Lampard or Gerrard – Why Not Both?

For their entire careers, Chelsea legend Frank Lampard and Liverpool hero Steven Gerrard have been compared to one another.  Year after year they have been the faces of their franchises, and in many ways of the entire Premier League.  No two players of England’s Golden Generation have done more for English football than these two.  Yet, it has always been a one or the other scenario – even though both have the ability to play any midfield position from holding, to attacking and even, at times, defensive.  As their careers wind down and their teams battle for this years Premier League Title, again the question is raised: which one?  A spoiler alert now – I am a Chelsea fan, and this does not end well for Liverpool.

Here is how the stats for both players break down, and quite surprisingly it is not even close:

Lampard 775 total appearances (Premier League / FA Cup / League Cup / England) 251 goals, 0.32 goals per game

Gerrard 507 total appearances; 172 goals; 0.34 goals per game

On he surface it is not close – Lampard dominates in nearly every statistical category, and it is not a tight contest, he wins by a wide margin.  If you look only at the Premier League it becomes even more evident: Gerrard has played 437 games for Liverpool and has scored 111 goals or 0.25 gpg.

Lampard on the other hand has played 547 games and scored 172 goals or 0.36 gpg – comparable you might say to Gerrard’s entire career.  His Chelsea splits alone are comparable to Gerrard and his entire career.  Sports, however, transcends mere stats and both players give more than simply goals.  How many times have both of them come through for their clubs when it matters most?  Even a couple of weeks ago the two were scoring huge goals for their clubs.  Both are still, even at their ages, deferred to on free kicks and both are among the greatest takers of set pieces of all time.  Each player has own trophies for their clubs, and yet both have been key parts of huge disappointment on the world stage.  Few players have done more for the league, and for English soccer (despite some hiccups…) and it is arguably that both belong in a very small club with the most important players the country has ever produced.

However, if you could only have one, the choice is evident.  Lampard is clearly the better and more important player, and he has a Champions League trophy.  Nothing can take away from these guys and their Bird / Magic of English Soccer vibe, but like the two great former NBAers, one is clearly above the other.  Take it from a Chelsea fan, Lampard is a superior player, but along with Gerrard has helped push the league to new heights previously though unattainable.  Truly both are classy English Players who have set a gold standard to aspire to.

Lampard though, and then Gerrard – and that, is without a doubt.

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