If there’s anything that New York City is well known for, it’s their impatience. Right now, New York City FC midfielder Frank Lampard is testing those waters.
After his whole signing scandal during New Years, then since arriving in New York City in late May, Lampard has yet to make his “Blue debut” with NYCFC, which was originally set for July 12th against Toronto FC in the Bronx, alongside Andoni Iraola and Angelino.
The game itself was pushed to a 3 p.m. start so the game could be televised live in England, however the only debuts that were made on that day were Iraola and Angelino, most notably Angelino who was originally listed as out on the injury report with an ankle injury.
Lampard, who’s been recovering from a strained calf suffered in training the week of the Toronto match has yet to make his debut, missing the club’s recent match against New England last Saturday.
But if there’s anything that can be said out of this is that there’s being injured and trying to come back, and then there’s taking advantage of a situation and a club that’s being very lenient on the 37-year-old’s situation.
— The Chelsea Feed (@thechelseafeed) July 22, 2015
While the club has continued on without his possibly needed presence, Lampard has been seen going around the city, continuing to enjoy the sights of the Big Apple like Times Square, Central Park and even hanging out with his old Chelsea teammates last night while Chelsea is in town for their pre-season tour. Lampard also missed training on Tuesday and was not at the facility.
Last night at Legends Bar, Lampard even went as far as to tell the Chelsea supporters and personnel that he “will be back” at the club one day.
He was also spotted at The Football Factory earlier in the evening.
— NYCFCWatch (@NYCFCWatch) July 22, 2015
While there’s nothing wrong with anyone going around a new city, enjoying everything that city, especially New York City, has to offer, Lampard has to remember that he was brought here to do a job. Unless he’s some marketing stunt by NYCFC (something that would give the club a really, really bad look going forward), it has to be time for him to get to work and play with the club.
Although it’s easy for one to say that NYCFC should just get rid of him, this is a team that, unfortunately, needs him. The loss in Foxborough on Saturday dropped NYCFC to 5-9-6 (21 points) on the season, ninth in an Eastern Conference table that remains tight towards the bottom half. NYCFC has a chance to gain legitimate momentum if they can defeat Orlando City (6-8-6; 24 points) Sunday afternoon in the Bronx.
One way they’ll do that is with Lampard in the Starting XI, helping bring stability to a sloppy midfield.
With Andrea Pirlo’s debut coming either Sunday or the following Saturday against Montreal, along with Mix Diskerud returning from international duty, NYCFC could have one of the most, if not the most, dangerous midfield in MLS with Lampard and Pirlo as the cornerstones of Kreis’ 4-4-2 diamond midfield.
The only thing they need is soccer player Frank Lampard, not tourist Frank Lampard.
But someone has to remind Lampard that in this city, if he can walk, he can play. Otherwise, he can leave.
This is New York City. It waits for nobody.