The debate that has surrounded English football so incessantly over the last 10 years involves our two most talented central midfield players (excluding Paul Scholes) and how they can both fit in the same team. Indeed this debate ousted Paul Scholes to the left wing for a period of time shortly before his international retirement whilst the two men in question failed to balance each other’s similar styles of play in the middle of the park.
Both strong in the tackle physically fit and with ferocious shooting ability they are also leaders capable of pulling team-mates around them into games and of becoming match winners themselves.
Both are in the England squad for Friday’s game with Moldova and both are going through interesting transitional periods in their careers, with varying degrees of success.
Frank Lampard at 34 can no longer do the box-to-box attacking midfield job he once did at Chelsea with such aplomb but has recently changed his game to a much deeper lying midfield player. A transition that has gone seamlessly with his impressive performances alongside John Obi Mikel playing a vital role in Chelsea’s run toward Champions League glory last season. He has started this season in a similar vein and you do begin to wonder if such a change in his mentality was largely due to Andre Villas Boas’s original dropping of him from the Chelsea first team.
Steven Gerrard however is not having such a good time of it. Last season was dogged by injuries and despite an overwhelmingly vintage performance in the Merseyside derby he had a quiet season with his club. In the summer he excelled in England’s team as captain and with Lampard absent giving us all hope of a high class turnout this season. But he has struggled so far with adapting his game to Brendan Rodgers philosophy. His trademark long passes are not coming off and break up the pattern of the play whilst he is struggling to make the simplest of ground strokes as Joe Allen outshines him in every game.
As age catches up with both players has Frank Lampard started to show himself off as a more versatile player then we ever knew whilst Steven Gerrard is struggling to change and adapt to the modern way of thinking.
Is Frank Lampard therefore better then Steven Gerrard despite what many of us, me included, once thought?
What do you think? At this moment in time would you rather have Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard in your team?
image: © Ben Sutherland