Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hate-Figure Lampard Ready to Hammer Back the Insults; the Chelsea Star Knows He's in for Another Testing Time in Front of His Old Club's Fans

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hate-Figure Lampard Ready to Hammer Back the Insults; the Chelsea Star Knows He's in for Another Testing Time in Front of His Old Club's Fans

Article excerpt

Byline: KEN DYER

AT SOME point during tomorrow's London derby at Stamford Bridge, the Chelsea fans are bound to break into song in salute of Frank Lampard.

" Super Frank, super Frankie Lampard," they will sing with gusto for their goalscoring midfield hero who has developed into one of the best of his type in Europe.

Yet before he began his triumphant era at Chelsea, Lampard was also an invaluable player for his local club, West Ham, just like his father before him. In 148 league appearances for the Upton Park club, Frank Lampard junior scored 23 goals and developed from a burly teenager who loved to party, into a wellhoned and dedicated young athlete.

However, tomorrow afternoon at Stamford Bridge, many of the travelling fans in claret and blue will have their own, appreciably more ascerbic ditties to chant, those which mention 'Fat Frank' together with other, more colourful alliterative expressions.

Fans often have a love-hate relationship with former players but there seems very little love directed at Lampard whenever he runs out against West Ham.

Why is this? Why can his contemporary, Rio Ferdinand, be given a warm-hearted, East End reception every time he plays against West Ham yet his good friend is vilified?

West Ham manager Alan Pardew has his own views.

The situation that went on here with Harry Redknapp and his dad left its mark on him, and I would think he bears more of a grudge about that than anything else," he said.

"I can understand that and he is very highly motivated when he plays us and usually plays well because of that.

"I don't know what went on here then but I've read a couple of things which Frank has said and he obviously feels the way his dad and Harry were dealt withwas unjust. I can't change that but I can see how it would motivate you.

I would feel the same if I thought a family member, especially my father, had been treated unfairly."

Pardew is right in what he says but that is not the whole story.

Even when Lampard was playing at West Ham, especially in the early days, not everyone cheered his name. There were accusations of nepotism, those who felt he was only in the team because his dad was assistant manager. …

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