Lampard and Gerrard continue their immortal battle – but now it’s to lose sack race

Get chatting to any football fan for long enough and they’ll ask for your opinion on Frank Lampard vs Steven Gerrard.

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes tends to feature as well, but this Saturday, it’s all about the Chelsea and Liverpool heroes.

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Lampard and Gerrard were part of England’s golden generation

But rather than the age-old debate around who was the better midfielder, this time, they’re battling to avoid being the worst manager.

That sounds harsh, given both England icons have already inspired success as coaches and there is every chance both will go on achieve more greatness.

However, when Lampard and Gerrard meet as managers for the first time this weekend, they are fighting to prove themselves all over again.

Lampard only just kept Everton afloat last season and Gerrard’s new manager bounce at Villa wore off.

Both managers lost their opening games of the new season, with the Toffees suffering a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea and the Villans going down 2-0 at Bournemouth.

Everton and Villa both showed their ruthlessness last term, sacking managers early in the campaign after poor starts.

Many expect Everton to struggle after narrowly avoiding relegation and enduring a difficult summer transfer window

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Many expect Everton to struggle after narrowly avoiding relegation and enduring a difficult summer transfer window


So it is no surprise to see Lampard leading the Premier League sack race, according to the bookmakers, with Gerrard not far behind.

It is almost romantic that two players who must always be mentioned in the same breath found a way to continue the age-old debate in a totally different way.

And as talkSPORT brings you live commentary from Villa Park on Saturday, we will finally get new evidence for those never-ending pub conversations about Lampard and Gerrard as the pair engage in a tactical battle.

We put it to ex-Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan, actually, and he believes the context around Everton and Villa gives Lampard the edge.

Gerrard’s Villa suffered the worst possible start to the season at Bournemouth

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Gerrard’s Villa suffered the worst possible start to the season at Bournemouth

Jordan said: “The questions that come up at the beginning of the season, from certain sections of the media, are about sack races.

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“And I never like it. I never like thinking about a half-empty glass rather than a half-full glass.

“But I suspect it is part and parcel of modern-day football. People’s expectations are so high.

“So if we’re looking at who is most likely to get their walking papers first, it’s a mixed bag.

Gerrard and Lampard are two of the greatest midfielders in history

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Gerrard and Lampard are two of the greatest midfielders in history

“Everton know where they are. They know they have a playing squad without huge amounts of investment this season.

“They’re making up for mismanagement in ownership and previous managers, with playing squad acquisition that has broken every financial fair play boundary, even though they’ve made adjustments to get below the sanction point.

“Then you have the other argument with Gerrard and I think he’s in slightly treacherous water.

“The expectation is for Aston Villa to kick on. It didn’t last year. They had a bump, then a drop, then a bump, then a lift.

The pair never really clicked as international teammates

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The pair never really clicked as international teammates

“I think Gerrard is probably the one with the greater expectation and if it’s not fulfilled, it usually leads to people losing their job.

“It’s difficult to see whether Gerrard is going to be the first casualty because of his profile. I think he’ll be a good manager. He’s still learning but he has the gravitas and the outlook.

“Whether he has the tactical nous, we’ll see. If I had to pick, I would rather not pick either, I think maybe Gerrard.

“But I’m a little underwhelmed by Lampard. I was a major advocate for him at Chelsea. I talked about his dismissal being slightly unfair.

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talkSPORT will bring you live commentary of the Gerrard-Lampard derby on Saturday

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talkSPORT will bring you live commentary of the Gerrard-Lampard derby on Saturday

“He did the job at Everton last year by the skin of his teeth. I didn’t think Everton were compelling on Saturday, but Aston Villa were shocking against Bournemouth.

“But I hope both of these guys – as great football people, great leaders, great players and potentially good coaches – get the opportunity to be successful.”

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