Football: THE 3PM BETTING BOYS - LET'S BE FRANK; Easy Opposition Who Are There for the Taking .. Step Forward Lampard

The Mirror (London, England), March 24, 2007 | Go to article overview
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Football: THE 3PM BETTING BOYS - LET'S BE FRANK; Easy Opposition Who Are There for the Taking .. Step Forward Lampard


Byline: By Kevin Price & John Curle

FRANK LAMPARD - the biggest (and we mean that kindly) enigma in English football.

He is, without doubt, a fine and gifted footballer, a player who has been at the epicentre of Chelsea's success in the Premiership these past few years. A goalscoring midfielder with an incredible strike rate, one of England's much-vaunted golden generation.

Yet somehow we can't help thinking that Frank is also something else as well ... a bully-boy who gets stuck into those weaker than himself but who often goes missing when the chips are down.

Yes, he does land the occasional punch on the chin of a muscle-bound hunk but he's more likely to kick sand in the face of a skinny kid.

Let's look at his England record. Twelve goals in 52 Three Lion outings is a tremendous return for a midfielder. He's scored against quality sides like France, Croatia and Portugal. But goals against Jamaica, Austria, Northern Ireland, Wales and Iceland are hardly the stuff of legends. He's played in games against Spain, Holland, Argentina, Italy and Sweden with no sign of a goal.

His Chelsea form this season mirrors those stats. A hat-trick against Macclesfield, two against Wycombe and goals (just a sample) against Manchester City, Charlton, Wigan, Sheffield United and Fulham are balanced by a strike against Barcelona.

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