Lampard or Gerrard?
The 2014-2015 season sees the departure of two of the Premier League’s greatest ever players, both English attacking midfielders. They are of course Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard who after this weekend will be leading a new chapter of their careers across the Atlantic Ocean.
While Lampard may now be sporting the colours of Man City it was at Stamford Bridge that he became a club legend during his 13-year spell. Gerrard meanwhile is of course a one-club man and regarded by some as Liverpool’s greatest ever player during his 17-year tenure. Both are true greats of English football.
However in the pair leaving simultaneously the age old dispute has resurfaced, who is better: Lampard or Gerrard?
Okay, okay it’s a hard question to answer and no definitive response will ever be found as both players have advantages and flaws in comparison. Despite this we can have a look at the two so you can maybe make up your mind as to whom you would rather have in your team.
Let’s start with the case for Frank Lampard and the obvious selling point that is goals and lots of them. Never before has a midfielder demonstrated how effective well-timed runs into the penalty area are when it comes to boosting your goal tally. Lampard’s knack of arriving in the box for a tap in at the right time is uncanny and his shots from range are equally impressive.
The 36 year old amassed at least ten league goals a season between 2003-04 and 2012-13, a record to this day. Its this mind blowing potency in front of goal that sees Lampard sit proudly as the fourth top goal scorer in Premier League history, astonishing for a midfielder. Only Alan Shearer, Andy Cole and Wayne Rooney have scored more with Lampard’s most prolific campaign coming in 2009-10 with 22 goals.
In fact, with 211 goals Lampard is Chelsea’s all time top goal scorer despite his sometimes largely defensive role.
The six-foot playmaker has a thronged trophy cabinet consisting of a Champions League and Europa League trophy, three Premier Leagues, four FA Cups and two League Cups. Moreover, Lampard has proved his quality at West Ham and this season with City, despite age, chipping in with a number of crucial goals in the Citizens’ title charge.
Performing on the international stage proved simple for Lampard also, in 15 years the Chelsea legend totalled a century of caps (106) and 29 goals. He remains England’s top scoring penalty taker, a trait he carried into his club career as well as long range dipping, power free kicks.
However, the World Cup proved a troubled tournament for Lampard who competed at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 instalments. He holds the unfortunate record of having the most shots in World Cup history without scoring ahead of Jay-Jay Okocha. Tragically if hawk eye was installed for the 2010 tournament, Lampard may have avoided that title, as his ‘ghost goal’ against Germany would certainly have counted.
On the other hand we have Steven Gerrard, the personification of loyalty in the theatre of football with an incredible 706 appearances for his beloved Liverpool. Gerrard is an undoubted leader; no player has amassed more games for the Anfield side as captain and the 34 year old skippered England at the last two international tournaments.
Whilst the Liverpool born player usually takes on a more defensive role than Lampard, he has also proved an impressive goal scorer. Gerrard is a BPL goal centurion, is Liverpool’s all time top scorer in Europe and has 183 net busters overall. Furthermore, he possesses an equally envy-worthy tally for his country with 21, three of which at World Cups.
Moreover, while Lampard’s goals may have come in larger frequency many would argue that Gerrard’s often come at more important times. The also six foot tall playmaker initiated the famous comeback of Istanbul in 2005 with a superb header and scored potentially the greatest FA Cup goal ever with a thunderous 35-yard strike a year later. Both conversions won Liverpool trophies for their inspirational captain.
Gerrard also clocks in with an equally impressive trophy cabinet with a Champions League title also, a Europa League trophy, two FA Cups and three League Cups. Four different trophies and the Scouse wizard scored in at least one of the finals over those different accolades.
However, the Premier League title has proved infamously illusive for Gerrard despite coming ever so close on a number of occasions. The long shot specialist has made it his personal mission to end Liverpool’s domestic drought and last year proved agony. A high profile slip by Gerrard himself proved integral in Liverpool practically throwing away the title last year to Man City.
So it is clear that both players are legends for club and country, their attendance will be sadly missed in the Premier League but for the MLS’ gain. The question is certainly difficult and many are divided but whether you’re for Lampard or Gerrard, the memories they have brought will take many decades to die.
Kobe, YJA Senior Sports Correspondent
Priory Academy LSST