MIDWEEK MATTERS: Who was better- Gerrard or Lampard?
With Chelsea and West Ham legend Frank Lampard announcing his retirement last week, Sports Gazette takes a look at both sides of a long-standing argument.
Ryan Morgan, Facebook/ Student Sport Editor
If you look at goal statistics, you might say Lampard was the far superior player due to a better goal record, but Gerrard was much more than goals.
That's not to say he didn’t score many, with 191 goals for both Liverpool and LA Galaxy, and another 21 for England.
Making his debut at right-back as a last-minute substitute against Blackburn Rovers in 1998, Gerrard made his name in a more central position, arguably at his best just behind Fernando Torres.
While you may say Lampard is a better player simply for Gerrard’s lack of league medals, his achievements aren’t to be ignored.
Luke Chadwick has a Premier League winner’s medal, but that doesn’t make him a better player than Gerrard.
During his time at Liverpool, Gerrard saw many fantastic players depart over the years; first it was Owen, then Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano, Fernando Torres and more recently Luis Suarez.
Liverpool’s transfer history during his captaincy was, at times, dreadful.
While Lampard played alongside greats like Michael Ballack and Claude Makelele, Steven Gerrard turned up to pre-season training to see his club had signed Christian Poulsen to mount their title charge.
For season after season, Gerrard dragged Liverpool along by the scruff of the neck, no more so than that famous night in Istanbul.
3-0 down at half-time, Gerrard was instrumental in his side staging arguably the most incredible comeback in Champions League history- all that in a side containing Djimi Traore.
Just a year after that came 'The Gerrard Final'. 35 yards from goal, Gerrard dragged Liverpool out of another deep hole and to another major trophy.
And if you compare international careers, it is easily Gerrard who comes out on top.
Gerrard captained his country at two major tournaments and in the famous ‘Why can’t they play together?’ question, Gerrard often played out of his natural position.
But if you had to pick one moment to sum up Gerrard’s ability to pull his team forward, it would have to be this…Gerrard was instrumental in his side staging arguably the most incredible comeback in Champions League history”
Tom Godfrey, Football editor
The likes of John Terry, Tony Cottee and Harry Redknapp have called Frank Lampard the hardest trainer they have ever witnessed.
His graft off the field is the main reason he played more games, scored and assisted more goals and succumbed to fewer injuries than his England rival Steven Gerrard.
Lampard made up for his lack of pace and trickery by mastering the fundamentals of the game while ensuring his body was always in optimum condition.
Despite not having the natural talents of Gerrard, his professionalism and dedication made him a better player.
Gerrard’s best position was playing off a striker, as per his seasons with Fernando Torres. Lampard was required to occupy a deeper defensive midfield role and still outscored Gerrard in all but two seasons.
As a graduate of the Liverpool youth squad, Steven Gerrard was an automatic selection for Liverpool once established.
His career saw him having to compete with mediocre midfield competition such as Salif Diao, Anthony Le Tallec and Lucas Leiva.
In stark contrast, Lampard had to prove himself to Chelsea following his acrimonious transfer from bitter rivals West Ham.
He also found himself challenging the game's elite midfielders such as Claude Makelele, Michael Essien, Juan Sebastian Veron, Michael Ballack and Deco.
Lampard retires as the Premier League’s fourth highest scorer, amassing a staggering 177 goals from a midfield position.
While many players are lauded for their quantity of goals, Lampard can also be praised for the fashion in which he scored.
He holds the record for the most Premier League goals from outside the box (41), all of which are worthy of any highlight reel.
The contrast in the two players is epitomised by the 2009-10 season; as Lampard lifted the Premier League trophy, a 29-year-old Gerrard was in the dock for punching a Salford businessman.