Frank Lampard – Chelsea’s Greatest Ever Player
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on February 2, 2017
302 goals and 11 trophies after beginning his career, Chelsea and England legend Frank Lampard has officially announced his retirement from professional football.
England’s greatest ever goal-scoring midfielder and Chelsea’s all-time top-scorer, Lampard has not been short of accolades in a career that spanned 21 years. So as the football world pay their tributes to one of the all time greats, what is it that separated Frank Lampard from the rest?
Harry Redknapp, when Lampard was in the early stages of his career at West Ham, famously predicted that the midfielder would make it ‘right to the very top’.
“He’s got everything that’s needed to be a top class midfielder. His attitude is first class, he’s got strength, he can play, he can pass it and he can score goals.”
For a young player, that sort of public praise may have gone on to be a weight on the shoulders. It turned out to be the making of the kid from Romford.
In 2001, Frank Lampard made a controversial switch from West Ham to Chelsea for £11m. At the time, Chelsea fans became skeptical to say the least; a large sum of money for a player who was yet to really justify himself in English football left a cloud of doubt over the beginning of the midfielder’s career. He had six goals to his name by the time he finished his first season with the Blues; the 17-game wait for his first league goal wasn’t a theme that followed him in his career.
Frank Lampard’s goal scoring ability is arguably his greatest asset; team-mates tell tales of the England International spending an extra half an hour on the training ground every day after the rest of the team had gone in. He’d take a bag of balls out to work on free-kicks and shooting, a lesson in determination and desire for any young player.
The midfielder always seemed to be in the right place. Watching a montage of his 211 Chelsea goals, it’s no coincidence that so many of his goals came from arriving late in the box. His awareness, anticipation and natural goal-scoring ability when the ball fell to him in all sorts of positions is something rare among midfielders and something Chelsea have really missed since his departure in 2014.
Alongside a regular – and staggering – 20+ goals a season, Lampard also managed a record 41 goals from outside the box in his Premier League career – more than any other player.
A reliable man from the spot and also a big-game player; Lampard scored in finals in the Champions League and the FA Cup. Many Chelsea fans will hold his penalty in Munich among his best from 12 yards, but arguably his penalty against Liverpool in the 07/08 Champions League semi-final just days after the passing of his Mother was one of his greatest moments in a blue shirt.
Memorable goals came from the near-impossible angle at the Nou Camp and the volley-on-the-turn against Bayern Munich, but are surely epitomised by his double at the Reebok which won Chelsea their first league title in over 50 years, a stadium where he coincidentally sealed the title the following season.
His commitment and real professionalism are what set him apart from others in both his and previous generations and make him the greatest player to put on a Chelsea shirt.
From the world of football: thank you, Super Frank.