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Frank Lampard: a question of necessity

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely that of the the author and Sportskeeda does not necessarily reflect the same view.  

‘It’s Lampard, it’s Lampard yes Lampard has scored. Against his old club Lampard is 200 not out.’ The commentator shouted as Frank Lampard scored against West Ham to reach a milestone of 200 goals for Chelsea.

The West Ham game showed what Lampard was all about, after his goal he rushed to captain John Terry to celebrate his goal while Frank Lampard Sr. jumped with joy. Lampard broke into tears as his love for Stamford Bridge was there for the world to notice. But it was not just his goal, that lit up the Bridge in heavy rain. Hazard may have been the pivot of everything good that night, but Lampard showed the world exactly why he was such a great player.

Chelsea's English midfielder Frank Lampard (C) scores the opening goal against West Ham United during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge in London on March 17, 2013.  AFP PHOTO / OLLY GREENWOOD RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ?live? services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.        (Photo credit should read OLLY GREENWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard (C) scores the opening goal against West Ham United during the English Premier League at Stamford Bridge in London on March 17, 2013. (Getty Images)

He put in two great through balls: one for Ba, who could not finish it and one for Mata, who, could not control his pass. He put in good diagonal balls all day, and covered Andy Carroll on set pieces when it was clear that the centre-backs could not deal with him. But through out his career, the ability to track back with runners and commitment to cover the defensive line are conspicuous by absence. While a fan of Frank Lampard, I honestly believe that letting him go is the right decision for Chelsea.

I do not say this in haste, yes Lampard still has plenty to offer to Chelsea. The question is in his specific position, which is that of a holding midfielder can he offer something that they need? I believe not. With Oscar being groomed for Lampard’s position it is clear that even if he does stay on he will more be used sparingly. Also, if Oscar is put in central midfield, someone like a Mikel or a Romeu should be put in alongside him, to match his attacking flair with defensive stability. Lampard for all his attributes has never offered defensive stability. Lampard ‘was’ a box-to-box midfielder, now he just concentrates on the opposition’s box.

“I’m really happy here. I think anyone who knows me well, and the fans too I hope, they know that I love the area, and the bond that I’ve had with the fans has been fantastic.” – Lampard

Lampard’s wage bill is believed to be at around 140,000 pounds per week. Even if that is not as high as that of Terry, Hazard or Mata, it still reflects a significant bit of green bills. With the Financial Fair Play looming in the horizon, Chelsea would look to slash their expenses. Contrary to media reports, it has officially been announced that Lampard is not ready to take a pay cut. Then again,  why should he? He is after all a professional who has the right to have a say in what he earns and does not earn.

A question which would naturally arise is that if Lampard goes, where would the goals come from? Lampard has been the highest scorer for the club in recent years.  The answer to that is, with the Blues almost certain to buy a striker that will know how to score, and with Lukaku coming back after a loan spell at WBA, Chelsea wont have to rely on Lampard’s goals. Not to forget Hazard and Mata who have been scoring goals aplenty this campaign. The removal of Lampard’s weekly wages from the balance sheet will leave the club more space to maneuver around wages.

For any incoming manager the dressing room pressure exerted by Lampard and Terry is significant. As Vilas-Boas would testify, not having the burden to play Lampard,  who has lost a few yards of pace through the years, would be a relief. Lampard has always enjoyed a great relationship with the chairman Roman Abramovich, but then he also knows that Roman can be a ruthless force if required to be. And here we see his ruthlessness, in not offering a contract to a man who he feels can offer no more to the club.

The runner up to the indomitable Ronaldinho in 2005, during the World Player of the Year awards, has come a long way. He has scored more than legends like Drogba and Hasselbaink and has contributed more to the legacy of the club than Zola himself. t is this commitment and desire that the fans love. But at the end, the lights have to go off, the sun has to set and Lampard too often Chelsea’s knight in blue armor must ride into the sunset.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely that of the the author and Sportskeeda does not necessarily reflect the same view.  

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