Frank Lampard has had an absolute nightmare since he signed for New York City.
Plain and simple.
[ MORE: LVG out at United? ]
Lampard, 37, made his 2016 Major League Soccer debut on Saturday and when he came off the bench during NYCFC’s 7-0 hammering by Big Apple rivals New York Red Bulls, the former Chelsea and England legend was booed by his own supporters.
[ MORE: Latest update on Suarez injury ]
Speaking about the unfortunate incident which rather sums up the central midfielders time in MLS so far, Lampard hit back at those who booed him.
“I don’t think the fans are aware of the injury I had,” Lampard said. “If I’m getting booed for being injured, then there’s not much I can do about that.
“I had a nasty injury which was an 8-10 week injury. In the beginning doctors thought it was a small injury and it didn’t turn out to be that. I’ve been training morning and afternoon to get fit. People don’t see that. So if they’re going to boo for being injured, as I say there’s not much I can do [other] than get fit, play and show what I can do on the pitch.”
Lampard also added that he now feels “100 percent fit” after returning to action but admitted it was bitter sweet after such a horrendous defeat for Patrick Vieria’s side.
The Red Bulls simply destroyed NYCFC and although the latter have made a very promising start to 2016 with Vieria’s men second in the Eastern Conference with 17 points from 13 games, a defensive implosion a la 2015 never seemed far away.
As for Lampard, he’s now made just 11 appearances and scored three times since his belated arrival in New York last summer. Let’s be honest, his relationship with New York City fans got off to the worst possible start after he hung around at Manchester City for an extra six months instead of joining the MLS expansion franchise in January 2015.
That led to instant resentment and hostility towards Lampard — even though the decision to keep him at Man City and help their PL title push wasn’t solely his — and it hasn’t dissipated since.
We’ve seen this trend of targeting foreign, elderly Designated Players in MLS grow over the years. Remember David Beckham being lambasted for joining AC Milan on loan and then getting injured? What about Steven Gerrard recently getting plenty of stick? Even Thierry Henry had his haters.
Lampard is paid the big bucks to deliver and the boos last weekend were probably due to a combination of things. One: NYCFC was getting pummeled by their rivals. Two: Plenty of NYCFC fans are frustrated they haven’t seen Lampard more at Yankee Stadium.
Let’s see if Lampard can get the fans back on side and stay fit for an extended period of time.