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Midfielder praises Stamford Bridge faithful as he prepares to face old club

Frank Lampard has praised Chelsea fans for making him one of their own. The England midfielder moved to Stamford Bridge in 2001 in an £11million switch from rivals West Ham, whom he supported as a boy.

He now gets targeted by the Hammers fans when he plays against them, which will occur again on Sunday when the two teams clash at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard said: "The reason I'm so close with the fans and have a rapport with them is that coming from West Ham and growing up a West Ham fan and coming to Chelsea, looking back I didn't understand so much it was a potentially difficult move because of the rivalry.


"It was a difficult year when I arrived and I wasn't playing outstandingly well but they took to me, gave me a chance, and in the second year got fully behind me.

"The way they are with me on the pitch and off the pitch, I feel very strongly as a Chelsea person and it's overtaken my life. I can't forget that.

"It's well documented that there was the potential to leave in the summer but I didn't want to let down the people who supported me over the years."

The club and fans also rallied around Lampard after his mother, Pat, passed away last season.

Terrible year

He added: "It's been a terrible year for me because of my personal situation, and that supersedes football.

"Football has been tough but on the pitch it's been relatively successful."

As for this season, he would like to help the Blues win another Premier League crown, followed closely by earning a first-ever UEFA Champions League success.

"I would like to win the Premier League back," he said. "I think the feeling we had when we won was amazing. That is at the top of my list, but the Champions League isn't far behind.

"This season has started very well for me - I'd go so far to say it's some of the best football I've played. I feel good and hope to continue that."

Edited by Kez
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Is it just me or does he look off his game this season?

Maybe its the high standards he's shown in the past, but with the arrival of Deco I feel he's lost some of his ooomph.

Quite the opposite, he's looked better than ever in my opinion, although he hasn't been so sharp recently - then again, noone has in fairness.

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