Frankly I don’t care. The fact is he went, and it was as if Upton Park experienced a collective euphoric orgasm. Three goals down? Who cares. Lampard off? Yes, yes, yes! However, the fact of the matter is, it was a bit of a dodgy one. Millwall-supporting Sunday Times columnist Rod Liddle has a rib-tickling take on it in his column today.
IT WAS an enormous pleasure to see Frank Lampard sent off in Chelsea’s game against West Ham yesterday. That’s because I don’t like him. I don’t like his perpetually put-upon expression, nor his apparent conviction that he is a sort of magical amalgam of Garrincha, Bobby Charlton and Franz Beckenbauer, when actually he’s Jimmy Bullard with an only slightly better haircut.
I hate it when he looks aggrieved during England games at Wembley, just after a shot of his ends up somewhere near Southall, as if fate had cruelly intervened to deflect a brilliant goalbound effort towards the North Circular and none of it is his fault at all or the consequence of him being not very good.
I hate those postmatch conferences where he explains how well he has played when England have been beaten at home by the Maldives. So seeing him sent off is always an enormous pleasure, especially – and this is the point – when the decision is utterly unjustified, as it was against West Ham. Then, the pleasure is enhanced because Lampard is forced to find an even greater depth of grief in his facial expression, because he has been genuinely hard done by.
Chronic and preferably cruel injustice is a much underestimated attraction in football. It’s one of the reasons I never want cameras on the goalline; goals are fun and exciting, of course, but they are not so much fun as the cretin of a referee, acting under FA orders, who makes a monumentally absurd decision…
The Lampard business was truly mystifying; he tangled, briefly, and without great effect, with Luis Boa Morte (no angel, mark you) – both of them on the ground – and then had the temerity to push the bloke away, having received a bit of a kick. At which point the red card was airily wafted in his general direction. Now, cackle though I did, I could see that it was a consummately unjust sending-off. In a way, this made me laugh all the more.
UPDATE: To all the Chelsea brain dead idiots who are trying to hijack the comments on this thread, don’t bother. Your comments won’t be posted. This is a West Ham blog. Go and post your filth elsewhere.