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Frank Lampard – The Model Professional

By | 27th August 2009

frank-lampard-v-hullAre you a fan of Frank Lampard? Don’t worry, if you choose not to answer in the affirmative, you surely have some company. While I have written several articles here at Premiership Talk to demonstrate my support for Frank Lampard, this article is not about my support. It’s about the support of a certain Carlton Cole, who has chosen to idolize Lampard as he combats the jeering from certain sections of rival fans.

Cole was jeered Tuesday night amidst an extremely violent Carling Cup second round tie between his West Ham United side and East London rivals Millwall F.C. More specifically, the abuse that the Hammers striker had to deal with was racist in nature, as the ridiculous “monkey” chants resurfaced on a forgettable night at Upton Park. Given that Lampard has never quite been the victim of racist abuse, why has Cole chosen the Chelsea midfielder of all the model professionals he could have possibly identified with?

That is because Lampard has dealt with the kind of abuse that few others have been able to handle. Yes, I am talking about the abuse from your own home fans! Former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor lost patience and quit the Emirates as soon as he lost the support of the Gunners faithful. Similarly, Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves has struggled to keep it going on the international stage as England fans remain reluctant to accept the Canada-born player.

Lampard, though, has perfected the art of dealing with criticism in a manner that deserves all the respect in the world. As a youngster, he battled criticism from West Ham United fans who accused him of being an incapable player resting on his family’s laurels. When he departed to play for Chelsea on the insistence of the Hammers faithful, those same fans accused him of disloyalty. And most importantly, when he proved himself as the midfielder with the greatest pedigree in English club football, fans of the national team unreasonably attributed the country’s underachievements on Lampard alone.

Cole, however,  is a huge supporter of “Super Frank”, which can be witnessed in his acknowledgment of Lampard’s mental tenacity as follows:

“I take someone like Frank Lampard as an example. He gets abuse everywhere but he still gets his head down and carries on.

“That makes him a bigger and better person. He puts in performances week in, week out. I take people like that as examples to hopefully help me with my game.

“It’s about mental toughness. You just have to carry on with your game and usually you come out good.”

It’s certainly very refreshing to see Carlton Cole paying tribute to a man who has gone through his professional and personal lows without letting anything (and anyone) hold him back. Racism is obviously a huge problem that the society needs to confront as a whole. In football however, Carlton Cole has proven that youngsters combatting racism can always take the example of someone like Lampard, whose resistance against all sorts of non-racial jeering can even teach how to respond to irrational racist chants.

Racism, professionalism, and respect. Lots of issues here, so have your say below!

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