SASoccermag.co.za looks back at the legends of the Premier League, and today features Frank Lampard and his exploits in the 2004-2005 season.
The arrival of the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’, Jose Mourinho, marked the beginning of the 2004-05 season as the Roman Abramovich era kicked into fifth gear by funding deals for stars such as Petr Cech, Arjen Robben and Didier Drogba.
The Blues didn’t have it all their own way in the transfer market as defending champions Arsenal brought in striker Robin van Persie, while Manchester United secured an 18-year-old Wayne Rooney for a record fee for a teenager.
Mourinho backed up his boast as Chelsea stormed to the league title, their first in 50 years, after a bit of help from the Red Devils, who finally ended Arsenal’s unbeaten league run of 49 matches. Chelsea lost just once all season – a 1-0 defeat away at Manchester City – with Cech proving to be an exceptional goalkeeper. During a run of eight wins on the trot, the Czech international went 694 minutes without conceding a goal as Mourinho’s side held a five-point lead at Christmas.
In a team packed with stars, England international Frank Lampard was the catalyst in driving the men from Stamford Bridge to glory. The box-to-box midfielder ended the season with a league-high tally of 18 assists to go with 13 goals, putting him joint-fourth in the Golden Boot race. The nephew of manager Harry Redknapp cleaned up at the end-of-season awards and was named the Player of the Season, the Football Writers’ Player of the Year and was named in the PFA Team of the Season alongside teammates Cech, John Terry and Robben.
Lampard remained the focal point for Chelsea until his departure at the end of the 2013-14 season. His exit, after 13 years at the club, raised many eyebrows from fans who questioned why the club’s all-time leading goalscorer (211 goals) was allowed to leave with some gas still left in his tank.
Chelsea’s loss was Manchester City’s gain as Lampard joined the Sky Blues on loan, even coming back to haunt his former club with an equaliser during a tense league encounter.
Lampard is in the twilight of his career playing for New York City FC in the MLS.