FRANK LAMPARD, the name which will be taken with all the due respect and written in BOLD & CAPITAL letters in the pages of CHELSEA FOOTBALL CLUB and PREMIER LEAGUE. The former English mid-fielder made history a few days back by winning the Manager of the Month for October 2019 and became the first man to win Player of the Month and Manager of the Month in the same decade as well.
Lampard began his career at West Ham United, his father, Mr. Frank Lampard Sr.’s former club, joining the youth team in 1994. His childhood hero being striker Frank McAvennie, Lampard joined West Ham when his father was the assistant coach, entering as an apprentice in the youth team in 1994 and signing a professional contract the following year. He went on loan to second division Swansea City in October 1995, debuting in his team’s 2–0 victory over Bradford City. His first career goal came in a match against Brighton & Hove Albion and continued to play nine times for Swansea before returning to the Hammers in January 1996.
Lampard made his debut for West Ham on 31st January 1996 against Coventry City, coming on as a substitute for John Moncur. His only other game of the season was the season’s last, on 5th May, a 1–1 home draw with Sheffield Wednesday when he replaced Keith Rowland. He became a regular starter for the club from the 1997-98 season and opted for the number 18 shirt, finding his way apart from the number 26 which he used to wear.
On the first day of the 1997–98 season, West Ham kicked off their run with an away game against Barnsley, who were playing in the top tier of English football for the first time in 110 years. Lampard came on as a 76th-minute substitute for Eyal Berkovic. Barely a minute later he scored what was the winning goal in a 2–1 win for the Hammers, having received the ball from Michael Hughes and flicking it past Barnsley goalkeeper David Watson. The season also saw his first hat-trick, when on 19 November, West Ham played Walsall in a League Cup fourth-round game. Lampard’s three goals and one from John Hartson were enough to beat Walsall who responded via a goal from Andy Watson. Frank made 42 appearances in the 1997–98 season in all competitions, netting nine goals.
In the 2000–01 season, West Ham’s form suffered. They spent most of the season in the bottom half of the Premier League table. From fifth the previous season, they finished 15th. Despite the finish, Lampard scored 9 goals in 37 games, behind Frédéric Kanouté and Di Canio. In May 2001, his uncle Harry Redknapp left the club by mutual consent after seven years in the role. His father, Frank also left the club and Lampard, under the pressure of being known as “Frank Lampard’s son” and the poor treatment of his father by West Ham, decided to move to another club. He left West Ham for Chelsea for £11 million in June 2001, the Hammers having previously declined a £15 million joint bid from Aston Villa for Lampard and Frédéric Kanouté. He made 187 appearances for the club and scored 39 goals before leaving for the London giants, Chelsea.
Lampard’s Premier League debut with Chelsea came on 19 August 2001 in a 1–1 draw with Newcastle United, while his first red card came in a match against Tottenham Hotspur on 16 September 2001.
Lampard appeared in all of Chelsea’s league matches and scored eight goals in the 2001–02 season. He netted the match-winner in the Blues’ 2002–03 seasons opener against Charlton Athletic.
The following season, he was selected as the Premier League Player of the Month in September 2003, and the PFA Fans’ Player of the Month in October. Chelsea finished second in 2003–04 Premier League season, behind the Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ and he was named in the 2004 PFA Team of the Year as he reached double figures in league goals (10) for the first time in his career. In addition, he netted four goals in fourteen UEFA Champions League matches, as Chelsea advanced to the semi-finals. In the semi-final against Monaco, Chelsea lost 5–3 on aggregate, despite Lampard’s goal. At the end of the season, he came second behind Thierry Henry for the 2004 FWA Footballer of the Year award.
Lampard played in all 38 Premier League matches for the third consecutive season in 2004–05. He finished with 13 goals (19 in all competitions), in addition to leading the league in assists with 16. He won back to back two Premier League titles with the club and had one of the biggest hands in this success story. He took home the Football League Cup, in which Lampard scored twice in six matches, which included the opening goal against Manchester United in the semi-final, which Chelsea won 2–1. He landed his first personal award by being named the 2005 Footballer of the Year.
Lampard netted a career-high 16 league goals in 2005–06. In September 2005 he was selected as a member of the inaugural World XI. He finished as runner-up to Ronaldinho for both the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. His record of consecutive Premier League appearances ended at 164 (five better than the previous record-holder David James) on 28 December 2005, when he sat out a match against Manchester City due to illness.
The eyes still had that dream of winning UEFA Champions League with the club, and with that dream, the 2008-09 seasons came into the roll where the team was on fire and no other club could have handled the Blues easily. On 16 February 2008, Lampard became the eighth Chelsea player to score 100 goals for the club in a 3–1 FA Cup fifth-round win over Huddersfield Town. After the final whistle, Lampard removed his jersey and flashed a T-shirt to the Chelsea fans with “100 Not Out, They Are All For You, Thanks” printed across the front. On 12 March 2008, Lampard scored four goals in a 6–1 rout of Derby County. Then in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final, he scored the winning goal against Fenerbahçe in the 87th minute as Chelsea won 3–2 on aggregate.
On 30th April, Lampard, grieving the loss of his mother a week earlier, decided to play in the second leg of Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final against Liverpool, who was eliminated on 4–3 aggregate as he took an emotional penalty in the 98th minute of extra-time, which he scored confidently. He went to celebrate on the left end the ground and dedicated the goal to his mother with tears rolling down his eyes. In the final against Manchester United, he scored an equalising goal in the 45th minute, as Michael Essien’s deflected shot found him with his trade-mark late run, and he scored with a left-foot finish. The match ended 1–1 after extra-time and Chelsea eventually lost 6–5 on penalties. He was later named UEFA Club Midfielder of the Year. The feel of coming so close to becoming European Champions for the first time ever and losing on a goal margin in penalties was felt by the players, staffs and the fans. The dream was not fulfilled, but it wasn’t shattered either. The club with full enthusiasm started the UCL campaign again for 2009-10 season, but all hard work went in vain with one the most contorversial European nights, against Barcelona.
They met the Spanish giants again during the UCL semi-final 2012, with the lead taken at the Bridge by Drogba’s goal, the blue army went to Camp Nou with revenge in mind. Chelsea reached the finals with one of the most amazing comebacks in history, when the blues equalised after being 2-0 down with the goals by Ramires & Torres, prominenty with a man down. The dream was close again after reaching the finals of UCL for the second time, but this time, the challenge was bigger. The Blues had to face the German giants Bayern Munich at their own backyard - the Allianz Arena. Lampard captained Chelsea in the final against Bayern Munich due to Terry’s suspension. It was a match where Chelsea were considered to be the underdogs. After finishing 1–1 in normal time, the game went to a penalty shootout with Lampard successfully converting his team’s third spot-kick, helping Chelsea win 4–3 on penalties. As Chelsea’s captain for the match, Lampard lifted the trophy with club captain Terry. The scene still gives goose-bumps to all Chelsea fans when Drogba netted the final penalty and Lampard went straight to the Chelsea fans to celebrate the moment. The night will forever be alive in Chelsea’s history - UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE CHAMPIONS 2012.
On 3rd June 2014, Chelsea confirmed Lampard would leave the club. On 24th July 2014, Lampard, as a free agent, signed a two-year contract with New York City FC to commence ahead of the 2015 MLS season. It was announced at a live press conference in Brooklyn that he would be joining the club, which would be entering Major League Soccer (MLS) for the 2015 season. Sporting director Claudio Reyna hailed him as “one of the greatest players in world history”. New York City FC’s parent club, Manchester City, announced on 3rd August 2014 that Lampard would join the club on a six-month loan deal ending in January 2015. Lampard made his Manchester City debut on 13 September in a 2–2 away draw against Arsenal. Lampard’s equalising goal ended Chelsea’s perfect winning streak in the season, but it was a goal which he did not celebrate, and he described it as a very emotional day. On 24th May, Lampard captained Manchester City in their final match of the season and the last of his spell with the club. He scored his 177th Premier League goal to give City the lead in an eventual 2–0 win over Southampton and was substituted for Navas in the 77th minute.
On 10th January 2015, Lampard signed a pre-contract to play for New York City FC in MLS, beginning on 1st July, but injury delayed his debut until 1st August. The team finished its debut season outside a place for the MLS Playoffs, which drew criticism from some in the media, who expected more from the club’s trio of designated players composed of former Champions League winners Lampard, David Villa and Pirlo. On 31st July 2016, Lampard became the first New York City FC player to score a hat-trick, achieving this feat in a 5–1 win over the Colorado Rapids. Lampard finished his second MLS season with 13 goals and 3 assists in 19 appearances, as New York City FC finished in second place in the Eastern Conference, and qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time, clinching a spot in the Eastern Conference semi-final. He featured in both legs of the Eastern Conference semi-final against Toronto FC. New York were eventually eliminated from the Playoffs 7–0 on aggregate. On 14th November 2016, New York City FC announced that Lampard would leave as his contract expires. Lampard announced his retirement on 2nd February 2017, after turning down several offers, and said that he would look to obtain his coaching qualifications after retiring.
On 31st May 2018, Lampard was appointed as the Manager of Championship club Derby County on a three-year contract. His first game in charge, on 3rd August, resulted in a 2–1 away win for Derby at Reading, with Tom scoring a last-minute winner. On 25th September, in just his 12th game as a manager, Lampard’s Derby County knocked Premier League club Manchester United out of the EFL Cup on penalties, following a 2–2 draw at Old Trafford. After that charismatic display of play, Lampard showed the world that a giant in managerial role is in making.
In his first season in charge of Derby, Lampard guided the club to the Championship playoffs after helping them finish 6th in the 2018-19 Championship season. In the semi-finals of the play-offs, Derby overturned a 0–1 home loss to win 4–2 away against Leeds United and claim the tie 4–3 on aggregate, setting up an appearance against Aston Villa in the Final. Derby lost the play-off final to Aston Villa 2–1.
Upon the conclusion of the season, Lampard was heavily linked with the vacant managerial spot at former club Chelsea. On 25th June 2019, Derby granted Lampard permission to hold talks with the Chelsea bosses over the said position.
On 4th July 2019, Lampard was appointed as the new head coach at former club Chelsea on a three-year contract, making him the first English manager to manage the side in over two decades. In Lampard’s first competitive game with Chelsea, the club lost 4–0 to Manchester United on the opening day of the 2019-20 Premier League season, and they lost, this time against Liverpool in the 2019 UEFA Super Cup 2–2 after extra time, losing 5–4 on penalties. On 24th August 2019, Lampard obtained his first win as a Chelsea manager in the Premier League, against Norwich City in a 2–3 away win. On 25th September 2019, Chelsea picked up their first home win under Lampard’s tenure, beating League Two’s Grimsby town 7–1 in the EFL Cup. Lampard’s match day squad against Grimsby featured ten academy graduates, with Marc Guehi, Reece James, Tino Anjorin and Ian Matseen all being handed their debuts for the club, as well as a first start for Billy Gilmour.
Lampard’s army are sitting comfortable at the third spot of Premier League Table and are on same point as second placed Leicester. With 100% of wins over the month, Frank Lampard was awarded Manager of the Month award for October. The club’s all-time highest goal scorer and legend is all set to take every kind of challenges coming on his way to clinch his first League title and an European Trophy as manager. It’s his club, he has won everything as a player here and is now ready to win everything as a manager too. FRANK LAMPARD- REMEBER THE NAME.
KEEP THE BLUE FLAG FLYING HIGH, ALWAYS!
- Dipanshu Sharma (el_dipu9)