Alan Shearer could not help but step in when Micah Richards made his claim about a former Liverpool duo’s achievements.
Shearer reminded Micah Richards that Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso lifted the Champions League with Liverpool after the former Manchester City man made the suggestion the midfield duo did not win enough together in their playing careers.
The noughties are a fond time to look back on in Reds history, particularly because of the plethora of talented individuals that donned the famous red strip in that era.
But for the quality that was on show, especially in Rafael Benitez’s teams, there was still no Premier League title to show for their efforts – a point Richards was quick to make.
The trio of Gary Lineker, Richards and Shearer were debating order of their Match of the Day Top 10 midfield partnerships when the subject of the Reds pair arose. Former defender Richards assigned them to eighth spot on his list, whilst the top-flight’s all-time top goalscorer Shearer said ninth.
“Unbelievable [footballers]. They should have done more, Alonso and Gerrard – and [Javier] Mascherano as well,” Richards began. “All three of them.”
“They did win the Champions League,” his ex-Newcastle United co-host sharply responded. “Yeah, but this is Premier League [we are discussing],” reasoned Richards.
Shearer again replied: “I know, but when you say they should have done more, the Champions League is not so bad, is it?”
“I’ll give you that,” Richards conceded, “but this is Premier League and you think with that midfield they [Liverpool] should have done more. Gerrard was one of the best, we’ve talked about him so much.”
In Richards’ overall list, Gerrard and Alonso ranked ahead of N’Golo Kante with Danny Drinkwater for Leicester City and Patrick Vieira with Emmanuel Petit of Arsenal. Shearer could only find space for them ahead of the Foxes’ title-winning duo.
Heading each of their lists were Manchester United’s Paul Scholes and Roy Keane, whilst Kevin de Bruyne alongside Fernandinho and Rodri partnered with Gundogan – both of Manchester City – completed the podium places.
Richards at least ended with a massive compliment for Liverpool’s legendary former captain, saying: “He was the best. Like Alan said they won the Champions League but if there was one person who deserved the Premier League, it was Gerrard, wasn’t it?”
“Yeah – much more than Alan,” Lineker quipped.