Scholes, Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney: MOTD pundits rank PL’s 10 greatest English players

  • Rob Swan
Micah Richards and Alan Shearer rank the 10 best English players in Premier League history

Alan Shearer and Micah Richards have ranked the 10 best English players of the Premier League era.

Speaking on the latest episode of the Match of the Day podcast, the two pundits – joined by host Gary Lineker – ranked 10 players from a pre-selected shortlist.

Those 10 players were: Steven Gerrard, Harry Kane, John Terry, Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Ashley Cole, Michael Owen, Frank Lampard and Shearer himself.

Players were ranked based mainly on their performances at club, rather than international, level.

Rio Ferdinand was named as the one player who was most unfortunate to miss out on a place on the shortlist.

Alan Shearer’s top 10 English players of the Premier League era

10. Alan Shearer

“For obvious reasons, I’m putting myself tenth. I’m not having the abuse!”

Shearer Premier League
SUNDERLAND, UNITED KINGDOM – APRIL 17: Newcastle captain Alan Shearer celebrates after scoring the second goal during the Barclays Premiership match between Sunderland and Newcastle United at The Stadium of Light on April 17 2006 in Sunderland, England (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

9. Ashley Cole

“He’s the best left-back we’ve had in our country. Great left-back, no doubt about it. Incredible.”

8. Michael Owen

“He had massive ability and was as quick as anything around.”

7. Harry Kane

“He’s given Tottenham everything. If he doesn’t move this summer, it’s never happening. He’s one of the best passers in the Premier League actually.”

Harry Kane
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 04: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring his sides third goal with teammates Erik Lamela and Moussa Sissoko during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on October 04, 2020 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Oli Scarff – Pool/Getty Images)

6. John Terry

“He was a clever footballer. Left foot, right foot, the way he pinged those balls.”

5. David Beckham

“Eighty assists, 62 goals, six Premier Leagues, two FA Cups, one Champions League. In terms of ability, he made himself a better player. He had to work at what he did and he got the rewards for that.”

4. Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard
STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND – JANUARY 12: Frank Lampard of Chelsea celebrates during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Chelsea at the Britannia Stadium on January 12, 2013, in Stoke-on-Trent, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

3. Steven Gerrard

“Rooney, Scholes, Gerrard, Lampard – unbelievable players. Incredible. So lucky to have had them.”

2. Paul Scholes

“When you look at goals, assists, touch, technique, nasty, tackling, arriving in the box – magnificent.”

1. Wayne Rooney

“He wanted the ball in every minute of the game. Technically superb, his attitude was magnificent. You could play him right wing and he’d be the best player. Midfield, he done that job also. Just an all-round great players with great numbers.”

Wayne Rooney United
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 22: Wayne Rooney of Manchester United celebrates the own goal scored by Kieran Gibbs of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on November 22, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Micah Richards’ top 10 English players of the Premier League era

10. Harry Kane

“What’s he won? He didn’t need to sign that Tottenham contract.”

9. Ashley Cole

“Don’t get much credit do we, us full-backs?”

Ashley Cole
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 20: Ashley Cole of Chelsea in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on September 20, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

8. David Beckham

“The players in front of him were better footballers.”

7. John Terry

“He was always fit, wasn’t he? Even when he came to Aston Villa at the end.”

6. Michael Owen

“He exploded onto the scene, I burst! [Owen] wasn’t great at holding the ball up but made intelligent runs in behind. He kept going and going and going. Even when he lost his pace he was still intelligent and could finish.”

Michael Owen
14 Feb 1998: Michael Owen of Liverpool celebrates his goal during the FA Carling Premiership match against Sheffield Wednesday played at Hillsborough in Sheffield, England. The match finished in a 0-1 victory for the visitors Liverpool. \ Mandatory Credit: Phil Cole /Allsport

5. Frank Lampard

“Lampard was brilliant at what he did. His mind, his running and finding his way into the box, but he didn’t dictate a game.”

4. Paul Scholes

“Could Scholes do what Gerrard did at Liverpool?”

Paul Scholes premier league
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JANUARY 14: Paul Scholes of Manchester United celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers at Old Trafford on January 14, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

3. Wayne Rooney

“I just think with Rooney, he could have been even better. When you trained with him at England, he was by far one of the best players. I thought he would have got to the same level as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.”

2. Alan Shearer

“All-time Premier League [top scorer]. He’s similar to Kane now. He chose Blackburn back then but could have gone to Manchester United. Then he went to Newcastle. We’ve got to respect him for that, but to get that amount goals in a team fighting for fourth… 260 goals is staggering.”

1. Steven Gerrard

“He single-handedly pulled Liverpool through in a Champions League final. If you had to pick one player for a team, you can’t tell me you’d pick Lampard over Gerrard. I’ve played with both of them. When you’re on the same pitch as them, it’s chalk and cheese!”

Steven Gerrard
LEICESTER, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 02: Steven Gerrard of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Liverpool at The King Power Stadium on December 2, 2014 in Leicester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Wayne Rooney crowned the winner

Lineker had the casting vote for top spot and went for Rooney over Gerrard due to his success at Premier League level.

The former England international also weighed in on the age-old Lampard vs Gerrard vs Scholes debate.

“I think the better footballer was Gerrard out of him and Lampard but Lampard would give you just as much in terms of goals. But if you throw Scholes at me as well, I just go: ‘I don’t know!’.”

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