PL's best midfielders

MC89

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So, I was thinking about this. From the players I have seen,

Best attacking midfielder - David Silva
Best box to box midfielder - Yaya toure
Most versatile midfielder - Paul Scholes
Best defensive midfielder - N'golo Kante

What do you guys think? Who would be your picks?
Am - Steven Gerrard
B2b - Roy Keane
MV - Victor Wanyama
DM - Claude Makelele (sp)
 

iHicksy

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This is nonsense. Unless they had the consistent control of 70 plus percent possesion prime xavi iniesta which no prem mid could id take the guy consistently scoring 10 plus goals for 10 straight seasons.

No it's not at all. I understand your Chelsea bias. But no one in their right mind would select Lampard in a midfield over Scholes, De Bryune, or Keane.
 

harms

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What kind of player would you classify him as? Was he similar to Steven gerrard? I read somewhere that gerrard idolised Robson and was told off by his father.
I’m not sure if I’ve read it somewhere or just thought of this wonderful definition myself (that’s unlikely), but basically Gerrard with brains.

His engine was insane and he was one of the few so-called box-to-box players that actually defended in his own box and then ran forward to score a header in the same bit of play. He was better than Keane technically and was more of a goal threat (closer to Gerrard in that regard). But his best quality was that he alone could give a team a fighting chance against any opponent. For example how he pretty much equaled French midfield of Platini, Giresse, Tigana and Fernandez (one of the best midfield units ever assembled) while playing in a midfield 2 with Glen fecking Hoddle.

I think Denzel Washington had a movie “The equalizer”, that’s what I’d name Robson as well. His performance against Barca in 1984 is, quite possibly, the greatest performance anyone ever had in the red shirt. When hundreds of fans ran onto the pitch after the final whistle just to touch him, you knew that you’ve just witnessed something special.
 

harms

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Last two, obviously completely unbiased

Robson, obvs.
Robson in the Premier-league? He’s definitely in consideration for the best ever central midfielder that played in England, but he was way past his best when the PL was formed.
 

harms

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If we take their absolute peak, not longevity, then Fabregas was the best attacking midfielder in the league. 15 goals and 13 assists in 27 league games in 09/10, I don't think anyone else beats that.
I preferred him deeper a bit earlier. He was so brilliant - he lost some of that when he was moved forward, although he became even more effective. Putting him as a number 10 pretty much stopped him from making those ridiculous long passes that he did with such nonchalant elegance (only for your attackers to feck them up 9 times out of 10).
 

harms

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Poor Cesc gets no respect...
Agree, his way of development was so weird though, more so of an attacker than of a midfielder. Already pretty much a top player at what, 17? Left to Barca aged 24 and went downhill from that, while still being very effective (even after his return to England).

While most of other midfielders showed great promise early on (Keane, Gerrard, Scholes), their true peak came when they matured. It’s incredible to think how good Cesc would’ve became if he were to continue his development at the same pace, but maybe this was his peak and his development curve was just this unique.
 

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So, I was thinking about this. From the players I have seen,

Best attacking midfielder - David Silva
Best box to box midfielder - Yaya toure
Most versatile midfielder - Paul Scholes
Best defensive midfielder - N'golo Kante

What do you guys think? Who would be your picks?
Best versatile midfielder scholes? What the hell was that? Scholes does one good thing and the other not so. He's anything but versatile
 

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I can't pick one so i'm going three in each and changing some categories ;)

Best attacking midfielder - Gerrard, Lampard, Silva
Best box to box midfielder - Keane, Yaya, Viera
Best defensive midfielder - Kante, Makelele, De Jong
Best passing midfielder - Scholes, De Bryune, Alonso
Best PL midfielder - Paul Scholes, Keane, Viera.
Nah
Very useful and inspirational player but doesn't belong in this discussion.
 

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Feel Lampard is quite underappreciated at times. He wasn't the greatest technically but that doesn't mean he lacked any technical ability, he was a very intelligent player in his own right

He was capable of spraying passes around the field and over the top, his movement was fantastic, his finishing was also fantastic, he never went hiding and always rose to the occasion and scored goals for fun.

He's the 4th highest scorer in Premier League history, has the 4th highest amount of assists in Premier League history, has scored over 270 goals in his career, has basically won everything at club level and came 2nd in the Ballon d'Or losing out to Ronaldinho in 2005

From an attacking sense the likes of De Bruyne, Toure, Fabregas and Silva don't even come close for me

The likes of Lampard, Scholes, Vieira, Keane and Gerrard are the greatest midfielders the Premier League has seen
 

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Agree, his way of development was so weird though, more so of an attacker than of a midfielder. Already pretty much a top player at what, 17? Left to Barca aged 24 and went downhill from that, while still being very effective (even after his return to England).

While most of other midfielders showed great promise early on (Keane, Gerrard, Scholes), their true peak came when they matured. It’s incredible to think how good Cesc would’ve became if he were to continue his development at the same pace, but maybe this was his peak and his development curve was just this unique.
Yeah, he definitely had a weird developmental curve after a prodigious start where he established himself as probably the best young midfielder in club football (to a point where Vieira wasn't dearly missed after transferring to Juventus). While some of that could be appropriated to his natural trajectory and fading athletic abilities as the years wore on, you get a sense that he became too accustomed to the freedom he enjoyed under Arsène in the hustle-bustle of Premier League football — and lacked utmost discipline because he frequently had to bail them out of trouble as their midfield talisman — positioning and tactical rigor within the framework be damned.

Which didn't translate well for his return to Barcelona as the overly-indulged prodigal son, even under Lucho when they became more direct...or the Spanish national team under del Bosque: where he won the lot and had productive periods (like EURO 2012 as a makeshift False 9) but occasionally cut a peripheral figure against the rise and rise of Iniesta...a bit too naïve and out of sync with the Big Two (which quickly became the reference point of the entire structure for the post-Aragonés era).

Maybe he was just born in the wrong period and that created a dissonance in his mind as he incessantly tried to tailor his game to fit in with the prevailing tiki-taka ideals — in purely hypothetical terms, he could have been a more significant individual for Raúl-Hierro era Spain where he might've been afforded greater liberties to express his game (or indeed Rijkaard era Barcelona where the possession ethos and need for absolute discipline wasn't as claustrophobic as in the years to come).
 

harms

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Best attacking midfielder - Frank Lampard (David Silva, De Bruyne) — not sure if the likes of Zola count here
Best box to box midfielder - Roy Keane (Patrick Vieira, Steven Gerrard)
Midfield playmaker - Paul Scholes (Xabi Alonso, Cesc Fabregas)
Best defensive midfielder - Claude Makelele (N'golo Kante, Michael Carrick)

Overall:
  1. Roy Keane
  2. Paul Scholes
  3. Frank Lampard
Yaya Toure's best season put him near the top of the box-to-box list, but those 3 beat him in longevity. Not sure if Lampard should go to the attacking midfielders category, but he's the one I've always struggled to categorise.
Fernandinho probably already deserves a mention in the defensive list.
Essien was an absolute monster, but hadn't played at that level long enough.

Not sure if I'm forgetting someone or not.
 

giorno

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Cesc was a better player than Vieira in 2006. Sounds funny but it's true. He was 18 at the time and already a better player than the one he replaced(who was sold because Cesc was better, in fact) who was 29 and still a great player(though past his best)

Also he never played under Luis Enrique

Otherwise spot on. Fabregas never fit with spain or barcelona as a midfielder. Too direct, too undisciplined tactically

Also yeah, he faded early and he faded badly, too. Similar to Rooney, by 28 he was physically done.

Going back to barcelona was a huge mistake for his career in terms of individual development. On the other hand, given Guardiola had been using him as a sort of false forward all season long in barcelona, it's what likely opened the door to Del Bosque using him as a false 9 at Euro 2012, so...
 

Invictus

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Also he never played under Luis Enrique
Cheers for the correction! Definite data retrieval lapse on my part — for some reason I completely lost track of the Tata Martino stint (in fairness, it was pretty unceremonious) and recalled that his final year was under Enrique (who then replaced him with Rakitić)... :lol:
 

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So, I was thinking about this. From the players I have seen,

Best attacking midfielder - David Silva
Best box to box midfielder - Yaya toure
Most versatile midfielder - Paul Scholes
Best defensive midfielder - N'golo Kante

What do you guys think? Who would be your picks?
Gerrard better B2B than Yaya who was an AMC who walked around a lot and shirked contribution in and around his box. Makalele DMC. Keane B2B. Most versatile Stevie G also. B2B Essien gets a mention. No Patrick Vieira?
 

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Poor Cesc gets no respect...



Anyway, all things considered I'd say...

Best box-to-box midfielder: Roy Keane
Best offensive midfielder: David Silva
Best conduit/regista: Paul Scholes
Best versatile central playmaker: Cesc Fàbregas
Best disruptor: NGolo Kanté
Best free-style midfielder: Steven Gerrard
Best wide midfielder: David Beckham
Best defensive midfielder: Claude Makelélé
Best goalscoring midfielder: Frank Lampard
Best holding midfielder: Michael Carrick

Overall ranking:
1. Roy Keane
2. Paul Scholes
3. Frank Lampard
This is near perfect but most neutrals have Vieira over Keane
 

Sandikan

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Poor Cesc gets no respect...



Anyway, all things considered I'd say...

Best box-to-box midfielder: Roy Keane
Best offensive midfielder: David Silva
Best conduit/regista: Paul Scholes
Best versatile central playmaker: Cesc Fàbregas
Best disruptor: NGolo Kanté
Best free-style midfielder: Steven Gerrard
Best wide midfielder: David Beckham
Best defensive midfielder: Claude Makelélé
Best goalscoring midfielder: Frank Lampard
Best holding midfielder: Michael Carrick

Overall ranking:
1. Roy Keane
2. Paul Scholes
3. Frank Lampard
Thing with Fabregas is he peaked so very early, then disappeared off to Spain where he was a massively lesser light in their star teams, before being fairly average versus his peak when he came back.

Whereas the others in the list we tend to remember for their peaks.
 

Sandikan

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One of these debates that will always have Liverpool insisting Gerrard was the best, Chelsea, Lampard and us Keane and Scholes.
 

Sandikan

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This is near perfect but most neutrals have Vieira over Keane
As a box to box player? I doubt it.

And I doubt many neutrals would have Vieira over Keane at all, unless they are bitter ABUs.
 

Sandikan

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Feel Lampard is quite underappreciated at times. He wasn't the greatest technically but that doesn't mean he lacked any technical ability, he was a very intelligent player in his own right

He was capable of spraying passes around the field and over the top, his movement was fantastic, his finishing was also fantastic, he never went hiding and always rose to the occasion and scored goals for fun.

He's the 4th highest scorer in Premier League history, has the 4th highest amount of assists in Premier League history, has scored over 270 goals in his career, has basically won everything at club level and came 2nd in the Ballon d'Or losing out to Ronaldinho in 2005

From an attacking sense the likes of De Bruyne, Toure, Fabregas and Silva don't even come close for me

The likes of Lampard, Scholes, Vieira, Keane and Gerrard are the greatest midfielders the Premier League has seen
I always think Scholes gets underrated by the class of players he played alongside, and so does Lampard.

But for me, Lampard couldn't do it in a 2man midfield. He had to have some of the best Premier league midfielders behind him, and a class team around him.
Contrast that to Scholes, who even in his late 30s was bossing the Premier league in a 2 man centre mid.

And I won't be cheeky enough to mention that 93% of his goals were deflections :wenger:
 

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One of these debates that will always have Liverpool insisting Gerrard was the best, Chelsea, Lampard and us Keane and Scholes.
It usually is like that. But for me Keane comes on top of them all. And then we can discuss the rest after him.

As a box to box player? I doubt it.

And I doubt many neutrals would have Vieira over Keane at all, unless they are bitter ABUs.
I think you have to be french or fan of Arsenal to suggest Vieira was better than Keane.
 

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I know one thing: Lampard is the best midfielder in the history of the premier league.
Nah, not even close. He made the best of what he had: a great engine, willing runner and good anticipation around the box. But he was nowhere near as good as the likes of Keane, Scholes or Vieira.

Plus, if you subtract deflections from his tally, he only scored 6 goals.
 

Sandikan

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It usually is like that. But for me Keane comes on top of them all. And then we can discuss the rest after him.


I think you have to be french or fan of Arsenal to suggest Vieira was better than Keane.
It's certainly necessary to compare apples to apples.

Keane versus Gerrard as a centre mid shouldn't even be in question, as Benitez and others didn't even use Gerrard there, he was surely an attacking mid.

Gerrard v Lampard is at least a more valid comparison. Lampard had the greater numbers, but i'd be surprised if anyone would rate him higher than Gerrard. On natural ability it's not even a close run thing. As as a United fan, I never once watched Chelsea and thought, oh no, they've got Lampard! Whereas the same isn't true for Gerrard

England probably should have played Scholes next to one of them, with a Hargreaves making a mid 3. But you can't blame an England manager for wanting to fit them all in. Especially as back then there was way more likelihood of the 4-4-2
 

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I've always been a Keane fan, he was #1 midfielder for me.

Over the years, I started to think different and appreciated Scholes, Carrick, and all these dynamic skillful PL midfielders more. But at the end of the day, almost every midfield can be built around Keane and be performant. Looking at some of his older videos, his crisp passing stands out -- even when he was past his peak. Positioning, passing, pacemaking and most importantly knowing what role to take in the team given the other players.. that's magnificent.

I do feel like on a MOMENTS basis, there are plenty better midfielders. Gerrard and Lampard have provided many more incredible moments of skill than Keane has. But on a CHAMPIONSHIP basis, over the course of a season -- or even over the course of 5 seasons, Keane is the better option. He is very consistent, has very high lows, and very high highs. The only thing that would make him a negative factor today is that the hardman persona won't work with the players today.
 

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Nah, not even close. He made the best of what he had: a great engine, willing runner and good anticipation around the box. But he was nowhere near as good as the likes of Keane, Scholes or Vieira.

Plus, if you subtract deflections from his tally, he only scored 6 goals.
Scholes? Meh, he never even won the player of the month in his club, and he was there for a century. He's like a bad film that gains cult following years later.

:wenger:
 

RooneyLegend

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What kind of player would you classify him as? Was he similar to Steven gerrard? I read somewhere that gerrard idolised Robson and was told off by his father.
Keane, Vieira and Gerrard rolled into one.
 

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Best versatile midfielder scholes? What the hell was that? Scholes does one good thing and the other not so. He's anything but versatile
You really need to think about what you're saying here!

Scholes proved adept in 3 different central midfield roles. There isn't another midfielder mentioned that did. Although, Roy Keane carrying you as the legs in a dual CM is a caveat that can't really be ignored.
 

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Paul Ince has become hugely underrated, when he was here he wasn't considered an inferior player to Keane.
 

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Strongly disagree. I don't think he's even close. Compare him to De Bryune, Scholes, Keane, Viera.

He never controlled games, his main attribute was scoring goals. And while that's a fantastic attribute to have, if you take away the goals of every midfielder on the list he comes out bottom in every other area by comparison. The others simply offer so much more.
If you take away the goals then he still has more assists than all these midfielders. This is how you know we're dealing with greatness! :D
 

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It's certainly necessary to compare apples to apples.

Keane versus Gerrard as a centre mid shouldn't even be in question, as Benitez and others didn't even use Gerrard there, he was surely an attacking mid.

Gerrard v Lampard is at least a more valid comparison. Lampard had the greater numbers, but i'd be surprised if anyone would rate him higher than Gerrard. On natural ability it's not even a close run thing. As as a United fan, I never once watched Chelsea and thought, oh no, they've got Lampard! Whereas the same isn't true for Gerrard

England probably should have played Scholes next to one of them, with a Hargreaves making a mid 3. But you can't blame an England manager for wanting to fit them all in. Especially as back then there was way more likelihood of the 4-4-2
My take on it is, that Gerrard was the most naturally gifted of them, but he wasn't controlling games like Scholes could. And you can't ignore Lampards numbers. A shame no one found a way to fit them all in. They could have gone for 5 in midfield with one of Carrick/Hargreaves behind Scholes and Lampard further up, Gerrard to the left side and Beckham to the right, and then Rooney up front. Him and Owen never worked as a pair anyway.
 

Sandikan

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My take on it is, that Gerrard was the most naturally gifted of them, but he wasn't controlling games like Scholes could. And you can't ignore Lampards numbers. A shame no one found a way to fit them all in. They could have gone for 5 in midfield with one of Carrick/Hargreaves behind Scholes and Lampard further up, Gerrard to the left side and Beckham to the right, and then Rooney up front. Him and Owen never worked as a pair anyway.

I'm not sure i'd agree Gerrard was more gifted than Scholes. When Gerrard's legs went, he was very close to finished.
Whereas Scholes was controlling the pace of games in his late 30s without needing to gallop up and down.

Gerrard was a flashier player. But that doesn't mean more gifted necessarily.
 

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As a box to box player? I doubt it.

And I doubt many neutrals would have Vieira over Keane at all, unless they are bitter ABUs.
Depends what you regard Box to box. Vieira was the far better athlete who I would fancy to launch attacks and counters at pace Keane could not emulate. In attack Keane bagged 60 Prem goals and assists in 366 games. Vieira bagged 58 in 307. Which aspect of being box to box does Keane exceed Vieira?
 

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You really need to think about what you're saying here!

Scholes proved adept in 3 different central midfield roles. There isn't another midfielder mentioned that did. Although, Roy Keane carrying you as the legs in a dual CM is a caveat that can't really be ignored.
Gerrard. RM AMC CM (B2B) SS RAM and DMC(start of career). Gerrard the most versatile
 

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I'm not sure i'd agree Gerrard was more gifted than Scholes. When Gerrard's legs went, he was very close to finished.
Whereas Scholes was controlling the pace of games in his late 30s without needing to gallop up and down.

Gerrard was a flashier player. But that doesn't mean more gifted necessarily.
Gifted might be the wrong word.. What I mean is that Gerrard had more natural ability with the ball and he was a better athlete. Scholes was a better passer and was much more accomplished in dictating the pace and controlling the game.
 

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Started as a striker and moved further and further back through his career. So not very versatile? Really?
As a midfielder, which is what the thread was about. He started as an attacker, and converted to an attacking midfielder. He never developed a defensive side to the game and was awful playing from wide for England