Frank Lampard - Chelsea’s second highest ever goalscorer, talisman of the club and midfield dynamo has arguably been the Blues' best player of the Abramovich era.
His Stamford Bridge career has been covered in silverware, he’s won Chelsea Player of the Year award three times and Premier League Player of the Year twice, so I know how outrageous it is to say that Lampard should leave.
However consider before this season - Lampard has always been the attacking midfielder, the main man at Chelsea, the formation tweaked to suit him but now we see Lampard in a much deeper role. He has always been a great passer of the ball, so a deeper role isn’t unplayable for Lampard but he just lacks the pace and defensive side of his game.
He isn’t a natural middle man, his tenacity is unquestionable but he can make clumsy tackles and get dragged into the box and leave us vulnerable at the back.
When Mikel plays alongside Ramires there is more energy and the team in general looks more solid, there both also younger than Lampard, and a Chelsea a side in transition need to start getting rid of the older players and bringing in new faces to adjust to playing with Chelsea’s three Amigo’s (Hazard, Mata and Oscar).
Chelsea has become a different side to the one Lampard has been playing in, the passing is quicker and along the ground, with little flicks being employed by the front three and it’s just not Lampard’s game.
Player power is also an issue at Chelsea. Sir Alex Ferguson once said in a speech to Harvard that constantly changing managers leads to higher dressing room power, and the evidence is clear at Chelsea. After bringing in Andre Villas-Boas, the player power rebelled against him leading to a very expensive sacking and period of turmoil for Chelsea with Cech and Lampard appearing to be the main trouble makers.
Abramovich would appear to be taking matters into his own hands and asserting his dominance by refusing Lampard a year extension.
Lampard is a living legend at the club, the goals he’s scored and the sensational moments he has had and shared with the Chelsea supporters will never be forgotten, he will go down in the history books as a Premier League superstar.
And although it kills me to say it, no player is bigger than the club, players come and go but the club remains, and sadly I feel it’s Lampard’s time to leave Stamford Bridge and let the club evolve further.
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