Franks New Contract...
Firstly, congratulations to Frank on his new contract. He deserves it!
The club certainly made him sweat for it. You almost get the feeling that the club was holding it back on purpose, just to keep him hungry and motivated.
This particular article is about what I think Frank`s contract extension tells us about where the clubs mind-set is going forward.
Much of the article is based on assuming Mourinho will be our manager next season.
1) We will never know why the discussions took as long as they did but you get the feeling that the club has had a bit of a dramatic turnaround in thinking to award frank a new deal.
2) Could that turn around have been triggered by Mourinho? As far as I am aware, the clubs decision to release Frank was based around reducing the wage bill and giving younger more dynamic players a chance. Now, a new deal has been signed and in my opinion it was upon request from the new manager.
3) Frank is in the latest in England squad and it has been well documented that he would like to be involved in the World Cup in 2014. The only way that would happen is through consistent performances week in / week out at club level. So for those who think that Frank has signed to warm the bench for half the year, well you are sorely mistaken. Yes he loves the club, but he would not off signed if it didn't suit his own personal goals. He will play plenty.
4) Baring the above in mind, what does that mean for a player like Josh? If Lamps were to have been left out, you get the feeling some of our younger players (Josh, Chalobah, De Bruyne in a deeper role) would have had a look-in during pre-season to try and impress. It will be another year of loans for some of our brightest talent.
5) The extension of Frank`s contract reeks of a new manager who will desire instant success rather than developing a side with the use of a few youngsters ie Mourinho. We all know Mourinho won`t want to waste time and would therefore stick with an old experienced head rather than trying to mould a new one. Mourinho doesn't hang around for long and we can expect this to reflect in the type of signings he makes (26 or older, players in their prime).
6) I think most will agree that despite the goals that Lamps has contributed this season, his overall performances haven't been his best. The reason for this I think is two-fold, firstly he isn't getting any younger and therefore his performances are naturally deteriorating and secondly 4-2-3-1 doesn't exactly compliment him. If Lamps is to play 35 games next season it would surely have to be in a 4-3-3 as I don't think he has the ability anymore to play in a two man midfield.
7) Mourinho loved the 4-3-3 and it is looking increasingly likely that he will return. I fully expect us to return to some form of 4-3-3/4-5-1 next season.
In conclusion, I am delighted that Lamps is staying as I feel he deserves it. I just think it shows more short term thinking from the board which of course suits the 'Special One'. All signs point to Jose.
Thanks for reading if you made it this far.