You may have noticed that the Premier League currently features a man who is being tortured every week. He is suffering an intolerable abuse of his human rights. We should pray for him. It is a crime against all that is decent that Frank Lampard has not been given a new contract. It is a madness too wild and perverse to understand.
Or that's what almost the whole of the media would have you believe and it will not have escaped your notice that every commentator covering a Chelsea match will have spoken about it, as will every discussion programme, ad nauseum. The current maelstrom of pro-Lampard coverage is overwhelming in its one-eyed brown-nosing of the midfielder. Reading and listening to some of it, you'd think the man was Jesus, Mohammed and Buddha all rolled into one thick-set man and not a multi-millionaire who may have to change employers late in his career.
We're repeatedly told that his goals are invaluable; his work-rate is exemplary; that he is a great example to younger players and is thus utterly indispensable. When Eden Hazard admirably decided to try and remove a ball-teen's kidneys with his boot, we were told breathlessly by at least one leading football journalist that it was Lampard who sorted it all out and calmed all parties down. He couldn't wait to shout about how this was just another example of his leadership and good, honest decency; a good honest decency that was being cruelly cast aside by Chelsea FC. This especially nauseating scribe told us all of this apparently without blushing, despite it sounding like a teenager's over-wrought love letter.
Obviously, the pictures on that night show other players trying to smooth out the situation well before Our Hero arrived but this was ignored. It was presented to us as a job for Super Frank and no-one else. This is all too typical when it comes to the artist formerly known as Fat Frank.
It doesn't stop there. Lampard is far from being a perfect player but when he makes a mistake and, if you watch closely, he makes a lot, it is merely ignored by his adoring media mates. No stain on the perfectly white Lampard panties can be allowed. In the game against Newcastle, you could certainly make a good case to say that he left Moussa Sissoko unmarked for the third goal. But of course, the commentator chose to ignore that and blame Petr Chech instead. This is just one of many such examples that you could find in Chelsea games but you will only hear the roar of approval as he scores another penalty, as though scoring a penalty is a talent no-one else has and no man could replace him in this duty.
Others in the media have invented a ghost army of Lampard critics who seek to tell the world how Lampard is useless and over the hill. This ghost army, according to those Frankie Fans, is forever being proven wrong by their man. Of course, no such army of naysayers really exists because we all recognise his qualities and his flaws too. It's an invention merely to facilitate more fawning over Frankie; trying to make it seem as though he has heroically fought back against tremendous adversity. He hasn't.
Lampard has clearly been a top-notch club footballer, but internationally he, like all the golden generation, is a repeat loser; simply not good enough often enough. At that level, he was not the creme de la crème but more often the cr*p de la cr*p. This too is now ignored in favour of revisionist propaganda from these same damp-pantied fans who seek to blame the England managers instead of their man. In this world of illusion, it wasn't Our Hero's fault for not being good enough, it was the manager's fault for not finding a position for him to shine. This is why, game after game, internationally Lampard was utterly anonymous and his inclusion a symbol of England's impotence. To the Super Fan, it is never Frank's fault, it is everyone else's, now more than ever.
He continues to play well on occasions; he scores goals and does his job. This is all good. He is not without talent even aged nearly 35, anyone can see that. What he is not is some indispensable footballer that Chelsea will be profoundly weaker without.
The Lampard Lovers criticise Chelsea's refusal to give him a new contract and point to it as another example of the shambolic state of the club, but they fail to understand Lampard has benefited hugely from the bat-poop mental way Chelsea has been run throughout his tenure. If he didn't like a manager, it would seem that along with some of the other 'big personalities' in the dressing room, they set about undermining and getting rid of him, time and again. The club have paid him a king's ransom for a decade, possibly as much as £50m, and he has won every honour in the game precisely because of the cavalier, disloyal, chaotic, bonkers and money-drenched manner in with Chelsea has been run, the very same manner in which they are run today and because of which he is not being offered a contract, or not yet anyway.
The idea that he is now being treated badly because the club thinks he might get much worse and more injured in the next two years, is patently ludicrous. Rather, it sounds like an untypical sensible move by the club to not pile huge amounts of money into a player at the fag end of his career. Indeed, if I was to make a guess, I'd say that they actually will still yet end up doing so. It's exactly the sort of awful error of judgment that they have a long record of making.
Because Lampard is English and seems a decent chap and not one of the grunt monkeys that think proper sentence construction a sign of being gay, he is being radically over-vaunted at this point in his career. He has a great goal-scoring record and has served his club well in return for his millions but hey, all things come to an end sometime. It's OK. It's not a tragedy and there is some logic in it ending now.
Maybe these fan-boys need to believe there is one good guy out there and have decided it is to be Mr Lampard and so no-one and nothing can be said against him. And indeed, I don't really want to say anything against him either. He's a perfectly good footballer. But he's neither a god nor some sort of tortured artist being broken on the wheel of Chelsea's cruel policy and trying to make him that actually just diminishes him.
He is categorically not, in any way whatsoever, suffering any kind of injustice, nor is he indispensable for Chelsea, and pretending that this is the case is quite simply a grotesque and insulting fantasy.