So Chelsea fans, who saw that coming? It appears Frank Lampard will be playing in the Premiership this season after all! And in blue too, albeit a somewhat lighter shade of blue. Diluted, fits nicely as a descriptive for the Stamford Bridge faithful who are still coming to terms with this aberration. Something which used to be potent, but has been watered down, lost its taste, some of its flavour, and some of its potency. Like a good whisky to which someone has added orange, you're aware of that which it was; the chief ingredient is special, but now the idea of consuming it goes against everything you know. It's sacrilege of the highest order, and extra special disdain is reserved for the person who mixed this combination in the hope that this output of disgust will allow the connoisseur to not tarnish their opinion of either of the ingredients as individuals used to concoct such an abomination.
But therein lies the problem. Frank was not only the main ingredient, something which was sullied by another outside force. He was quite probably the manufacturer of this most distasteful of cocktails too. Jose Mourinho has stated he wanted Lampard to stay, but in the end Frank decided to move on, and everyone assumed when he signed for the MLS outfit New York City FC that, he would wile away his twilight years in the game bringing football to the masses across the pond. "Nice one Lamps, you deserve it." was the general sentiment at the time.
How quickly things change.
Saturday the speculation started, a rumour abounded, and in the stomachs of Chelsea fans everywhere there came a tingling, not unlike that feeling when you realise perhaps a vindaloo might not have been a smart move after all those lagers. By Sunday it was confirmed. Frank Lampard will be a Manchester City player for at least 6 months, and the seething began. Let's not forget, Lampard left on a free, after finishing his contract at the club.
So, the iconic player of Chelsea FC for the last millennium, after reportedly being asked to stay, left of his own accord, and has subsequently landed at the team who are the bookmakers favourites to be Chelsea's main title rivals, albeit via a convoluted route which has had Arsene Wenger questioning if this doesn't circumvent the Financial Fair Play restrictions. But, that question is for others to answer.
I am aware I may have carried the drink metaphor on a little far, but the bitter taste in my mouth in seeing Cesc Fabregas curl in a free kick for The Blues against Vitesse Arnhem required something of equal or greater strength to allow it to dissipate, so forgive me for my continued indulgence. I fear many a Chelsea fan will now be able to empathise with the sentiment, and I extend a hand of sympathy to them, maybe even two, if it is Lamps himself who steps up to take a penalty at the Etihad Stadium on September 21 against The Pensioners.
After all, it's nice to know Arsenal are now not the only feeder club in London for those pesky Sky Blues loitering in the darkest depths of Manchester.