If David Villa, scorer of the first pre-season goal in New York City FC history, is worried about the arrival of Frank Lampard to NYCFC being pushed back until July, he’s not going to be saying so publicly.
In fact, Villa is willing to go one better than that. Following NYCFC’s first-ever pre-season game on Tuesday, Villa, Spain’s all-time leading goalscorer, said he believes Lampard staying at Manchester City through the end of the Premier League season is “the best thing” for the club.
“It would have been great if he was here now, but obviously for the football club the best thing is for him to stay in Manchester. We are only going to be focused to work hard so that when he joins in July, we can be a team that is really good and he can only improve us.”
First things first, which club are we talking about? Surely not the one that has to wait an extra six months for their marquee signing to arrive, at which point he’ll be coming off a full Premier League season — albeit as a spot-starter and regular substitute — at the age of 37.
Villa’s comments reek of public relations coaching and regurgitation of the company line. Surely the best way for any team to be “really good” is to have its best players available from day one of the season. With so few players having successfully entered an MLS team halfway through the season, surely the best (only?) way to get a meaningful contribution from Lampard is for him to train with and play for the club from day one.
David Villa knows more about the game and building a successful team than probably anyone who will ever write about the daily goings-on at NYCFC, but I’m calling shenanigans on this one.
Say what you really mean, David — “Obviously for the folks with the money, the best thing is for him to stay in Manchester.”