• Premier League

Lampard: I'll happily face Chelsea

ESPN staff
September 5, 2014
Frank Lampard joined Manchester City on loan from New York City © AP

Frank Lampard says he will have no problem trying to inflict defeat on Chelsea if he is picked to face them for Manchester City.

The midfielder spent 13 years at Stamford Bridge and has angered some fans by going back on a claim that he could never play for anyone else in the Premier League.

But he is confident he will get a good reception from Chelsea supporters when City, who he is on loan with from New York City, host them on September 21.

'I feared farewell foolishness'

Frank Lampard ended up 'stuck in the middle' at Stamford Bridge © Getty Images
  • Frank Lampard still hopes to get a proper chance to say goodbye to Chelsea fans after playing 648 games for the club and scoring a club-record 211 goals. But he admits he missed the chance at the end of last season because he feared he could embarrass himself.
  • "I only found out I would be leaving in the last week of the season," he told The Sun."The last home game was the week before, against Norwich. I knew it was a possibility it could be my last game and so would have loved to have had my farewell moment then.
  • "But I wasn't sure so I didn't want to do the big parade because that would have looked a bit foolish if it had gone the other way and I'd stayed. I ended up stuck in the middle.
  • "There are not a lot of things I regret in my Chelsea career but not being able to say my goodbyes properly to all the Chelsea fans is certainly one."

"I don't see it as a slight on anyone if I take part," Lampard, who confirmed he would have signed a new deal at Chelsea if it had been offered, told The Sun. The way I feel about Chelsea fans, it wouldn't be a problem to play in front of them again.

"I have nothing but good feelings for them and know I'd get a good reception.

"I know I said I'd never play for another Premier League club and I never thought I would.

"I left Chelsea and my feeling was to go to play abroad. So I signed for New York - which is a great chance for me - entirely in good faith.

"I know people say it was a set-up situation for me then to go to City. It wasn't. The only thing I hadn't worked out was how to stay fit before starting in the States.

"But then City approached me to train, play and be part of the squad. The champions of England, a fantastic club, with a squad brimming with talent. It just made complete sense.

"If I'd had five months off at 36, I don't know what state I would have been in to play.

"But now I'm fit enough to be involved and knocking on the door and I don't want to be here just to make up the numbers.

"I haven't broached it with the manager yet but I'm sure we will speak about it. I don't think it would be right for me to declare now that I didn't want to play because what happens if City get two or three injuries in midfield?

"Am I going to allow them to play a kid there when they are paying my wages? On a professional note, I have to get my head round that one.

"As a Chelsea player I would never have acted like that and I don't want to start now. Whatever I do, it will be with completely the right intentions on all fronts."

It could have been different, though, with the midfielder again confirming that he would have liked the chance to stay a Chelsea player.

"I would have obviously stayed if Chelsea had offered me another year," Lampard said. There was no reason for me to leave. Yes, I wanted to play a bit more regularly but I'm not stupid.

"If Chelsea had given me a new contract it would have been mad not to take it at the time. I had a chat with Jose Mourinho and both he and the club were always great with me. The decision was made - and I don't know who made it."

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