Obviously, the wedding was planned months ago. Simon is a Chelsea fan and had quite confidently predicted that “Benitez will never get us to the Cup Final”. He was of course correct in this prediction, however, he could not have foreseen our fixture pile up and that the Villa game would be re-arranged for the day of his nuptials.
So we were just sitting down to our smoked salmon starter when Frank Lampard equalled Bobby Tambling’s goal scoring record and had just had the last mouthful as my mobile (discreetly hidden under my napkin) went into meltdown as he surpassed the record. I still can’t quite believe I wasn’t there to witness it.
There have been more creative players at Chelsea; there have been more charismatic players at Chelsea; there have been more versatile players at Chelsea – but, in my opinion, there has never been a greater player at Chelsea – certainly in my life time.
It’s not even the sheer number of goals he has scored but how important many of those goals have been – how he has so often scored at crucial stages in a game – the number of games he has single handedly turned around – it’s simply staggering. The regular discussions about who is better between him and Gerrard are ridiculous in my eyes – Gerrard is a very very good footballer but just look at the stats – Lampard wins every one – hands down – for club or country.
The irony of his two goals on Saturday probably did not escape him. He has guaranteed Chelsea Champions League football for next season – yet he may not be here himself. The fans have been very vocal in what they want. Every game demanding that he be given a new contract. Still no word from the ivory towers.
The thing is I understand why Chelsea want to build a new team – a new midfield, but who better to have the new players learn alongside? Not just because he is arguably one of the greatest ever midfield players in the English game, but also because he is a model professional. In an era where all you hear are stories of sleaze and excess who better to have to set an example and to demonstrate that you can have it all and be the best without showing yourself and your club up in the eyes of the world media.
Everything you need to know about Frank Lampard can be summed up by the fact that Sir Alex Ferguson claims that one of the few regrets he has in his illustrious career was that he never got to sign him.
I am still hopeful that the club will come to its senses – especially at it seems to be almost certain that Mourinho (another huge admirer of Lampard) will back at the helm next season.
So eyes now turn to Amsterdam for another opportunity to make history – never has a club held both the European trophies at the same time – I have to say, that appeals to me – can’t imagine we’ll have the same opportunity ever again.
Hoping that Hazard will be fit for the final as he and Mata often ignite a spark which can create something special on the pitch. Also his speed is something we have come to rely on more and more. We have so few pacey players and cannot afford to have him unavailable. He would be a particularly big miss also given that we will be very restricted in strikers for this game – especially as Ba is cup tied – so fingers crossed.
Terry’s injury too is a worry. Not that I think he would have played on Wednesday – Benitez has made it very clear that Terry is very much part of his B team, rather than an automatic starter – a bit bonkers given the fact that his leadership and organisational skills as well as his reading of the game often make up for any slight physical weaknesses he has. Also, consider this – in the 7 games that neither JT nor Frank Lampard have started this season, Chelsea have won none.
I bet we see Benayoun at some point though – a player that has contributed exactly nothing to Chelsea since he joined us. I have to admit to going into an absolute melt down last Wednesday when, chasing a goal and so the win, Benitez decided to ignore goal machine Lampard to bring on the aforementioned Benayoun against Tottenham. All toys were well and truly out the pram. I swear Benitez does it on purpose – still not long left until we are free of him.
Anyway, enough of that – I need to go pack….Amsterdam, Amsterdam we are coming…..
Posted by Trizia