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Picture the scene. John Terry gets home. He doesn't turn the light on. Illumination would not fit his mood. He walks over to the oak-pannelled bar in the corner of reception room No.8. He reaches for a bottle and a heavy-bottomed glass. Only the good stuff tonight. He needs it. He pours himself an appletini. He has them pre-mixed for occasions like this. He walks over to the stereo and selects The Best Of Celine Dion from the motorised CD selector. The only other discs in it are Suggs' seminal solo album 'The Lone Ranger' and 'Blue Is The Colour'. He puts it on the stereo, and skips forward to 'All By Myself'. Outside, the rain lashes against the window. He sadly slopes over to the window and sits on the sill, one foot up, one foot on the ground. He stares out into the storm. He mournfully paws at the window.
This is the end, you see. The end of an era at Chelsea. The Proper Lads gang has been disbanded. Only JT is left. Didier has gone, Ash went too. And now Frank is on his way. A single tear rolls slowly down his cheek.
Funtime Frankie 'Frank' Lampard has played his last game for Chelsea, but hasn't yet announced where he will be playing next. Although, presumably the main reason for that is so New York City FC can get their money's worth from those David Villa billboards before they're replaced by Frank's generous frame. All the indications/rumours are that Lampard will be NYCFC's next marquee signing, and a pretty decent coup it is, since Chelsea apparently wanted to keep their record goalscorer for another year at least.
The trouble is, New York City FC aren't really a football team yet. They're an idea, a concept, something cooked up by the collective marketing departments of Major League Soccer, the New York Yankees and Manchester City. They will only actually become a real thing at the start of the 2015 MLS season, which commences next March. Until then, Frank has a few months to kill.
The World Cup will take up some time (more for David than Frank, one suspects), and Villa will spend a spell on loan at Melbourne Heart, now renamed Melbourne City, another arm of the big sky blue empire, but how else will Frank fill the hours before the start of March? Luckily for him, Profile365 is a charitable sort, so here are a few ways he could spend that time:
- Start putting that bloody 'A' Level in Latin we've heard so much about to use and translate some old scrolls.
- Show up at Chelsea training every day like nothing has happened, as everyone shuffles nervously and tries not to look him in the eye, desperate not to be the one to tell him that it's all over.
- Become a runner on The One Show. Does Christine still do that? Ah, doesn't matter, can't be bothered to look it up.
- Write a one-man show about the header he scored at Euro 2004 and take it to Edinburgh. It will receive a series of three-star reviews and become a moderate success at the Gilded Balloon.
- A tour of Victorian follies.
- Become Jose Mourinho's personal shopper/stylist. Lord knows he needs it these days.
- Continually listen to talk radio stations in case anyone mentions him, so he can reprise this quite splendid takedown of a presenter who had been saying some apparently untrue things about his divorce.
- Take over from David Letterman.
- Offer to do some leafleting for the Tories.
- Buy a pair of rollerblades and spend eight months scooching around Central Park. That's assuming he isn't a bit top-heavy.
- Join Liverpool on non-contract terms and have one last crack at that partnership with Steven Gerrard.
- Get an ironic haircut, some glasses without lenses in them, start reading Saul Bellow novels and just hang out in Williamsburg, man.
- Hunt down Jorge Luis Larrionda Pietrafesa.
- Go backpacking with Jamie.
- Actually get fat, making his nickname no longer funny.
- And what will probably actually happen: collect the very definition of money for old rope and spend a few months as part of uncle Harry's 'No Lessons Learned: QPR Take On The Premier League By Doing Exactly The Same Thing As Last Time And Giving A Bunch Of Old Big Names Loads Of Money' adventure, keeping Rio and Joe company.
It genuinely is a slightly curious time for Lampard, given that at his age he really doesn't have a huge amount of playing time left. Does he rest up and wait to throw himself into the MLS season with gusto, a new challenge in a new country? Or does he try to keep his eye-in, get a Beckham/Keane/Donovan style loan to keep himself ticking over until the real stuff starts? A tough call.
Or he could just do the rollerblades thing.
Nick Miller - he's on Twitter