Former Liverpool midfielder and current Rangers manager Steven Gerrard celebrates his 40th birthday this weekend.
Gerrard, who spent pretty much his whole career in the red of Liverpool, is arguably Liverpool’s greatest ever player.
Gerrard, scored 186 goals for Liverpool and recorded 129 assists in his time at Anfield.
Steven Gerrard…greatest of all time?
For me, Steven Gerrard is the best English midfielder in Premier League history and this article explains why this is the case.
Alot of people draw up the Gerrard, Paul Scholes and Frank Lampard debate.
Whilst there is alot of bias when Liverpool, Man United and Chelsea fans voice their opinions on the debate, i feel that there are more than a few genuine reasons as to why Steven Gerrard is the best of the three.
First of all, people always refer to the Gerrard slip and how he has never won the Premier League as a reason for him not being the best of the three.
If that were a true reason to devalue Gerrard then people are calling Anderson and Nani better players, with better careers than Gerrard.
When you look back at players’ careers, many look at their medal haul but i find this system flawed. Is Wayne Rooney better than Shearer? Noone has ever said this but yet Rooney has won alot more trophies.
However, everyone knows that Gerrard would have won plenty of league titles with Man United or Chelsea.
He was just unfortunate not to be in a great team whereas Scholes played for the most successful team in Premier League history and Frank Lampard played with Didier Drogba, John Terry and Petr Cech.
Whilst Gerrard may have played with the likes of Luis Suarez, Xabi Alonso, Fernando Torres and Pepe Reina, he also played with the likes of Ryan Babel, Djimi Traore and Andriy Voronin.
Whilst Paul Scholes and Frank Lampard were also amazing players, Gerrard took so many games by the scruff of the neck in the biggest of occasions.
Liverpool were about to head out of the Champions League group stage against Olympiacos in the 2004-2005 season when Gerrard smashed an injury time goal to secure Liverpool’s place in the knockout stages.
That same season would see Liverpool go on to win the Champions League final in a truly exceptional fashion.
3-0 down at half time, Liverpool scored three goals in six minutes. Gerrard kicked off the comeback with a header which gave Liverpool hope before Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso brought the game level before Jerzy Dudek’s extra time and penalty shootout heroics secured Liverpool’s fifth European Cup.
This was all done under Gerrard’s leadership and a year later Liverpool won the 2006 FA Cup final against West Ham United on penalties, a game that would later be known as ‘The Gerrard Final’.
Gerrard set up Djibril Cisse to make it 2-1 and would then score an equaliser to make the game 2-2 and then after Paul Konchesky scored to make it 3-2 to West Ham, Gerrard scored an injury time equalizer just as he did against Olympiacos, this time from 35 yards.
In arguably the best ever FA Cup final goal, this is one of the reasons why Gerrard is the best ever English centre midfielder in the Premier League era.
Scholes may have scored the goal against Barcelona in the Champions League semi final that brought Manchester United to the final.
Frank Lampard had the game against Bolton Wanderers where his double secured the title for Chelsea, their first in fifty years.
However, Gerrard had so many more of these moments. I have just mentioned three. There is so many moments where Gerrard would create a moment of magic from nowhere.
I had the pleasure of reading Steven Gerrard’s most recent book and he tells the story of how Jose Mourinho has tried to sign him on numerous occasions and for three different teams he has managed.
Mourinho has tried signing Gerrard for Inter Milan, Real Madrid and most famously whilst at Chelsea where Gerrard was very close to a move. I never heard of a manager wanting a player as much as Mourinho wanted Gerrard. I never heard of this happening with Scholes and Lampard.
Finally, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard were both in the top three in the Ballon Do’r voting in 2005. Scholes was just a nominee.
If you also look the amount of times Gerrard was in the PFA team of the year compared to Scholes and Lampard, in an award voted by players. This shows what the fellow opponents thought of Gerrard.
Gerrard was in the PFA Team of the Year eight times whereas Scholes was in the team just twice and Lampard was in the team on three occasions.
In conclusion, i would have all three as my top three English Premier League midfielders and in the top five in the history of the Premier League for any nationality. However, i feel that Gerrard was that bit more special. Gerrard would win games out of nowhere.
Steven Gerrard has won everything there is to win at the club level except the Premier League but i put this down to nothing more than who was around him.