Over the last decade, England’s fans have often lamented how two of their best midfielders, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, have failed to click together for the national team.
However at the club level, there is no denying that both players have more than just fulfilled their potential, dragging their teams to several historic victories.
While Steven Gerrard has driven the Reds from his position in midfield since establishing himself at his childhood club, Frank Lampard, with a ratio of a goal every 3 games, a phenomenal record for a midfielder, has been an ever-present in the trophy minting machine that Chelsea have become over the last ten years.
Now though, both the stalwarts, who are in their 30’s, find themselves at a cross-road.
Even as Steven Gerrard seems set to sign a new contract and continue at Anfield until the end of his career, Frank Lampard looks set to pack his bags and leave Stamford Bridge this summer, much against the wishes of the Chelsea fans.
What is surprising is that Lampard has still been an integral part of the Blues this season, having 12 goals in 24 appearances in the league this campaign, and performance is certainly not a reason for the lack of a new contract.
Lampard's departure is a part of Chelsea's plan to do-away with the old guard...
However like always, the reason behind any major decision at the London-based club, is the whim of its owner, Roman Abramovich, who has decided that its time to bring an end to the old guard’s rule in the dressing room, even though he has reluctantly handed Ashley Cole another year’s deal.
While the idea of bringing in new blood is all good, but one should not under-estimate the experience and calm Frank Lampard adds to the midfield.
Already the club has struggled through the season, having let talismanic striker Didier Drogba go last season, and having suffered due to the lack of a focal point this season.
Instead of learning from the same, the Blues look set to repeat the same mistake again.
Steven Gerrard on the other hand, has gone from strength-to-strength this season, having had the most injury-free campaign since he possibly made his debut for Liverpool.
On the field too, he has settled into Brendan Rodgers’ preferred system, and though not capable of reproducing those swashbuckling performances of old, week-in and week-out, the Englishman is still very much a dominant force in the middle of the park
And with Jamie Carragher retiring at the end of the season, Gerrard’s role in the team is set to increase as a mentor off the field and leader on it, for the host of youngsters that Brendan Rodgers hopes to bring in, as per Fenway Sports Group’s (FSG) philosophy.
With Jamie Carragher's impending retirement, Gerrard's burden is set to increase manifold...
Thus, with the midfielder set to agree a new deal, which would perhaps keep him at the club for the rest of his career, the younger players can continue to learn from his experiences.
Something that the new blood, that Chelsea’s Russian owner hopes to bring in, could have done with Frank Lampard.
However the Blues’ decision to let him go means, the countdown has begun for the Stamford Bridge faithful to say good-bye to their midfield maestro.
While there will be no shortage of offers for Lampard, he too possibly deserved, like his compatriot Gerrard, the chance to choose when to say farewell to the club where he has given his best years.
And it might not be Lampard, who ends up ruing the decision, at the end of the next campaign.
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