Frank Lampard – the Diary of an Old Midfielder

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The Frank Lampard Appreciation Society presents another series of entries in the diary of one Monseur Lampard. We hope you enjoy this untainted gaze into the mind of England’s once prominent philosophical bum-rushing midfielder.

February 5, 2012

This is the season that can do neither wrong nor right by me. One minute, I’m scoring important goals against important clubs in an important league, and the next minute I’m nursing an incredibly serious and debilitating calf injury. It’s so odd how exactly one year after sustaining the same injury, those Norwich City goons went straight for the hack-a-calf approach. Mere coincidence? I’m not sure.

Now, I don’t want to assume dirty play, but if you were fighting Achilles, would you strike his bulging biceps or exposed tendon? 90% of my body is a fortress. It may not look it but I’m covered in skin-colored steel that turns a menacing pink while on vacation in the Bahamas. Tackles. Elbows. Kicks. They bounce off me like an elbow off a 90% invincible Frank Lampard robo-clone. You could even take a two by four to my forehead and I probably wouldn’t notice. But not that lump of flesh behind the shins. It is Super Frank’s kryptonite. And Norwich City knew it. And now I’m stuck with boring old rehab.

Oh well, at least Kalou isn’t around to tease me. He’s still in Africa or something. In fact, I keep you (my beloved diary) in my Stamford Bridge locker right next to my physio workout book. I write in you right after watching TV for an hour while standing on an elliptical & chatting up Paolo Ferreira. That clown always makes me laugh! I do kinda miss Drogba farting in the whirlpool and then trying to blame somebody else, but I’m a professional, I’ll adapt. I really just want my fitness back. It seems like just yesterday I was playing two, sometimes three weeks straight without injury. Fickle father time.

NOTE ADDED BY FRANK ON FEBRUARY 6, 2012

I’m so sad, I could typo a sad face emoticon. :( We couldn’t even hold on to a 3-1 lead vs. United without me in the lineup. I don’t blame Meireles and Malouda for not being me, but they noticeably were not me. Malouda doesn’t really speak enough English to yell at teammates, and Meireles is too busy gelling his mohawk to properly focus and use his forearms to point at teammates for a full 90 minutes. Sigh.

February 12, 2012

I’ve been ever so good about my New Year’s resolution to not say or write bad things about Mr. Manager. In fact, the other day, a few of the lads were playing pin the tail on the donkey on the locker room. However, instead of a donkey, JT had posted a picture of the Manager on a locker. Instead of a tail, it was another body party. Everybody pointed and laughed as Sturridge stumbled around the room with a blindfold on. He is such a good-natured lad, that one. I’m injured, but Danny even listens to my shouts from the stands during games, and sometimes instinctively runs where I point with my eyes. In soccer as in life, some people must lead, some must follow. Sturridge has a bright future running where I point and doing what I shout, unlike some of the others.

Yes, we lost away to Everton, but the mood remains light among the squad. Rumors swirl that Mr. Manager may soon head for the exit. I’m also nearing full fitness. The other day, I was able to walk, shout, and point for over half an hour before I doubled over in pain. I’ve also been curling 40 pound weights, and my forearms have never been meatier. I’m optimistic about starting next weekend.

NOTE ADDED BY FRANK ON FEBRUARY 19, 2012

The shouts. The songs. The applause. Just when you think you’ve hit a dead end, the supporters remind you what a legend you truly are. Mr. Manager didn’t start me against Birmingham, but I refuse to be petty. I try to understand him for the frail, cornered, under pressure, unsuccessful creature he is. He’s like a gerbil that has lived in a really small plastic cage where he was king of small gerbils, and now has moved to Hamster city with lots of big long tubes full of big and smart hamsters. If I was a gerbil from small gerbil town, I’d also have my head a mess and not start my best player.

And besides, he finally bowed to the glorious Stamford Bridge crowd and subbed me in. Cries of “Super Frank” echoed about, gloriously. I recorded it on my cell, and plan on playing it at my loft on surround sound. Few people realize that Super is actually an acronym – the “S” stands for “Seriously Super”, the “U” stands for “Ulra-Super”, the “P” means “Pretty Super”, the “E” is for “Extremely Super”, and the “R” stands for “Radically Super.” I felt great playing and pointing. I didn’t even need to ice my forearm afterwards, although my throat hurt from yelling at Ivanovic. Granted, seven minutes wasn’t enough time to grab a winner, but it’s a start.

February 26, 2012

Another game, another Frank substitute role, and another embarrassing result, this time in the Champions League. I’m no scientist, but I’ve spotted a correlation. I sit on bench. Team gets early lead. Team gives up three goals. We lose or draw. Of course, as long as Mr. Manager is the manager, I will respect his authority as Mr. Manager. He did play me for a glorious twenty minutes, after all.

I also started the Premiership game against Bolton, along with Drogba and Essien. It was just like old times. The goals flowed like the flowing goals of the prior goal flowing era a few years back. Last year, to be exact. Of course, I scored the third and crucial to goal to put the game to bed. However, most fans didn’t notice my even more important actions earlier – I pointed at Mata and said, Hey, short dude, run and dribble and cross. Leadership. Anybody can arrive at the perfect moment and sweetly volley a cross home. Not everybody can point and shout.

Things got so good, even Kalou came on for some token minutes. And I didn’t complain. I didn’t pass him the ball, of course. But the endorphins overcame my lingering resentment, if only for a few minutes.

Things aren’t all rosy, though. I did get dropped by the caretaker England manager for the upcoming friendlies, but I’ll survive. I know who scored in the glorious victory over Spain. And I know that nobody can not work well alongside Steven Gerrard like I can not work well alongside Stevie. My body of work speaks for itself.

Elliott’s eBook, An Illustrated Guide to Soccer & Spanish, is available to read on your iPod, iPhone, and iPad for only $5.99 at the iTunes store. Check it out here.

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