Gerrard vs Lampard vs Scholes: Answering 14 of the debate's biggest questions

  • Kobe Tong

Paul Scholes vs Steven Gerrard vs Frank Lampard is one of football’s most fascinating debates.

Quite how England never managed to win an international tournament with those three in midfield is beggar belief, but all three of them still enjoyed highly successful careers with their clubs.

What makes the debate so heated is that each player represents one of the country’s biggest institutions: Scholes and Manchester United, Gerrard and Liverpool, Frank Lampard and Chelsea.

So, you can be sure that when the question is cast into the spotlight that the corresponding comments section will see hundreds of rivals fans trying to defend their own club legend.

And although – just like the Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo debate – there will never be a definitive answer, that hasn’t stopped supporters from finding a way to score a knockout blow.

Gerrard vs Lampard vs Scholes

The availability of statistics and records to fans means that it’s become easier than ever to find numbers that give either Scholes, Gerrard or Lampard a favourable standing in the argument.

In fact, we think it’s so entertaining that we’ve decided to help the cause by doing an FAQ run-through of the debate to get the conversation fired up again through lockdown.

So, without further ado, here are 14 of the biggest questions in the Scholes vs Gerrard vs Lampard debate and the answers to end all answers to each of them. Enjoy…

1. Who provided the most Premier League assists?

Answer: Frank Lampard

The Chelsea legend leads the way here by teeing up 102 goals during his time in England’s top division, edging out Gerrard’s record of 92 and completely overwhelming Scholes’ tally of 55.

2. Who won the most individual awards?

Answer: Steven Gerrard

Admittedly, there’s no universally-agreed way to decide which accolades should count here, but Gerrard takes the win by our calculations with at least 50 individual trophies to his name.

Lampard isn’t far behind with 44 gongs and Scholes is way off the mark with only 12 awards being accounted for.

3. Who collected the most Ballon d’Or votes?

Answer: Steven Gerrard

Gerrard not only has the most Ballon d’Or nominates with six, but his total number of votes (220) defeats Lampard’s tally of 169 and Scholes famously never received a single vote from five nominations.

4. Who produced the most assists in a single Premier League season?

Answer: Frank Lampard

It’s a very, very convincing win for Lampard who racked up 18 assists during Chelsea’s 2004-05 title-winning season, whereas Gerrard’s best came in 2013/14 with 13 assists and Scholes peaked with seven in 1998/99.

Even Lampard’s second highest assists tally in a Premier League campaign – 14 during 2009/10 – is enough to eclipse his former England colleagues.

5. Who scored the most goals for England?

Answer: Frank Lampard

It’s another win for the Chelsea manager who scored 29 times for the Three Lions in 106 caps, keeping Gerrard and Scholes at arm’s length with their totals of 21 and 14 goals respectively.

6. Who had the best goal-per-game ratio?

Answer: Frank Lampard

Lampard is just unbeatable in the goals and assists department, it would seem.

The highest scoring midfielder in Premier League history averaged a goal every 3.37 games across his entire career. Gerrard comes second with a ratio of 4.07 and then Scholes on 4.64.

7. Who got the most Premier League Team of the Season picks?

Answer: Steven Gerrard

It’s pretty surprising to learn that Scholes and Lampard were only named in the TOTY twice and three times respectively, leaving them well short of Gerrard’s staggering record of eight(!?) selections.

The Liverpool icon made the cut six times on the bounce between 2004 and 2009. Incredible.

8. Who provided the most assists for England?

Answer: Steven Gerrard

We’ll openly admitted that the data is hard to come by in this department, but Transfermarkt attributes 23 international assists to Gerrard, which is more than the 12 and 10 put on Lampard and Scholes’ names.

9. Who had the highest-scoring season?

Answer: Frank Lampard

Another big win for Lampard who astonishingly bagged 27 goals from midfield in 2009/10 on his way to a third Premier League crown at Stamford Bridge.

Gerrard came pretty close with 24 strikes during the 2008/09 campaign, though, while Scholes peaked in 2002/03 with a record of 20 goals that shouldn’t be sniffed at.

10. Who had the best record in finals?

Answer: Steven Gerrard

Forget statistics, we’re answering this question for you. 

Gerrard is the only player in history to score in Champions League, Uefa Cup, FA Cup and League Cup climaxes as well as producing performances in Istanbul and Cardiff that need no introductions.

11. Who scored the most Premier League free-kicks?

Answer: Steven Gerrard

It might come as a surprise to learn that none of the three players ever reached double figures and that Gerrard’s pretty average-looking tally of seven set-piece goals gives him the victory.

Scholes never scored from a free-kick in England’s top division and Lampard only ever converted five. 

12. Who won the most trophies in their career?

Answer: Paul Scholes

At long last, a victory for Scholes and it’s to the shock of nobody considering how long he spent at Sir Alex Ferguson’s all-conquering Manchester United, winning a staggering 25 major honours.

Lampard barely has half of that in second place with 14 accolades and Gerrard brings up the rear with nine trophies of which, infamously, the Premier League crown isn’t one.

13. Who has the best ICON card on FIFA?

Answer: Paul Scholes

Two in a row! The average rating across Scholes’ three ICON cards comes to 89, which is enough to oust Gerrard on 88.6 and Lampard with 88. 

14. Who had the best record at international tournaments?

Answer: Steven Gerrard

As well as being named in the Euro 2012 Team of the Tournament, Gerrard has scored more than his rivals at the World Cup and European Championships with a total of four goals on the big stage.

Both Lampard and Scholes have scored three times for England away from qualifiers and friendlies, but we’re giving second place to the latter for doing so across three separate tournaments.

Who is your favourite?

Can the debate be settled? No. Have we settled the debate today? No. Have we given fans some key stats to debate? Absolutely.

Scholes vs Lampard vs Gerrard will forever be a matter of which player you preferred to watch, but we like to think our little FAQ session has brought you closer to a definitive answer to an unanswerable question.

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