913 overall club appearances. 274 overall career club goals. These statistics alone prove that Frank Lampard goes down in history as one of the best players to ever grace the Premier League.
He is considered by many sports journalists and footballing experts alike, to be one of the greatest midfielders of his generation. However, I think most Chelsea fans would agree Frank Lampard will go down in Chelsea folk law as possibly the best Chelsea player ever.
Despite having spent such a significant part of his career at Chelsea, Lampard began his career as a youth prospect at West Ham. Joining the club in 1995 Lampard’s West Ham career seemed to only take it off in the 1998 season where he would be an ever present for the Hammers and help them to their highest ever finish, fifth place. When the season had ended Lampard signed a contract extension which was meant to keep him at the club until 2005. This however didn’t stop him leaving. Chelsea bought him for £11 million in the summer of 2001.
Most would agree, Frank’s time at Chelsea would be his most memorable and indeed his most successful. Lampard netted eight league goals for Chelsea in his first season and appeared in every league game. 2004-2005 Season was his first taste of glory when he would score both goals against Bolton in a 2–0 win which in turn was the Premier League title winning match for Chelsea. He also won the League Cup the same season, which I’m sure helped him pick up the honour of Footballer off the year.
Frank then went on to win 2 more Premier League titles (3 in total); 1 more league cup (2 all together); 4 FA cups; 2 Community Shields; 1 Europa League and most of all the Champions League, in which he captained and went on to lift the trophy with club team mate John Terry.
In the twilight of his career Frank then moved on to the MLS where he played New York City, but after a controversial transfer window Lampard found himself on a season long loan at Man City.
Some might say that after his time at Chelsea, his career had begun to fizzle out. This was by no means down to Frank Lampard’s willingness to succeed but down to the fact his age began to affect his ever present goal scoring ability. Despite Lampard spending 2 years at New York he only got scored 12 goals.
Lampard has now hung up his boots and has started to carve out a career for himself in coaching. His retirement message which he posted on Instagram stated “I’m grateful to the FA for the opportunity to study for my coaching qualifications and I look forward to pursuing the off-field opportunities.” Perhaps Lampard will go back to Chelsea and work with Antonio Conte and the rest of the Chelsea staff?
Frank Lampard has gone down in history as one of the greatest ever. The 2nd February certainly does mark an end of an era in modern day football.
By Aaron Houston-Wenham