LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Frank Lampard of Chelsea warms up prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on September 24, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
I'm not really sure what do make of the Frank Lampard stories that are floating around the internet today. Apparently, Lampard left the bench after Josh McEachran was introduced for Raul Meireles in the 83rd minute of the Swansea City match - the Mail have photos of him going down the tunnel - and, naturally, the media are having a field day with that knowledge.
If you wanted to take the most apocalyptic view possible, you could say that Frank Lampard is really angry at being benched so often and that his Chelsea days are numbered. Of course, you would only take said view if you had a strong agenda and happened to be looking to stir up the plot. Lampard hasn't shown any signs of discontent, has played the vast majority of Chelsea's time this season.. and, well, he was forced to play more than an hour of football in midweek as the centrepiece of a two-man midfield against Fulham. I would have rested him too.
At the end of the day, it seems to me that turning a man getting up the bench and walking off the pitch into 'Frank Lampard's future at Chelsea could be in doubt' (ESPN Soccernet) is journalistic irresponsibility of the highest order. We don't know why he left the bench, we don't know what he or Andre Villas-Boas is thinking. We know nothing except that he was a substitute and that he didn't stick around once all three subs were deployed.
So until we hear anything definitive from Lampard or Chelsea, can we stop the stupid speculation? Please? I know it's the media's job to essentially peddle utter crap, but this seems even sillier than their usual nonsense.