Let’s be Frank…

When David Villa and Frank Lampard signed up for New York City there was always a sneaking suspicion that one, or both, could find themselves wearing the sky blue of Manchester City, before heading off to the Big Apple.

Villa fresh from Atletico Madrid’s La Liga title would have slipped in effortlessly with Manuel Pellegrini’s style, and would have been reunited with David Silva, his Spanish international and ex-Valencia team mate.

New Blue - From Royal to Sky - welcome to Manchester Frank! Courtesy @MCFC

New Blue – From Royal to Sky – welcome to Manchester Frank! Courtesy @MCFC

Sadly that wasn’t to be as the accomplished, and still very capable, striker heads off to Australia with Melbourne City FC, prior to the MLS season kicking off next March.

More surprisingly, it’s ex-Chelsea legend Lampard, who is swapping royal for sky blue between now and the end of January.

Surprising in the sense that Lampard is synonymous with Chelsea and all the glories of the Abramovich era. It was always difficult to see him playing for another Premier League club, let alone Chelski’s principal rivals…but that’s exactly what is going to happen.

No change - City fans must once again #TrustOurMP and trust Manuel's judgement in the transfer market. Courtesy @MCFC

No change – City fans must once again #TrustOurMP and trust Manuel’s judgement in the transfer market. Courtesy @MCFC

Often lauded as one of the most intelligent of modern day footballers, Lampard’s professionalism will be put to the test, not only in giving 100% when called upon by his temporary employers, but especially if he takes to the field against Mourinho, Terry & Co.

Putting the ‘shock’ factor to one side and ignoring the hate and ignorance waged by disaffected Chelsea fans and unenlightened City supporters, it’s a move that makes complete sense.

Like tens of thousands of City fans on match days, I have barked insults and derision at ‘Fat’ Frank, but only because deep down, we all knew he had the ability to hurt our team, to strike a goal or produce a telling through ball that would deprive the boys in sky blue of precious points.

Whinging Wenger - Arsene doesn't like Lampard's move to City...so it must be a good thing for the Sky Blues! Courtesy @MCFC

Whinging Wenger – Arsene doesn’t like Lampard’s move to City…so it must be a good thing for the Sky Blues! Courtesy @MCFC

Put into perspective, if Arsene Whinger is moaning about it then you just know it must make sense and must be to Manchester City’s advantage.

Wenger and the rest of those who support the contradiction in terms known as UEFA Financial Fair Play, have only self interest at heart.

The fact that Ferran Soriano, Txiki Begiristain and Manuel Pellegrini are savvy enough to land a classy, experienced and, perhaps most pertinently, English, player for next to nothing,is a beautifully crafted two-fingered salute to the corrupt cartel which seeks to exclude newcomers like City from European football’s elite.

City are operating under a net transfer spending restriction of £49m this summer – a figure that will be all but spent when Eliaquim Mangala is finally confirmed as City’s new centre back this week.

Home James - City want Milner to stay beyond the current year left on his contract - the Lampard deal must not impact on Jimmy's time on the field. Courtesy @MCFC

Home James – City want Milner to stay beyond the current year left on his contract – the Lampard deal must not impact on Jimmy’s time on the field. Courtesy @MCFC

The club are desperately short of players who fit the ‘homegrown’ criteria, the rule that demands eight players in a squad of 25 are either English, or have spent three consecutive years with a club or clubs, under the auspices of the English Football Association, whilst aged between 15 – 21 years.

Of those that qualify at City only Joe Hart, James Milner and Gael Clichy can be considered truly viable. The others, namely Richard Wright, Dedryck Boyata, John Guidetti, Jack Rodwell, Scott Sinclair and the perplexing Micah Richards, wouldn’t make Pellegrini’s starting line-up or bench out of choice.

Homegrown - Joe Hart is one of a dwindling band of top quality City players who qualify under PL & UEFA 'home-grown' criteria. Courtesy @MCFC

Homegrown – Joe Hart is one of a dwindling band of top quality City players who qualify under PL & UEFA ‘home-grown’ criteria. Courtesy @MCFC

Lampard gives Pellegrini a wealth of experience and still, at the age of 36, an ability to make a more than valid contribution in the PL and, even more vitally, the Champions League.

City are restricted to five homegrown players in the CL with the squad being slashed to 21 under FFP penalties. Lampard is ideal for the CL Group stage, especially as the European game is often conducted at a slower rate than the frenetic pace of the PL.

Along with Yaya Toure, ‘Frankie Boy’ will be the only City player to know just how it feels to lift that big old Champions League trophy aloft…his insight won’t go amiss.

Back with a smile - Yaya, along with new boy Lampard, is one of only two present City players who have lifted the Champions League trophy. Courtesy @MCFC

Back with a smile – Yaya, along with new boy Lampard, is one of only two present City players who have lifted the Champions League trophy. Courtesy @MCFC

That said, James Milner, who is undecided about his long term City career depending on how much playing time he is afforded, must always be a preference ahead of Lampard.

There are those City diehard fans who claim Lampard’s involvement will impede the progress and development of the youngsters seeking to step up from the ranks of the Elite Development Squad. Nonsense.

The man with 106 England caps and, who may yet seek to prolong his international career, is clearly at the Etihad for the short term only.

Unreal - well it is until the official photo call with SnapperShaz - Frank the Sky Blue!

Unreal – well it is until the official photo call with SnapperShaz – Frank the Sky Blue!

It’s a brilliant piece of pragmatism by City as the club flatters the numb-nut UEFA dictators, into thinking that they have actually hurt the Abu Dhabi ‘project’.

If and when Frank Lampard takes to the field in a Manchester City first team shirt he will have my unreserved support. If he gives of his all in my team’s colours there can be no issue whatsoever.

Yes, his heart will always be with Chelsea – of course that will be the case, he’s only human and it’s totally understandable.

I’ll happily settle for his head and his shooting boots over the next six months, as City seek to retain the PL title for the first time ever and progress into the Champions League knockout stages.


By David Walker









  1. August 4, 2014  1:12 pm by Paul glennon Reply

    Brilliant, that is proberbly your best piece ever so that's saying something. We must never forget whoever puts the blue shirt of City on we must get behind and show that we are the greatest fans in the whole wide world, CTWD.

    • August 4, 2014  1:23 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Paul...but maybe make an exception if Shrek ever thought to switch to the Blue side? Only joking...we don't make mistakes in the transfer market any longer (fingers crossed).

  2. August 4, 2014  1:45 pm by carol main Reply

    its doesn't sit well Davy but what do I know about it, I used to shop at the Co-op, now I'm equally devoted to Sainsburys so who knows!

    • August 4, 2014  1:58 pm by David Walker Reply

      Hark at you going up market - it'll be M&S next, Fortnum & Mason...

      Thanks Blondie.

  3. August 4, 2014  1:45 pm by Unionjack Reply

    Im fed up hearing from journalists about us so called brain dead supporters and the so called hate and ignorance waged by disaffected Chelsea fans.
    It seems to me that its only fans that has any loyalty left in football. As a long time Chelsea season ticket holder and has supported/followed the Blues through the good and bad times, spending a small fortune that I couldnt always afford I consider myself loyal and not just following a fashion.
    I considered Lamps to be Chelsea. He was what Id want all Chelsea players to be. And as he was with us quite awhile i wrongly thought he would be here till retirement. But as he was offered a new contract and turned it down he was obviously looking for prestige and ego stroking elsewhere.
    Its not like hes a club butterfly that only hangs round a couple seasons and shoots off or if he left under a cloud or the club didnt want him like Wegner and Cesc but thats not the case . I would have understood any of that but I thought he would rather get lurgies than wear another PL club shirt.
    I know in the grand thing of life its no biggie and its his life blah blah and he says that he doesnt want to be selected against us but thats BS. Hes going to have to do what his owners tell him.
    Im losing faith in players. Im now thinking they ALL go round kissing their shirts club badges for show and it dont mean anyting to them its just to get us poor plonkers to pay good money for a shirt with their name on it.
    If Lamps can do someting like this then nothing surprises me anymore.

    • August 4, 2014  1:57 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks for giving us a fair and balanced assessment from the Chelsea perspective. It's a tough one and, let's face it, just about any set of fans could find themselves in the same boat with any given player at any given time. It's the fans who love their clubs and we all need to wise up that for the overwhelming majority of players, the clubs are simply a place of work. Appreciate you taking the time and effort to comment on what is effectively a Man City piece.

  4. August 4, 2014  2:09 pm by Unionjack Reply

    Ive always liked Citeh and been up yours many times as my uncle was a good mate of Neil youngs back when. and im not bigotted or against other clubs in general (although i dont love the rags or gooners) so i can appreciate the good and bad things that happen to all clubs.
    But after seeing a geezer run out wearing your clubs shirt for so long I suppose we wrongly get the idea they owe the fans something. Where in fact its all just a corporate uncaring cold business now at the top level.
    Its just us ijits that care.

    • August 4, 2014  2:43 pm by David Walker Reply

      Not really comparable BUT City fans felt a similar reaction when SWP went to Chelsea...it was just weird. You're right fella - it's the fans that really care.

  5. August 4, 2014  6:03 pm by DOUGLAS HENSHAW Reply

    Good piece Dave as long as the guy is wearing a city shirt he will have my 100% backing. Dont see were there is a problem although I do understand the Chelsea fans point view. As for Arsehole Wanger he should keep his nose out.

  6. August 5, 2014  11:45 am by Richard Cooper Reply

    Spot on David - a very astute move by the hierarchy at City.
    Lampard was, and I am sure still is, a very good player who like you say has had many years playing in the Champions League and because of the type of player that he is am sure he will give City 100% be it in the PL or CL..
    I am a bit unsure of the comments by people who question a player's loyalty - If at ths stage of his career he thinks moving to New York City and a 6 month loan to MCFC is a good move for him - so be it.
    Surely we should have respect for a player who wants to "turn out" every week than one who is happy sitting on a bench a lot of the time.
    My uneasiness with transfers is when players are manipulated by agents whose priority is purely their own financial gain.
    Most of us have "moved jobs" for advancement or to do what we think is best at that time - that doesn't mean we are being disloyal to our past employers - It's life. If Jimmy Milner moved on due to lack of playing time good luck to him - A professional should do just that.
    As for Arsene - Well, different day, same s---. He really is becoming boring - If he managed a club in our situation I doubt we would hear the endless FFP comments, and like you said it is only spoken out of self interest.

    • August 5, 2014  2:17 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks RC - as ever we seem to be as one on the fundamentals!

  7. August 5, 2014  8:08 pm by Toby Teasdale Reply

    when organizations start operating on an international scale it's called Globalisation's. It should not to be confused with selling shirts to band wagon groupies.

    The City brand is linked closely to the world’s fastest growing airline “Etihad” (derived from the Arabic word for "union”) who since 2003, has taken over or acquired stakes in; Air Berlin, Air Seychelles, Aer Lingus, Virgin Australia, Indian carrier ‘Jet Airways’, Air Serbia, Swiss carrier ‘Darwin Airline’ and Alitalia.

    In spite of the FFP stitch up, the City marque is already established in UK, USA and Australia. Japan, China and India will follow. Nobody has ever done anything remotely like this before. This year brand 'Manchester City' will become the transfer market's biggest participant. With plenty more Lampard's and Villa's keen to spend their golden days playing top quality football for a group who pay well, on time, and in full!

    Selling clubs, footballers and their agents will be queuing in the streets to meet Bergiristan, along with clubs seeking to loan players and parents wanting an opportunity for their precocious progeny to participate in the party (receiving a first class education into the bargain).

    Eat you your heart out Wenger. You are ‘Yesterdays Man’ !

    PS. Anyone notice the paltry attendance in Miami last night? I guess all the free 'T' shirts had gone!

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