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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How Good is Frank Lampard? by Alex McMahon

by Alex McMahon for World Football Commentaries

Image credit: Aleksandr Mysyakin.
Frank Lampard in action with
Chelsea FC.
Synopsis:

In his debut article for World Football Commentaries, Alex McMahon discusses the evolution and current key role of Frank Lampard at New York City FC in Major League Soccer.

Contents:

1. Chelsea FC Legend
2. Upside
3. Momentum
4. Key Role
5. About the Author









1. Chelsea FC Legend
Without a shadow of a doubt, Frank Lampard is one of the greatest footballers to grace the Premier League. The former Chelsea midfielder scored a sensational 147 goals in over 400 appearances for the Blues and earned over 100 caps for England during his international career.
Nowadays, Lampard is strutting his stuff for New York City FC in MLS. Unfortunately, it hasn’t exactly gone to plan for Lampard in America. A number of niggling injuries have hindered his opportunity to lead highly fancied NYCFC to glory since arriving at the franchise and he was actually booed off the pitch by his own fans after the embarrassing 7-0 defeat to arch-rivals New York Red Bulls.
2. Upside
But it hasn’t all been doom and gloom for the 38-year-old. Since that defeat back in May, Lampard has upped his game and the Englishman has managed to win over the majority of supporters. On June 18th, Lampard netted against Philadelphia Union in his first start of the campaign – and this strike sparked the start of a fantastic run of form at his new club.
Lampard actually went on to score four goals in five matches to help New York City climb up the Eastern Conference standings and the former Chelsea man will already have one eye on the MLS Cup, the ultimate prize in North American soccer. On July 31st, he became the first player in New York City’s short history to net a hat-trick as he led Patrick Vieira’s men to a 5-1 demolition of the Colorado Rapids.
3. Momentum
To put it simply, Lampard has been lethal since netting his first goal back in June – an indication that the former Chelsea man was perhaps low on confidence. It must have been very difficult for the midfielder to come in with such high expectations and then struggle to keep fit and avoid injuries. But now, New York City are reaping rewards from his talent; and their fans are ecstatic at Lampard’s contributions both on and off the field.
Vieira’s men are on the rise in Major League Soccer and Lampard’s influence is a big reason for their surge up the rankings. At the time of writing, New York City are sitting pretty at the top of the Eastern Conference and their attacking prowess is a big reason for this. After 25 matches, NYCFC have scored 43 goals – more than anybody else in MLS. And with Lampard, David Villa and Andrea Pirlo in the side, it is easy to see why Vieira’s team have been so dominant in recent times.
4. Key Role
Lampard isn’t the driving force from midfield that he was in his heyday but he can still play a key role for New York City. With the utmost respect, MLS just cannot compete with the Premier League in terms of quality, intensity and drama – and that is why he is able to stand out and make a significant impact on a weekly basis. Just look at Steven Gerrard for the LA Galaxy in the West, he is also playing a key role for his franchise.
On his day, Lampard is still a tremendous talent; and many believe that he could still do a fine job for one of the smaller Premier League sides. However, the 38-year-old wanted a fresh challenge in the United States and he got it with New York City FC. As of August 17th, Vieira’s men are flying and with a hungry, rejuvenated Frank Lampard leading the way, the MLS Cup is a genuine possibility for NYCFC this season.

5. About the Author

Alex McMahon eats, sleeps and breathes football. As far as his job description goes,  Alex is a full-time sports writer, part-time benchwarmer who is still waiting for England to win a major tournament.




Steve Amoia is a freelance writer and translator based in Washington, D.C. He is the publisher of World Football Commentaries since 2006 and published The Soccer Translator from 2008 to 2015. 

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