Steven Gerrard has delivered his verdict on the age-old debate involving himself, Chelsea legend Frank Lampard and Manchester United hero Paul Scholes. The trio are largely considered to be three of England’s greatest ever central midfield players – certainly of their generation – but that lingering question won’t go away: who was the best?
Speaking to Scholes’ former club teammate Rio Ferdinand on BT Sport, the now Aston Villa boss finally provided his answer to the question. Although he modestly failed to comment on himself, he did speak about the other two. Gerrard’s answer seemed to favour Scholes for his natural ability, but he was entirely complimentary to the Blues’ record goalscorer as well.
Ferdinand simply asked: “Lampard, Scholes or Gerrard.” The Liverpool legend then replied in detail saying: “All different. I don’t really like speaking about myself. Lamps was ruthless in terms of numbers, arriving in the box [he was] top. But in terms of controlling a game and a natural, top footballer, I’d go with Scholes, but they’re very different, both top in different ways. But to be spoke in the same breath as them, that’s good enough for me.”
With a tally of 177 in England’s topflight, Lampard is the highest goalscoring midfielder in Premier League history. Judging purely off stats, he was of course the most prolific, but Gerrard and Scholes did both reach the ‘100 club’ and most would concede that they controlled games better than the now Everton boss.
It’s a debate that will continue to rumble on, but one thing everyone can agree on is that all three were exceptional talents and their names will live long in the history of English football.