I saw a question on twitter recently that really made me think, a question that’s never really asked because it seems impossible to answer, but is it?
Choose one, Frank Lampard or John Terry.
Both men giants of the history of our football club, winning the biggest trophies, playing in the biggest games.
Frank Lampard has rightfully gone down as the greatest ever player in our clubs history. His record the speaks for itself.
By the end of his career Lampard had won; FIFA Player of the year of the Award, Ballon d’Or Silver Award, FWA Footballer of the Year, PFA Fans’ Player of the Year, Premier League Player of the Season, Premier League top assist provider (an award he won three times), voted into the PFA Team of the Year three times and voted in the FIFPro World XI.
For England, he was voted England Player of the Year Award twice. UEFA Midfielder of the year and was voted into the UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament (2004).
During the big moments he was voted UEFA Europa League Final Fans’ Man of the Match for 2013 and FA Cup Final Man of the Match in 2007.
He won the Premier league player of the decade (Official Statistics) between 2001–10 and received the Barclays Merit Award for 164 consecutive Appearances).
He was voted Chelsea Player of the Year in 2004, 2005 and 2009.
Best player of FA Cup in 2006–07, 2008–09, 2009–10. Best Player of League Cup in 2004–05 and 2006–07.
Another huge tick in the Lampard box, is remembering that during the biggest European nights of Roman’s reign, Munich 2012 and Amsterdam 2013, it was Frank Lampard and not John Terry that captained the side on the pitch.
And how could we not mention the 211 goals that makes him the highest goalscorer in the clubs history.
For John Terry the plaudits are just as vast, JT won the Chelsea Player of the Year Award twice in 2000–01, and 2005–06. As well as being voted into the PFA team of the year on four occasions (2004, 2005, 2006 and 2015), winning the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award in 04/05.
John was voted into the UEFA Team of the year four times and was voted UEFA club Defender of the year on three of those occasions. As well as making the FIFA FIFPro World XI 5 times.
In the big occasions, JT was awarded the Alan Hardaker Trophy (Man of the match in the EFL Cup final) in 2005 and 2015. And was voted into the PFA Team of the Century (1997–2007).
There’s no real debate that JT is the greatest defender in the Premier League era and his 717 appearances for Chelsea leave him behind only Ron Harris and Peter Bonetti in the all time list.
At the end of their respective careers JT had won 5 premier League titles to Frank’s 4, 5 FA Cup trophies to Frank’s 3, 3 league cups to Frank’s two, while both players achieved one Europa League trophy and of course the Champions League trophy.
On the pitch, both players covered themselves in glory, however off it, it’s fair to say that only one of them took the brunt of the English press.
Frank is a liked by everybody and was one of those players you couldn’t help but admire, for JT it was only Chelsea fans who supported him until he joined Aston Villa and turned their fans around with his work ethic and leadership.
And that’s not to say that Frank hasn’t been involved in controversy because he has, but unlike JT, his misdemeanours are a mere foot of his story.
However, the biggest attribute for JT is impossible to quantify. For Frank, the numbers speak for themselves, but was JT brought to the club in terms of leadership, setting the standards, welcoming new players, ensuring everyone brought into what it meant to play for Chelsea (remember Tottenham 2-2 not on my watch).
There’s no metrics to measure this, and then there’s all the stories from supporters about how JT had gone the extra mile for them.
You just can’t measure that, so that’s why for me, even though Frank would be my ultimate Chelsea hero and he’s without doubt the best player we’ve ever had at the club, it’s JT, the boy who signed on the pitch aged 14, who truly made this football club what it is today.