The Frank Lampard Society offers the poignant, emotional, and ulimate entry from the diary of one Mr. Lampard. Please be prepared to see some very graphic and unintelligible emoticons. Pregnant women with a history of epilepsy and currently taking blood pressure medication are advised to proceed with caution.
MAY 5, 2012
It’s funny how, as we age, the words of our parents echo in our ears louder and louder. My father was footballer, and he taught me a lot of tricks of the game, but also many life lessons. As a wee lad, he told me over and over again the key to success is not lying in your bed and visualizing success, but getting up each morning and looking at yourself in the mirror and asking: do I have the heart of a champion? Since I was little, I’ve done so. I like to think that I can answer “yes, daddy.” Or “yes, father.”
Of course, as a young boy, the message was a bit confused. I took things a bit too literal. I thought, well, I’m little and haven’t won anything yet, but there’s lots of other champions’ hearts that I could get. Me and a childhood friend, let’s call him Tommy, hatched a plan. We gathered a list of deceased Westminster dog show winners of UK descent and, one night, with shovel in hand, set out to find the nice posh pet cemetery in Hyde Park. We wanted to excavate some champion dog remains and see if we couldn’t find a decent heart to have as keepsake for good luck charm.
Sadly, most affluent owners cremate their pets. We sneaked into Hyde Park and snooped about with our flashlights, but only encountered elaborate mausoleums dedicated to championship terriers. You’d think they’d have been pharaohs with some of the fine marble used! After a few hours, we finally found a tombstone for legendary Fox Terrier “Warren Remedy”, unearthed the casket, but only found bones and a really nice diamond dollar. No heart. Not even the ashes of a heart.
I returned home empty-handed and heartbroken. However, it then dawned on me – my father was not asking me to exhume and collect the hearts of dead show dogs, but rather to mold myself into a champion. He wanted me to create a heart of a champion within my own chest and with little to no necrophilia involved. Since then, I’ve done my best day after day after day. I’ve done millions of reps of curls to ensure that my forearms will never be out-flexed and will be able to point for over 90 minutes. And today, the work paid off. We beat Liverpool to lift the FA Cup!
Afterwards, Drogba led an impromptu dance session and many of the lads sprayed each other with champagne. I posed shirtless for a few pics, chatted up JT, and sipped on a long-necked Pilsner. However, like any good Englishman, I didn’t read too much into winning the FA Cup. Instead, I immediately started to worry about the tax implications of my FA Cup bonus, the looming Champions League final, and the announcement in two weeks of the English national team roster. Who wouldn’t?
Still, later that night, I looked into the mirror and grinned. I pointed to my heart and nodded smugly to myself. I was no three-time Westminster winning Warren Remedy, but I was a champion. And a double this season remained a distinct possibility.
NOTE ADDED MAY 8, 2012
Today our B team lost to Liverpool 4:1. The manager decided to rest me and some of the other top players in anticipation of the Champions League final. However, the loss puts more pressure on us to perform: we now have no shot at placing fourth in the league. If’s win the Champions League or UEFA Cup football next season. Ugghh. Do I mind the added weight to my broad shoulders? Maybe a bit. However, I have you, lovely diary, to vent to. I feel you’ve been a blessing. You helped me through the Mr. Gopher Manager nightmare, and even that meanie Kalou has come to respect you. I can’t imagine this season without you, even if I feel, day by day, that I may not need you as much as I used to.
I still dislike David Luiz, though. His hard-on for the former Porto Gopher has not softened. The other day, a few of us went swimming to work on cardio. Drogba called Luiz a “perm whale” and I just about pissed my pants from laughter. I really hope that Drogba stays on at Chelsea. I can’t imagine life without him. However, the money in China is quite good and Drog’s already given his heart and soul to the Blues. I’d miss him more than anything.
MAY 13, 2012
Once again, the manager astutely saved me from possible injury in a worthless game against Blackburn. I didn’t start or play a single minute. Despite my catastrophic absence, the team still won, with goals from JT and Meireles. I was sad that JT’s season came to an end and he can’t feature in the Champions League final, but that’s life. Sometimes things go your way, and other times you elbow a small Chilean man and get banned from participating in the subsequent professional soccer matches. Sale vi.
NOTE ADDED MAY 17, 2012
I’m ever so excited! Roy Hogson, the new manager of England, has named me AND Steven Gerrard in the team! The dynamic duo ride again! We’re for sure a lock for the round of sixteen now! Maybe even the quarterfinals if we’re lucky! I also fancy my chances of starting. No offense to Downing and Henderson, but my big game experience speaks for itself. After all, if my goal against Germany had been correctly allowed at the last World Cup, we’d have rode the momentum to a win and at least a third place finish. An eventual semi-final against Spain would’ve been tough, but a certain somebody we’ll call Rankfay Ampardlay nicked a winning goal against them at Wembley, didn’t he?
Regardless, the past is the past is not the present, but the present is exciting and so’s the future! I’m keeping my focus on the upcoming Champions League final, but my heart skips a beat each time the Three Lions call my name.
MAY 20, 2012
The tears. The cheers. Even the jeers. Today was unforgettable. After years of training and games and more training and more games, I’ve climbed the mountain. Chelsea FC won the Champions League! And the view from up top is magnificent. Of course, the ascent wasn’t easy.
For starters, we lost John Terry and that Serbian guy to suspension. Thus, David Luiz-er started in defense. I pulled him aside and I said, “Perm-whale, don’t go floating about back there, munching on plankton or whatever. We need you to be a shark.” My words mattered little. Luiz-er put in a typically bad performance. Luckily, Gary Cahill played marvelously. Even Bosingwa channeled the spirit of Paolo Ferreira and looked competent. Who knew that he was defender? I was my usual brilliant “regista” self. I followed Di Matteo’s orders to the t: I rarely walked past the halfway line and used my finally sculpted forearms to tug the jerseys of Kroos and Schweinsteger all over the pitch. Still, despite amazing me, this night belonged to Petr Cech. He influenced the match in obvious and not so obvious ways.
Yes, he saved some penalties. However, he also calmed me down before my essential-even-if-not-winning penalty. Before I lined up to take my perfect shot, Cech came to me and he said in his broken English, “time to pile on the ma-Neur.” At first, I was confused. Surely there was no horse manure to be found at the lovely Allianz Arena. Germans aren’t known to be friends of horses or horse-racing. I also didn’t have the proper gloves nor wheelbarrow to properly load and transport horse shit. Then, I got it. He was joking about the Bayern goalie with the last name “Neur.” He was insinuating the Neur was in fact ma-Neur, aka, poop. I chuckled and relaxed.
Then I blasted home my penalty kick, a Bayern player hit the post, and Drogba really piled on the ma-Neur!!!!!! LMAO!!! ROFL !!!!
I have never been so proud to wear the captain’s armband for Chelsea. Normally, at the end of a game, a player is gassed and tries to pass around the trophy due to fatigue. Who has the strength to lift a trophy after 90 minutes, extra time, and penalty kicks? A certain Rankfay Ampardlay, that’s who! Thanks to Di Matteo’s emphasis on jersey clutching and strength training, my forearms flexed with ease and comfort while I held up the trophy. No risk of a Sergio Ramos “cup dropping” due to inferior diet or exercise regimen. No sir. I could have held that trophy for at least another twenty minutes, if not a half hour.
Immediately after the win, I went out with the lads and enjoyed myself handsomely. The next day, we flew back to London and I scurried home to open you up. However, I paused. You’ve been so good to me, diary. You’ve been my outlet all season, a place to express my feelings as they ebbed and flowed. But I couldn’t quite think of a thing to say. For the first time in ages, I’m just blissful. No need to vent. No need to rant. Blissful. I appreciate all you’ve done, but I think this is my last entry. Assuming, of course, we don’t re-hire Andres Villas-Boas. Ugggh.
I don’t want to think about that. I just want to bask in the moment and sip my long-neck beer with JT and stuff my face a bit.
So, I guess it’s like my father said when I was a lad. For my birthday, he’d buy a nice cake and he’d tell me “Frankie, close your eyes, make a wish, and then blow out the candles as quickly as you can.” Life is a series of moments. For some of these moments, we close and open our eyes, aka blink. But in the blink of an eye, a blink of an eye passes. Never stop blinking. Ever.
Elliott is kickstartering for his second book, “Real Madrid & Barcelona: the Making of a Rivalry.” Check out the project and how you can help here.