Frank Lampard - Just how much do we miss him?

We have all commented on the continued press speculation about Carlo Ancelotti's future at the club after the past few results. We hav...

Aug. 14, 2010 - 06323334 date 14 08 2010 Copyright imago Frank Lampard of Chelsea Celebrates Scoring His Side s Fourth Goal Barclays Premier League Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion 14th August 2010 PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK Football men England Premier League 2010 2011 Action shot Vdig 2010 Square Highlight premiumd.

We have all commented on the continued press speculation about Carlo Ancelotti's future at the club after the past few results. We have read numerous never-ending articles that fill our newspapers and websites daily about how Chelsea are in a "crisis" and are in "free-fall" and have numerous problems off the pitch that have and are affecting our results and performances. There is one key figure of our team that has been missing for a while now and it simply cannot be ignored....and that's Frank Lampard.

I am not sitting here writing this and saying that Chelsea are a one-man team. Of course I am not by any stretch of the imagination but the simple fact remains that if you take a 20-goal a season midfielder out of your side you are never going to be the same. Oh how Chelsea are missing Lampard.

It's funny really because at the time he was first injured after the Stoke game we all thought to ourselves, "It's OK as we have Essien back!" or "we'll be ok as it's just a few weeks!"... how we were wrong.

Frank Lampard was substituted in the 72nd minute at home to Stoke as Chelsea were 1-0 up and after he had missed a penalty believe it or not. Little did we know the significance that day as he was replaced by Kalou. I remember sitting in the stand seeing his number held aloft and initially wondering to myself "is he resting him already, he can't be, I wonder if he is injured?". We all know what's happened since.

Its the games when we have lost that we realise just how much we miss him. We immediately think "If Frank was playing we'd have won that game". Against City, Chelsea lacked a spark. Against Liverpool even more so, Frank missing the game was a huge blow beforehand and Chelsea struggled once again to create anything of note until late on. Sunderland at home was a non event for our midfield. Over-run and out fought and when do you ever expect that from our midfield?, especially at home!. Birmingham is different as like I have said after the game we played really well but for Foster in goal.

May 02, 2010 - 05852345 date 02 05 2010 Copyright imago Frank Lampard of Chelsea Celebrates Scoring The Second Goal Barclays Premier League Liverpool v Chelsea 2nd May 2010 PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK Football men England Premier League 2009 2010 Single Vdig 2010 horizontal premiumd.

The Chelsea midfield isn't the same and we have suffered with Lampard missing and Essien for the last two games. Lampard is just as important to Chelsea as John Terry is for me. A vital cog in the makeup of our side and as soon as he comes back the better.

Lampard is the complete midfielder. Works hard defensively to be just as effective for the side as he is going forward. He talks to players through games just like JT. I don't see that from our midfield when he isn't there. I don't see the likes of Essien or Mikel talking to Zhirkov or Ramires giving them instruction, geeing them up and keeping them going. The voice seems to have disappeared.

It's with the ball at his feet that Lampard makes a telling difference as we all know. He makes things happen for us, whether it's a short pass out wide or a 50 yard ball from one side of the pitch to another. He has that killer ball in him that can open up defences. His link up play with the other players is fantastic and watching them sometimes is like its second nature playing with Lampard, you can tell the players know if they make a run he will play them in.

chelsea's frank lampard slides in to get the opener F.A. Barclays Premiership. Chelsea v Aston Villa. 27.03.10 Pic By Karl Winter Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

For me one of the key strengths of Lampard that has been missing is the late run into the box that we see Frank make time and time again. How many times have we seen players cross the ball or pull the ball back square for it to be easily dealt with by the defenders and cleared away from danger?. For Lampard it would be food and drink and you would have put your money on him scoring close to 8-10 goals already this season.

I can imagine Mancini, Hodgson, Bruce and McLeish all rubbed their hands in delight having to counter act a Chelsea side without Frank Lampard. Coping with a side without the influence, movement and quality Lampard has is a hell of a lot easier and in those games it has shown big time.

Its the presence of the man that the opposition fear no matter who they are. Frank Lampard (so far) has played 481 times for Chelsea, Scored 158 times and has made 96 assists for goals for other players. A record that most strikers would be proud of.

I firmly believe that as soon as we have Frank Lampard back fit and in the side we would be back seeing the Chelsea we all have become accustomed to seeing. Talk of a crisis will be just a memory of a slight blip the club had before Christmas as Chelsea get their big players back 100% fit and firing.

Its just noticeable that it has taken this extended period of absence from the team to realise just how much Chelsea miss and rely on Frank Lampard.

Stamford Bridge, Chelsea v Blackpool , Premier League 19/09/2010 TV Presenter, Christine Bleakley sits with her partner Frank Lampard and his father, Frank Lampard Snr Photo Marc Atkins Fotosports International Photo via Newscom




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