Chelsea are nuts to dispense with the services of Frank Lampard.
His agent has confirmed that the club has told the player he will not be offered another contract at Stamford Bridge come the summer. A crazy decision.
And, I wonder, is it one based on his footballing ability, wage demands or is the Russian owner Roman Abramovich holding a grudge for the part Lampard played in a dressing room dispute with former manager André Villas-Boas?
Lampard scored his 193rd goal for Chelsea at the weekend. A remarkable record when you consider he is a midfield player and not an out and out striker. Unlike another club legend, Kerry Dixon, who also scored that number of goals for Chelsea.
Frank Lampard has certainly been value for money. Signed for £11 million from West Ham back in 2001 he has been instrumental in helping the Blues win three Premier League titles and the Champions League. He has been Mr. Reliable scoring and creating plenty of goals and missing very few of his very many penalty kicks.
Chelsea fans love him and the feeling is mutual.
While Sir Alex Ferguson has held on to senior players such as Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, utilising them as and when, the owner of Chelsea is so short sighted that he thinks the best idea is to show Lampard the door. So proving again that Abramovich may consider himself a football fan, but he knows little about how to create a stable club on and off the pitch.
To have employed Lampard for a further couple of years would have been a wise move. At 34 Frank’s legs may have not seen him play every game, but he gives everything, every game that he does play. And how often can you say that about footballers these days?
He is a model professional footballer who, a bit like his father, belongs to a past age.
A time when footballers did not move clubs on a regular basis purely for another sign on fee.
It sounds silly to say it, but Frank Lampard just wants to play and win football matches. A statement of the obvious i hear you say.
Well it should be. But my having to write it says everything about the state of the game today.
Selfishly, as a punter, I will miss Frank Lampard. He has returned me more profit in the past 10 years than any other footballer.
Next out at Chelsea could be his friend and long term playing colleague, John Terry.
When it comes to player power, it is clearly not wise to mess with a Russian.
I wish Frank Lampard all the best and, with my punting hat on, I sincerely hope he stays in England – and is chief penalty taker for his new club.