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Monday, 10 October 2011

"Fat Frank" Biting Back on Critics

Despite the new Barclays Premier League season being just two months old and seven months in, this campaign has already been a topsy-turvy one for Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard.

Lampard had started the first five of the Blues league campaign since new boss Andre Villas-Boas arrived from Porto before being dropped for the home match against Swansea City.  Villas-Boas' side dominating despite being reduced to ten men after Fernando Torres' lunge on Swans' winger Mark Gower and ending up 4-1 winners.  New signings Juan Mata from Valencia and Portuguese Raul Meireles from Liverpool had greatly impressed and the pressure was now on for the number 8. to nail down his starting place in the team after ten years as a mainstay in the team under numerous managers; Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti.

Won't Mata? : Juan's arrival put pressure on Lamps

Questions were being asked of the 33 year old as to whether the time had come for a younger, fresher alternative and whether he was past his sell by date.

Villas-Boas was quick to quash talk of Lampard's time being up at Chelsea saying ‘Frank is an established, top-quality player, one of the most important at the club. He has nothing to prove to the football world. He will continue to succeed in this club and be a big player for Chelsea for as long as I am here.’
Time up? : AVB won't blow the full time whistle on Frank
On the Tuesday it was Champions League night for the west-Londoners where they travelled to the Mestalla, home of La Liga side Valencia and it was Lampard, starting the game, who put the away side in front in the second half.  Despite Chelsea having chances to kill the game off, substitute Salomon Kalou handled in the area allowing Roberto Soldado to equalise from the penalty spot late on. Lampard though announced that he felt he did enough to warrant a start at Bolton Wanderers the following Saturday.  "I've missed out on a few games recently but you have to keep on top of yourself, work hard and when you get your chance you have to show. That's what I tried to do tonight.  It's a big squad and the manager has to do what he sees fit. If he wants to bring young players through at times you have to go along with that."

Lampard opened the scoring in Spain
Lampard was in the starting XI at The Reebok Stadium and had a fine game; netting a hat-trick, his fifth in Chelsea colours and his 119th goal in Blue to take him into the top five of Chelsea's all time top scorers list. The game finished Bolton 1-5 Chelsea.  

Heavens above!: Lampard celebrates after scoring vs. Bolton

Frank Lampard; the finished article? I don't think so and I feel he will be a key member of the Chelsea AND England team for a few more years yet.  I find it sad that someone who I feel has been an excellent player and a good role model for many, many years has come in for some unjustified stick.  

Write Lamps off at your peril!!!

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