try at playing in Italy, I would welcome him at Juventus for sure. In Italy, Frank would comfortably have another four years at the top level.’
Petr Cech :
“There are still six months to go to the end of the season,” said Cech. “We’ll see at the end of the season whether he stays or not.
“I don’t know, as I’m not a director, but if he keeps playing like that then obviously he will keep asking about the extension.”
“The team changed, his age has changed, but he’s still important for the team. You can see that he might not start every game, he might not play every game.
“But when he plays, he plays well with his quality and his experience. This is something that is great to see.
“I’ve known him a long time. He’s been a fantastic player for the club. He continues to do so, so it’s fantastic for him.
“He’s stayed already for years in the same club, bad times, good times. Mostly good times. That shows the loyalty of the player.
“He could have had another two trademark goals. He had a chance running inside of the box in the first half and then he could have had another one in the second-half.”
As you can see, that praise for Frank Lampard is high as he is a world-class player and many players including Cech and Pirlo had nothing but good things to say about Super Frank and Pirlo even called Chelsea “mad” to not sign Lampard to a new-deal.
Should Chelsea resign Frank Lampard? :
The easiest decision to make would be to give Lampard a couple or more years at the club. But that will come at a heavy price – Lampard’s legs are on the wrong side of 30, and prone to injury. Another inevitable long injury layoff in the coming years and Chelsea’s season will crumble again taking with it the coaching staff’s careers and any chance of silverware, but he is one of our better defensive midfielders and is ranked 2nd to Ramires and is ahead of John Obi Mikel meaning that he does have the ability to start according to the squad rankings above. However, when Mikel and Ramires play together – there is a certain buzz around that Chelsea midfield as Mikel tucks back in and Ramires is allowed to roam and tackle as he pleases. When Lampard plays in the double pivot, he does seems to drift too forward and doesn’t seem to track back as often, but he can also tuck back in too often allowing the opposition to run at us and create chances. However, his centrality to the team, is no longer backed by his age and physical condition. This experiment, despite its occasional flashes of brilliance, is destined to fail. Chelsea were never Mourinho’s team, they are Lampard’s. Without him, Chelsea curl up and wither without even the slightest semblance of a fight. In the quietest of ways, Lampard has become the club. Chelsea have become very relient on Frank Lampard and while he may have saved Chelsea, he’s also spoiled them. Instead of becoming the Chelsea midfield’s safety net, à la Giggs, he’s become their safety hammock. A catwalk of talented geniuses have waltzed in, eager to dazzle everyone with fancy tricks but content to let Lampard shoulder all the real responsibility. Juan Mata, Oscar, Eden Hazard, Mikel, Ramires, Marin and now Luiz are so dependent on Lampard, that any game without him is a recipe for disaster, but this must stop now, because it will undoubtedly end someday. If Chelsea do not learn to play without Lampard now, they probably never will. Lampard is a very injury prone player and in the last few years, he has had 2 extended periods of injuries – when he was out in late 2010 (under Ancelotti), his absence wrecked Chelsea’s campaign, ended Ancelotti’s reign and betrayed the first signs of fallibility of Frank Lampard and now this season when Frank’s second injury in as many years, this time to his calf, sucked the wind out of his sails. Once again, it wrecked Chelsea’s campaign, taking down with it Roberto di Matteo’s managerial career at Chelsea as the club was reliant on Lampard (and still is, as mentioned above). Also, Lampard seems willing to go the Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes route, being phased out as opposed to exiting with the door slamming behind him. It’s worked well for United. It ought to do just fine for Chelsea too, but Lampard is an altogether different kind of player, as compared to the sometimes-central and sometimes-peripheral Giggs. There is no ‘reduced role’ mode for Lampard. He isn’t the kind of player you bring on, with 20 minutes to go on the clock, and the side on the ropes. Lampard isn’t 5-hour Energy, he’s a 5-course meal. He isn’t a quick fix to a team’s predicament, he’s the stalwart who ensures the team doesn’t get to that sorry point. And that is Chelsea’s tragic dilemma. It’s an all or nothing deal with their greatest star. As long as Lampard remains an option on the bench, this Chelsea side will not outgrow him. Lampard has gone from being the nucleus of the team, to its crutches – And that is why he must go. Not because he isn’t good anymore, but because he is.
What do you think? Should Chelsea keep Frank Lampard or should he go? Should Chelsea sell him and start to rid of his influence and reliance on him or allow him to go where ever he wants in the summer?