Statistics have a mind-boggling effect on today's game. They sometimes have the habit in failing to tell us the whole story of the game, and can even lay foundations for the irrational theories or beliefs people throw about these days.
Just take a look back at last seasons Champions League final. Chelsea finally won the holy grail in the eyes of their Russian owner, but the stats tell a completely different story. According to the BBC, Bayern Munich had a staggering 34 shots with 21 on target, apposed to Chelsea's 9. The Blues committed 26 fouls compared to Bayern Munich's 11, suggesting that they were being overrun and dominated by the German's slick, passing play. The Germans were clearly dominant in Chelea's defensive third, winning themselves 20 corners compared to Chelsea's 1. Statistics show you that Bayern Munich dominated the Champions League Final, but Chelsea only needed that one corner to level the tie, and the rest is history.
However, one thing statistics do is define the sort of career a player had. Stats separate the good from the great, and the great from the best.
I recently stumbled across a photo which showed me career stats of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Xavi Hernandez - what I saw was baffling. I researched these stats on Wikipedia, BBC and ESPN.net to see how legitimate this data was. The information on the photo was a bit off, but what I came across was astonishing.
The stats below show the career appearances, goals and assists chart from who I believe are the five greatest midfielders of this generation. As mentioned above, these stats were all attained from my own research, and have been mentioned in this article due to their reliability.
|Paul Scholes||38||Manchester United||713||155||31|
Topping the charts is Frank Lampard. Just six goals shy of 200 for Chelsea and with 130 assists for the Blues, statistically Frank Lampard is the most proficient, creative and effective midfielder of his generation.
His career stats are unbelievable. He should be cherished by Chelsea, not thrown to one side due to his age. Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has used Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs to maximum effect over the years, even convincing the former to come out of retirement. But something tells me that Frank Lampard can still play week in, week out at the top level. Is that with Chelsea? I don't think so.
Frank is and always will be a Chelsea and Premier League legend, and although his affection to Chelsea Football Club is still as strong as ever, it may be in Frank's best wishes to pack his bags and move away from Stamford Bridge this summer.
Lampard would be welcomed at any top club, and Manchester United have been tipped to pounce for the attacking midfielder. Being linked with Manchester United in the twilight of his career is testament to Lampard's loyalty, dedication and professionalism.
At the age of 34 and still going strong, Frank Lampard has further cemented his legacy as one of the greatest players of his generation with his performances this season. Deemed surplus to requirements at Chelsea Football Club, Frank will be able join a new club in the summer, on a free.
Whoever signs Frank Lampard will be getting a world-class, goal-scoring professional who just wants to carry on playing football. This season he is proving Chelsea Football Club that despite being the age of 34, he still has plenty to offer.