Last night, sitting around my mate’s living room discussing todays Premier League action, one of my friends made a prediction I laughed off as ridiculous - Newcastle United will beat Chelsea.
Well my humble pie is currently cooling on the side.
Alan Pardew’s men put on a solid performance with a more industrious team selection, but as good as they were Chelsea were alarmingly impotent at St James Park.
But on Twitter there was little doubt who the fans had it in for - club legend Frank Lampard.
Obviously any criticism of their record goal-scorer is done through gritted teeth, as he is and will forever be loved by the fans at Stamford Bridge.
But he did not put in the best of performances in the North East today, as he struggled to come to terms with his role in midfield.
Often caught confused between defensive midfielder and his natural attacking instinct, he soon found his passes going astray and being woefully off the pace. If for instant you compare his performance with the absolute master-class from Yohan Cabaye you can see how much Lamps struggled.
By comparison Lampard was far inferior to the Frenchman. Cabaye completed 86% of his passes in the game while Lampard could only find his man 76% of the time.
As for touches on the ball, Cabaye had 74 while Lampard barely affected the game with 52. Compare the pass accuracy to Cheick Tiote, it is worse as the Ivorian completed 95% of his attempts.
It could be the withdrawal even further back into the midfield that is causing Lampard’s recent dip in form - considering his by trade an attacking midfielder.
The more likely reason for the dip in his current standard of play is pretty simple - Lamps is starting to get on a bit.
The England international is now 35-years-old and is no spring chicken. His pace was never a strong suit, but it is now becoming non-existent - and when he came off in the 70th minute he looked physically and mentally exasperated, and slightly bemused at his inability to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.
Now, as his time looks to be running out, it might be time to start phasing the club legend out of the team - and earmark a long-term replacement.
Here is some of the reaction from Twitter…
Best team won... 2-0 was DEFS a fair result we just never switched on. AND JOSE STOP STARTING LAMPARD!!!!!— #KTBFFH (@ekbenswaaaag) November 2, 2013
Don't understand why lampard keeps starting for @chelseafc he is yet to impress me this season.— Oge Otony (@Ezet20) November 2, 2013
Mou should play mikel ahead of lampard...— Pαuƪƪƴ °•.♣$£ (@Paully18Paul) November 2, 2013
Nothing against Lampard..... But the pivot isn't his best position— Utkarsh #trueblue (@Yuti1905) November 2, 2013
Hard to find someone who *loves* Lampard more than me, but would you give him a renewal? I wouldn't want to make that decision. Cole too.— Aayush Sidd (@ayush_1901) November 2, 2013
Lampard needs to be benched in some games!— Chelsea x Schalke (@WarrenCFC) November 2, 2013
Lampard got it all wrong from start to finish— She Badder Than Bad* (@iamoliver_queen) November 2, 2013
Lampard really should be dropped Wednesday, give Mikel a run out!— The Blue Flag (@ZiggaZagga_CFC) November 2, 2013
Lampard hasn't really done anything special this season to keep Mikel on the bench. Really disappointing— Felix O I M (@felzzygreen) November 2, 2013
Lampard should have been phased out already— Giresh (@Ninja_Giresh) November 2, 2013
image: © Ben Sutherland