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Scholes, Lampard, or Gerrard?


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I have always eliminated Scholes from this debate because he played in a world class midfield with Keane, Giggs and Beckham.  I don't think Gerrard or Lampard had as much talent in the midfield around them.   Scholes to me just did a lot of things right, I never felt he grabbed a game by the scruff of the neck and carried United on his back. Scholes was a very good player in a great midfield and didn't need to be the man of the match. Might not be a fair assumption but you have to separate them some how.

Gerrard or Lampard, at times throughout their careers, you could have picked either.  At one time I was leaning towards Gerrard, but I feel Lampard closed his career stronger.     Lampard played more games, scored more goals and won more silverware.  So I think Lampard edged it.

Not be lot between the three of them and it was criminal that no English manager could figure out how to play them together.

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5 minutes ago, Redcanuck said:

I have always eliminated Scholes from this debate because he played in a world class midfield with Keane, Giggs and Beckham.  I don't think Gerrard or Lampard had as much talent in the midfield around them.   Scholes to me just did a lot of things right, I never felt he grabbed a game by the scruff of the neck and carried United on his back. Scholes was a very good player in a great midfield and didn't need to be the man of the match. Might not be a fair assumption but you have to separate them some how.

Gerrard or Lampard, at times throughout their careers, you could have picked either.  At one time I was leaning towards Gerrard, but I feel Lampard closed his career stronger.     Lampard played more games, scored more goals and won more silverware.  So I think Lampard edged it.

Not be lot between the three of them and it was criminal that no English manager could figure out how to play them together.

That is the main reason I answer Gerrard every time.

From being on the opposition of these three players Gerrard in his prime was the one who would single highhandedly over power us, everything about the game was dictated by him. Scholes and Lampard would piss me right off because they'd score a bag full against us and it more often than not would be because some dozy tosser at the back didn't close them down or track them. The pair of them were lethal, they always found pockets of space in and around the box and exposed weak defensive units like us.

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Lampard... Because he never lost his footing and slipped over ever in a Title run in and gave a goal away to my knowledge... Then Scholes because I don't ever remember him doing it either.. 

Gerrard last because he has one of them voices that always sounds like you are squeezing a 10 minute confession out of a mouse... 

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Gerrard over Lampard as he had more to his game overall though I also feel Lampard didn't get the credit for just being a stand up bloke while his mates Terry and Cole were shagging everything with legs and getting into scandals, not that that's relevant in the debate.

Scholes I didn't see enough of to cast a deciding vote between him or Gerrard, but from what I remember everyone wanked over him a lot more when he made that weird comeback as a bit part player and after he retired than they did during his original career. United fans rate him as one of their best players in this era though and the club's fans usually know best.

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It's kind of odd because they all played their best in different systems, so it's kind of hard to compare them as they had different dutiesand expectations. Scholes played in a 4-4-2, Gerrard a 4-2-3-1, and Lampard in a 4-3-3.

Edited by Spike
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To be honest I've grown to appreciate Lampard more than I did when he was playing whereas my opinion on Scholes is still the same. Scholes was a very good player who at no point was close to being seen as the best player in the league but when he retired and came back, his reputation somehow quadrupled. I'd still have Gerrard as the best out of the three but I'd now have Lampard ahead of Scholes.

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Gerrard played all over the midfield. Right wing, centre mid, right behind the striker as an attacking mid, total box to box, right back (at Istanbul), deep-lying playmaker... and he put in some truly world class performances for multiple seasons despite always having to constantly redefine his role in the midfield because he was responsible for fucking carrying us.

For all but the final year of his season (because Rodgers insisted on playing him as a deep lying playmaker after Suarez left, and subsequently all movement in front of Stevie for some reason fucking stopped) he was either our best player or one of our best players. So I'm obviously biased, but I'm hard pressed to think of a player that's done as much as our club had Gerrard do or do it for so consistently long.

So I'd put him first. Then, second, I'd go with Lampard. I think he's a bit underrated compared to the other two, tbh, although most people classify him as second out of the 3, with Stevie or Scholes alternating as 1 or 3. But he was a very solid midfielder who consistently performed at a really fucking high level and scored a LOT of goals, and a lot of important goals.

Scholes is obviously a very good player, and like the other two, can point to a long career of consistency. And in terms of vision and his range of passing, he's probably the best - but I don't think by much. But I don't think he grabbed games by the scruff of the neck in the same way Gerrard did, and despite the consistency I don't think he was anywhere near as consistently good as Lampard. Plus he was a dirty fucking bastard with dangerous tackles, that for some reason were always laughed off even though they were dirty fucking tackles. Gerrard and Lampard were infinitely better defensively.

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The replies on this thread are exactly what I expected because you see it so often in this discussion. And I'm not here to knock anyone's opinion but for me it's a no brainer.

Scholes, Gerrard, Lampard. In that Order. While Gerrard and Lampard are very good players, compared to Scholes' artistry, their style of midfield play is brute and vulgar. It is like comparing vodka to fine wine.

And I also don't think it's a shock that when foreign players are asked this question, they pick Scholes. Zidane, Xavi, Pirlo, Henry, Toni Kroos just the other day. They all recognise his talent as the outstanding one. We've never had a midfielder quite like Paul Scholes and the one time we do, we've completely wasted him xD This is standard England. 

Scholes’ superiority is due to his possession of qualities rarely seen in an English player. His passing range, and accuracy were phenomenal, but most impressive was his intelligence and ability to dictate a game. Scholes always helped his team dominate possession. That instinct that allowed him to slow play or inject pace into the game at will, and always at the right time.

Goals. Right foot. Left foot. Headers. Free kicks. Penalties. Volleys. Paul Scholes seemed to hit the sweet spot of a football every time with such grace. His temperament was generally impeccable, especially in the 'big' games. 

This is what elevates him beyond being a great English midfielder and allows him to take his place amongst the upper echelons of world greats is far a more intangible magic; an element of control, an aura of composure on the ball that puts him alongside the Xavis and Pirlos.

You talk about Gerrard getting a game by the scruff of the neck but Scholesy did it effortlessly. Gerrard may have had more 'X Factor' moments, but Scholes was far more consistent. I don't think Xavi has popped a ball in the back of the net in injury time to save his team much nor won crunching tackles to get the crowd off their feet, but that didn't stop him from being arguably the best player of the tournament in both Euro 2008 and WC 2010.

Sometimes Jamie Carragher doesn't 'alf talk a load of garbage. Carragher’s undervaluing of Scholes on that MNF encapsulates much of what’s wrong with English football. To rate those two over Scholes is to value power and graft over technique, finesse, and intelligence. Typical view of a limited footballer.

Gerrard was a great leader, Lampard was a great pro, Scholes was a genius. End of story for me.

Edited by Lucas
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I simply don’t get this view abov, Scholes was nothing like a Pirlo, Xavi or Modric, he never played that way in his life. For the majority of his career he was an attackinf midfielder supporting the strikers, a very good one but not era defining or worthy of comparison with the very elite. Neither or Gerrard or Lampard but the three are very much peers in terms of talent, scholes was not the player this weird fantasy suggests he was. 

Edited by The Artful Dodger
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Scholes doesn't even belong in the conversation for me. He was a very good footballer, but a facilitator at best. Ahead of the other two upstairs, but that can only get you so far without top players around you. Gerrard and Lampard, on the other hand, were absolutely world class in their prime and could do it all by themselves. It's only speculation, but I think if you put Scholes or Lampard in some of the god awful Liverpool sides Gerrard had to play in, Scholes would sink and Lampard would swim.

No matter how much Scholes's reputation may have improved since he retired, there's a reason only two of the three ever stood on the podium for the Ballon d'Or.

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Most people who answer Scholes are not answering the same question as the rest.

If one has an idealistic conception of what a football is - and all that counts is what you do with the ball (i.e. for about 5% of the match) - then you might be inclined to pick the player with the best control and passing. 

But although technique is the most important thing, it isn't everything. It's possible to be a great player with extremely limited or even average technique. 

Likewise, it's possible to have outstanding technique and not be an outstanding player. Riquelme might be one of the most technically gifted players in history, but is he one of the greatest players of all time? Probably not. 

If you hear "best player" and think "best receiver and mover of the ball", saying Scholes makes sense. If you think of "best player" as meaning overall contribution  to a team, then I don't think Scholes can come out top. 

Bastian Schweinsteiger is technically a level below, I don't know, Thiago, but when you look back at their careers, who will be considered the better player?

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21 minutes ago, Teso dos Bichos said:

I find all the negativity about scholes has more to do with being anti-united than an actual judgement of one of the best midfielders of all time. Done with this thread

I will bring something positive about Scholes then... he was just as shit at tackling as the other two :ph34r:

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