Lampard and Gerrard: to play or not to play, that is the question

October 9, 2008

Lamps with Stevie G

Both are English, both are midfielders, both are top performers in the Premier League, both can’t play together for England…. Sound familiar?

The dilemma that seems a permanent thorn in any England manager’s side has reared its ugly head once more; how do you get Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard to play well together.

England’s World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan on Saturday look set to hand Chelsea’s Lampard and Liverpool’s Gerrard yet another chance to remedy the problem, but what can Fabio Capello do differently to make it work this time?

This week Lampard finally caught up with the rest of the nation in admitting that if he and Gerrard had managed to thread a pass to one another in the Euro 2008 qualifiers, England may have reached the finals in Austria and Switzerland.

However, he says the difference this time is tactics.

It appears the tactical leadership of former England managers Sven Goran-Eriksson and Steve McClaren stretched as far as ‘when one goes, the other one stays,’ but with Capello Lampard seems more comfortable with what is being asked of him.

So maybe that is it. Lampard and Gerrard, both all-round inspirations at club level, need to be told what to do when they pull on an England shirt. It all seems so simple now doesn’t it?

Do you think that Lampard is making excuses simply to maintain his England place, or is Capello a genius about to unleash both players’ club form upon a soon to be sorry Kazakhstan?

Personally, I’d rather have Gerrard in the centre with Gareth Barry or failing that Jimmy Bullard!

PHOTO: England’s Gerrard and Lampard attend a team training session in London Colney, Oct. 7 REUTERS/Eddie Keogh


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I think Capello just has to bite the bullet and accept they cant both play together. If one of them has to be benched then the other one will have to up his game to stay in the team. There’s no point neutering one of them by making him play as a defensive midfielder.
Sir Alf decided Greavsy and Hurst couldnt play together and look what happened.

Posted by Mark Meadows | Report as abusive

easy answer

gerrard has to play ahead of lampard. true lamps is on form but no one delivers better than stevie when the steaks are high


Posted by Adam | Report as abusive

I’ve heard of medium rare and well done steaks, even rare, but never high…

Posted by Chef | Report as abusive

Well being a welsh man i think that you should play lampard (Kazakhstan 2 England 1).

But in all seriousness gerrard has to play. i understand that lampard plays well at chelasea but they play completely different tactics. play gerrard with either barry or hargreaves.

Posted by Chris Keating | Report as abusive

Adam, what utter rubbish, when was the last time “Stevie G” Gerrard played well for England??

And “Steaks?”

Weren’t we all clammering for a manager who would pick form over reputation and here you are looking back to the bad old days.

LAMPARD has to play ahead of Gerrard if necessary but as Joe Cole is injured they will both play.

Posted by KG | Report as abusive

Jim Bullard bullard, he’s better than Steve Gerrard, he’s thinner than Frank Lampard …Jim Bullard Bullard!

Posted by Owen | Report as abusive

Jimmy Bullard is nonsense. The fact he even got in the squad is questionable. He’d 29, having a purple patch and doing alright, but England? It’s bad enough Jermain Jenas keeps getting in the squad.

No, Gerrard and Lampard cannot play together. Gerrard has been more effective for England over the years so should start next to Barry as they appear to have a good understanding of each other. Simple as that.

There is an argument for Hargreaves over Barry but I think it’s too close to call, and Hargreaves appear to be constantly injured.

Posted by Chris Snape | Report as abusive


Posted by osasu | Report as abusive

I think a quick root around the internet shows that people prefer Gerrard to Lampard as he has more to his game. Gerrard is a true box to box midfielder and the last time I saw him play well for England was the 3-0 against Israel. I agree with what the majority seem to say, my opinion is, it has to be one or the other. It’s a case of Gerrard or Lampard, Barry or Hargreaves. Not any 2 from the 4. I’d be happy to see England step out with Lampard and Hargreaves, but I think our best choice is Gerrard and Barry. I’m not happy when I see Gerrard and Lampard togther… I just sit and hope.

Posted by Brasco | Report as abusive

Bullard got his shot and will not get another. He’s been in poor form for the last few Fulham matches and I think his shot with the national team is done.

Posted by Rich | Report as abusive

Is there a better guy to play the final 35 minutes of a tight match than Steven Gerrard? Lampard starts; Gerrard subs. They can’t play together. 10/injuries-plague-european-giants-ahead .html

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

Steven Gerrrard should be the one to play for England. He will make England the best team in the world. He is definitely better than Frank Lampard. Vote for Gerrard!

Posted by There is no LFC without Stevie G.! | Report as abusive

at the end of the day they are both great players, i think cappello should concentrate on getting the best out of them both, if he does england can win anything as they are that good. also to osasu you may say look at the goals for their clubs but look at wot else gerrard does, he is more than a goalscorer.

Posted by tom | Report as abusive

what nonsense, of course the two should play together they are the most consistant goal scorers that we have at club level. to make it work you need 2 wide players to stretch the defence which allows for the two players room to attack. we have not had that. please do not mention joe cole, all he does is cuts inside making the midfield more congested.We have walcott and wright phillps who should be given the oppurtunity to play wide roles for the whole 90 minutes and not just for half a game. Also, is barry overrated?

Posted by FRANK GRACE | Report as abusive

A pity William Shakespeare is not around to give us his thoughts on this one. Lampard ahead of Gerrard.

Posted by Red Devil | Report as abusive

Lampard ahead of Gerrard.
Gerrard wants to play everywhere and that stops others from playing their game. True he’s full of energy but he doesn’t have much of a team-player ethic does he?

Posted by Richie | Report as abusive

Lampard starts and Gerrard subs for EXACTLY the reason “Richie” just stated. I think Lampard will respond better to Capello’s coaching, but Stevie G will always be there in case of an emergency or if Lampard runs out of gas.

I’m a Liverpool supporter and Gerrard is my favourite player, but Lampard gets the nod from me, for the good of the country. COME ON ENGLAND!

Posted by Jesse | Report as abusive

Tonight in Minsk I’d go for Lamps based on Saturday’s form, Stevie G was not on it. On the left for this one, I’m going for Downing on the left for balance. Stevie G can come off the bench for Lamps if he has a poor game.

Now then, time for a nice juicy steak me thinks with a side order of chunky chips, all washed down with a nice bottle of Malbec.

Posted by Kevan Egan | Report as abusive

Lampard is way better, no question.
gerrard can start against teams like khazaksthan or andorra, while frank rests. But when its the big games against the likes of spain or germany, lampard should & surely will start, & gerrard should not even come near to the pitch, coz he is a bad-luck to england at big games

Posted by bak | Report as abusive

| Team | Goals | assists| App.|
Lampard chelsea 130 100 417
Gerrard liverpool 119 80 478

Lampard england 18 14 60
Gerrard england 14 10 63
***lampard england no.8 + england penalty taker***

Lampard wins by miles. So all of you foolish liverpool fans,who support gerrard, stop telling lies to your selfs

Posted by bak | Report as abusive