Lampard unchained



In recent weeks speculation has mounted that Chelsea’s Frank Lampard may be on his way to Old Trafford when the player’s Chelsea contract ends at the end of the season. The gossip has caused much consternation among Manchester United fans who, starting to doubt the waning powers of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand, struggle to see the value of bringing yet another veteran into Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad.

Certainly this season has seen Scholes and, in particular Giggs, stray further away from fans’ affections. Ferguson was heavily criticised by some supporters when he threw on the pair in United’s recent 1-1 draw against Swansea City as the Reds chased a victory.

Similarly, Scholes and Giggs’ lack of dynamism in the Boxing Day game against Newcastle United was cited as a reason for United’s lacklustre performance in the first hour of that match. Meanwhile, Ferdinand’s reputation has also been damaged due to United’s often woeful defending in the first half of the season.

Why then is Ferguson seemingly in the market for another player in his mid-30s?

Perhaps it is expedient. After all, it is not certain that any of his veterans will still be at the club come next season. Rumours have recently circulated that Ferdinand may be on his way to China in the search of one final giant pay cheque, while neither Scholes, nor Giggs, have committed to contracts next season amid rumours of imminent retirement.

In the event of the pair’s departure, United will lose 1638 games worth of experience in one go. It is a scenario in which Lampard arrives as a necessary replacement for, rather than a superfluous addition to, the squad’s most experienced players.

With Darren Fletcher seemingly unlikely to ever make a full return to Ferguson’s first team, following surgery on a bowel condition this week, United will be surely be further depleted of experience in the coming months.

Beyond experience Ferguson is attracted to Lampard’s enduring class. The midfielder has been at the centre of a Chelsea side that transformed from a decent Premiership outfit to a world football power in the past 10 years. In that time Lampard has been the Premier League’s preeminent goal-scoring midfielder, plundering an incredible 194 goals in 12 seasons for the Blues. Lampard’s presence was crucial as Chelsea finally claimed the Champions League last summer

Lampard’s hero-esque status also renders the Chelsea idol unsuitable for a rival such as United according to some, although the Londoner is generally viewed with respect among United’s following – a few ill-founded jokes about his weight apart. Certainly, Lampard has never aroused the passionate animosity that has always followed teammate John Terry and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

Lampard would not be the first player to swap west London for Salford. Former Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins served both clubs in the 1980s and the former England international believes that Chelsea’s vice-captain could do the same.
“He’ll want to continue and play at a high level – and there’s no higher level than Old Trafford,” Wilkins recently said. Wilkins also dubbed Ferguson “the master of utilising the older player” and suggested that his recent record of prolonging the careers of ageing players might appeal to the 34-year old Lampard.

Lampard claimed as recently as August that he can still play “at the top level for a good few years” and it seems unlikely that the midfielder is ready to follow former teammate Didier Drogba to one of football’s less popular leagues in search of an easily gained fortune. Certainly, with seven goals from 13 league games so far this season, some of which Lampard started on the bench, the midfielder’s capabilities show little sign of abating.

If Lampard makes the move north, no matter how unlikely, there will inevitably be those who chide the decision as a backward step by Sir Alex and a hindrance to some of the Scot’s younger starlets. It is a genuine fear, not least given the departure of Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison since Scholes came out of retirement last January. Since then Pogba has proven to be a hit in Turin with Juventus, while Morrison is undergoing a revival at Birmingham City. Lampard’s acquisition, should it come to pass, will doubtless give rise to similar fears.

Yet, there is perhaps a prescient transfer in Italy on which Ferguson may draw inspiration. In summer 2011 AC Milan allowed ageing midfielder Andrea Pirlo to leave on a free transfer to rivals Juventus. The Italian playmaker inspired his new club to a resounding victory in the Serie A title race and starred at Euro 2012. Chelsea will be hope that they aren’t rueing a similar situation at the end of next season.

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  • Chongo

    Our success rests on Ferie’s mind games not on legs on the pitch and if true, this will confirm it. we are no longer a big club. Even Ferguson’s ego is bigger.
    Cry the beloved club.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    I don’t think we’re after Lampard, and I don’t think he would join us anyway…

  • uncleknobheadffs

    lampards got more left in him at the top level than gerrard has

    • Jorge Curioso

      LOL very true.

      Don’t know if there’s any appeal to put one over on Rafa, as well. He’s been pretty irrelevant since the Jan 2009 implosion.

  • sidney

    And Scholes

    But it’s just his face and his missus and his mam

    Off putting

  • Pikey McScum

    I snogged his missus

    Go me

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Pikey McScum said:
    I snogged his missus’ pet Shar Pei…

    Go me

    Good for you…

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Commenter said:
    LOL very true.

    Don’t know if there’s any appeal to put one over on Rafa, as well. He’s been pretty irrelevant since the Jan 2009 implosion.

    It’s Benitez who’s put him back in the first team…

  • Pikey McScum

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Good for you…

    Cheers Alf

  • BG

    No Rantcast this morning? Did Paul finally succumb to the bubonic plague?

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Him and Ed are at A&E… something about a length of vacuum hose and a missing hamster.

  • uncleknobheadffs

    remember when everyone on hear except me carried on with the biased lampard and terry are shite rhetoric

    lampard was useless and only scores deflected goals and pens apparently, and terry wwas made to look good by quick players around him and makalele, and just looked good cause he made last ditch tackles, like vidic, but apparently with vidic its different

  • Bill

    If one of Giggs or Schioles retires its on.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    remember when everyone on hear except me carried on with the biased lampard and terry are shite rhetoric
    lampard was useless and only scores deflected goals and pens apparently, and terry wwas made to look good by quick players around him and makalele, and just looked good cause he made last ditch tackles, like vidic, but apparently with vidic its different

    What are you on about?
    I’ve allways rated them both… Terry is the best pure defender of his generation… him and Rio would have been better than Rio/Vidic.
    And Lampard is just class… it was Dannii “fuck head” Tronnix, who used to slag him off, and I would point out 20 goals a season, year after year, from midfield, speaks for itself… so give it a rest.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  • sidney

    The Lampard is shite notion came about during that time he got fat and a bit shit and was refered to as Lamps a lot and was more interested in being a cunt in magazines than playing football.
    And because he’s considered to be a midfielder, but he doesn’t do any of the boring stuff. He’s all about goals. He’s just 10 goals off beating Fowler’s Prem record. That will put him 4th in the overall top scorers. He’s about 20 odd goals off Henry’s prem record. That’s fucking mental. He’s the only ‘midfielder’ in the top 17 goalscorers. But when you’ve had people behind you clearing up your shit it makes more sense.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    It’s not just goals though… he’s allways had a great passing game as well… not as good as Scholes, but then not many are.

  • Bill

    To be fair we will get more minutes and quality out of him than the rest of our current central midfield options bar Carrick.

  • threadoflength

    sidney said:
    The Lampard is shite notion came about during that time he got fat and a bit shit and was refered to as Lamps a lot and was more interested in being a cunt in magazines than playing football.

    And because he’s considered to be a midfielder, but he doesn’t do any of the boring stuff. He’s all about goals. He’s just 10 goals off beating Fowler’s Prem record. That will put him 4th in the overall top scorers. He’s about 20 odd goals off Henry’s prem record. That’s fucking mental. He’s the only ‘midfielder’ in the top 17 goalscorers. But when you’ve had people behind you clearing up your shit it makes more sense.

    Pretty much. If we signed him then it would just mean more competition for that number 10 spot, would fergie really drop Rooney or Kags for a 35 year old?

  • uncleknobheadffs

    they just won the fucking champions league with lampard playing in a two man mid with shitehouse mikel

  • sidney

    Yeah, and they got fucking hammered. Bayern should have won that game comfortably.
    Chelsea didn’t leave their own half from the semi finals onwards. There is no logic to their European Cup win, it was as barmy army as it gets.

  • uncleknobheadffs

    ashley cole signs the deal

  • Pikey McScum

    Who’d have the cunt now?

  • captainhormone

    Puts hand up…sees Han cower

  • Pikey McScum

    *looks around worryingly for Alf…sees him…masturbates furiously…jizzes over Han*

  • uncleknobheadffs

    hes excellent

    altho tbf the amount we kept the ball visibly lessened when he came on

  • sidney

    Yeah, he gave it away a couple of times as well and it’s not like Brazil were really pressing.
    But he scored, that’s what he does etc. class first time finish n all.
    Wilshere and Clev in midfield with Gerrard somewhere in there n all and that’s actually a bit exciting. Lampard can just come on from the bench and score, and that will satisfy the tabloids, his missus, Pat etc. Everyone’s happy.

  • han

    Pikey McScum said:
    *looks around worryingly for Alf…sees him…masturbates furiously…jizzes over Han*

    han ducks
    cap’n misses
    and off loads in pikey’s smiling face instead
    captured on knobhead’s phone uploaded on you tube and posted on all of the world’s social media sites
    brian signs them all up for his new acting troupe in hampstead
    job done

  • Pikey McScum

    han said:
    han ducks
    cap’n misses
    and off loads in pikey’s smiling face instead
    captured on knobhead’s phone uploaded on you tube and posted on all of the world’s social media sites
    brian signs them all up for his new acting troupe in hampstead
    job done

    That’s just mental

  • captainhormone

    Pathetic

  • han

    well we can’t all be full of witty repertoire unlike the big bad boys on here

  • Pikey McScum

    Are you still here?

  • han

    Pikey McScum said:
    Are you still here?

    pfft

  • Pikey McScum

    han said:
    pfft

    Original