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Steve Gerrard or Frank Lampard? You decide.

Sorry to bring this one up again but I didn’t start it, John Terry did!

The Chelsea skipper has said that he firmly believes that Frank Lampard is the best midfield player in England.

“Frank does it season after season. He is different class. In training he is unbelievable and he works so hard on his shooting and his running off the ball. We will do a warm-down and he will be doing laps around the field on his own. He is an inspiration to everyone in the team to really push on and give it everything in our short careers.”

Whilst there are several other contenders around the country, I would imagine that this would boil down to a straight choice between Lampard and Liverpool’s Steve Gerrard. There have been many arguments about whether they can play together, but which one is actually the better player?

It is not possible to compare players in a totally scientific way, but there are some categories where you can compare like for like. We’ll try to do that here and see if a clear winner emerges.

Despite an apparent loss of form last season, Lampard continues to be a driving force for Chelsea in the middle of the park, and scored a wonderful chip during a comfortable 3-0 win over Hull on Wednesday.

Gerrard has also had his doubters but is still the ‘main man’ at Liverpool, and when they needed someone with a cool head to take a crucial penalty on Wednesday, there was nobody else in the frame.

We can look at statistics in relation to games played, goals scored, team honours won, England caps and goals and personal awards won, particularly those selected by other players.

International Career

In relation to England caps, Gerrard has seventy and has scored fourteen goals and Lampard has sixty-six and has also scored fourteen goals. That is too close to award that section to either of them. I would say that both players have performed, on average, slightly below the level for England than we all think they could do when watching them at their clubs.

It is impossible to award this category to either man and therefore the score remains at:

Steve Gerrard 0-0 Frank Lampard

Club career

We will look at the statistics since the 2001-02 season when both players were established at their current clubs and with the national side.

Steve Gerrard has played three hundred and fifty two games in all competitions, scoring ninety goals. Frank Lampard has played three hundred and eighty three games and scored one hundred and seventeen goals.

Lampard nicks the award on games played but of course, he hasn’t been subject to Rafa Benitez’s wonderful rotation policy. In any case, he has only played an average of about four extra games per season, so I am not giving this section to him based purely on that.

The ratio of goalscoring needs to be used as well. For Gerrard the figure is one goal every 3.70 games. Lampard comes in at one goal every 3.27 games.

Based on the fact that Lampard has played slightly more games and scores slightly more often, this section goes to him.

Steve Gerrard 0-1 Frank Lampard

Team honours

Steve Gerrard has collected seven medals with Liverpool in the time period we are looking at. He has won the Champions League, two Uefa Super Cups, the FA Cup, the League Cup and two community shields.

Frank Lampard has collected six medals. Two Premier Leagues, the FA Cup, two League Cups and the Community Shield.

I’m not sure you can split them on this one. I think Stevie G would probably swap his Champions League medal for Lamps’ Premier League one, but Lamps would probably be happy to do that swap.

After this season, one of the players might take a serious lead, but at the moment it is too close to call.

Steve Gerrard 0-1 Frank Lampard

Individual honours

Both players have been recognised for their ability and they have been awarded the title of Uefa Club Player of the Year on one occasion. They have also both been selected in the FIFpro world team and the Uefa team of the year, but Gerrard has the edge on both of those statistics.

Steve Gerrard has once been voted as the players player of the year by his fellow professionals, an award that Lampard has never won. That puts Steve Gerrard in the lead and the final point to sway things in his favour is that on five occasions his fellow professionals have selected him in their Premier League team of the year. Frank Lampard has also been selected, but only on three occasions.

Great record for both, but there can only be one winner.

Steve Gerrard 1-1 Frank Lampard

There we are then. After all that I’ve got them absolutely level again. Come on, you can decide once and for all. Who is the best, Gerrard or Lampard?

Fri 31 October, 2008
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