West Ham Fans have always had a problem with Frank Lampard. But not me. Until today. Contrast the hate-filled piece he's written about West Ham in The Sun today with this piece from his England team mate and all round good bloke Stevie Gerrard. The two pieces illustrate why Gerrard should be England captain and Lampard isn't fit to lace his boots...
"After I finally laid off spraying people with champagne and was leaving the Millennium pitch, Alan Pardew stopped me and shook my hand. ‘I’d hoped you were saving that for the World Cup,’ he said with a smile. Top man. Pardew’s players were also first-class. They came across, man after man, concealing their agony to say, ‘Well done.’ Everyone associated with West Ham behaved with real dignity in Cardiff, just like the way I try to be in defeat. If they had won, Liverpool could not have complained. Too many of our players were too disappointing. West Ham were desperately unfortunate to lose. Having played so well, it must have been gut-wrenching to go home without the FA Cup, yet they were all gracious. It really moved me that in their hour of utter desolation, West Ham fans stayed behind to applaud as I lifted the FA Cup. I’ll never forget that sporting gesture. I’m Liverpool through and through, head to toe, but I have a place in my heart for West Ham supporters after Cardiff. Fans like West Ham United’s make football special. Usually when we do a lap of honour with a cup, the opponents’ section is empty. The fans have disappeared, dragging their heartache with them. Not in Cardiff on 13 May 2006.
"The West Ham fans were tremendous, clapping us as we paraded the cup. Both sets of fans were brilliant, which made it such a terrific occasion. Back in the dressing-room we continued to celebrate, but I was gutted for Harry Kewell, who sat there, ice pressed on his damaged groin. Harry was really emotional, ripped apart with frustration after limping off in another final. I know how bad he felt in Istanbul, so my heart went out to him in Cardiff. It’s horrible seeing a team-mate I respect in bits. But the rest of the team were in party mood. ‘What a fantastic game!’ I screamed. Everyone raved about the match. The 125th FA Cup final was called the greatest ever, even ‘The Gerrard Final’! That meant the world to me. I love the FA Cup. It has taken a few knocks over recent years, and Premiership clubs are perhaps more focused these days on the Champions League, but Liverpool and West Ham put the shine back on the trophy that day in Cardiff. Good."
Marina Hyde (for it is she) has written a scathing review of Lampard's book in The Guardian HERE. Should you be interested. Thought not.