Owen Hargreaves exclusive: Scholes, Gerrard and Lampard are ‘all excellent in their own right’
Owen Hargreaves knows a thing or two about playing with world-class footballers.
Speaking ahead of Manchester United’s Europa League final clash with Villarreal this week, the former Red Devils midfielder has turned to some of his greatest teammates with GIVEMESPORT.
With everyone from Cristiano Ronaldo to Oliver Kahn sharing a dressing room with Hargreaves over the years, the English ace has had the privilege of playing alongside football royalty.
Premier League Hall of Fame
But it’s his time with United and the Three Lions that gives him a particularly fascinating glimpse into one of football’s biggest debates: Steven Gerrard v Paul Scholes v Frank Lampard.
While those endless back-and-forths were seconds before they exploded in life, they were on the lips of countless United fans following last week’s Premier League Hall of Fame announcements.
The next six inductees to join Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry were named with Gerrard and Lampard making the cut, but much to the dismay of Old Trafford devotees, there was no sign of Scholes.
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Hargreaves on Scholes vs Gerrard vs Lampard
And when I explained the situation to Hargreaves, he gave a captivating answer about how Scholes, Gerrard, and Lampard stack up after playing with the three in their prime.
In an era when comparisons are stapled to all football topics, it was both refreshing and fitting that Hargreaves pedaled the post to appreciate the three of them for their respective brilliance.
When asked what it was like to play with him, Hargreaves replied, “Honestly, everything is fine. All three of them. So different, but all so good. It’s like comparing a French wine with a Italian wine They are all excellent in their own right.
“But again, football is all about putting the pieces of the puzzle together and I think with this England team that we had we had too many good pieces of the puzzle and sometimes they just didn’t match.
The brilliance of each player
“But for me, Scholesy is one of the smartest players I have ever seen kick a ball.
“Even in England, in training this generation – we had Becks, Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney and so on – whatever team he was on, he just had one thing where he made football so easy. .
“But then again, Stevie was different. Stevie was good at everything and he could kill you. Physically so strong. He could tackle, pass long, pass short, drive from midfield, come up with huge goals – a personality. to die for.
“And then you have Frank. Frank was the ultimate winner. He made the most of everything he had. I loved it about Frank.
“I used to watch him work all the time. In England, he trains: work, work, work. Just to improve to get better.
“So that’s not a fair comparison because they’re all so special and if Scholesly had entered [the Hall of Fame] first of all, I don’t think Frank or Stevie would have been upset.
“I don’t think Scholsey would have been upset that Frank and Stevie were successful because we’re talking about three really iconic players.
“It’s just a shame that back then we played 4-4-2 and one of them ended up on the left because it was like that back then. with modern tactics we would have had a trophy or two to share.
“I mean, Scholesy for me is one of the greatest players I’ve ever seen kick a ball. So United fans who want to see him in the Hall of Fame, that’s pretty understandable.”
I appreciate all three for their talents
Too fair, Owen and it has to be assumed that Scholes will be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame in the next round of induction because, well, he’s the royalty of English football.
And it really shows that in a world where football is so often defined by stats and data, Scholes’ majesty once again lives on in those who have played with him and against him.
It says a lot that player after player after player certifies that Scholes is one of the most gifted footballers of all time, regardless of how his goal and assists count is analyzed.
And as for his position in the larger Scholes vs Gerrard vs Lampard debate, you can’t help but subscribe to Hargreaves’ message of appreciating them all for their unique and idiosyncratic talents.
So maybe it’s really like comparing wines because if Scholes, Gerrard and Lampard were certainly different blends, you can touch the fact that they all sparkled.
BT Sport will present Manchester United against Villarreal in the UEFA Europa League final live from 6.30 p.m. on Wednesday 26 May. Whoever you watch the finale with, watch it with BT. For more information, visit btsport.com/final
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