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‘Gerrard greater than Lampard & Scholes’ – Owen offers take on debate which once divided English football

6:56 PM IST 06/02/20
Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, England
The former Liverpool and England striker played alongside three legendary midfielders for club and country and has made his pick of the bunch

The Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes debate once divided English football, with Michael Owen now in a position to offer his take on that midfield battle after hanging up his boots.

The former Liverpool and England striker played alongside three iconic figures during a distinguished career at the very top of the game.

Owen stepped out of the youth system at Anfield to star alongside fellow academy graduate Gerrard.

He also formed part of the so-called ‘Golden Generation’ for the Three Lions that failed to deliver tangible success despite boasting a squad sprinkled with world-class talent.

Piecing together a starting XI from those available was often a difficult task for then manager Sven Goran-Eriksson, with Manchester United legend Scholes eventually forced out of the fold after being asked to play on the wing.

He was nudged out of the engine room by Gerrard and Chelsea great Lampard, but their partnership never really clicked despite both being part of the global elite.

Owen admits to having been a big fan of all three, with the qualities they brought to the table marking them out as iconic figures of the modern era.

The ex-Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid frontman is, however, of the opinion that one member of a memorable trio stood out above the others when it came to all-round contribution to any given cause.

Owen told The Greatest Game with Jamie Carragher Podcast: “If you watch Scholesy in training, your tongue is hanging out.

“He can give you the eyes, you can think he’s heading it that way and he’ll almost do a reverse spinner off the other side of his head. He can drop a ball on a sixpence. He is just total and utter genius.

“But there’s that and there’s the actual practicalities of playing on a big pitch where you need size, strength, substance, running ability, all these things.

“And if you play one v one, you against you, Stevie against any of the names that you’ve played, I think he would eat them for dinner.

“Someone like Scholesy obviously had different attributes. I mean, unbelievable the way he changed his game from being a bombing midfielder scoring to a quarterback. Total genius.

“Frank Lampard, who can question his goalscoring and how he got every ounce out of his ability?

“But to me, Stevie’s on a different level than anything I’ve seen or played with and as you’ve said, I’m not blowing smoke up my arse, I’ve played with some great Man Utd players, Liverpool players, Real Madrid, England.

“Put it this way. If I’m saying tomorrow rewind the clock, you’re going into battle now, you’re playing in the Champions League final, who’s your first pick? I’d have Steven Gerrard as my first pick out of anyone.”