Lampard to be thrown into fray after radio rant
Saturday 25 April 2009
Guus Hiddink will send out Frank Lampard to face the abuse of the West Ham fans this afternoon, despite the England midfielder's fragile emotional state following an extraordinary rant at a radio DJ yesterday.
The normally laid-back Lampard lost his temper live on London station LBC over accusations he had forced his former fiancée Elen Rives and their two young daughters to move out of their home. He rang the station to angrily confront host James O'Brien and said they should sort it out "man to man". Lampard's emotional outburst followed accusations by his former partner that he was being "a bastard" over their split. Yesterday was also the first anniversary of the death of his mother Pat at the age of 58 from pneumonia.
The England midfielder is always subjected to prolonged abuse at Upton Park, where he used to be booed even when he was a West Ham player. But the Chelsea manager said Lampard told him he is ready to play. "If I would suggest he would rest, he would be very angry," Hiddink said. "Frank is one of those players who loves to play every day. He's so strong. It's in his nature to want to play, of course, against his old club. I don't react on things externally. I only see and talk to my players, and he wants to play."
Jose Bosingwa will play at left-back today, a trial run to see if he can cope with Barcelona's Lionel Messi in the Nou Camp on Tuesday night. With Ashley Cole suspended for the Champions League semi-final first leg, Hiddink is pinning his hopes on right-back Bosingwa to prove himself.
"Bosingwa will start there at West Ham," Hiddink said. "We've practised a few days in this position. But I have options. We might even change it during the game. I won't say he'll play on Tuesday. We'll see how things are going. We have to improvise. But whoever plays against Messi has a tremendous job to do. He is one of the most productive players in the world when he's performing."
The defender Michael Mancienne – who has received glowing reports from the scouts of both Real Madrid and Barcelona – is another option at Nou Camp.
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