Lampard had started the first five of the Blues league campaign since new boss Andre Villas-Boas arrived from Porto before being dropped for the home match against Swansea City. Villas-Boas' side dominating despite being reduced to ten men after Fernando Torres' lunge on Swans' winger Mark Gower and ending up 4-1 winners. New signings Juan Mata from Valencia and Portuguese Raul Meireles from Liverpool had greatly impressed and the pressure was now on for the number 8. to nail down his starting place in the team after ten years as a mainstay in the team under numerous managers; Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti.
|Won't Mata? : Juan's arrival put pressure on Lamps|
Questions were being asked of the 33 year old as to whether the time had come for a younger, fresher alternative and whether he was past his sell by date.
Villas-Boas was quick to quash talk of Lampard's time being up at Chelsea saying ‘Frank is an established, top-quality player, one of the most important at the club. He has nothing to prove to the football world. He will continue to succeed in this club and be a big player for Chelsea for as long as I am here.’
|Time up? : AVB won't blow the full time whistle on Frank|
|Lampard opened the scoring in Spain|
|Heavens above!: Lampard celebrates after scoring vs. Bolton|
Frank Lampard; the finished article? I don't think so and I feel he will be a key member of the Chelsea AND England team for a few more years yet. I find it sad that someone who I feel has been an excellent player and a good role model for many, many years has come in for some unjustified stick.
Write Lamps off at your peril!!!