Remember, this is not who’s better out of Manchester United, Chelsea, and Liverpool. This is Steven Gerrard vs Frank Lampard vs Paul Scholes, who’s better? A football debate I heard this all throughout their playing careers, and I still hear this debate now! Well before being a Man Utd fan, I was a football fan so, United fans might not want to read what I’m going to say from this point on (unpopular opinion) but all I know is when watching these three great footballer play, Gerrard stood out for me. So, if you ask me who’s the better player Scholes, Gerrard, or Lampard my answer would be Steven Gerrard.
Making a point that Steven Gerrard is better than Frank Lampard and especially Manchester United legend, Paul Scholes is the last thing want to do but, I’ve been asked the question more than a few times, and here we’re all about being ‘straight up and honest’.
I am going to break down my reason why…
Football Debate – No Stats
I don’t want to back my reasons up with stats because Paul Sholes would finish last by a long shot as they both have a lot more goals and assists. Also, I don’t want to back my argument with what trophies they’ve won because Steven Gerrard wouldn’t stand a chance obviously. If you want to read an article on this debate based around statistics you can do so here.
- Goals & Assists
- Passes & Touches per game
- pass success percentage
- Defence (blocks, tackles, clearances, aerial battles won)
- Individual accolades
Although the article is based on statistics surprisingly we both conclude to the same answer. Well, the same answer in putting Steven Gerrard first, however, I’d put Scholes second and Lampard third.
Best Central Midfielders Attributes
When you watch football and understand the game without stats influencing your outlook too much, you look at footballers in more depth and analyze the game in a deeper way. For example, you look at things like;
- Control the game/tempo
What we also have to understand the teams these respective players are playing in require different roles and objectives “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” (Babe Ruth). In a team where they had great players and were winning trophies, Scholes and Lampard didn’t necessarily have to be doing multiple jobs in different areas of the field. They knew their roles like everyone else in their team and that’s what worked best.
Gerrard was a lot more, here there and everywhere kind of player. Often throughout his whole career, the pressure was on Gerrard to perform or do ‘something special’ which he often provided.
What We Can’t Ignore
All the different factors above are why I want to strip it down to their footballing abilities. I could name a ton of best central midfielders who don’t have great ‘stats’ but are some of the most gifted and consistent footballers I’ve seen like Xavi, Iniesta, Pirlo, even Zidane one of the greatest midfielders in history didn’t have the greatest stats.
Speaking of these players, a lot of you may have seen quotes of players talking about how good Paul Scholes was;
“My toughest opponent? Scholes of Manchester. He is the complete midfielder. Scholes is undoubtedly the greatest midfielder of his generation” – Zinedine Zidane
“In the last 15 – 20 years the best central midfielder that I have seen – the most complete – is Scholes” – Xavi
Quotes on Steven Gerrard
“Steven Gerrard would be the captain of my World Xl dream team. Gerrard is a complete player because can play in every position and can do everything with a football at any given tome in a game” – Francesco Totti
“While at Milan he Ancelotti came to me and said, ‘i want to sign Steven Gerrard to play next to you in midfield – what do you think?’ Without any hesitation, I told him, ‘do it – go and sign him.’ At this time he was probably the most complete midfield player in Europe, of course, I wanted to partner him.
These are the opinions of world-class footballers, my point fr including these quotes is these opinions are based on the pure footballing ability they don’t base anything of stats or accolades.
3 Quick Questions…
A few things I always ask myself and yes its hindsight but still an answerable question
Could Frank Lampard do what Gerrard did in that Liverpool team? I don’t think so
Could Paul Scholes do what Gerard did n that Liverpool team? Again, no
Could Gerrard do what they did in their respective teams? I’d say yes
Remember, I am answering these questions from what I’ve seen throughout their careers, their gameplay, and their adaptability.
3 Great Players…
Three great players with three great careers it would be unfair to judge who’s the better player from stats, individual & team accolades. Stripping the debate down to pure ability is the way I think is logical.
Sorry to the Lampard fans I know I have not involved him as much as the other two but personally, when it comes to the footballing ability I don’t think Lampard is a great player. Now, don’t mistake that for me calling Frank Lampard rubbish, he was one of the best-attacking midfielders and extremely good at what he did, if not the best at what he did.
Personally, I just think footballing wise he’s not on Scholes or Gerrard’s level but the debate can definitely still be had.
There’s no right or wrong answer with these things, a football debate is all about opinion (someone could say Teemu Pukki is the best striker to play in the Premier League and that would be their entitled opinion so you can’t say their outright wrong but….in this case, they would be wrong) all you can do is give your opinions and back it up with valid reasons.
For me, Gerrard is a complete midfielder, there are not many attributes that I’d say he’s weak on if any! Even things you wouldn’t associate with him, like pace, taking on players, and weaker foot, Gerrard was not a slouch in these departments which makes him the best central midfielder out of the three.
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