I have written many times over the course of this season of my firm belief it would be a travesty for the Blues to let Frank Lampard walk away from the club at the end of the season when his current contract expires.
Lampard is a Blues legend – he loves the club and represents the values of the club and the fans.
He is simply the best – undoubtedly one of the best midfielders of his generation, comparable only to England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard in terms of his sheer quality, class and contribution to English football.
Chelsea have had a tendency in the decade since Roman Abramovich took over the club as owner to perceive key personnel as disposable, replaceable and expendable – the likes of Ray Wilkins who was another great servant of the club have been tossed aside in recent years.
However, I am glad to see Chelsea do the right thing by Lampard – especially after the season he’s had. I have made the comparison before between the way Chelsea operate and the way Manchester United operate – the latter keeps all of their veterans around, not only as a mark of respect for the years of service dedicated to the club but also in the name of continuity.
What Frank Lampard can bring to the dressing room along makes him worth his weight in gold – certainly worth every penny of the reportedly £150,000 a week he takes home.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger spoke earlier this week with regard to Roberto Mancini, ironically mere hours before he was sacked from his post at Manchester City, about the importance of keeping the staff and players at a club who represent the values and ethos of it best.
There is no better representative of Chelsea Football Club than Frank Lampard – whilst John Terry may be the captain and one of the longest-serving graduates of their youth system, ‘Super Frank’ has represented the club in a far superior way – on the field and off the field.
I has previously suspected Lampard would leave on a free transfer at the end of the season and likely head to LA Galaxy – he’s too much of a gent to pull on the shirt of another English club – and I’m glad to see that, in that respect at least, I guessed right.
Frank Lampard is Mr Chelsea – he epitomizes what it means to be Blues, through and through and in handing him a one-year contract extension, the club have done themselves and him justice – no more, no less.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald