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06 Aug 2018

Derby and Rangers: The Lampard vs Gerrard debate continues

Derby and Rangers: The Lampard vs Gerrard debate
continues

After hanging up their boots, Gerrard and Lampard have both followed the path to a managerial career.

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Star-crossed ballers

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Healthy competition?

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Moving on

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North of the wall

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Let the debate begin 

Action Images/Craig Brough

The debates about Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard have raged on since the 2000s and still divides opinion. 

Two England internationals playing at two of the biggest clubs in England in the same position, it was only inevitable that they would be mentioned in the same breath.

In many respects, the domestic duel between the two central midfielders at club level could have been one reason for their lack of chemistry in the middle of the park at the international level. 

The pair were arguably the most important players in an England team that was labelled the 'Golden Generation' who failed to offer any return on the great promise that so many people saw.

Fast forward the clock 20 years and the on-pitch rivalry is back. Not on the pitch strictly speaking but certainly at the side of it.

With Gerrard heading up to Glasgow to take the reins at Ibrox, Lampard has taken the more leisurely route to the Midlands and Derby. The debate, then, must go on. Who is better: Gerrard or Lampard?

Star-crossed ballers

Both dubbed club legends at the same point in their careers, you can almost trace the rise of one to the top by the other's relative success.

For instance, in 2005, Gerrard lifted the Champions League trophy picking up the Man of the Match award after the memorable 'Miracle of Istanbul' which saw Liverpool come back against an AC Milan side who were 3-0 up at halftime.

Photo credit: terceroinf fmiralcamp

As for Lampard, 2005 was the year he scored two goals to win the Premier League title for Chelsea, winning the Premier League Player of the Season and PFA Player of the Year awards at the same time. 

The midfielders accomplished several honours at club level, both winning the Champions League and a handful of FA Cups. 

However, Frank Lampard enjoyed more silverware in his career with Chelsea than Gerrard did at Liverpool: in the league, Lampard lifted three Premier League trophies while Gerrard failed to win the competition. 

Healthy competition?

Although the rivalry between these two players encouraged their careers to flourish at club level, the same cannot be said of the international stage. 

Whether or not Lampard and Gerrard could play together for the Three Lions was the question on everyone's lips. "Imagine," people would say, "An England midfield of Gerrard and Lampard."

Photo credit: UK in Japan- FCO

In the end, the Liverpool captain proved to be of more use when partnered alongside Gareth Barry. However, when Lampard was sandwiched back into England's midfield in their Euro qualifier against Croatia in 2007, the pair proved that they were incompatible.  

After both individually hit double figures for their clubs in the 2007-08 season, the two midfielders only scored two goals between them at the international level in the same year. 

It was the Euro 2008 qualifiers that proved that the pair were not healthy competition for each other. Gerrard captained the club to back-to-back losses in the campaign that ended their hopes to qualify. Meanwhile, the supporters booed Frank Lampard after a sequence of disappointing performances for England. 

Moving on

After announcing his retirement in 2017, Frank Lampard immediately acquired his coaching badges with a view to moving into management. 

His dream would not take long to achieve. On 31 May 2018, Championship team Derby County appointed him on a three-year contract. 

Action Images/Craig Brough

This weekend, Lampard led Derby to a late 2-1 win to open their Championship campaign in the best manner possible. 

For the more sceptical onlookers, Lampard's Derby looked off the pace and left huge spaces open for Reading to exploit. 

Having gone a goal down, the former Chelsea player will have been happy to see Mason Mount's weak effort squeezing in past Vito Mannone before Tom Lawrence headed home deep into injury time.

North of the wall

As for Gerrard, he has something of a more impressive pedigree than his counterpart. 

Taking over as Liverpool's Under-18 manager for the 2017-18 season, his side eventually finished in third place with many pundits giving plaudits to the 38-year-old's capability on the training ground. Gerrard also coached the Under-19 team in the 2017-18 UEFA Youth League to further his coaching credentials. 

Pursuing a managerial career in senior football, Gerrard was announced as Rangers manager in May 2018. 

Not long after, the former Liverpool captain won his first game in charge for the Scottish club, overseeing a 2-0 Europa League win against Macedonian side Shkupi. 

Gerrard's league campaign with Rangers begun with a draw after his side conceded a last-minute equaliser to Aberdeen on Sunday. 

However, Gerrard will take the positives away from the game. After Alfredo Morelos' red card left Rangers with ten men for over 80 minutes, Gerrard saw his side go a goal ahead and control the game for long stretches.

Let the debate begin 

As the debates about Lampard and Gerrard as players remain undecided, another facet to the discussion has emerged: who will make the better manager.

At this point, it is too soon to day. But, in time, could we eventually see the pair battle it out over the Premier League?

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