Scholes, Gerrard, Lampard debate.

Lay

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Every time he stepped on the field for England he was fantastic. The problem was the English people either wanted their midfielders to score goals or make bone crunching tackles. Carrick's artistry on and off the ball was beyond them. Had he been Spanish they'd be saying "we need a player like that guy". But English fans aren't the smartest when it comes to the game they invented...
Eh, I’m not sure every time. I’m a fan of his but he at times seemed off the pace. I can’t for the life of me remember the game, but a game at Wembley, he stood out for all the wrong reasons. In his 9 starts, they only won 4 games - one was against San Marino.
 

Ash_G

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Have said it before when this conversation has happened but very simplistically I think Scholes edges it personally as he was always able to thrive in teams not built around him. I know Gerrard got moved around a bit but I always felt that was because it was hard to find a role that got the best out of him whilst also not leaving a problem in other areas and Lampard generally played in a set up that was designed for his game. Scholes didn't really need that until later years when his legs went. Of the three of them I think you could drop him into all the best teams in the world and he'd either fit right in or improve things whereas I'm not sure the other 2 could do that and be as effective without those teams making other changes to accommodate them.

So for me if I was building a team I'd pick Scholes. That said all 3 of them were fantastic players and if the question was bringing on a player to make a difference in an isolated match then I could see Lampard/Gerrard edging that.
 

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I rabbit holed into watching England vs Croatia from 2007, when England lost 3-2 and didn’t qualify for the Euros. The full match is on YouTube and it’s interesting because Getrard is playing that “quarterback” role in midfield and from very early on he loses composure and isn’t able to positively influence the game — lots of long range passes which get easily picked off and put his team in trouble. I feel like that’s where Scholes had an edge over the other two, he could read and set the tempo of a game and always knew what the situation required.
 

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If it's who the best CM was it's not a debate. Scholes was one of the best midfielders of his generation, and that's only a debate because people like Modric and Xavi overlapped with him.

Gerrard was a great player but as a CM he wasn't reliable. Too many Holywood balls (a lot of which would fly off for a goal kick) and trying to win the game on his own, especially if his team were struggling. Made for some great moments when he pulled it off, but there is also a reason why Paul Scholes was arguably THE key figure in the most successful team of his era, and Gerrard sometimes finished in the top 4. Gerrard would slip over, cost his team a goal and spent the remainder of the game firing hopeful shots in from 35 yards. Scholes would just quitely be motm while his team won 3-0, and wouldn't ever get himself in a position where he slips over on the half way line and the opposition are through on goal in the first place.

I don't really even count Lampard as a midfielder, because Chelsea almost always had to play a midfield behind him. Something between a no8 and a no10, and to be fair he was extremely good at it. Better than the other two arguably who were pretty good at it themselves.

The worst thing for Lampard and Gerrard is they've now moved on to competing to see who is worse at being a manager, but Scholes has already set the bar for that higher than either will ever reach as well.
 

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Eh, I’m not sure every time. I’m a fan of his but he at times seemed off the pace. I can’t for the life of me remember the game, but a game at Wembley, he stood out for all the wrong reasons. In his 9 starts, they only won 4 games - one was against San Marino.
The mere fact that England fans thought Hargreaves and Scott Parker were better than Carrick tells you all you need to know about England fans. As a Canadian, I've forgotten more about this game than half the country will ever know
 

Eddy_JukeZ

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The mere fact that England fans thought Hargreaves and Scott Parker were better than Carrick tells you all you need to know about England fans. As a Canadian, I've forgotten more about this game than half the country will ever know
What a line :lol:
 

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The mere fact that England fans thought Hargreaves and Scott Parker were better than Carrick tells you all you need to know about England fans. As a Canadian, I've forgotten more about this game than half the country will ever know
Hargreaves was good player, for me very German like in his interpretation of the game as opposed to Carrick who was more Spanish and Iberian In his style of play. The thing is since the advent of Guardiola and the Spanish team people have now gone too far the other way in trying to act as if only one type of player or style matters, the thing is, Spain for all their technical glory have only ever won 1 World Cup in their history, while the likes of Germany have won 4, Italy has won 3, and France have won two.

The technically gifted midfielder who relies on ball playing over athletic prowess isn’t the only type of midfielder that should be heralded, for me apart from that one special Spanish generation the best teams have always had a mixture of both and more often than not, over the course of football history it’s thsee type of nations who combine both that have been successful rather than the extremities that we’ve seen with Spain, Germany France Brazil all examples of this.

Put Carrick in a midfield without an athlete and he could be outran and overpowered, put him alongside Hargreaves and you now have a midfield with good balance, both would have formed a good base for England’s midfield, but football is still a sport and we shouldn’t go too far the other way and think a midfielder should only be one type of way.
 

Demyanenko_square_jaw

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Hargreaves was good player, for me very German like in his interpretation of the game as opposed to Carrick who was more Spanish and Iberian In his style of play. The thing is since the advent of Guardiola and the Spanish team people have now gone too far the other way in trying to act as if only one type of player or style matters, the thing is, Spain for all their technical glory have only ever won 1 World Cup in their history, while the likes of Germany have won 4, Italy has won 3, and France have won two.

The technically gifted midfielder who relies on ball playing over athletic prowess isn’t the only type of midfielder that should be heralded, for me apart from that one special Spanish generation the best teams have always had a mixture of both and more often than not, over the course of football history it’s thsee type of nations who combine both that have been successful rather than the extremities that we’ve seen with Spain, Germany France Brazil all examples of this.

Put Carrick in a midfield without an athlete and he could be outran and overpowered, put him alongside Hargreaves and you now have a midfield with good balance, both would have formed a good base for England’s midfield, but football is still a sport and we shouldn’t go too far the other way and think a midfielder should only be one type of way.
I agree with a lot of that, but just as an addition in the case of Spain themselves, i don't think they really actually have too long a tradition in the way of playing that emerged for them in the 00s. Not so sure about earlier era's but a lot of the 70s-90s times they were often more notable for their aggressive intensity, directness, workrate and embracing of "the dark arts", with the main players that added finesse to their teams often being foreign at club level, or just a few standouts in otherwise unflashy, direct setups. Cruyff Barca team had a big impact on changing that, but i'd not put Spanish football at the forefront of technical, possession/passer dominant midfield play in Europe until the 00s, maybe some of the later 90s too.
 

Pronewbie

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Still perplexed that many disagree with me that between 2005 - 2009 England's best, most balanced midfield would be Hargreaves, Scholes and Carrick. Lampard and Gerrard over Scholes and Carrick, they'll say.
 

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The mere fact that England fans thought Hargreaves and Scott Parker were better than Carrick tells you all you need to know about England fans. As a Canadian, I've forgotten more about this game than half the country will ever know
Please don't tell anyone you're Canadian you're embarrassing the rest of us Canadians. Are you sure you're not American?
 

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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.
I don't recall one big game for England or Liverpool where he controlled a midfield. Maybe he dominated Burnley once or something, but we're talking about him being an elite midfielder here.

Gerrard was world class at what he was great at which was when he had full license to go forward, but in terms of controlling a midfield he was average at best.
 

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Still perplexed that many disagree with me that between 2005 - 2009 England's best, most balanced midfield would be Hargreaves, Scholes and Carrick. Lampard and Gerrard over Scholes and Carrick, they'll say.
I'm confused by your perplexity. Hargreaves and Carrick were both first function midfielders - natural as the deepest player in that area ‐ and on top of that Scholes was also natural in a deeper role - as a second function midfielder, alongside or just in front of the deepest one. Your proposed midfield is missing a player like Gerrard or Lampard - a third function midfielder, someone who excels as the most advanced of the midfield three.

As well as providing more balance in place of either Carrick or Hargreaves, Gerrard was also quite simply a better player than both. There is no way that the most ideal England team in that time period didn't include Steven Gerrard. Scholes and him should have been shoe-ins for their country at that point, and given their complimentary qualities the only requirement from a third player in that area would have been that they were an actual holder - stylistically, either a Hargreaves or a Carrick would have completed a well balanced midfield three.
 

cyberman

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I'm confused by your perplexity. Hargreaves and Carrick were both first function midfielders - natural as the deepest player in that area ‐ and on top of that Scholes was also natural in a deeper role - as a second function midfielder, alongside or just in front of the deepest one. Your proposed midfield is missing a player like Gerrard or Lampard - a third function midfielder, someone who excels as the most advanced of the midfield three.

As well as providing more balance in place of either Carrick or Hargreaves, Gerrard was also quite simply a better player than both. There is no way that the most ideal England team in that time period didn't include Steven Gerrard. Scholes and him should have been shoe-ins for their country at that point, and given their complimentary qualities the only requirement from a third player in that area would have been that they were an actual holder - stylistically, either a Hargreaves or a Carrick would have completed a well balanced midfield three.
United didn’t miss it when they ruled Europe with that midfield?
You didn’t need Gerrard or Lampard when you had Rooney dropping deep as a 10 who was better than all of them anyway. It would have been a modern type of set up 15 years before it’s time
 

Righteous Steps

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United didn’t miss it when they ruled Europe with that midfield?
You didn’t need Gerrard or Lampard when you had Rooney dropping deep as a 10 who was better than all of them anyway. It would have been a modern type of set up 15 years before it’s time
Rooney as a number 10/9 isn’t comparable to Gerrard or Lampard as a midfielder so it wouldn’t be the same.
 

Righteous Steps

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I don't recall one big game for England or Liverpool where he controlled a midfield. Maybe he dominated Burnley once or something, but we're talking about him being an elite midfielder here.

Gerrard was world class at what he was great at which was when he had full license to go forward, but in terms of controlling a midfield he was average at best.
Memories fail us, so it doesn’t say much, and controlling the midfield is only one part of the game. In 13/14 he was a good controller though that’s for sure, to say he’s average at best is wrong, before he played as a number 10 he had already achieved so much as a CM including Cl honours, Pfa player of the years and etc.
 

Righteous Steps

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I agree with a lot of that, but just as an addition in the case of Spain themselves, i don't think they really actually have too long a tradition in the way of playing that emerged for them in the 00s. Not so sure about earlier era's but a lot of the 70s-90s times they were often more notable for their aggressive intensity, directness, workrate and embracing of "the dark arts", with the main players that added finesse to their teams often being foreign at club level, or just a few standouts in otherwise unflashy, direct setups. Cruyff Barca team had a big impact on changing that, but i'd not put Spanish football at the forefront of technical, possession/passer dominant midfield play in Europe until the 00s, maybe some of the later 90s too.
Yes agree.
 

Sandikan

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All three were outstanding players, but Gerrard is slightly ahead of Scholes, then Lampard.

Something that's not been mentioned yet is that Gerrard was in the PFA team of the year eight times, Scholes twice and Lampard three times. Clearly the players that played against them at the time rated Gerrard ahead of the other two. Some people believe that Gerrard is the greatest Liverpool player of all time, whereas nobody would say that Scholes is the greatest United player of all time.
Gerrard fans always bring it down to individual accolades. It's constantly mentioned.
But being by far the star player in an average team will of course make you stand out more than being a high quality player amongst higher quality players.

By your logic Ginola was the best player in 1999 when he was voted player of the year over United greats who had worldy seasons?

It's a shame Gerrard didn't go to a Chelsea or Real Madrid. See how he fared.

Grealish for instance looked top quality for Villa. Went to City and looks a real egg and spoon average player.
May well not have been the case with Gerrard but for certain he wouldn't have stood out as much as he had done for Liverpool.
 

sherrinford

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United didn’t miss it when they ruled Europe with that midfield?
You didn’t need Gerrard or Lampard when you had Rooney dropping deep as a 10 who was better than all of them anyway. It would have been a modern type of set up 15 years before it’s time
Did they rule Europe with that midfield? How many times did all three of them line up in midfield together? Not many that I can recall - I remember plenty of rotation and tailored setups for Champions League ties and big domestic games, outwith the general preference for using Tevez alongside/ off Rooney up front. And when an extra midfielder replaced Tevez it tended to be Anderson, or maybe Fletcher, to play as the third function midfielder. Carrick, Hargreaves and Scholes were generally used in rotation for two spots.

Gerrard would have improved that team too, in place of whoever was operating as the second striker/ third function midfielder.
 

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Did they rule Europe with that midfield? How many times did all three of them line up in midfield together? Not many that I can recall - I remember plenty of rotation and tailored setups for Champions League ties and big domestic games, outwith the general preference for using Tevez alongside/ off Rooney up front. And when an extra midfielder replaced Tevez it tended to be Anderson, or maybe Fletcher, to play as the third function midfielder. Carrick, Hargreaves and Scholes were generally used in rotation for two spots.

Gerrard would have improved that team too, in place of whoever was operating as the second striker/ third function midfielder.
By the end of 07/08 Hargreaves was playing right midfield a lot, including in the CL final.
 

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I rabbit holed into watching England vs Croatia from 2007, when England lost 3-2 and didn’t qualify for the Euros. The full match is on YouTube and it’s interesting because Getrard is playing that “quarterback” role in midfield and from very early on he loses composure and isn’t able to positively influence the game — lots of long range passes which get easily picked off and put his team in trouble. I feel like that’s where Scholes had an edge over the other two, he could read and set the tempo of a game and always knew what the situation required.
Gerrard literally never played well as a center midfielder. He was always an attacking mid. Under Rafa he basically played as an inside winger because he's such a liability defensively. He tried "ageing into a quarterback role" at Liverpool, played there for one season and they conceded about 55 league goals while Suarez carried them.
 

Berbasbullet

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Gerrard literally never played well as a center midfielder. He was always an attacking mid. Under Rafa he basically played as an inside winger because he's such a liability defensively. He tried "ageing into a quarterback role" at Liverpool, played there for one season and they conceded about 55 league goals while Suarez carried them.
This! Phenomenal footballer Gerrard but a traditional central midfielder he was not.
 

Righteous Steps

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Gerrard literally never played well as a center midfielder. He was always an attacking mid. Under Rafa he basically played as an inside winger because he's such a liability defensively. He tried "ageing into a quarterback role" at Liverpool, played there for one season and they conceded about 55 league goals while Suarez carried them.
This isn’t accurate. From 01-04 before Rafa came he played as a CM, he won PFAyoung player of the year, he won the Mickey Mouse treble and also actually finished in team of the years before Rafa came.

He also was part of a Liverpool aide that finished 2nd in 02, to say he literally never played good as a Cm is literally revisionist history, before Rafa came Gerrrard has already been considered one of the best CMs in Europe.

In the 13/14 season he wasn’t the only reason that Liverpool side conceded 51 goals but he was a part of it, his reasoning for being in that position was because of his quality on the ball, the same reason why Pirlo and Scholes were put in that position, neither of these players were great defensively and they both could be overan and out battled in fact Pirlo faced this dilemma many time in his career meaning he not only had to have Gattuso Seedorf to supplement him but also a world class defence behind him also. You have Pirlo Scholes Alonso in the quarter back position without a world class defence behind them and the same thing happens, they are there for the on ball ability and not defensive attributes, which is why Alonso best time at Liverpool came alongside another destroyer in Mascherano.

Gerrard had Flanagan Skrtel Mignolet behind him as opposed to Ferdinand Staam Cafu Maldini and Nesta, yet he was one of the main reasons for the success of the side that season, Suarez didn’t really do a carry job when the 2nd top goalscorer in the league was Sturridge with 21 goals and before he came into the team after his suspension Liverpool were already on top.

He had an all time great season but you can have that and not challenge for the league like Salah did.

Scholes may be a better CM but to say Gerrard literally never played well as a CM is wrong.
 

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This isn’t accurate. From 01-04 before Rafa came he played as a CM, he won PFAyoung player of the year, he won the Mickey Mouse treble and also actually finished in team of the years before Rafa came.

He also was part of a Liverpool aide that finished 2nd in 02, to say he literally never played good as a Cm is literally revisionist history, before Rafa came Gerrrard has already been considered one of the best CMs in Europe.

In the 13/14 season he wasn’t the only reason that Liverpool side conceded 51 goals but he was a part of it, his reasoning for being in that position was because of his quality on the ball, the same reason why Pirlo and Scholes were put in that position, neither of these players were great defensively and they both could be overan and out battled in fact Pirlo faced this dilemma many time in his career meaning he not only had to have Gattuso Seedorf to supplement him but also a world class defence behind him also. You have Pirlo Scholes Alonso in the quarter back position without a world class defence behind them and the same thing happens, they are there for the on ball ability and not defensive attributes, which is why Alonso best time at Liverpool came alongside another destroyer in Mascherano.

Gerrard had Flanagan Skrtel Mignolet behind him as opposed to Ferdinand Staam Cafu Maldini and Nesta, yet he was one of the main reasons for the success of the side that season, Suarez didn’t really do a carry job when the 2nd top goalscorer in the league was Sturridge with 21 goals and before he came into the team after his suspension Liverpool were already on top.

He had an all time great season but you can have that and not challenge for the league like Salah did.

Scholes may be a better CM but to say Gerrard literally never played well as a CM is wrong.
He was a massive reason they conceded so many goals that season because he neglected spaces around himself constantly, even Liverpool fans used to complain about this. We all know how they are about their own players and there was always a huge contingent of them that didn't rate Gerrard as a CM btw. Fair enough on the early years though I'd argue with you about how good that Houllier team ever was anyway, 2nd place was an anomaly for them and they returned to type quickly.

Suarez came back after 5 games where they played nobody who was any good and even still managed to drop 5 points and instantly began carrying them btw. Sturridge was great and scored a lot but they were goal shy even in those 5 games without Suarez and didn't become a goal machine til he was back in the side. Gerrard got a POTY nomination that year for scoring penalties that Suarez and Sturridge were winning and to a lesser extent Sterling. He certainly was nowhere near their best performer that year or even near their 4th best performer.

BTW Scholes and Pirlo were playing QB role to great effect against great sides aged 35-36, Gerrard was finished as a top player by 2010 aged 30.
 

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Memories fail us, so it doesn’t say much, and controlling the midfield is only one part of the game. In 13/14 he was a good controller though that’s for sure, to say he’s average at best is wrong, before he played as a number 10 he had already achieved so much as a CM including Cl honours, Pfa player of the years and etc.
huh? he played on the right the year he won PFA player of the year

was moved around a lot the year they won the UCL too
 

Righteous Steps

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He was a massive reason they conceded so many goals that season because he neglected spaces around himself constantly, even Liverpool fans used to complain about this. We all know how they are about their own players and there was always a huge contingent of them that didn't rate Gerrard as a CM btw. Fair enough on the early years though I'd argue with you about how good that Houllier team ever was anyway, 2nd place was an anomaly for them and they returned to type quickly.

Suarez came back after 5 games where they played nobody who was any good and even still managed to drop 5 points and instantly began carrying them btw. Sturridge was great and scored a lot but they were goal shy even in those 5 games without Suarez and didn't become a goal machine til he was back in the side. Gerrard got a POTY nomination that year for scoring penalties that Suarez and Sturridge were winning and to a lesser extent Sterling. He certainly was nowhere near their best performer that year or even near their 4th best performer.
Football is all about balance, Trent and Cancelo aren’t good defensively but Liverpool and City chose to play the way they do because they feel they stand to benefit more from what they give to the team attacking wise.

It’s the same with Liverpool that season, a Gerrard without legs wasn’t great defensively in the same way Pirlo wasn’t but Rodgers chose to play him there because of what he bought to the team in other aspects, it’s a decision that paid off and was the only season Rodgers challenged for the league, the balance between Gerrard Coutinho Henderson going forward was right and at times Allen would come in for more defensive solidity.

A player can’t have everything the argument is in regards to Scholes and Lampard but Scholes was getting benched at times in Europe for butt because Ferguson preferred the solidity that Butt provided alongside Keane, does that now mean Scholes wasn’t a good CM? Fergisuon obviously had the same opinion at times you did in regards to Gerrrard Scholes may leave to many spaces behind, wasn’t athletic or defensively switched on as Butt.

At his later age that most likely got better but then he has Ferdinand and Vidic behind him as well as Evra and Neville, if Liverpool had a defence as good as that in 13/14 they would have most definitely won the league.

Every player has deficiencies its up to the manager to help cover for them, you put Xavi in a quarterback role with Coutinho Henderson and Sterling as the midfield he certainly doesn’t look as good, you put him in a midfield two with Alonso and he will get outran outfought and not look anywhere near as good, this is football, doesn’t mean he isn’t a top class CM it just means you build a system to get the best out of him.
 
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Righteous Steps

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huh? he played on the right the year he won PFA player of the year

was moved around a lot the year they won the UCL too
Yes and that was I think when Rafa came it was the PFA young player of the year he won as a CM but he always played a lot of games on the right from a young age anyways, he was obviously more suited to a modern 3 man midfield but English teams didn’t really start implementing those type of formations till Mourinho and Benitez came into the league. He played the majority of the CL run in CM I think.

De Bruyne if you look at his heatmap plays the same positions that Gerrard does yet nobody says he isn’t a good CM, why?
 

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Yes and that was I think when Rafa came it was the PFA young player of the year he won as a CM but he always played a lot of games on the right from a young age anyways, he was obviously more suited to a modern 3 man midfield but English teams didn’t really start implementing those type of formations till Mourinho and Benitez came into the league. He played the majority of the CL run in CM I think.

De Bruyne if you look at his heatmap plays the same positions that Gerrard does yet nobody says he isn’t a good CM, why?
I'm not saying he wasn't a good CM though. He was a really good CM obviously, just not a world class one. He was world class when he played further forward.
 

Righteous Steps

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I'm not saying he wasn't a good CM though. He was a really good CM obviously, just not a world class one. He was world class when he played further forward.
Can agree with that. If he had been born 10 years later don’t think it would have been so much of an argument De Bruyne in comparison operates further forward but no one talks about his discipline or not being able to play CM because he generally plays in 3 man midfields.
 

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Hargreaves was good player, for me very German like in his interpretation of the game as opposed to Carrick who was more Spanish and Iberian In his style of play. The thing is since the advent of Guardiola and the Spanish team people have now gone too far the other way in trying to act as if only one type of player or style matters, the thing is, Spain for all their technical glory have only ever won 1 World Cup in their history, while the likes of Germany have won 4, Italy has won 3, and France have won two.

The technically gifted midfielder who relies on ball playing over athletic prowess isn’t the only type of midfielder that should be heralded, for me apart from that one special Spanish generation the best teams have always had a mixture of both and more often than not, over the course of football history it’s thsee type of nations who combine both that have been successful rather than the extremities that we’ve seen with Spain, Germany France Brazil all examples of this.

Put Carrick in a midfield without an athlete and he could be outran and overpowered, put him alongside Hargreaves and you now have a midfield with good balance, both would have formed a good base for England’s midfield, but football is still a sport and we shouldn’t go too far the other way and think a midfielder should only be one type of way.
Hargreaves was not a midfielder. He was a utility player. He was the brunt of English jokes for ages while at Bayern and after one good game in midfield (before that he usually played as a RB, and sometimes at right midfield) he all of a sudden became completely over rated. Truth is he was a decent player but nothing more. Like O'Shea or P Neville before him...
 

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Gerrard literally never played well as a center midfielder. He was always an attacking mid. Under Rafa he basically played as an inside winger because he's such a liability defensively. He tried "ageing into a quarterback role" at Liverpool, played there for one season and they conceded about 55 league goals while Suarez carried them.

True, Gerrard was a brilliant player......but so many flaws in the traditional where you play him stakes......he was never proper midfielder like other players.......was mad media and England where treating him like he was
 

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Probably Gerrard 1st if I pick based on all-round capabilities and best form (but probably he was at his best as an AM ahead of the main midfield players, even though he arguably could be 1st as a box to box player or anchor midfielder too but I'd be less inclined to feel sure on my choice just comparing them as centre midfielders maybe). Lampard 2nd I'll say, although maybe if Scholes had combined the best of his goalscoring form and best of his playmaking form at any particular time I might've changed that around (but Lampard surely was better for stamina and getting box to box, for set piece delivery, for shooting from outside the box on average perhaps, for power....so he would have some advantages vs even 'complete version Scholes')
 

Bert_

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True, Gerrard was a brilliant player......but so many flaws in the traditional where you play him stakes......he was never proper midfielder like other players.......was mad media and England where treating him like he was
It was a time when 4-4-2 was king and if you weren't a wide player you were a striker, central midfielder or central defender in the eyes of the armchair fans. If you played CM then the assumption is you are as good at attacking as you are at defending. Problem was that on match of the day highlights and tabloid headlines you pretty much just see goals. So any CM that scored the most goals was the one that got the most coverage and so by default they were the best CM. No nuance at all! That's why we had Lampard and Gerrard in a midfield two.

England managers were just too cowardly to go against this armchair opinion in case they lost or drew a match because the tabloids (the main source of football analysis for the majority of the population back then) would be calling for their head for not going with popular opinion.

A Scholes, Gerrard, Carrick midfield three in a 4-3-3 would have been one of the best midfields in the world.

In fact we had so many options (never used). Any combination of (in order of preference)...

Sitters
Carrick, Hargraves

Deep Playmakers
Scholes, Carrick, Beckham

Forward Playmakers

Gerrard, Beckham, Lampard, Scholes
 

SirReginald

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It was a time when 4-4-2 was king and if you weren't a wide player you were a striker, central midfielder or central defender in the eyes of the armchair fans. If you played CM then the assumption is you are as good at attacking as you are at defending. Problem was that on match of the day highlights and tabloid headlines you pretty much just see goals. So any CM that scored the most goals was the one that got the most coverage and so by default they were the best CM. No nuance at all! That's why we had Lampard and Gerrard in a midfield two.

England managers were just too cowardly to go against this armchair opinion in case they lost or drew a match because the tabloids (the main source of football analysis for the majority of the population back then) would be calling for their head for not going with popular opinion.

A Scholes, Gerrard, Carrick midfield three in a 4-3-3 would have been one of the best midfields in the world.

In fact we had so many options (never used). Any combination of (in order of preference)...

Sitters
Carrick, Hargraves

Deep Playmakers
Scholes, Carrick, Beckham

Forward Playmakers

Gerrard, Beckham, Lampard, Scholes
Scholes retired 2004. Carrick was at Spurs and not ready for England. There was plenty of midfielders better than him at that time.
 

Bert_

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Scholes retired 2004. Carrick was at Spurs and not ready for England. There was plenty of midfielders better than him at that time.
Yes he did, at the age of 29. Because he was shunted out to the left wing by Sven to accommodate Gerrard and Lampard. He was asked to come back in by every England manager that followed until he retired from football entirely.

Carrick and Scholes played together at united for 7 years.
 

GMok

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Scholes>Lampard>=Gerrard
Scholes was the best English CM since I started watching football.

Lampard had success in a tailor made system, but he was a better goalscorer than Gerrard and won much more, so putting him just ahead.

Gerrard was actually a better AM/no 10 than Lampard, but he only played it there for one season with Torres up front. He was not a CM and a good RM. Scored some vital goals in finals though.
 

Threesus

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Are we still going on about this one? Almost as tiresome as the Messi/Ronaldo debates.

Let’s have a Bruno, kovacic and Thiago/Fabinho debate instead.
 
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