By Dan Levene | Blues Chronicle
Excuse the frank approach...
Our No.8 looks like he's off in the summer, and I wanted to say a few words about a decision many think you've already taken over Frank Lampard's future.
I, like a lot of fans, consider Frank to be Chelsea's greatest ever player.
Hey, maybe you do too. After all, you were there when he lifted the European Cup in Munich this May, you saw the goals that secured our first ever Premier League title in Bolton eight years ago, and you will have also enjoyed plenty of the 100+ goals he netted between those two glorious occasions.
I know you couldn't be there last weekend, when Frank drew level with Kerry Dixon as Chelsea's second greatest ever goalscorer. I never thought I'd live to see a midfielder score 193 goals for one club. Did you?
And, as things stand, just 10 more goals would render all of those arguments over his greatness surplus: maybe forever etched in history alongside the legend '1st – 203 goals'.
Frank Lampard at Chelsea
|572||The number of appearances Lampard has clocked up at Chelsea.|
|192||The 34-year-old has netted on 192 occasions for the west London outfit.|
|2001||Lampard completed an £11 million move to Stamford Bridge from West Ham in 2001.|
|12||He went on to lift 12 trophies in that time, including three Premier League titles and last season's famous Champions League victory.|
|93||Lampard currently has 93 England caps to his name, and has scored 26 international goals.|
That and the fact that for the almost 12 years he has been with Chelsea, Frank has been an absolute gent: always great with the fans, always first to go over and thank a crowd that has traipsed across country or continent to see the team.
Of course if you considered all of that to be historical whimsy, then I couldn't disagree with you.
Players cannot be kept on the payroll forever on the basis of past glories, or we'd still be seeing Gianfranco Zola and Ron Harris in the squad.
However, it does frame the context for where Frank is now.
He always has been, and remains to this day, one of the fittest players in the Premier League.
He is among the first to arrive at Cobham each morning and, I'm told, among the last to leave each evening.
Many of those who resent Frank's success, the 'Big Fat Frank' brigade, say that he did not possess natural talent: and, again, there is some truth there.
Because Frank has had to work hard for everything he has ever achieved. And it is that work ethic that has elevated him to the almost unimpeachable position of Chelsea's Greatest.
I can see there are reasons not to keep Frank.
At the age of 34 he doesn't fit in with the image you wish to propagate of Chelsea as a young, pacey side full of exciting players.
He's from Romford not Rio, and can't easily be dropped into the 4-2-3-1 just-like-watching-Brazil formation you seem to expect from your managers these days, effective or not.
And maybe that wage of £160k a week is a bit on the high side for a 34-year-old: in which case, maybe it would help to raise the issue in negotiations of a pay-as-you-play deal (Chelsea 'sources' revealed last week that no such negotiations had come up).
In recent times the club's Board have taken so many ill-judged moves on your behalf: the failed coup at Chelsea Pitch Owners, the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo, the appointment of Rafael Benitez.
Each time your lieutenants have protested that they never expected the opposition from fans to be anything like what was seen.
If Frank is given the heave-ho it will be another such moment.
At this time of in-fighting and divisions at Chelsea, do we really need another?
And, if this really is about money, surely one or two more years for Frank make better Financial Fair Play sense than one or two more years for Fernando, who earns more and offers less?
Anyway, that's all I wanted to say. Hope you, Dasha and the kids are well. Maybe see you at Swansea a week on Wednesday?
Follow Dan Levene on