Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Is it Lampard's time to go?

Chelsea edged West Brom 2-1 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.  A stranger to the league would have been hard pressed to tell which team was the title contender and which one will probably be in a relegation battle in May. As everyone with half a brain can see by now Chelsea’s biggest problem is absolute lack of creativity, which I have ranted about before.

Frank Lampard has never been a creative genius. But he has always been mobile, playing the occasional brilliant pass and he’s been a 20 goal a season midfielder for six or so seasons because of his fantastic late runs into the box that gave Chelsea that extra attacking option. That has, in the past, glossed over CFC’s creative deficiency. Now ‘Fat Frank’ has lost the legs and his nickname has never rung truer. Chelsea is now paying for their over-dependence on him.

AVB has clearly been trying to move him to a deep-lying playmaker position. The problem being he’s no such thing. His passing is just average and the range isn’t as impressive as you would get from a Pirlo or a Sneijder. His forward passing game (knock it over the top and see what happens) was tailored for a Drogba-like bully. That partly explains Torres’ malaise, and that is why CFC refuses to give up on the purchase of Luka Modric. The saddening thing is that, because of his seniority at the club, more creative players like Ramires keep deferring to him and giving him the ball at every opportunity. I fear that even the signing of Mata and Modric may not help if this continues. Because these two players are vastly superior, creativity-wise, to anyone at the club, they have to start. So AVB will have to sacrifice someone like Ramires just so Lampard can play and that will be a waste of a midfield position.

 It may be drastic, and I may be proven wrong but I think if Lampard loves the club, he should consider a role upstairs after this season if his ego can’t allow him to sit on the bench. Alternatively, he can be used like Scholes was at United in his final years, play him in the crucial games especially in the Champions League, where his experience would be priceless but use him sparingly in the league. The problem with such a plan would be that AVB doesn’t likely have the testicular fortitude that comes with 25 years in the league and a bagful of trophies, which Sir Alex does. Also, if rumors of player power at the Bridge are to be believed, Lamps could make life difficult for AVB. This is especially possible because one member of the player cabal that ‘runs’ things, Didier Drogba already seems destined to a season of bonding with the likes of Paolo Ferreira, on the bench. A second one on the bench could be sowing the seeds of a revolt. Of course, if AVB benched them and CFC started winning while playing with the panache that Roman seeks, their complaints would fall on deaf ears.
Frank Lampard has been a great servent to Chelsea Football Club and he’s already enshrined in the club’s history, I’d hate to see him stick around and become a hinderance to the club’s progress as it happened with Raul at Madrid.

This is the image we want to remember.

 I personally would prefer a midfield trio of Mikel/Essien, Mata and Ramires or Mikel/Essien, Ramires and young McEchechran with Mata moving up to the front three in the place of Malouda(who is also afflicted with Lamps’ malaise)

Parting shot.

I would like to wish Arsenal  good luck in their do-or-die Champions’ League clash with Udinese tonight. I have never cared for Arsenal but with the state of affairs at that club, they could use a lift. Now to pray that Frimpong doesn’t lose his head and leave Arsenal a man light, away from home. He is a loose cannon that one. Am I the only one who saw him flip off a Liverpool midfielder who tackled him over the weekend?

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