Who is better – Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard or Chelsea’s Frank Lampard? That where this discussion turned to, and since it has been such a contentious point for both sets of fans (plus England fans), let’s find out…
How do you compare the two best central attacking midfielders in world football?
Club (West Ham, Chelsea):
- UEFA Intertoto Cup (1999) (West Ham)
- FA Premier Asia Cup (2003) (Chelsea)
- FA Community Shield (2005) (Chelsea)
- League Cup (2005) (Chelsea)
- English Premier League (2004-05, 2005-06) (Chelsea)
- FIFA World Player of the Year runner-up (2005)
- FWA Player of the Year (2004/2005)
- European Footballer of the Year runner-up (2005)
- PFA Player of the year (2005)
- Most goals scored in a season by a midfielder (2005/2006)
- 2006-07 Community Shield (Liverpool)
- 2005-06 FA Cup (Liverpool)
- 2004-05 UEFA Champions’ League (Liverpool)
- 2002-03 League Cup (Liverpool)
- 2001-02 European Super Cup (Liverpool)
- 2001-02 Charity Shield (Liverpool)
- 2000-01 UEFA Cup (Liverpool)
- 2000-01 FA Cup (Liverpool)
- 2000-01 League Cup (Liverpool)
- 2006 PFA Player of the Year
- 2004—05 UEFA Champions’ League Most Valuable Player
- 2001 PFA Young Player of the Year
Frank Lampard has lethal shooting accuracy with both feet whether he is at close range or hitting the ball from distance. He is a typical “goal scoring midfielder” in the Scholes/Poyet mould. His ability to delay and time his runs makes him a lethal target man when arriving in the penalty area. His ability to maintain control of the ball under pressure, and pull competing midfielders out of position makes him an asset strategically as well as technically. His eye for the long ball is outstanding, and he is able to pick out players from a distance with clinical precision. He is also very dangerous from set pieces, and is a confident talented penalty taker.
He is a competitive player who likes to dictate the tempo of games, whether he is speeding things up with a surging run or calming things down with a pressure releasing lateral ball to a player in space, he is often the controlling influence in midfield battles.
He holds the record for the most consecutive appearances ever in the top division, and his amazing fitness levels are revered world wide. He is an influential and well respected player within the game, and has exceeded his potential tenfold through hard work and perserverance.
Steven Gerrard has explosive potential, and is a player capable of bringing any game back from the dead. His behaviour on the field is exemplary, chasing down every ball and making tackles your average centre back dreams about. His vision for the pass which unlocks defences is incredible, and his inspired cross-field passing is matched only by his ferocious long distance shooting, which seems to improve when his team are desperate for a goal. Gerrard is a talented free-kick taker, and is always a threat from dead ball situations.
He is not a typical central midfielder, as he holds the natural ability to outpace most players over short distances as well as the engine to keep him moving from box to box over 90 minutes. When he is on form, he is a fearsome prospect to play against, which lifts his team and decreases the confidence of the opposition.
He has the backing and support of the public because he plays with a passion and ferocity that is apparent in every run, every turn and every shot he makes.
When in possession, he encourages his team to press up the pitch and his influence can be the determining factor. His movement off the ball contorts defenses and causes opposition players to make mistakes, which in turn creates gaps for him and his team-mates to take advantage of.
Lampard’s slight lack of pace over short distances means he can get caught in possession when making attacking runs. The fact that his form doesn’t often drop means that when it does, he often tries too hard to get it back. He is quite badly affected by negative press, and needs to develop his self-confidence to maintain his professional manner on the pitch even when he is considered to be playing poorly. He can get wound up, and sometimes shows dangerous zeal in the protection of his team-mates and will often directly contest what he perceives to be the correct refereeing decision by flying into challenges. Lampard can take a little while to get into the game, rather than starting explosively.
Gerrard’s tendancy to look for the “Hollywood” ball, can undermine the quality of his build-up play. Sometimes he is overly rash in the tackle, and can find himself getting wound up on the pitch if he isn’t getting enough of the ball. Inexplicably, his influence in big games is sometimes not up to the incredible standard he has shown in other similar instances, often when he is expected to be the biggest influence. He has been injury prone in the past. His team haven’t facilitated his development as he has been their standout player since he broke into the first team.
All of these negative traits seem to arise when either of the players have hit a particularly poor vein of form. They both are still better than anything else the premiership has to offer in midfield, regardless of their form.
- The players are of equal standing, yet they are not quite as similar as people suggest.
- Lampard thrives mostly on possession, where Gerrard thrives mostly on powerful distribution.
The thinking man’s choice would be Lampard, as he provides a calming influence as well as a lethal cutting edge in any game, and when he is playing well, will boss any midfield in the world.
The passionate fan’s choice would be Gerrard, as he provides the explosive influence that turns a game in one swift movement, whether it’s with a inhuman crossfield ball to test the defence’s resolution or a netbursting 30 yarder in the dying seconds.
For those of us that like to think we’re both passionate and thoughtful, it is almost impossible to say which player you would rather have lining up for your team.
They both hold most of the same properties, as well as being the best in the world in regards to their “standout skills” mentioned above.
Needless to say, you wouldn’t want to play against either of them. 😀
Editor’s note: Bear in mind that while this is a great topic for debate, I don’t want to see either player derided unnecessarily. Think before you write, and if that doesn’t work, don’t write.