When legendary Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard officially joined Manchester City’s affiliate club, NYCFC, New York soccer fans were understandably thrilled. That happened on June 24. It was eventually announced that Lampard would be spending the beginning of the Premier League season on loan in Manchester to gain fitness for the upcoming MLS season. A few months and many goals later, the City Group, who owns both clubs, have decided to extend Lamps’ stay in England. All the blame immediately went to New York.
The blame directed towards the NYCFC hierarchy was completely unwarranted. NYCFC is a club that has no control over itself; the owners of Manchester City make all the decisions. If you ran Manchester City and you had a legendary player scoring many goals for you, wouldn’t you choose to keep him on your side if you could? The blame should go to the men in Manchester, not New York.
Perhaps even more absurdly, there is loads of blame going to Lampard himself. At the beginning of the Englishman’s loan spell, he was expected to be an unimportant rotation player. However, he has turned into a pivotal player and is helping the Citizens challenge for silverware on multiple fronts, netting seven goals in 19 appearances. He was a substitute in 15 of those matches. Now pretend you are Frank Lampard. You are enjoying scintillating form for a world-class team in your own country. You are given the choice of staying on that team or moving to a different country for a start-up club, wouldn’t you choose to stay in Manchester?
All that said, I myself am an inaugural NYCFC season ticket holder. I will yearn to see Lampard at the beginning of the season (even though we already have David Villa). However, I understand that the people who run NYCFC, don’t really run NYCFC and both them and Lampard can’t be blamed for his stay in Manchester.
Lampard after scoring against Chelsea