Carragher: Lampard is a better midfielder than Scholes

The 35-year-old pundit played alongside both players for the England national team, but feels the Chelsea playmaker influenced more games than the Manchester United man

Jamie Carragher believes Frank Lampard is second only to Steven Gerrard in the list of best English midfielders of the Premier League era, ranking him above Paul Scholes.

The retired defender is adamant the 35-year-old Chelsea midfielder, who has notched 166 goals in the top flight of English football, has been the more influential than Scholes and says he has not received the plaudits he deserves.

“Frank has a catalogue of golden moments and, for that reason, I have him behind Steven but ahead of Paul Scholes in my list of the Premier League’s top three English midfielders,” Carragher wrote in his column in the Daily Mail.

“I know Barcelona’s Xavi described Scholes as the best midfielder of the last 20 years but Frank has influenced more big games — his goals clinched Chelsea’s first title in 2005, he has won them an FA Cup final and scored in a Champions League final.

“He has also played more and scored more for England, and his tally of 166 Premier League goals — the highest by a midfielder — outstrips the 107 Scholes scored.”

Lampard and Gerrard were often criticised for failing to work well as a partnership for England, but Carragher believes the lack of success the pair enjoyed should be blamed on former Three Lions boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.

“I was adamant [Lampard] merited playing alongside Gerrard. If anything, Eriksson made a mess of whether Gerrard and Lampard could be a partnership. Of course they could have,” Carragher continued.

“A strong manager would have told Steven to play the holding role — that is more in his make-up — and to let Frank go forward.

“But he didn’t. He fudged it. That’s why Scholes ended up out on the left and eventually in international retirement.

“This is not an attack on Scholes — it is anything but. It is just important to illustrate what Lampard has achieved as I don’t believe he has had the credit he deserves.”

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