Yesterday, time caught up with another football legend as former Liverpool and England international, Steven Gerrard called it quits.
The former Reds' captain left L.A Galaxy earlier this month and has decided hang up his boots at the age of 36 with the Istanbul hero looking to remain part of the game at the touchlines.
Stevie G's retirement would not come without social media frenzy, as once again the unending and passionate debate as to who is the greatest English midfielder among Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, and Paul Scholes.
|The Liverpool Legend Has Hung Up His Boots After A Fantastic Career|
If you were a Reds' supporter Gerrard would be the greatest, and it would be Frank Lampard or Paul Scholes, if you were a Blues' or Red Devils' supporter respectively.
It certainly is hardest for the neutrals, so I'm going to do my best Picasso impression as to helping you paint a picture on who should be the greatest, your choice though.
Starting with Steven Gerrard. The Liverpool legend possesses great physical and technical prowess.
Gerrard's beats the lot on being an outstanding leader and his versatility that spans to defensive department. He had the ability to pass the ball quickly, great energy, and could read the game well.
A traditional box-to-box kind of player, Gerrard was a good scorer of fantastic goals and could single-handedly take his team from the deep. Undeniably, among the three he was the most complete midfielder.
|"A traditional box-to-box kind of player, Gerrard was a good scorer of fantastic goals and could single-handedly take his team from the deep"|
Truthfully, Gerrard might have a far more impressive cabinet had he joined Real Madrid earlier in his career or chose to join forces with Jose Mourinho at Chelsea and had he moved, would put him in the echelons his abilities commanded.
Gerrard's flaw would be in his self-belief in his Captain Fantastic persona to dig out the team from a hole which made him make wrong decisions at times affecting his overall level of consistency compared to the two.
Also is his inability to evolve during the latter stages of his career even though a part of me is more forgiving on this due to the constant changes at Anfield that saw the managers attempt to utilize him differently than a self-decision to evolve.
And Frank Lampard, the model professional. Of the lot, Lampard is the most underrated as people point out his goal scoring as the best thing he could do or did for Chelsea.
I jokingly bash his goal scoring record with taunts of deflected goals, penalties, and some awarded by the dubious committee but he scored goals.
All-time highest goal scorer for Chelsea and top 10 in the Premier League is a huge feat considering he came from the midfield department.
|All-time highest goal scorer for Chelsea and top 10 goal-scorers in the Premier League|
He was the most important player in Chelsea's history with his sheer number of assists and it is okay to wonder if Chelsea would have been half as successful without him. The player from West Ham turned out be more than what anyone expected from him.
And there is the man with the red hair in the red shirt as Brazil's legend Socrates would describe him. Paul Scholes was a phenomenon.
The least in the spotlight (although post-retirement speaks different) and the most technically gifted among the three. They were few people who had so much space and time to operate on the ball like the maestro.
Scholes possessed a passing range that was unbelievable and dictated the tempo of a game far better than the two regardless of the offensive or defensive set up.
|"Scholes was also superior in the tactical intelligence department and could read the game in an innate capacity others could not"|
He was also superior in the Tactical Intelligence Department and could read the game in an innate capacity others could not.
To come back from retirement and galvanize a title challenge in a competitive league at the age of 37 stands tall in Paul Scholes' achievements. Scholes evolved with age and the footballing environment.
In his failings was his consistent weakness to tackle rashly. Scholes was a poor tackler. He is third all-time in the league with 99 yellow cards and leads the Champions League with being booked 32 times.
Towards the tail end of his career, some looked like they came with his reputation but no denying, Scholes could not tackle.
England's greatest ill-fate would come at a time where these three players dominated at various thier clubs and could not utilize them properly as all were exceptionally good to be left out, a blessing which turned out to be a curse for them.
If this piece helps in choosing who actually is the greatest midfielder of the three, that's good! If it confuses you even more, great!
It is my desire we can truly appreciate the privilege of having watch these players compete at the very top for a long period of time and can look back at careers that were huge successes.
We can only hope to see another set of players dominate like this in the league someday as for now the evidence of their absence is still very telling.