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Saturday, March 17, 2007

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, wonderful, but only for Chelsea. How great is Franky in a england shirt? Not much, not influential enough. Gets paid at Chelsea, just a part of the furniture for England. But Chelsea is more important because he needs his place there to earn a rep to take into the England team, where he is one of the boys and therefore doesnt pull much more than the standard. When Lampard is within this lot at Chelsea he can afford to be fit and look good as they all pull for Mourinho, or they're out and someone else comes in. With Egland being so substandard and boring, the big players should shine but they dont, as if it is too much to pull the others up on their own when it is the big players the others look at to start them off. As for world player of the year second place, it was a Chelsea thing. Better players who pulled much more than Lampard were overlooked. Just my opinion.

3/17/2007 10:45 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If England's forwards were as good as Chelsea's Lampard and several others would look far better in a England shirt than they do now.

Having an overrated, static beanpole in attack lets defences get organised and leaves no opportunity for Lampard or Gerrard to find holes.

If you have any doubts about this look at Lampard's scoring record for England while Michael Owen was playing.

3/17/2007 11:51 am

Anonymous Striker said...

Hi guys
Talk in Spain that Lampard maybe heading here.
Mourinho has may known - indirectly - I suspect , in media & club circles that he will happyly take the Real Madrid job if Lampard joins him.
Good choice , good taste.

Fc Barcelona is also hot on Lampards trail.


3/17/2007 2:22 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Anon (10.45AM), Lampard has been a stalwart for Chelsea though one may look to the Anfield game for one for hwen he was not as influential as expected and particularly in the first half of the 2nd leg against Porto. Yet this weighed up against the season as it has been makes Lampard as T stated above.

Anon (11.51AM), one could claim England's forwards were as good as Lampard in the World Cup and that would not be saying much at all. Lampard for me has to recover his form in an England shirt from before. Blame has been proportioned towards Peter Crouch (I assume your reference of 'an overrated, static beanpole' is of Crouch) for England's lack of goals lately but he has especially come in in the absence of Rooney, Johnson and Bent.

Against Spain he could have been better and one will argue he has appeared against lesser opponents that allowed him goals but Crouch can score and can manage himself well against home defences like Chelsea and Man Utd so he is not by far a worse choice. And having Crouch upfront does not equate to prepared defences, unless you wish to elaborate further.

As for Lampard's scoring record with Owen playing, should be then mechanically mend Owen and get him playing to rely on Lampard to score more often? Shouldnt Lampard be scoring regardless who appears upfront? With the two qualifers coming up, fitter players ready and Crouch's omission due to his broken nose, we'll see how the players will fare and see how they cope without the 'overrated, static beanpole'.

Striker, I'm watching the Real Madrid front to see how Fabio Capello fares. Real have had players coming in to bolster a new campaign under Capello and the signs are the Bernabeu side will struggle to add to their trophy cabinet. In that sense Capello could be relieved at the end of the season, and with Jose Mourinho stating he had words with Abramovich in the January window, it makes for bated breath in relation to any further developments. Mourinho has said he is at Chelsea to stay and I have no reasons or beliefs to doubt that.


3/17/2007 10:43 pm

Anonymous Striker said...

Hi Redsmen,
If I have learnt anything about football is the following , what is said today is changed tomorrow.

The honour of the word does´nt exist anymore, just prestige, titles & money, plenty of money.

We´ll stay tuned to developments

3/18/2007 1:01 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

True, true words, Striker, and speaking of which, with ironic reference to having mentioned Real Madrid above, I remember a certain striker who gave indications of signing a contract at Anfield and suddenly changed direction and everything else to depart to the Bernabeu. The fact that the move astoundingly did not work out for him is neither here or there.


3/18/2007 2:01 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If England's forwards were as good as Chelsea's Lampard and several others would look far better in a England shirt than they do now."

Lampard has been rubbish for England, in the World Cup and he knows where his bread is buttered at Chelsea.

Redsman, fair dues mate but Lampard plays for Chelsea more than England and that is with whoever is upfront, so that other comment saying Crouch makes england worse is also rubbish. Going back to the World Cup, Crouch played up until the Ecuador game where Eriksson went for Rooney alone and Lampard played and we were rubbish then. Against Portugal Rooney was alone again, got sent off like a pleb he can be and Crouch came on, was OK, one of a few who had credit from that game. And for the number of missed shots Lampard came out with, you're laughing when you say rest of England lot should be good like Lampard.

3/18/2007 2:15 pm

Blogger BlindJak said...

Speaking as a Chelsea fan Frank has been nothing short of phenomenal for us and I’m glad he gets some recognition as many fans, and unfortunately some members of the press, have bought into the whole ‘Fat Frank’ bitterness and harp on about all his deflected goals.

However, his England form over the past 18 months/ 2 years has not been half so good. He has had spells where he’s reproduced his club form for England, most notably in an excellent Portugal 2004 tournament.

Another thing that bothers me is that he seems to have borne the brunt of most fans ire at our poor WC showing. Only Hargreeves really came out of the tournament with any credit as the whole team underperformed. Yet Frank seems to have been singled out.

I’ll guess we’ll see next weekend if he can start to turn his recent poor international form around.

3/19/2007 10:11 am

Blogger T said...

Good discussion everyone and thanks for your comments.

For me, Lamaprd does not look as good for England because the system is not as cohesive and fluent as the Chelsea one. For Chelsea everyone knows their role and Lampard can link up with his temmates seamlessly. With England the system is shambolic and Lampard therefore struggles to look as impressive as in a Chelsea shirt.

Hopefully if McClaren and Venables can sort out a good system for England than Lampard will start to thrive at international level as he is capable of doing.

3/20/2007 8:32 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite how Lampard attracts so much criticism is beyond me. However, there does seem to be a feeling of jump on the "We Hate Fat Frank" bandwagon simply because he's admittedly not the most skillful player who's worked his nuts off to get as good as he is now. There's resentment. It's pathetic.

As for the person who said that he hasn't performed for 18 months/2 years for England, I do believe that he was top scorer in England's World Cup qualifying campaign and was voted England's player of the year in that time as well. Get your facts straight. Because he had a poor World Cup (effectively 5 games) everyone has jumped on the bandwagon.

How long has it been since Rooney scored a competitive goal for England? 3 years. When was the last time that Gerrard completely dominated the game for England? Don't give me that "Lampard plays in his position" bullshit, because Gerrard plays wide right for Liverpool and scored 23 goals last season (though admittedly, he got a bit of help from TNS and Kaunas). What has Gerrard done this season for Liverpool? Bugger all.

For me, it's clear that we have an inept management who do not know how to get the best out of our players. But quite Frankly (I apologise for that shite pun), I couldn't care less if he's dropped for England, maybe then he'd get a rest at some point during the season. But rather than go along with the English press' ability to fire up a scapegoat to vent their anger at (remember Ronaldo? From what I can remember, Rooney stamped on Carvalho's gentlemen's area - something, in my opinion, far more vile than winking at someone), why not form opinions of your own, rather than lambasting someone who doesn't deserve it.

3/27/2007 10:21 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

Regarding the statement on lampard's performance over the past 18-24 months, that was from Blindjak above who I have come to understand is a strong Chelsea fan. I'm not certain on the time frame but I could concur that Lampard has recently not been impressive for England as he has for Chelsea.

Consequently, one can have a brilliant 2 years of international appearances and then under-perform the following two years, and its the latter two years that is the most recent and therefore more remembered than the former. You cannot be excused because you have played well in the past. Rooney has also come under scrutiny, if not criticism, for his performance on Saturday, coming after he had already faced Ben Haim and produced two goals to boot (excuse that pun).

Gerrard can be regarded has having produced "bugger all" for Liverpool, but the ethos there is tha it is not he who carries the team, it is a team effort as a whole. And recently Gerrard has put in a good effort for LFC, though they have dropped one place.

Lampard has been just now confirmed as injured for tonight's game with Andorra, so we'll see if Gerrard moves into central midfield (most likely) in front of Hargeaves, leaving the right for Lennon and the left for Downing. It has been a source of debate amongst LFC fans as to why Gerrard is not put in his more comfortable position in the centre by Rafael Benitez, and RB has argued the same as that you stated above, that Gerrard had played for most of last season on the right.

Gerrard was moved central when Momo Sissoko was injured and is preferred now on the right at times with Sissoko back and Alonso available. If Gerrard does go central tonight, I dont think it will prove much, though it could show his enthusiasm for attack from a central role, be it Andorra or Argentina.

The opportunity is there, I wonder if Lampard could have been gambled on but I think McClaren preferred to err on the side of caution AND not resist the opportunity to show the nation 'OK, now I'll have only the one of the two and we'll see how things develop if I adopt Gerrard in the middle.' Even if England were to suddenly run rampant tonight, it proves little with me, whereas the upcoming Estonia and Russia games will a more stringent test of strength.


3/28/2007 2:31 pm


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