With Super Frank on 200 goals for the club, there is no doubting that we all want him to strike three more times and break Bobby Tamblings 40-year record.
However, has his pursuit of the record hindered our progress this season? I think so, and the facts suggest so too.
In 24 Premier League games this season, the midfield man has scored 12 times, but currently has 0 assists. If you compare that to other seasons, you will notice a huge difference.
2011/12 Games: 30 Goals:11 Assists: 5
2010/11 Games: 24 Goals:10 Assists: 4
2009/10 Games: 36 Goals:22 Assists: 17
2008/09 Games: 37 Goals:12 Assists: 10
2007/08 Games: 24 Goals:10 Assists: 9
Now, you can hardly blame the man for chasing the record, but while he has become a bit more selfish that usual, you will notice his goal tally hasn’t really rose compared to other seasons, it has always been between 10-12, apart from that stunning season he scored 22 times.
The fabulous stats on WhoScored.com delve even further into this, recording that he has, on average, recorded 2.7 shots per game this season. Now, that doesn’t sound a lot, but Torres and Mata are next on the list down at 2 shots per game, while Hazard and Luiz have averaged 1.9 per match.
Also, when you look at the amount of key passes recorded, our midfield trio of Mata (2.7) Hazard (1.8) and Oscar (1.4) outweigh Lampard (1) per game, and you can begin to see why. I do think there is a possibility Lampard knew this would be his last season in Chelsea colours, with no contract on the table, he may well be annoyed, and you can begin to understand that. After all, most of us were calling for the board to offer him one, and have been all season.
The question is, should we still offer him one? In my opinion, he either is focusing on personal achievements too much, or is simply not good enough anymore. This is further backed up from the passing statistics. He averages just under 44 passes per game, 8th highest in the squad, while his completion rate is a pretty shoddy 18th place, at 82%. Mikel and Cahill go over 89%, while Hazard, Mata, Ramires, and a host of others go over 85% per game.
This may not seem a lot, but as we pride ourselves on being title challengers, when you look at Cleverly, Kagawa, Carrick, Toure, Nasri, Silva, and Nasri, all of these average over 85%, and you struggle to find a midfielder with a completion rate similar to Lampards between the top two teams. You’ll certainly struggle to find one without an assist.
Many of us are hoping he can get those three goals before the season is out, but if he doesn’t, if would be devastating to cut his contract short there. However, should he breach the record, I think it would be best for both parties to go our different ways, but not without paying tribute to the fantastic work he has done at our club.
However, if we want to push on for that title next season, I think its time we hand over to younger talents, and let the likes of Ramires, Mata, Mikel, Oscar, and Hazard nurture them into the next Chelsea stars.
By Brad Smith