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Frank Lampard: "There certainly isn't a gap of seven goals between us" and the Red Bulls

Well, let's hope!

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This is a nice tidbit I wanted to highlight, courtesy of's Dylan Butler:

"We can’t forget the 7-0, but at the same time we’ve got to use it in a positive way to inspire us to turn it around," Lampard said. "For me there certainly isn’t a gap of seven goals between us in a game. I think we’re in better shape now than we were then as a team, the way we’ve been playing in the last games. It’s up to us to turn it around."

"I know we’re not seven goals worse than them. We’re a team that can beat them, it’s as simple as that. But we need to show it on the pitch."

We've not exactly given Frank Lampard the benefit of every doubt, dating back to his strange, strange tenure with Manchester City, when he passed up the chance to ring in NYCFC's inaugural year alongside David Villa. Even when he returned from a nagging calf injury in that damned Derby back in May, he appeared to misunderstand the nature of the expectations -- and the disappointment -- of the local fans.

Over the last couple of weeks, however, Frank is Mr. Commitment. And like his manager, Patrick Vieira, he's measured and composed practically to a fault. Now that he's fully back in the fold and looking the part, that excessively calm disposition finally feels like an asset. As Graham Ruthven wrote in The Guardian:

Media and supporters alike have taken it in turns to take aim at Lampard. But maybe we’ve all been a little harsh on him. Maybe we should have cut him some slack. Even during his low points, we all knew Lampard was a good player. Now he might finally be showing it, scoring in back-to-back games as NYC FC have rediscovered their form.

After watching New York City's wheels fall off by the time they were 3-0 down at the half in the first 2016 meeting with the Red Bulls, Lampard's remarkable consistency and Zenlike focus are worth embracing, not deriding. Because you can't just up and lie down in front of your home fans again. The City Ego can't take it. Won't accept it. Really, I look at 7-0 like the free space in Bingo: you only get one.

Indeed, if Sunday holds in store a historic first, I'd prefer something a little different: first place in the Eastern Conference.

That would be more than enough for us to forgive Dank Frank's affinity for Phil Collins.