Why would Chelsea want to let a player go who is quite frankly one of their best?
On Sunday Chelsea put their stamp on the Champions League places with a 2-0 win against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge. After Tottenham Hotspur drew with Wigan Athletic and Arsenal went on to be held at home buy the champions Manchester United it proved to be a great weekend for Rafa Benitez’s men.
But the result came courtesy of one man once again; Frank Lampard.
Lampard entered the fray after 24 minutes when Ramires limped away from the action and he quickly got up to speed with proceedings. He swiftly forced Michel Vorm into a save after stepping on to the pitch and soon enough he had his first big impact on the game.
His toed pass into the path of Oscar was well controlled by the Brazilian who then sieved the ball past the Dutch international to give Chelsea a deserved lead.
Then came his biggest impact; after Leon Britton tumbled over Eden Hazard in the box Lampard as ever stepped up comfortably to the spot and converted with aplomb.
This penalty however took him within one of Bobby Tambling’s club record of 202 goals for the club. This goal was made even more special by the attendance of the 71-year-old himself; wheelchair bound after a four-month spell in hospital he was almost reduced to tears by the rapturous reception he received from the home crowd.
It was also the 38th team he had scored against in the Premier League to add to his list of personal achievements.
So how can Chelsea be so blind to the most obvious issue of all regarding Lampard?
It is very common knowledge that Lampard looks to be on his way out of Stamford Bridge this summer. Even Chelsea TV referred to him as a former midfielder this weekend. In recent years the club has taken a Logan’s Run like approach to their older players and now it seems Lampard falls under that category.
While I don’t personally see that as an issue getting rid of players simply because of their age makes no sense; especially when they are still more than good enough to do a job for the team; in fact scratch that he is still good enough to be vital to the team.
Trying to lower the average age of your squad is one thing but cutting off your nose to spite your face is another entirely.
Releasing Didier Drogba last summer was a small mistake; releasing Lampard this year would be huge and considering his ability do not be surprised if he ends up making them pay with his new club in the not so distant future.
image: © Ben Sutherland