Does Lampard Want to Stay in Manchester?

Source tells columnist Nick Chavez that Frank Lampard himself is pushing to finish the English Premier League season with Manchester City
by Nick Chavez   |   Monday, December 22, 2014

Blue City – column on New York City FC (NYCFC) & the NYC area soccer scene.

It is well-known that Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini wants to keep Frank Lampard as part of his squad for, at least, the rest of 2014-2015 English Premier League season. But what hasn’t been confirmed yet is where the player in question himself prefers to be playing when May arrives.

As this story continues to develop, my source has recently told me that Frank Lampard is the one now who is really pushing to stay at Manchester City till the end of the season. As he put it, “Lampard wants to stay and is pushing the issue.”

“Pushing the issue”, of course, implies that there is some push back from New York City FC officials, and more importantly, City Football Group decision makers since these individuals are considered to have the final say in this entire matter.

 

Since it is clear that if Pellegrini had the final say, Lampard would be staying till the end of the season, and since the player himself allegedly is fighting to finish the EPL season, it would appear that NYCFC have an ally in City Football Group’s executives.

If this is true, these facts would fly in the face of the widely-held perception that all of NYCFC’s wishes are subsidiary to those of Manchester City, and that NYCFC only exists to benefit Manchester City and the club’s brand.

But even if that perception is inaccurate, that fact doesn’t serve as a solution to this particular dilemma.

 

If Frank Lampard truly wants to stay with Manchester City till the end of the EPL season, Lampard should sign a permanent contract with the Premier League Champions and City Football Group should shop for another star designated player to replace him.

 

No team should bother trying to keep a player who doesn’t want to play for the team when he agreed to, especially one that is based out of the proud City of New York. There is no way this insulting turn of loyalty from Lampard, if true, would be well-received by the Third Rail, NYCFC supporters and MLS fans in general.

 

It is probably better if CFG use the January transfer window to bring in another star designated player to NYCFC that would be useful and committed to Jason Kreis’s team, replacing Lampard who can continue with his career in the EPL indefinitely as he wishes.

Rumors of the possibility of Dutch Midfielder Wesley Sneijder signing with either New York City FC or with Manchester City to replace a potentially returning Lampard has been very warmly-received by NYCFC fans.

 

Many believe the 30-year old Sneijder, 6 years younger than Lampard, would provide much more in years he can contribute and compete in MLS. And having won the Champion’s League, league titles in Spain, Italy, Holland and Turkey, various cups in these countries, and having played in the 2010 World Cup final with the Netherlands, Wesley Sneijder is clearly a player with experience and quality that rivals Frank Lampard with 6 years less of wear and tear on his legs.

 

Of course, at this point, potential interest in the signing of the former UEFA Midfielder of the Year by City Football Group is nothing but a rumor, and for my source’s part, he says that there isn’t any truth to them yet, as far as he knows.

 

There’s been silence about any potential decision being made regarding Lampard’s loan status, with NYCFC Director of Football Reyna already back from his trip to Manchester last Wednesday. This is likely because, as my source believes, no decision has been made yet.

 

It’s also possible that a replacement for Lampard, who might play at either New York City FC or Manchester City, is being sought after right now, or perhaps, terms are already being negotiated with target players.

 

If CFG plans to allow Lampard to play out the rest of the EPL season without a replacement for NYCFC, and join the expansion club in May, it will be perceived as scandalous by MLS fans.

It would, of course, be a scandal of some high-profile precedence in the form of David Beckham’s loan extension with AC Milan, which made him miss the first half of the 2009 MLS season. Beckham caught a lot of heat from LA Galaxy fans for this, and Lampard should expect the same deservedly-rough treatment from NYCFC supporters if he indeed chooses the path of his compatriot.

 

On the other hand, Beckham did go on to win 2 MLS Cups and 2 Supporters’ Shields with the LA Galaxy upon his return, so this whole soap opera could end up having a happy ending for NYCFC fans as well, if CFG decides to go this route.

 

In any case, unfortunately for NYCFC fans, we may be farther than we thought from seeing this situation resolved, all things considered. But, if Lampard is indeed the one pushing to stay at Manchester City, at least City Football Group’s hands can be partly washed of the blame, because you can’t force a player to go to a team he doesn’t want to play for.

And if you’re a New York City FC supporter, why would you want to keep a player that doesn’t want to honor its commitment to you anyways? Representing the City of New York in the world’s most popular sport, especially in the team’s inaugural season, should be viewed as an honor, not a chore to avoid.

Nick CHAVEZ

Nationality:
USA
College:
SCSU
Club Domestic:
NYCFC
Club Foreign:
Real Madrid CF
This is the longest-running column focused on the only team representing the 5 Boroughs in world football: New York City FC. Long may its supporters continue to make history.
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