Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Chelsea Must Cure Lampard's World Cup Hangover

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Chelsea Must Cure Lampard's World Cup Hangover

Article excerpt


FRANK LAMPARD isn't due back at Chelsea for three weeks but after all the criticism he has had to take during England's failed World Cup campaign perhaps he wishes he was back at Stamford Bridge sooner rather than later.

The midfielder, like club and England team-mates John Terry and Joe Cole, is not due to return to the Jose Mourinho school of success until the team fly to their Los Angeles training camp on 26 July.

While there is little doubt Lampard's body will need the additional rest, peace of mind may not be found until he is back at work.

For all the comfort provided by exclusive five-star resorts, they don't have a soothing ointment for the crushing disappointment of England's exit to Portugal or the answer to the stinging criticism of a bad personal press.

His spot-kick failure in the quarter- final shootout put the seal on a miserable tournament for the midfielder, who played in every minute of Engl a nd ' s campaign.

Lampard, as much as the u n d e r - p a r David Beckham and combustible Wayne Rooney, left the game's greatest stage last weekend with much to contemplate.

However, Chelsea's vice-captain also relishes the chance to silence his critics. As he departed Germany, he said: "People have been on my back.

I'm upset about that because I worked my socks off. I think I deserve a little bit of respect for what I've done in the last few years."

Former England midfielder Jamie Redknapp, who is also Lampard's cousin, said: "Frank has a thick skin. It's probably his greatest strength as a person. He's strong-willed, strongminded, he takes criticism and says 'I'll show you'."

Lampard's form in Germany came under scrutiny because he failed to score from one of his 24 shots during the tournament.

In many respects he was a victim of his own success after notching goals at the rate of a world-class striker in recent years. …

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