Gerrard v Lampard - If only one could go to the World Cup, who?

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Would you take the Liverpool or Chelsea midfield veteran?

Of the more experienced players, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are likely to be occupying some of the first seats on the plane. Both have valuable experience and their inclusion in the squad is almost inevitable, if fit.

But if only one of them were to make the cut, which one should go?

Here we will take a look at some of the arguments for and against taking the two England veterans to Brazil.

Steven Gerrard 

For

  • A wealth of big game experience and has the captain's responsibility. Gerrard may be the all important leader needed to inspire the team.
  • This is likely to be his last tournament for England and possibly the last time he will wear the armband. He will be determined to bow out on a high and won't want to waste this opportunity.
  • Gerrard is always there to support the attack and can be a real threat with his driving runs. His set piece ability could be of great importance to a team lacking in dead ball specialists.

Against

  • An occasional habit of persistently losing possession throughout a game - a trait which he rarely gets criticised for in the media. This also can be a result of him attempting too many 'Hollywood' balls.
  • Not exactly the greatest tackler to put on an England shirt (but hardly a Paul Scholes), Gerrard is often guilty of a few poorly timed challenges which is always a worry when you take into consideration some of the nimble players he will come up against in Brazil.
  • His good performance at Euro 2012 was somewhat inflated by the media as being of an heroic nature. However, he failed to really ignite the England side when it mattered in what was ultimately a very disappointing campaign for the Three Lions.

Frank Lampard

For

  • Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard have similar goalscoring records for club and country but Lampard definitely comes out on top. His 29 goals for England beats Gerrard's 21 and his 249 career goals in 830 appearances beats the Liverpudlian's 164 in 654.
  • He also has the big game experience, when you compare Chelsea's trophy cabinet to Liverpool's in the last ten years, it could be argued that Lampard trumps Gerrard in that department.
  • If you give Lampard an inch of goal in his eyesight then he will have a shot. As seen so often at Chelsea, his tendency to shoot at will has proven very effective. Although he has a great accuracy with his shots, a deflection or a save from the goalkeeper can sometimes see the ball trickle in, or even fall into the path of a teammate.

Against

  • Lampard's age is gradually catching up with him and has definitely been a hindrance this season. Against tougher opposition he has appeared sluggish and well off the pace.
  • Has failed to score in 2 previous World Cups (although had a goal wrongly disallowed against Germany in 2010). In the last World Cup he became the first player since 1966 to register 37 shots in a tournament without scoring a single goal.
  • Many have criticised Lampard's contribution to games where he doesn't score. This could be argued as being an unfair assessment of a player that has made the 2nd highest amount of assists in Premier League history. But he has struggled to translate that to the international stage and his creativity has waned in recent years. 

image: © Ethan.K

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