Scholes, Gerrard, Lampard debate.

arnie_ni

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None of the 3 can touch Roy Keane
 

SirReginald

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Scholes was just as good as those two in the AM/support striker role.

As an actual midfielder Scholes destroys both. His passing and ball retention was world class.
Totally agree, as an all round player Scholes was the best. All he couldn’t do was tackle, but who needs that.

As a support striker though? Scored some absolute belters but Lampard probably edges it purely on the numbers. Not just individual numbers but he also had the most prolific partnership in PL history with Drogba before Son/Kane.

Gerrard was a brilliant player but if he had moved to Chelsea he would have been just another cog, like he was for England. He excelled at that big fish/Little pond.
 

The-Natural

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None of the 3 can touch Roy Keane
Other than tackling tell me one pure footballing thing that Keane was better at that than Scholes? i.e. no intangibles like heart, desire, leadership etc

Really good all round midfielder and obviously a fantastic leader but there are some fans who seriously overestimate Keane's technical abilities.
 

Demyanenko_square_jaw

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Other than tackling tell me one pure footballing thing that Keane was better at that than Scholes? i.e. no intangibles like heart, desire, leadership etc

Really good all round midfielder and obviously a fantastic leader but there are some fans who seriously overestimate Keane's technical abilities.
There's more to football than technical ability though. Look at Matthaus, during his time there were various other international level german midfielders that were capable of more impressive things than him on the ball technically and/or in terms of vision to use that ability well on the pitch...Hassler, Thon, Bein, Magath, Littbarski, Effenberg, Moller, Doll, Meier. He still ended up usually the most important midfielder that things were structured around in 4-4-2 or 5-3-2 despite that.
 

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The majority of European players tend to favour Paul ‘The Scholar’ Scholes. Pep, Henry, Xavi, Pirlo etc.

We’re obviously biased but they’ve all got very different skill sets - I’d go Scholes, Gerrard, Lampard in that order.
no they dont. I have heard them say Gerrard is the best player currently in the world and they never said this once about Scholes
 

Sandikan

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no they dont. I have heard them say Gerrard is the best player currently in the world and they never said this once about Scholes
I think you've got that the wrong way round.
 

Sandikan

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Other than tackling tell me one pure footballing thing that Keane was better at that than Scholes? i.e. no intangibles like heart, desire, leadership etc

Really good all round midfielder and obviously a fantastic leader but there are some fans who seriously overestimate Keane's technical abilities.
Yep it's a totally different battle.
Influence versus pure footballer.
 

Tom Van Persie

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Guardiola has always admired Scholes. I remember before the 2011 CL final he was asked if he could sign any United player who would he sign and he said Scholes.
 

El Jefe

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What's funny is from 2004-2010 the majority would have picked Scholes over Gerrard but after Scholes retired people just lapped up the Scholes quote and ignored what happened in their playing days.

Gerrard was pretty much KDB, except he didn't get to play under Pep. Scholes' legacy has largely benefitted from the success his type of midfielder blossoming more after his retirement. The 2000s were about midfielders that were physically dominant and all action and could countribute in the offensive and defensive phases of play. So you could say Scholes was under appreaciated in his era and would probably have been rated higher in 2010s but that should take nothing away from Gerrard.

Gerrard gets the edge for me because he could do everything. Pass, tackle, score goals, set pieces, through balls, headers, dribble, he could do it all to a very good level.
 

Lay

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Give me quotes
I think you've got that the wrong way round.
Zinedine Zidane
“There was a point when Gerrard was the best midfield player in the world. It is unusual to get complete midfield players who can do everything, but that is what he was.”


Francesco Totti
“Steven Gerrard would be the captain of my World XI dream team. Gerrard is a complete player because he can play in every position and can do everything with a football at any time in a game.
“He’s a player who scores goals, who builds the play, he’s a sensational player.”

Andrea Pirlo
“While at Milan he Ancelotti came to me and said, ‘I want to sign Steven Gerrard to play next to you in midfield – what do you think?’ Without any hesitation I told him, ‘Do it – go and sign him.’ At this stage he was probably the most complete midfield player in Europe, of course I wanted to partner him.

“I remember asking Carlo a few weeks later how it was going, and he told me Gerrard had given a very firm no, that his bond with Liverpool was unbreakable. At the time Milan were the champions of Europe and probably had the best team in the world – it says a lot about Gerrard’s loyalty.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
“I think Steven Gerrard is a fantastic player. He has been loyal to his club, he has won some big trophies with the club. He feels more an international player rather than a normal English player.

“English players have big hearts, always fighting, very aggressive, but Gerrard, for me, feels more international. He has more skills than the normal player. Every time we play against Steven, the coach always says to be careful with that player because he is the player who makes the difference.”

Kaka
“For me, and I have always said this, he will be regarded as one of the greatest midfielders ever. No doubt.”

Thierry Henry - "It was a disgrace he didn't win European Footballer of the Year after Istanbul in 2005 and, for me, he will be regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time."
 

tomaldinho1

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Zinedine Zidane
“There was a point when Gerrard was the best midfield player in the world. It is unusual to get complete midfield players who can do everything, but that is what he was.”


Francesco Totti
“Steven Gerrard would be the captain of my World XI dream team. Gerrard is a complete player because he can play in every position and can do everything with a football at any time in a game.
“He’s a player who scores goals, who builds the play, he’s a sensational player.”

Andrea Pirlo
“While at Milan he Ancelotti came to me and said, ‘I want to sign Steven Gerrard to play next to you in midfield – what do you think?’ Without any hesitation I told him, ‘Do it – go and sign him.’ At this stage he was probably the most complete midfield player in Europe, of course I wanted to partner him.

“I remember asking Carlo a few weeks later how it was going, and he told me Gerrard had given a very firm no, that his bond with Liverpool was unbreakable. At the time Milan were the champions of Europe and probably had the best team in the world – it says a lot about Gerrard’s loyalty.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
“I think Steven Gerrard is a fantastic player. He has been loyal to his club, he has won some big trophies with the club. He feels more an international player rather than a normal English player.

“English players have big hearts, always fighting, very aggressive, but Gerrard, for me, feels more international. He has more skills than the normal player. Every time we play against Steven, the coach always says to be careful with that player because he is the player who makes the difference.”

Kaka
“For me, and I have always said this, he will be regarded as one of the greatest midfielders ever. No doubt.”

Thierry Henry - "It was a disgrace he didn't win European Footballer of the Year after Istanbul in 2005 and, for me, he will be regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time."
Poor effort. We could easily just reply with generic quotes about Scholes by the same players but let’s actually be accurate here. Which of these are more than lip service?

Direct comparison quotes are all that counts, that is the point of this thread. Kroos, Pep, Xavi, Henry, Deco all said Scholes.

Fabregas, Kaka said Gerrard

Then guys like Pirlo called Scholes the ‘great English midfielder of his generation’ which trumps the above quote on him. Zidane also called Scholes the best ‘player in the world’ so that cancels out the above as well.
 

Tarrou

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What's funny is from 2004-2010 the majority would have picked Scholes over Gerrard but after Scholes retired people just lapped up the Scholes quote and ignored what happened in their playing days.

Gerrard was pretty much KDB, except he didn't get to play under Pep. Scholes' legacy has largely benefitted from the success his type of midfielder blossoming more after his retirement. The 2000s were about midfielders that were physically dominant and all action and could countribute in the offensive and defensive phases of play. So you could say Scholes was under appreaciated in his era and would probably have been rated higher in 2010s but that should take nothing away from Gerrard.

Gerrard gets the edge for me because he could do everything. Pass, tackle, score goals, set pieces, through balls, headers, dribble, he could do it all to a very good level.
gerrard couldn’t control a midfield to save his life though
 

NoPace

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Andrea Pirlo
“While at Milan he Ancelotti came to me and said, ‘I want to sign Steven Gerrard to play next to you in midfield – what do you think?’ Without any hesitation I told him, ‘Do it – go and sign him.’ At this stage he was probably the most complete midfield player in Europe, of course I wanted to partner him.

“I remember asking Carlo a few weeks later how it was going, and he told me Gerrard had given a very firm no, that his bond with Liverpool was unbreakable. At the time Milan were the champions of Europe and probably had the best team in the world – it says a lot about Gerrard’s loyalty.”
Pirlo seems like a smart guy, but a midfield 2 with him and Gerrard would have been a disaster I think. He probably meant in a 3 or diamond, though, with guys like Gattuso, Seedorf and Ambrosini to do the actual work.
 

NoPace

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Other than tackling tell me one pure footballing thing that Keane was better at that than Scholes? i.e. no intangibles like heart, desire, leadership etc

Really good all round midfielder and obviously a fantastic leader but there are some fans who seriously overestimate Keane's technical abilities.
Running does matter and younger Keane covered far more ground than Scholes ever could.
 

mshnsh

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All were good midfielders, just not as good as the English media like to claim.
Scholes was technically better than the other two, Gerrard was a leader and clutch, Lampard was the best amongst then in terms of goalscoring. Overall I'd go for Scholes but maybe there is an element of bias. For me he'd fit easily into a technical team like Barcelona, the other probably would be square pegs in round holes.

None of them were as good in central midfield as Pirlo, Xavi, De Bruyne, Fabregas (during his time at Arsenal), or Modric. More comparable to players like Kroos and Xabi Alonso.
 
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ThierryFabregas

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The answer is obviously Cesc Fabregas

But between the 3, they play different roles. Gerrard at his peak was playing as a 10 or a free role, closer to goal, although he played as an 8 earlier and later in his career. He's the most athletic. But he probably is the worst at controlling a game. Scholes was the best at controlling the game but probably the worst at spotting a runner or timing a threw ball and that's why he has about half the assists of the other 2. Gerrard probably the best in physical duals between the 3.

In modern football, you'd probably have a DM and Scholes alongside either Lampard or Gerrard, but Gerrard and Lampard in the same team would always be hard to get it to work. For England I think Gerrard should of been the one shunted onto the wing with Carrick and Scholes behind Lampard. Because Gerrard has better pace to get up and down the field and adds the least to build up play.

It's not as if there is a huge difference in their goal scoring records.

Took these stats from PL site and transfermarkt (might be wrong too, didn't check properly).
MinsGoalsPenalty goalsNon Penalty goalsMins per goalMins per Non Penalty goals
Scholes
36115​
107​
1​
106​
338​
341
Lampard
48909​
177​
43​
134​
276​
365
Gerrard
41172​
121​
32​
89​
340​
463

MinsGoalsPenalty goalsNon Penalty goalsAssistsMins per NPG+Assists
Scholes
36115​
107​
1​
106​
55​
224
Lampard
48909​
177​
43​
134​
102​
207
Gerrard
41172​
121​
32​
89​
92​
227
These numbers are wrong. The penalties for Lampard and Gerrard are wrong according to the PL website, so they have more none penalty goals than you've accounted for.

Don't use Transfermarkt for stats that go back to the 90s because I think the minutes are likely wrong. Lampard played 609 games, Scholes 499. That doesn't equate with the Scholes minutes, even if he may have played more as a sub but I'd stick to games to try and make sure data is credible.
 
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mshnsh

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Zinedine Zidane
“There was a point when Gerrard was the best midfield player in the world. It is unusual to get complete midfield players who can do everything, but that is what he was.”


Francesco Totti
“Steven Gerrard would be the captain of my World XI dream team. Gerrard is a complete player because he can play in every position and can do everything with a football at any time in a game.
“He’s a player who scores goals, who builds the play, he’s a sensational player.”

Andrea Pirlo
“While at Milan he Ancelotti came to me and said, ‘I want to sign Steven Gerrard to play next to you in midfield – what do you think?’ Without any hesitation I told him, ‘Do it – go and sign him.’ At this stage he was probably the most complete midfield player in Europe, of course I wanted to partner him.

“I remember asking Carlo a few weeks later how it was going, and he told me Gerrard had given a very firm no, that his bond with Liverpool was unbreakable. At the time Milan were the champions of Europe and probably had the best team in the world – it says a lot about Gerrard’s loyalty.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
“I think Steven Gerrard is a fantastic player. He has been loyal to his club, he has won some big trophies with the club. He feels more an international player rather than a normal English player.

“English players have big hearts, always fighting, very aggressive, but Gerrard, for me, feels more international. He has more skills than the normal player. Every time we play against Steven, the coach always says to be careful with that player because he is the player who makes the difference.”

Kaka
“For me, and I have always said this, he will be regarded as one of the greatest midfielders ever. No doubt.”

Thierry Henry - "It was a disgrace he didn't win European Footballer of the Year after Istanbul in 2005 and, for me, he will be regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time."
Thierry has often been asked this question and always prefers Scholes. Just look it up on YouTube.

 

RedRoach

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Always found this comparison weird. Only similarity being they were all three midfielders apart from that very different players with different strengths and weaknesses.

Scholes was technically superior and had by far the best passing range and vision. He was a metronome who could control the tempo of a game and dominate midfield. He was a creator and was far less reliant on physical attributes. He was absolutely awful at tackling but had a great engine and drive.

Gerrard was a great player and leader. Not technically as good as scholes but still had a good pass but his main strengths was his driving runs from deep and ability to motivate those around him. He was more reliant on physical attributes and was never a controlling midfielder. Xabi Alonso was more like Scholes in the Liverpool midfield, Gerrard was more like Keane with improved long range passing and heading ability.

Lampard was nothing like Scholes and tended to play further forward or in a more box to box role. He didn’t have the passing range nor the ability to dictate the game from midfield. He had a great free kick on him and a fantastic ability to make well timed runs into the box from deep resulting in him posting high scoring numbers. He was definitely the most prolific of the three from a goal scoring perspective but again was not a Xavi/Scholes type who could control games.

In summary completely different players
 

Hammondo

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I don't agree with that assessment.

Modric is not a controller. Pirlo, yes. Kroos acted more like the controller in real Madrid. Paul Scholes has played as a second striker, a regular central midfielder and a controller.

What version of Paul Scholes are you comparing to Modric?

In terms of controlling games and passing, Scholes is superior to Modric. In terms of defending (especially in a low block) and press resistance, Modric is superior. Goal scoring, we saw that Scholes could play as a second striker and scored a lot more goals than Modric ever did or could.

Modric is more of an all round midfielder that was competent in a lot of areas, but his main asset is his extreme press resistance that arguably be matched by only Xavi Hernandez.

What also has to be taken into consideration is the teams they played for and the 'perception'. In fact, the English media did not rate Pirlo till he dominated them in the 2012 Europs similar to how Zlatan Ibrahimovic wasn't really that rated till he scored that amazing Bicycle kick against them.

Had Modric played for Manchester United, would he have done any better? I doubt it.

Modric's game did not change that much from his Tottenham days, the only difference is he played for Real Madrid and performed at a Higher level (Which he contributed to of course).

I think Modric is "greater" than Scholes because of his achievements and his "big game" performances, but in terms of their skill sets at various times, I would argue Scholes was superior.

In terms of greatness, I would say:

Modric
Pirlo
Scholes
I don't think scholes is much of a dictator of play, he does to an extent, but not in any major way.

Modric doesn't focus heavily on controlling games either, but he does more than scholes imo. He was just more intelligent with the ball and was able to do more with it without spraying out long passes.

Pirlo and modric were not recognised by English media because they are generally clueless about midfielders in general. There are reasons why RM took Modric and why they won so much with him.
 

Sandikan

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gerrard couldn’t control a midfield to save his life though
This is the thing Gerrard championers always overlook. That he wasn't actually a guy who excelled as a centre mid. He was an attacking mid.
 

Gringo

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You could enjoy watching Scholes and Lampard, they had nuances to their game. Gerrard was Mr Hollywood with no subtly, great highlights package but it would be infuriating watching him when he wasn't in form. Not my type of player.
 

Hammondo

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You could enjoy watching Scholes and Lampard, they had nuances to their game. Gerrard was Mr Hollywood with no subtly, great highlights package but it would be infuriating watching him when he wasn't in form. Not my type of player.
I remember when we had matches where he could barely keep the ball, a bit of pressure and he's a mess. We would be all over Liverpool and he was doing nothing.

Later he would score a free kick and the media would be going crazy.
 

SirReginald

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I remember when we had matches where he could barely keep the ball, a bit of pressure and he's a mess. We would be all over Liverpool and he was doing nothing.

Later he would score a free kick and the media would be going crazy.
In his defense, he played with a lot of inept players. He had enormous pressure to win matches on his own at times and tended to force the play a lot. Hence why he was king of the Hollywood pass.

You couldn’t really say how he would do in some of those truly great sides of his time but his highlights wheel would likely be a lot smaller. As I said previously however, he did excel as a big fish in a small pond. Much more than a modern big fish like a Zaha.

For career achievements Lampard and Scholes achieved much more, personally and for their teams. For stats he is destroyed by Lampard even without penalties. For ability Scholes is better than him.

Overall I’d rank them;
Scholes
Lampard
Gerrard
 

Hammondo

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In his defense, he played with a lot of inept players. He had enormous pressure to win matches on his own at times and tended to force the play a lot. Hence why he was king of the Hollywood pass.

You couldn’t really say how he would do in some of those truly great sides of his time but his highlights wheel would likely be a lot smaller. As I said previously however, he did excel as a big fish in a small pond. Much more than a modern big fish like a Zaha.

For career achievements Lampard and Scholes achieved much more, personally and for their teams. For stats he is destroyed by Lampard even without penalties. For ability Scholes is better than him.

Overall I’d rank them;
Scholes
Lampard
Gerrard
I would rank them like that also, but imo there is some distance between scholes and lampard.
 

Righteous Steps

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This is the thing Gerrard championers always overlook. That he wasn't actually a guy who excelled as a centre mid. He was an attacking mid.
He did excel at centre midfield to say otherwise is revisionist history, he won PFA Young player and PFA player of the year playing by mostly as a CM, he also won a CL UEFA Cup Fa Cup etc playing there as well.
 

Righteous Steps

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gerrard couldn’t control a midfield to save his life though
He could control a midfield, in the year Liverpool finished 2nd 13/14 he was probably the best controller in midfield after Carrick and Toure, he could play make not as good as Scholes but then Paul couldn’t provide the athletic ability and dynamism Gerrard had on a flip side.

There are more than one ways to skin a cat, a midfielder being a better playmaker than another doesn’t necessarily make them better, the Pep years has warped peoples mind to the point this can’t appreciate the other qualities that playing football entails.
 

Righteous Steps

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But we know he was never at any point the best player in the world.
He wasn’t but to say Europeans didn’t rate him is wrong they rate him just as much as Scholes and he actually fared better in the voting of things like CL team of the years, B’allon d’or etc.

The odd one out in terms of adulation on the continent is Lampard.
 

Dancfc

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Pirlo and modric were not recognised by English media because they are generally clueless about midfielders in general. There are reasons why RM took Modric and why they won so much with him.
Although he's not as good as those above It's the same same Jorginho aswell, even within our own fanbase.
 

mshnsh

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He wasn’t but to say Europeans didn’t rate him is wrong they rate him just as much as Scholes and he actually fared better in the voting of things like CL team of the years, B’allon d’or etc.

The odd one out in terms of adulation on the continent is Lampard.
Lampard fared the best (or atleast equal to Gerrard) when it came to the individual votes.

Gerrard fared better than Scholes in those votes because he was the big fish in a small pond and being English, the hype was exaggerated. If you watch Istanbul 2005, it wasn't him who changed the game but Hamaan, yet the media will have you believe it was him.

Technically, Gerrard was Inferior to scholes. But he had a desire that was great and led to clutch moments for Liverpool saving their arse multiple times through goals.
 

Righteous Steps

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Lampard fared the best (or atleast equal to Gerrard) when it came to the individual votes.

Gerrard fared better than Scholes in those votes because he was the big fish in a small pond and being English, the hype was exaggerated. If you watch Istanbul 2005, it wasn't him who changed the game but Hamaan, yet the media will have you believe it was him.

Technically, Gerrard was Inferior to scholes. But he had a desire that was great and led to clutch moments for Liverpool saving their arse multiple times through goals.
I don’t know why 2005 gets mentioned so much as a way to disparage Gerrard when 1. He finished motm 2. He was directly responsible for 2 of the 3 goals in the comeback and 3. He went right back and did a great job in extra time.

The midfield of Alonso and Gerrard was never going to compete against Pirlo Gattuso Seedorf and Kaka in retrospect, if you think a midfield of Scholes and Alonso would do better then maybe go back on some of the games Scholes was benched in favour of Butt for the exact same reason Benitez bought Hamann on against Milan in the second half.
 

mshnsh

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I don’t know why 2005 gets mentioned so much as a way to disparage Gerrard when 1. He finished motm 2. He was directly responsible for 2 of the 3 goals in the comeback and 3. He went right back and did a great job in extra time.

The midfield of Alonso and Gerrard was never going to compete against Pirlo Gattuso Seedorf and Kaka in retrospect, if you think a midfield of Scholes and Alonso would do better then maybe go back on some of the games Scholes was benched in favour of Butt for the exact same reason Benitez bought Hamann on against Milan in the second half.
The motm award was BS. He got it because he was a big name. In any case he loved passing back to Henry, slipping when it matters and Hollywood balls. In addition he was relatively technically limited. He had the desire and drive to carry Liverpool though.
 

totaalvoetbal

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I don't think scholes is much of a dictator of play, he does to an extent, but not in any major way.

Modric doesn't focus heavily on controlling games either, but he does more than scholes imo. He was just more intelligent with the ball and was able to do more with it without spraying out long passes.

Pirlo and modric were not recognised by English media because they are generally clueless about midfielders in general. There are reasons why RM took Modric and why they won so much with him.
He did. I'm talking in terms of controlling games within the framework of a 442 (and variations). There is a reason Schole's is praised by specific kind of players like Guardiola, Xavi and even Zidane. Modric doesn't control games more than Scholes did. He didn't at Tottenham and he does not at Madrid. We could argue maybe the framework at Real Madrid does not facilitate the level of dominance one would expect from such a player, but that is only if we look at a controller through the eyes of a Spain/Barcelona/Xavi lens.

Scholes is an all round better passer and a better final ball player than Modric has ever been in his career. Modric's greatest strength is his ability to defend (especially in low blocks) and his unrivalled press resistance. As a goal scorer, Scholes could play as a second striker and that dwarfs anything Modric has done in his career. Modric will go down as the greater player because of his achievements, but I think they are complementary players and could work in the same team.

If Schole's played for like a City team, he would be held in a much higher regard than he did today because possession dominant midfielders are now "in vogue" for lack of a better word.
 

B20

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He could control a midfield, in the year Liverpool finished 2nd 13/14 he was probably the best controller in midfield after Carrick and Toure, he could play make not as good as Scholes but then Paul couldn’t provide the athletic ability and dynamism Gerrard had on a flip side.

There are more than one ways to skin a cat, a midfielder being a better playmaker than another doesn’t necessarily make them better, the Pep years has warped peoples mind to the point this can’t appreciate the other qualities that playing football entails.
Not to mention that he did that plenty in his younger days before he was moved further forward.
 

B20

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If you watch Istanbul 2005, it wasn't him who changed the game but Hamaan, yet the media will have you believe it was him.
Hamann changed the game because we now had a holding midfielder to nullify Kaka.

Gerrard was nonetheless the clear man of the match.
 
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