Saturday, 7 November 2009
West Ham's Greatest Ever Players - Number 12
Well, the top 11 fitted snugly into a pretty impressive team:
Parkes; Stewart, Martin, Moore, Lampard; Peters, Bonds, Brooking, Devonshire; Hurst & Cottee
So who would be on the substitutes bench? My Hammer number 12 is going to be a controversial choice but I don't care. Yes he is hated now, yes his contribution to the West Ham cause is the subject of debate and some might say, derision, but as the best player we have produced since Trevor Brooking, I think he merits his place just outside the top 11. So, here goes, number twelve is Frank Lampard Junior.
You what? Above Di Canio? Above Pop Robson? Above Julian Dicks? What about the rule of winning something? Inconsistent, outrageous, disgraceful! Blah, blah, blah.
Knock him as much as you like but Lampard is class and always has been. Those who do knock him should remember that we sold him for a tidy £11m, as long ago as 2001. Many Chelsea fans were amazed by the size of the fee, feeling that we had stitched them up, but little did they know the incredible contribution Lampard would make for the Plastics. When you consider that Abromovitch could buy anybody he wants, it says so much for Lampard's ability that he has not only been a fixture but a genuine star amongst a galaxy of stars over almost a decade. Joe Cole? Good player, but he can't hold down a regular place in the Chelsea team can he? Deco? Looks tasty to me, but Lampard has always been picked ahead of him. Bollocks is a star in the German national team, but he soon found out who was boss in the Chelsea midfield didn't he? Only Essien and Makele compete with Lampard for status and achievement in the Chelsea midfield and it says everything about him that he would probably figure in an all time Chelsea Greats team, never mind West Ham! Essien, Hudson, Lampard and Cooke would be a midfield to compete with most! Up front? Drogba and Osgood. But back to West Ham!
Had we not sacked his uncle and dad, who knows what Frank might have achieved for West Ham. Yes he submitted a transfer request but wouldn't you in the circumstances? Before that defining disaster of a decision, ushering in the Roeder years, Lampard had clocked up 170 starts, scoring 38 goals at a rate not far off one in every four games - hugely impressive for a midfield kid. Remember, Lampard was still only 22 when we sold him! We are excited about Hines at the moment, raving about a "young kid", but Hines is only a year younger than Lampard was when he left us! Look at the excuses being made for Tomkins at the moment based around his age and inexperience - by the time he was Tomkins age, Lampard had already clocked up close to 100 first team appearances! The Lampard knockers complain about his inconsistency, but what kid isn't inconsistent? The truth is, he was a wonderfully precocious player at West Ham who has matured into the real deal at Chelsea. Imagine, for a moment, what we might have achieved with an 18-20 goal a season contribution from a mature Lampard! What a waste! In his last two seasons for us, when he was still in his early twenties, Frank chipped in with 23 goals from 86 games - playing for a team that wasn't exactly pushing for honours. That is a superb record for any midfielder, never mind for a kid playing in midfield.
Oh, and by the way, Frank did win something with us - the Inter Toto Cup, scoring in the second leg of the final in Metz, in a 3-1 victory. So stuff that in your pipe and smoke it!
Posted by Hammersfan at 21:45