Frank Lampard may not be having a great time as Chelsea manager but there is no doubt on his credentials as a football player. There cannot be any debate that he is the greatest ever to put on the blue jersey of London’s premier club.
The English midfielder was prolific in every sense of the word and had a successful career and was rewarded with trophies over his 20 seasons in England’s Premier League. With 106 caps and 29 goals, Lampard is also one of his country’s most successful players.
Making his debut back in the 1995/96 season with West Ham United FC, Frank Lampard looked like a promising young talent and many expecting him to be great. Not very often does a player live up to his bill but Lampard exceeded expectations. The London boy spent 6 seasons with his local club in East London and made 172 appearances for the Hammers during this time. A young Lampard hit the ground running and was impressive, bagging 32 goals and 20 assists.
His performances caught the attention of Chelsea FC in 2001 and he signed for the team for €16 million. Frank Lampard took his game up a notch after signing for the Blues. The midfield magician spent 13 seasons at Chelsea and was instrumental in the club’s success. He won 3 Premier League titles including back-to-back in 2005 and 2006. He is a 4-time FA Cup winner with the club in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012. The midfielder also won the League Cup twice (in 2005 and 2007), the Europa League in 2012/13 and the most coveted trophy of all, the UEFA Champions League in 2011/12.
Lampard was awarded England’s footballer of the year award back in 2005, which is the true testament of just how good a player he was. Another quality of Frank Lampard that is overlooked by many was his ability to stay fit. He barely ever got injured or played through the pain! From the 2001/02 season up to 2006/07, Lampard only missed 4 Premier League games! Yes, you read that correctly. Just 4.
He played every single Premier League fixture for Chelsea for 3 consecutive seasons from 2002 to 2005. In his 13 seasons with Chelsea, Frank Lampard accumulated 210 goals and 151 assists in 648 appearances! These numbers are unfathomable at times. Lampard is the only midfielder in the Premier League’s top 10 goal scorers list and is ranked at number 5.
After 13 seasons with Chelsea, Lampard spent one season with Manchester City where he featured in 38 games, bagging 8 goals and 4 assists before moving to New York City FC to play Major League Soccer.
The season that proved that Frank Lampard was elite had to be the 2009/10 season when Carlo Ancelotti was Chelsea’s manager. Chelsea was dominant that season. The Stamford Bridge faithful were fortunate enough to witness their team achieve the rare feat of the domestic “Double” as they went on to win both, the Premier League and FA Cup titles. This, till date, is Chelsea’s most successful campaign in their history as they became only the 7th English club to win the double back then.
Chelsea scored 103 goals in the Premier League in 2009/10, a record which was broken by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in 2017/18. Chelsea also set the record for the most goals scored at home in a season, which is yet to be broken, with 68. Their goal difference for the season was +71, which was surpassed by Man City, again back in 2017/18.
Didier Drogba was a goal machine in 2009/10 with 29 goals in the Premier League and Frank Lampard was second for the Blues with 22 to his name. Lampard was phenomenal. He also had 16 assists in the league that season making it one of the best seasons we have ever witnessed in the Premier League by a central midfielder. Somehow, Frank Lampard was left out of the Professional Footballers’ Association Team of the Year as Manchester United’s Darren Fletcher was given the nod ahead of him.
To summarise, Frank Lampard spent 20 seasons in England, played for 3 clubs, had 858 appearances, 250 goals, 175 assists and won 13 trophies. Now, the Englishman will try to win the Premier League and UEFA Champions League trophies as a manager. It is going to be extremely challenging to succeed in the highly competitive league but with the talent at his disposal, it may only be a matter of time.