Ok, so I don’t want Lampard to leave yet either but are we going to have the daily outcry/mourning/rumours for the next five months?
Whilst the press have happily picked it up as yet another stick to beat us with, Twitter is doing its very best impression of the world’s worst ever round of Chinese whispers. What started with a tweet alleging Lampard’s agent confirmed he’s leaving, ended with him virtually sat in a nice little Milanese restaurant, wearing an LA Galaxy shirt whilst singing ‘when the R’s go steaming in’.
Of course Frank Lampard won’t be staying at Chelsea forever, nor will any player for that matter because football isn’t some twee fairytale with your Peter Pan’s who never grow old. We all know and understand that, right? Sometimes clubs choose to let players go and sometimes the players themselves want to try somewhere else before calling it a day. John Bumstead, Kerry Dixon, Dennis Wise, Gianfranco Zola, Didier Drogba – all great players for Chelsea, none of whom I wanted to see leave the club but guess what? It happens and we move on.
So why then, are we allowing the press to turn this into some sort of outrage? And worse still, climbing aboard a bandwagon that’s about as genuine as a cut-and-shut? It wasn’t that long ago (when dropped by AVB), the press seemed to be delighting in headlines suggesting it was high time Chelsea put him out to pasture and yet here they are, less than a year on, insisting the very thought of letting Lampard go is disrespectful in the extreme. Realistically, we’re not hearing anything concrete yet anyway so at the minute it’s all speculation. Why rise to it?
For what it’s worth, my opinion is that there’s some gamesmanship going on with both parties and neither are prepared to show their hand too early. For Lampard, just as he did when it was him dragging out the signing of his current contract, he’ll want to be getting the highest amount of money over the longest period of time whilst reassuring the club and supporters of his absolute love and dedication to them as a priority. So basically, if he talks to other clubs, it’ll only be because Chelsea didn’t come up with an offer.
Chelsea, on the other hand, were had over an absolute barrel last time and they won’t be prepared to bend over again now they’ve had his best years. So for them, the desired outcome would be much more low maintenance – a low key role for the short-term at a reduced rate. And if that sounds like an insurance policy, that’s because it is. This is business, which is why Chelsea are hedging their bets.
The club are the one’s with the upper hand now, they’ve already brought in the players and will continue to do so. If they wait it out and Lampard doesn’t talk to other clubs in the meantime, they’ll offer him a deal on their terms before the summer – and it’ll be up to him to accept or choose to leave. If, on the other hand, he does talk to other clubs in the meantime, he’ll have made that decision – and as far as Chelsea are concerned, that choice – to walk away.
Nah, they’re not that clever are they?