The football world and media, in general, didn’t quite know how to handle the strong support shown by the fans for Frank Lampard and Chelsea at the end of the 2-1 home loss to Liverpool. Some were absolutely flabbergasted just by the idea of fans applauding a losing effort, leading to criticisms about slipping standards and settling for defeat.
Of course, the reality of the situation is much more nuanced than that, and it’s a testament to the fans for acknowledging and understanding the context. Those things are not necessarily that common, especially given the increasingly fickle nature of modern fandom (and not just in sports).
It’s also a testament to Frank Lampard’s personality and legendary status at Chelsea, though he himself knows that even his honeymoon period will one day expire, and he will have to show a bit more than just good vibes.
“Everyone has been really supportive with what we’re trying to do and now I want to repay that. I want to do it quickly but I also know it’s a bit of a process. A lot of the fans are saying they see it might take a bit of time so that’s nice but we have to work like we want it tomorrow.
“I don’t want to just keep extending the honeymoon period based on passion and desire but I believe it’s also the responsibility of the manager to try to connect the club, the fans and everyone behind the scenes.
“That’s the good thing about having a connection between the fans and the team because it works both ways — you feed off them but then you feel they deserve a win because of the way they stay and clap when you lose. I really appreciate their support but now I want to give them wins.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC
It’s somewhat ironic that after eight games in all competitions, Lampard’s still looking for his first Premier League win of the season in front of the loyal Stamford Bridge crowd. Perhaps that will come today.