Is Lampard or Gerrard the more valuable midfielder?

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    Millions have debated long and hard who is the superior footballer: Stevie G or Frank Lampard. Never have I seen two iconic footballers so comparable in terms of nationality, duration, position, influence and passion.

    Hell, they even wear the same number 8 jersey for their respective clubs.

    Now, the only fair way to settle this is through three criteria. Stats, opinions, and an good old Google fight.

    In the red corner, standing at six foot tall, the captain of the Liverpool Football Club, Steven Gerrard.

    • Age: 31
    • Postion: Attacking Mid
    • Debut: 1998 (18 years old)
    • England caps: 89, England goals: 19
    • Liverpool appearances: 570, goals: 145
    • Trophies: Champions League 2005, FA Cup 2001-02, 2005-06, League Cup 2000-01, 2002-03, Community Shield 2001, 2006, UEFA Cup 2000-01, UEFA Super Cup 2001, 2005
    • FWA Footballer of the Year: 2009
    • PFA Players’ Player of the Year: 2006
    • PFA Young Player of the Year: 2001
    • PFA Fans’ Player of the Year: 2001, 2009
    • PFA Team of the Year: 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
    • FA Premier League Player of the Month: March 2001, March 2003, December 2004, April 2006, March 2009
    • Liverpool top goalscorer: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09
    • UEFA Club Footballer of the Year: 2005
    • UEFA Champions League Final Man of the Match: 2005
    • UEFA Team of the Year: 2005, 2006, 2007
    • FIFA/FIFPro World XI: 2007, 2008, 2009
    • FA Cup Final Man of the Match: 2006
    • Goal of the Season: 2006
    • England Player of the Year: 2007
    • Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE): 2007

    My personal favourite Gerrard moments can be seen here, here and here.

    Now in the blue corner, playing for Chelsea FC, and formerly of West Ham: Frank Lampard.

    • Age: 33
    • Postion: Attacking Mid
    • Debut: 1995 (18 years old)
    • England Caps: 90, goals: 23
    • West Ham appearances: 148, goals: 24
    • Chelsea appearances: 363, goals: 124
    • Trophies: UEFA Cup 1999 , Premier League 2004–05, 2005–06, 2009–10, FA Cup 2007, 2009, 2010, League Cup 2005, 2007, Community Shield 2005, 2009, World Football Challenge 2009, Barclays Asia Trophy 2003, 2011
    • 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year – Silver Award
    • 2005 Ballon d’Or – Silver Award
    • FWA Footballer of the Year: 2005
    • UEFA Club Midfielder of the Year: 2008
    • World XI: 2005
    • PFA Fans’ Player of the Year: 2005
    • Premier League Player of the Decade, (2000–2009), according to official statistics
    • England Player of the Year: 2004, 2005
    • UEFA Euro 2004 Team of the Tournament
    • Premier League Player of the Month: September 2003, April 2005, October 2005, October 2008
    • Premier League Player of the Season: 2004-05, 2005–06
    • Chelsea Player of the Year: 2004, 2005, 2009
    • PFA Premier League Team of the Year: 2004, 2005, 2006
    • 2004–05 Barclays Merit Award (for 164 consecutive appearances)
    • Premier League leader in assists: 2004–05 (16), 2009–10 (17)
    • FA Cup best player: 2006–07, 2008–09, 2009–10
    • FA Cup Final Man of the Match: 2007
    • Carling Cup best player: 2004–05, 2006–07
    • Midfielder with the most goals in Premier League history (145)
    • Chelsea F.C. top goalscorer: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08
    • 2011 Barclays Asia Trophy player of tournament

    My favourites Lampard videos include this, this and this.

    Lampard has the edge over Gerrard in the trophy department with his three Premier League Titles, yet Gerrard has the UEFA Champions League trophy in his cabinet, which is the most difficult trophy to obtain.

    They each have a stack of League and FA Cups and numerous other awards, although shamefully neither was able to help a stacked 2000s England team to any major silverware.

    They’ve both had brief stints as captain and they have almost the same number of international caps and goals.

    Lampard was voted second best player in the world in 2005; he is also the highest-scoring midfielder in EPL history, an amazing record considering the amount of talent that has graced the fields over the years.

    Ashley Cole, a Chelsea and England player, included Gerrard into his all-time first XI over his club teammate Lampard. Gerrard has also been voted as the second most influential Liverpool player of all time behind his coach King Kenny.

    All in all they are both immensely gifted footballers and contemporaries. It makes me wonder what would have happened if Gerrard had signed alongside Lampard for Chelsea in 2005.

    My personal feelings tell me that Gerrard is the more talented footballer, but Lampard has squeezed every bit of potential out of himself to have such a career. In about 10 years time when both players are retired and possibly coaching, we will really start to appreciate how good these two legends were at the game.

    I will say this however. If Lampard goes to the MLS or retires without having won the Big Ears, he still would in my book rank a tad higher than Gerrard.

    On the other hand, if Gerrard plays out his career without major injury and picks up a few more trophies, specifically the Premier League, then I would have no hesitation in putting him above Lampard.

    Oh, by the way, Google Fight says that Gerrard would beat Lampard any day of the week, with 2,910,000 results against 1,610,000. Now I’ll leave you, the reader, to make your choice.

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    The Crowd Says (33)

    • February 6th 2012 @ 7:12am
      Lion Heart said | February 6th 2012 @ 7:12am | ! Report

      Lampard has won premier league because Chelsea bought the titles, otherwise without Abrahmovic’s money Chelsea would be nothing and same is case with Lampard but on the other hand Gerrard has won the champions league on his own. Lampard is still a great player but he played in a great team whereas Gerrard has played in a average team even then Lampardhasn’t been able to outshine Gerrard, so Gerrard is the better player.

      • November 29th 2013 @ 5:53am
        tamsir camara said | November 29th 2013 @ 5:53am | ! Report

        sorry lion, they both good players i just don’t agree with your statement even though money makes a big difference, liverpool is a big club with money, gerrard had alongside him big players coming from everywhere.i’m a chelsea fan and honestly talent wise i think gerrard has a little bit advantage but overhaul lampard is a much better complete footballer, time had show us exactly what lampard is about at 35 still holding epl record goal scorer from his position and 200+ goals for chelsea.

    • February 6th 2012 @ 2:58pm
      hamid said | February 6th 2012 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

      if gerrard played for chelsea, chelsea would have won a lot more trophies then what they have

    • Roar Guru

      February 6th 2012 @ 4:59pm
      TheMagnificent11 said | February 6th 2012 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

      If I was picking an England team, I would not have either in my starting line-up. To be a team the wins consistently against the very best you need to dictate the pace of the game with midfielders who can control possession. In that aspect, players like Scholes, Wilshire, Cleverley, Carrick and Britton are more valuable to play alongside a defensive midfielder of Parker or Barry (I would actually go with 3 central midfielders and pick 2 good passers to go with a defensive players).

      Neither Gerrard or Lampard are known for their passing and vision. Furthermore, neither racks up a lot of assists. Gerrard is all pace, power and determination (if he was born on the continent he probably would have been a striker). Lampard is an excellent finisher who makes intelligent runs into the box. Therefore, neither is going to help you to control the game.

      It’s no surprise to me that Liverpool have missed out on the top 4 of the EPL ever since Xabi Alonso left. He is more influential than Gerrard. However, he doesn’t score spectacular individual goals so most people don’t notice his influence.

      • February 6th 2012 @ 6:07pm
        border1992 said | February 6th 2012 @ 6:07pm | ! Report

        While playing two good passers and a defensive mid would help you control the game and possession, you are then relying heavily on your strikers to score all your goals, a successful team needs goals from their midfielders, after all you can’t win if you don’t score!

        I’m a fan of both Gerrard and Lampard, however being a Liverpool supporter i have seen a lot more of Gerrard. Many times I have seen Gerrard hit a diagonal cross field pass pin point, passes that require passing and vision, Gerrard can more than hold his own in the passing department with any of those you listed.

        Totally agree with you about Xabi Alonso though. He was incredibly influential and is sorely missed!

        • Roar Guru

          February 6th 2012 @ 9:21pm
          TheMagnificent11 said | February 6th 2012 @ 9:21pm | ! Report

          I’m not saying Gerrard and Lampard are not good passers; they’re just players that cannot dictate a game with their passing the same way Scholes, Xavi, Xabi Alonso etc can.

          And yes, you need your midfield to score goals. However, neither Gerrard or Lampard are not prolific for England (their rates are about average for midfielders). This is because when they play for England, the creative midfielders are not there (and the opposition is often better than half the teams in the EPL). They have more responsibilities than they do for their clubs.

      • February 6th 2012 @ 8:01pm
        Subrasub said | February 6th 2012 @ 8:01pm | ! Report

        You really must not watch any Chelsea or Liverpool matches to be blurting out some of the most ridiculous things i have ever heard. Neither racks up a lot of assists? Lampard has 114 career assists and Stevie G has 76 premier league assists which is 3rd all time best. Not known for their passing and vision? My god! If you want an England team that aims to lose every game then you go on and pick that team.

        Yes, Xabi Alonso’s exceptional qualities as a multifaceted and dynamic midfield general alongside Gerrard (04-09) has been a loss that has been sorely missed and a large reason for Liverpools recent demise, but that is also a reflection of Steven Gerrards inability to exert the same influence without such a quality player in the team. Alonso not only provided an excellent screen for the back 4 with his tactical nous and wonderful reading of the game but obviously an outstanding playmaker from a withdrawn position in a similar role to Andrea Pirlo. This allowed Gerrard to free himself from getting down and dirty in midfield as the likes of Alonso, Mascherano, Lucas etc would be the midfield pillars, meaning Gerrard could roam free and run ragged. Since Alonso and Mascherano have left Charlie Adam, Aquailani nor Lucas have been capable of providing the same quality in midfield meaning Gerrards ability to create and dictate the game is a lot harder, hence their poor recent pl finishes.

        Lampard has proven over many years that he is class act anywhere on the pitch alongside anyone. Many point to Claude Makelele as the vital player that delivered Chelsea back to back pl titles as he was the outstanding enforcer in Chelseas midfield under Mourinho. Therefore Lampards ability to score and create became a lot easier as his defensive responsibilities were reduced as Makelele was such a fine defensive anchorman. His departure and Manchester Uniteds subsequent dominance was seen as a strong sign of Makelele’s immense influence. Makelele and Alonso played similar roles and while one in Frank Lampard has been able to overcome the loss of a star by going on to claim 2 fa cups and another pl title with the likes of the relatively poorer John Obi Mikel and Michael Essien occupying the holding role, the other has failed to come to terms with the loss.

        Steven Gerrard is the better footballer but Frank Lampard is the more valuable midfielder and in my opinion the better player as his record speaks for itself.

        • Roar Guru

          February 6th 2012 @ 9:32pm
          TheMagnificent11 said | February 6th 2012 @ 9:32pm | ! Report

          I agree with your points. For their clubs Gerrard and Lampard have had players that make life easier for them and they have less responsibility. One of those responsibilities they do not have to fulfil is being the fulcrum of the midfield. To be successful at the very highest level you need at least one player in your team that can do that. Gerrard and Lampard cannot (against well organised teams).

          Paul Scholes only has 66 caps for England. Yet players like Zidane and Xavi say he is one of the best of his generation. His ability is more valued in continental Europe. In my opinion, he is a far better player than both Gerrard and Lampard because what he offers is more valuable. He may not have as many facets to his game as Gerrard or score as many goals as Lampard, but he makes the players around him look good but getting the ball where they have time and space.

      • February 6th 2012 @ 8:02pm
        Subrasub said | February 6th 2012 @ 8:02pm | ! Report

        my comments are directed at you the mag11

    • February 6th 2012 @ 7:41pm
      Matt said | February 6th 2012 @ 7:41pm | ! Report

      I’d have to say Lampard would be better than Gerrard. Frank is known for his long range shooting, great timed runs in box and also known for his vision to spot one of his players then puts them through on goal. Lampard is not as good as he was years before but he is still one of the most important players Chelsea need. No offence to Gerrard fans, I think Gerrard is a great player and always will be but for me Lampard is better.

    • February 6th 2012 @ 11:35pm
      Subrasub said | February 6th 2012 @ 11:35pm | ! Report

      Well yes you can certainly argue that Paul Scholes is better than Lampard or Gerrard seeing as though he has smashed 150 plus goals in his career and epitomises the essential qualities of this great game which is passing and control. However if we do want to add another name to the ring in this conversation about the “most valuable midfielder” it would be hard to go past Lampard nor Gerrard. The reason why Scholes is never mentioned or given the due plaudits as much this duo is that they are players from different eras. Paul Scholes was at his prime in the 90’s and you can still argue he still is now since he is playing amazingly to this day, but with the likes of Giggs, Cantona, Beckham etc Manchester United have so many iconic players that are valuable in so many ways. Scholes’s worth to United cannot be seen as more than Lampard to Chelsea nor Gerrard to Liverpool simply because the aforementioned duo have not had players of the same calibre playing alongside them the majority of their careers. You take Scholes out of United and you will suffer big time as United have at various stages in the first half of this season before his return, but United will still be up there fighting. Take Lampard and Gerrard out of Chelsea and LIverpool and your looking at 2 teams that have had their hearts ripped out of midfield.

      In terms of the whole Gerrard Lampard argument i think its really a difficult one. I think bias aside when Alonso was at Liverpool you would say Lampard was more valuable but post Alonso Gerrard is more valuable so considering the Alonso years coincided with Lampard and Gerrards best years, then it would mean Lampard is the more valuable midfielder.

      • Roar Guru

        February 7th 2012 @ 12:16am
        TheMagnificent11 said | February 7th 2012 @ 12:16am | ! Report

        Liverpool have been around 6th for most of this season and Gerrard has missed a least half of it. So can you say that they really miss him? The UCL success is would not have been possible without Gerrad…he brought them back from the dead against Olympiakos in final group stage game and then again in the final. He definitely scores some cracking crucial goals but I think but most of them have been against “smaller” teams. When Liverpool pushed Man Utd all the way for a couple of seasons was Gerrard the most crucial player? He had Alonso, Mascherano and Torres.

        As for Lampard, all of his success has been for Chelsea in a very expensively assembled squad. Did he make the team tick? No, other midfielders provided the spark, Lampard provided the finishing touch. Would Chelsea have won without him, possibly not because he either top and second top scorer for them.

        On the other hand, take Scholes out of United midfield in the 90s and early 2000s and Beckham and Giggs don’t get to deliver as many assists because they don’t get the ball in space as much. Would they have won as much with just Keane and Butt? I don’t think so. They would have definitely been up there. Take him out the 2008 team, they probably don’t win the UCL. Take him out of the current team, they seam to struggle (when Cleverley has been injured).

        At the end of the day it’s a team game. I think the service that players like Scholes provides is harder to come by. Not as many players have that talent. It’s also crucial to winning games because the more you have the ball the harder it is for the opposition to score. Lampard and Gerrard do less creating. Take Scholes out of United and replace him with Lampard or Gerrard, I don’t think they win as much.

        As for the Lampard v Gerrard thing; Gerrard obviously has more talent but Lampards goals have been more crucial to Chelsea. And, he gets injured less so he gives you more bang for your buck.

        • Roar Pro

          February 7th 2012 @ 4:22am
          Purple Shag said | February 7th 2012 @ 4:22am | ! Report

          My god, would the world not be a better place without United fans? Probably another bandwagon jumper anyway who started loving the club once that unbelivable wave of talent came up through the acedemy in the 90’s.

          How anyone could take a discussion on Lampard vs Gerrad and turn it into futile rant as to why the little ginger is better than both of them is beyond my comprehension. Sure scholes can control the midfield, put in a shift, isn’t afraid of the tackle and does bang in the odd timely goal, but his influence to his club is a far cry from what lamps & gerrard have provided to theirs.

          United had a great team, and still do to a certain extent but they were great right across the pitch. Scholes more often than not played the easy ball to better players around him & waited for them to create the majority of the play going forward. I’m not saying he wasn’t valuable, but he couldn’t take the game by the scruff of the neck and just lift a team off the mat like Stevie G & Lamps can.

          One thing you said is right – every team need their little (and sometimes not so little) general. United were lucky enough to have 2 during their absolute peak (treble & what not) with scholes & keane – but that does not make them a better player than a more creative midfielder, simply because they are the fulcrum of the team. You say that Makele & Alonso were the reason that Lamps & Gerrad had their success, but then you don’t say they were better players than their 2 creative teammates, you just say Scholes is a better/more valuable player.

          People like you make me want to stand on an empty beer crate & scream ‘C’Mon Citteah!!!’

          • Roar Guru

            February 7th 2012 @ 8:53am
            TheMagnificent11 said | February 7th 2012 @ 8:53am | ! Report

            I agree that Gerrard has the ability to take game by the scuff of the neck and win it, but Lampard camnot. Gerrard can dribble, has speed, has a great long range shot and is great in a tackle. He’s better at those things than both Lampard and Scholes. Lampard can pop-up and score you an unlikely winner out of nowhere, but he’s not going to boss a game. Scholes can’t take the game by the scruff of the neck either but he can certainly give you more control in midfield, which is probably more important.

            And, I support United because my grand-dad did. He supported them because he lived there in the 60s.

    • February 7th 2012 @ 5:10pm
      Subrasub said | February 7th 2012 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

      sWhy don’t you lay off Lampard he is clearly as good or even better than Gerrard in all aspects hence the discussion about who is better. He was not recognised as the premier league player of the decade (2000-2009) for no reason. As far as im concerned, Paul Scholes is not even in the conversation. Why? He is a classic central midfielder who is accomplished in every aspect of midfield play. Xavi, Fabregas, Pirlo, Alonso, Carrick, Modric these are the types of players Scholes is associated with. Of course he scores more than them but he is a lot older than them as well. When you have played almost 700 matches its not inconceivable to think he could score 150 goals. Add to that in an era of success unparalleled to any other team in the last 20 years. How important are his goals? His cracker in the 2007-2008 UCL Semi final vs Barcelona is the only one of worth i can think of that really springs to mind. As for Lampard his UCL final 2008 equaliser and 2009 FA cup final winner and brace against Bolton in 2004/2005 to seal the title are just a couple of examples the important goals he has scored. For Gerrard well there are obviously the aforementioned goals vs Olympiakos and Milan and you can add the cracker in stoppage time in the 2006 Fa cup final as well as his hattrick off the bench in the Europa league last season vs Napoli. Lampard and Gerrard are worthy of being classified as forwards such are their potency in scoring when the going gets touch.

      The most important measure of Lampard and Gerrards value over Scholes or any other classic string puller in midfield is that Gerrard or Lampard was called upon to play in the centre of midfield or in a deep position as they have for England and their respective clubs, they would have no problems in extinguishing danger as well as creating from deep and controlling the midfield. Whether it would be to the high standard of Scholes is doubtful but conversely if Scholes was given the license to play as a number 10 and feed the forwards in an advanced position as well as take on more of a scoring responsibility i do not think he would have the predatory instincts nor the dribbling or pace to link the transition from defence to attack off a break as he would be too accustomed to having so much time on the ball from a deeper position. Therefore Lampard and Gerrard offers you more versatility all across the board. Don’t get me wrong Scholes is a fantastic player but he has played in the middle of a flat four his whole career under Ferguson and therefore he does not give you as much versatility. Once it comes to value, versatility and adaptability are the most important facets which Lamps and Stevie G have in bucketloads.

      Alonso and Makelele were critical to Liverpool and Chelsea’s successes but i did not say they were THE reason for Gerrard and Lampard’s successes. Its a team sport and this duo were the perfect foil for the more celebrated duo because they simply more talented and have the leadership and fighting qualities that make them a gravitating force. Sneijder , Silva, Mata, Mueller, Ozil etc are the types of players who consistently score and create as well as providing versatility, that reflect the future Lampard and Gerrards.

      • Roar Guru

        February 7th 2012 @ 5:29pm
        TheMagnificent11 said | February 7th 2012 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

        I agree that Scholes does not have Gerrard or Lampard’s ability to score goals. Though the title of the blog is “Who is the more valuable midfielder?” I think a midfielder that can dictate play is more valuable than one who scores more than the average midfielder. My reason is that players who can do this are crucial to a team’s success. Teams that have won World Cups and Champions Leagues almost always have this sort of player. If you think a midfielder’s goal scoring ability is a more crucial component, well I guess you’re entitled to that opinion. In my opinion players like Scholes, Wilshire, Britton, Xavi, Modric etc are more valuable than those like Gerrard and Lampard.

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