Lampard and Gerrard playing together has been quite a discussion topic in England. Strangely, them leaving together has also become an interesting debate. Many seem to find the Steven Gerrard love fest in the British football media nauseating. There’s a disappointment in certain sections on the unmissable inconsistency in the media coverage over the last month in their treatment of two premier league greats that are bidding goodbye to premier league to start a new chapter across the pond.
When I kept my club allegiance aside, I can understand why the Gerrard’s farewell has got so much fanfare while the media almost seems to have forgotten that Lampard too is also leaving.
If Gerrard’s leaving had not coincided with that of Lampard, I’m sure the Chelsea legend’s goodbye would have been much more decorated. Lampard won more major honours than Gerrard and hence should have had as much if not more airtime than Gerrard? Well, not quite.
The fact that Gerrard was an one club man in the premier league certainly has weighed more than the fact Lampard has won more trophies. Gerrard’s performances and achievements also factor in that he was playing in a much more inferior team than that of Lampard’s. While this is a reasonable argument, strangely this never gets applied consistently. Because Messi’s are only in one team and the one that’s vastly superior to most teams, he’s not being denied any of the plaudits.
The usual conflict between ‘can he operate and succeed in a different set up’ versus ‘he was loyal and stuck to his club through rain and shine’.
Nevertheless, by my own assessment and judgment, I can understand why the media’s love for Gerrard is clearly much more than for Lampard. The whole drama of Lampard playing for Man City has certainly tainted his image a little bit. Quite rightly so. Chelsea fans were undoubtedly disappointed with Lampard even though we consoled ourselves and that he’s doing what’s best for his career.
Gerrard’s story is different. He’s stuck by his team all through. Went through all the highs and lows with the team. When his team didn’t want him anymore, he moved to a league where he won’t have to play against the team that’s his first and only love.
When we all knew about the possibility of Lampard playing for Man City, most thought it’s a contractual loop hole that City were taking advantage of and that Lampard was let down. As days and weeks progressed, it became clear that the possibility of Lampard playing for City wasn’t that obscure after all and that he and his agent were well aware of that happening.
Of course we made sense of all this by referring to stuff like contract, career, professional etc. But precisely by the use of such words, it was clear that the key thing that unites Liverpool and Gerrard was not on top of the list: emotion.
You can bet your house that Gerrard would not join a premier league team. He can’t even bear the thought of playing against Liverpool, let alone scoring against them. This is not to say Lampard relished playing against Chelsea and scoring against his former club. But he certainly allowed that to happen. He involved himself into a circumstance where that become possible.
I am by no means trying to judge what Lampard did was right or otherwise. I’m only trying to reason why there’s more love for Gerrard than for Lampard. And why Gerrard’s last premier league game is truly a bigger event than Lampard’s final premier league game. Make no mistake, the Anfield crowd would be shedding tears when their favourite son says goodbye. Meanwhile the City fans will give a round of applause for Lampard and Chelsea fans would even be in attendance to see him off.
This whole farewell is not just a media creation for Gerrard. This is truly a farewell. The city of Liverpool is gonna miss him – the red side as well as the blue side that grudgingly revere him. This is more of a romantic story than Lampard’s. As a Chelsea fan, I’m gonna tune in tonight to witness Gerrard’s last game at Anfield while sadly Lampard’s last game is off my radar. This, for me, explains the situation quite well.