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'Legend' Lampard questions sub role

  • Guardian, Tuesday, December 13, 2011 12:24 PM

During Chelsea's 2-1 win over Manchester City Monday at Stamford Bridge, fans displayed a banner that read: "Lampard is A Legend." A legend to Chelsea fans the veteran midfielder Frank Lampard may be, but under recently hired coach Andre Villas-Boas, he's often a substitute. He came off the bench to drill home the penalty kick by which Chelsea beat Manchester City, and during post-game interviews did some questioning of his own,

"I want to play, simple as that," he said. "I'm 33 – I understand that – but I want to keep playing regularly because I've got a lot to give. I'm as fit as I've ever been. I've been in a good run of form and now I've not been playing. I haven't spoken [to Villas-Boas] so I don't know [why], simple as that."

Lampard has started 16 of 24 games for Chelsea this season. His repeated absences from the starting lineup and the probable departure of David Beckham from the Los Angeles Galaxy has prompted speculation of a move to MLS. After the penalty was awarded for a handball by defender Jolien Lescott, Lampard overruled summer signing Juan Mata to tuck the ball past City keeper and England teammate Joe Hart.

"Lampard is a legend here, a legend who keeps on providing a lot of good to the club," Mata said. "He is a great presence to have in the dressing room. I have only known him a few months but he is a great guy and he has been very accommodating to all the new players coming in."


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