Lampard's consistency levels are outstanding
Frank Lampard is getting better and better in my opinion. I have watched him since he was at West Ham and when at Upton Park reckoned that he could be an excellent midfield partner for Patrick Vieira at Arsenal. The reasons why are very clear today: he has good physical presence, very good passing range, good mobility, and a very good shot.
In his early days at Chelsea I remember him remarking on more than one occasion how he saw Vieira as a role-model for the sort of dominating and highly consistent midfield player that he would like to become. And now at the age of 28 he, for me, is really coming into his prime and is producing excellent football game after game.
A big factor behind this is his incredible fitness and ability to simply play every game. The momentum and development that naturally comes from having missed only three Premiership games since 13 October 2001 (one though flu, the other two - if I remember correctly - were through being rested at the end of last season when the title was already won by Chelsea) can only have enormously helped his rise into one of the finest midfielders in world football. Can anyone else in top-level football claim such a phenomenal appearance record in the last six years?
One underrated aspect of Lampard's game is his set-piece delivery. Chelsea score a large amount of goals through set-pieces and they mainly come from the right foot of Lampard who has a grooved repeating technique of whipping in fantastic corners or free-kicks for the likes of John Terry to attack. His penalty technique is also top class. With Beckham's departure form the international scene it should be Lampard who takes over control of set-pieces.
In 2005 Lampard was voted the second best player in the world by the FIFA coaches and for me he has not gone backwards since gaining that honour. He scored his 20th goal of the season on Wednesday at Man City which is an amazing feat for a midfield player, and his overall performance was again highly efficient in contributing to both the defensive and attacking aspects of Chelsea's game.
Frank Lampard deserves high recognition for his all-round playing ability, outstanding consistency of performance and incredible feat of being available for selection in game after game. He is an English footballer to admire and I guess the one thing he can still really work on is to impose more of his game when in the England team. As he is entering his prime I feel this will come.