All time English Premier league 11. Best team of players to grace the EPL from 1992 to 2010 - Football (soccer)
The English Premier League was formed in the 1992/93 season.Since then we have been entertained by some great players. In this hub i attempt to find my best 11 players from 1992 to the present day.
I'll be picking them based on a formation of 442 and will be as honest as i possibly can. I will pick players based purely on ability, and not on how they would perform alongside other members of the team, for example: I personally don't think a forward line of giants Peter Crouch and Nikola Zigic would work but that wouldn't matter in the team i'm picking. It's seems the only fair way to do it.
So here's goes.
There's been some fantastic keepers that have graced English football since the premier league was formed in 1992. David Seaman of Arsenal was undoubtedly the most successful English stopper in that period and is a nomination for my best XI. For club and country Seaman was as consistent as they come.
The next candidate is 'The great dane' himself Peter Schmeichel. Schmeichel protected the Manchester United goal for 8 years following his transfer from Brondby. His ability to make himself look even more gigantic than he actually was, was a major feature of his play.
Pepe Reina is perhaps the unluckiest goalkeeper in the world. The fact that Iker Casillas is Spanish has restricted him to just 20 caps for his country. I'd argue that he would get in any other international team in the world. His excellent shot stopping, command of his area and brilliant distribution makes him the best goalkeeper currently playing in the premier league in my opinion.
So that's the 3 nominees for my team but there are some great keepers who could quite have easily made the list. Jussi Jaaskelainen, Brad friedel, Nigel Martyn, Petr Cech, Edwin Van Der Saar, Neville Southall, and Shay Given are all worthy candidates.
So who's the winner:
1. Peter Schmeichel
I must admit i found this position the hardest to fill. There has been a lot of steady players in this position but not too many outstanding ones.
First nomination is Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville. Neville is a bit different to modern full backs, as in his defensive responsibilties come first and supporting the attack second. He did however overlap his winger well and put a great delivery into the box.
Bakary Sagna of Arsenal is currently the best right back in the premiership in my opinion. He supports the the attack at every possible opportunity, and doesn't get caught out too often at the back.
The final nomination for right back is Lee Dixon. Dixon was part of the formidabble Arsenal defence of the 90s that included the likes of Adams, Keown/Bould and Winterburn. Like Neville, his first job was to defend, but he could still provide the support for his winger. A proper full back as i would say.
Others who just missed out on the list are Gary Kelly, Dan Petrescu, Jose Bosingwa.
My right back is:
2. Gary Neville
I personally think we have the two best left backs in world football plying their trade in the premiership at the moment so they both stake a claim for the no 3 shirt in my team.
Ashley Cole of Chelsea is one of those players. He is the epitome of how the modern full back should be. His maruading runs are fantastic. He often looks like he's playing as a winger, but due to his pace and excellent physical condition he rarely gets caught out in defence.
Patrice Evra is the other full back i refer to. He's very much like Cole in his style of play and has been one of Manchester United's most consistent performers over the past few years.
The final candidate is "Psycho" Stuart Pearce. He was a superb defender with a thunderous left foot. His unbelievable will to win and incredible determination is something that won't be witnessed very often in the game. I remember he once tried to play on with a broken leg whilst playing for West Ham. Says all you need to know about the man.
Other Left Backs worth a mention are Denis Irwin, Nigel Winterburn, Gael Clichy
My Left Back:
3. Ashley Cole
There has been no shortage of excellent centre backs since 1992 so i'm spoilt for choice with this position. As there is two places up for grabs there is six shortlisted defenders instead of 3.
The first nominee is Arsenal's Tony Adams. An absolute lion at the back for Arsenal and England during the 80s and 90s. He was a one club man, starting his career at the gunners in 1983 and retiring from the game whilst still there in 2002. His great leadership qualities ensured he had the captains armband at Arsenal for 14 years.
John Terry of Chelsea is like Adams in many ways. He's what is commonly described as a typical English defender. He puts his head where it hurts, is good in the air, and strong in the tackle. Like Adams he's a one club man, starting his professional career with Chelsea in 1998 and still going strong today.
When he first broke onto the scene as a West Ham youngster people often compared Rio Ferdinand to the great Bobby Moore. It was not just because of the club he was at, it was also because of his intelligent defending, excellent reading of the game and how comfortable he was with the ball at his feet. He is still playing today with Manchester United.
Another Manchester United defender to make the list is Steve Bruce, Yet another typically English defender, Bruce formed a superb partnership with Gary Pallister at the back for United and captained the team to the title in 1992/93 which started Manchester United's era of domination. He went on to win the league a further 2 times along with countless other trophies with the reds.
Lucas Radebe making the final 6 may raise a few brows but i sincerely believe he deserves to be in with a shout. Signed as an unknown for £250,000 he was nicknamed 'the chief' for his uncompromising displays as Leeds United's captain. He was a real hero with Leeds fans and a national hero in his own country.
The final choice is Liverpool legend Sami Hyppia. The big Finn was a real find by Gerard Houllier and became a rock at the back for Liverpool for many years. His partnership with Stephane Henchoz and then Jamie Carragher gave Liverpool one of the most fearsome defences around.
Other players worthy of a mention are Jamie Carragher, Jaap Stam, Nemanja Vidic, Martin Keown, and Marcel Desailly.
The first centre back and captain of my team is:
4.Tony Adams (C)
His partner in defence is:
5. John Terry
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We've seen a lot of exciting players play in this position down the years so it's not hard to find players for the shortlist. The only problem i have is who goes in the final 3 and who gets a place in the team. Here goes.
We all know that Cristiano Ronaldo can play a number of positions and did so for Manchester United but for the purpose of this team i'm calling him a right winger. The worlds most expensive player at £80m is a phenomonal talent. He has everything, He's quick, strong, good in the air, has a thunderbolt of a shot and is as skilful as they come. His best season at United was undoubtedly 2007/08 where he won the premiership and Champions league with the team and picked up the european golden shoe and world footballer of the year.
Ronaldo followed the same route as the next nomination when he moved from Man Utd to Real Madrid. David Beckham is still arguably the most famous footballer in the world. His lifestyle will always keep him in the spotlight, so it's sometimes easy to forget what a great player he was/is. The best crosser of his generation and a dead ball expert, Beckham scored some increbible goals, none more so than the one he scored from in his own half against Wimbledon all those years ago. He's also extremely hard working and a great team player.
The final candidate is Arsenal legend Freddie Ljungberg. The excellent timing of his runs into the box and finishing ability were probably the main features of his game. Because of these attributes he scored plenty of goals for the gunners and became a huge favorite in a successful period for the club. Ljungberg could play on either wing or behind the strikers but i personally always consider him a right sided player (maybe Gunners fans will tell me different) He's currently plying his trade in the MLS with Chicago Fire.
So there are the 3 nominations. Other players who were close to making the list include Steve Mcmanaman, Darren Anderton, and Andrei Kanchelskis.
My right winger simply has to be:
7. Cristiano Ronaldo
As with the right hand side, the left side of midfield has provided us with many great players since 1992. Here are some of those names.
If you have read my all time premier league bargains hub then you will realise just how much i rate David Ginola. With great dribbling ability, vision, and an eye for the spectacular the man just oozed class. He was a hero at Newcastle and Spurs for all these reasons. It's just sad that he didn't collect as many international caps that his talent deserved because of a row with French manager (at the time) Gerard Houllier.
Only one player has played and scored in every premier league season to date. Ryan Giggs holds this record and is showing no signs of stopping just yet. As a youngster he was a quick, tricky winger with a great delivery, but as he got older and gradually slower he also became wiser. He now either plays as a central midfieder, a wide midfielder or on occasions a striker.
Robert Pires completes the list of 3. Able to play anywhere across the midfield i remember him most for his performances on the left hand side. Pires seemed to have a great understanding with Thierry Henry (their hilarious penalty attempt aside) and provided a great number of assists for his teammates as well as regulary hitting double figures in the scoring charts. His dribbling skills and excellent finishing were a feature.
Other players who could have made the list are Andrei Arshavin, Marc Overmars, Arjen Robben and Joe Cole.
Left wing spot and number 11 shirt goes to:
11. Ryan Giggs
The extremely hard task of picking 6 nominations and picking two for the starting 11 produced the following results:
Paul Scholes of Manchester United is the first nominee. His outstanding passing range, ability to dominate a game and his late surging runs into the box (mainly in his younger days) ensure him a place on the list. Probably the most technically gifted English player ive seen play.
Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas makes the final 6 due to his ability to run a game (like scholes) with his great passing. He is currently one of the best midfielders in world football and like all great players seems to find acres of space for himself even in the tightest situations. He also gets his fair share of goals too.
Frank Lampard's goal scoring record from midfield is phenomenal. He has hit double figures in the premiership in his last 7 seasons. He rarely misses a game through injury or suspension and is an extremely consistent performer. He's not just a goalscorer though, his ability to set up his teammates doesn't go unnoticed either.
For years Manchester United captain Roy Keane upset opposing fans with his aggressive style of play. A real powerhouse in the centre of the park his influence in a hugely successful era for the club was invaluable. He also scored a lot of important goals from his well timed runs. His will to win drove him on to achieve greatness and will forever be remembered as a Man Utd legend.
Keane's arch rival Patrick Vieira was equally as influential to Arsenal as Keane was to United. A bargain buy from AC Milan, his powerful displays in the Gunners midfield provided many great memories for the Arsenal fans. He formed a fearsome partnership in the centre with Emmanuel Petit which led to plenty of trophies.
The final nominee is Liverpool's Steven Gerrard. Like Vieira and Keane his influence on the rest of the team was undeniable. When the chips are down you can always rely on a player with Gerrard's determination. An excellent passing range, great long shot and tireless effort makes it easy to put him on the list.
It was a tough choice choosing 6 for the central midfield as players such as Michael Essien, Emmanuel Petit, Xabi Alonso, and Claude Makelele could have quite easily made the list.
First midfield spot goes to:
6. Roy Keane
and his midfield partner is:
8. Frank Lampard
So now we move onto the last position in the team, the strikers. It was incredibly hard picking just 6 candidates for the 2 positions but here's my attempt.
Thierry Henry is the first to make the shortlist. When signed from Juventus for £10m he was widely regarded as a winger. Arsene Wenger however had other plans, turning him into one of the best strikers in world football. Blessed with outstanding pace, superb close control and skill he became Arsenal's all time leading scorer before moving to Barcelona in 2007.
The second nomination is another goal machine who goes by the name of Alan Shearer. He averaged a goal every other game for the whole of his career and is the premier league's record scorer. He was an old fashioned number 9, good in the air, strong, a powerful right foot, good at holding the ball up and bringing others into play, but most of all he scored goals, a bucket load.
Andy Cole is just behind Shearer in terms of premier league goals scored coming in second. He always seemed to miss a lot of chances but like all top strikers he was in the right positions and put away a hell of a lot of chances too. Cole, like Shearer was born to score goals and sniffed out opportunities on a regular basis. His seemingly telepathic partnership with Dwight Yorke was feared throughout europe.
Despite his personal problems Wayne Rooney remains one of the world's most complete strikers. His strength, ball control, aerial ability, and superb football brain makes him an easy choice for the list. He burst onto the scene with Everton as a 16 year old, scoring a superb goal against Arsenal. His best season was undoubtedly the 2009/10 season where he scored an impressive 26 league goals in 32 appearances.
Has their ever been a more technically gifted player to have graced the premiership than Dennis Bergkamp? I personally don't think there has. He did things other players could only dream of doing. His incredible ball control is as good as you will ever see. Add that to his lightning fast thinking and finishing ability then you've got one top top footballer. He managed about 1 in 3 for Arsenal but his overall contribution went a lot further than just scoring goals. I'd actually say he was a creator first and a goalscorer second.
The last player on the list is Chelsea's Didier Drogba. Like Bergkamp, Drogba is much more to his team than the goals he scores. His incredible strength creates space for his teammates as well as giving opposing centre backs nightmares for weeks. Saying that, he still manages to maintain a record of 1 in 2 for the blues and is still regarded as one of the most dangerous forwards in the game.
Picking the strikers was the hardest part of the whole hub. Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Fernando Torres, Nicolas Anelka, Paulo Di Canio, Gianfranco Zola, Les Ferdinand, Ian Wright, Eric Cantona, and Teddy Sheringham could have all made the list.
My number 9 is:
9. Alan Shearer
His strike partner and final pick is:
10. Dennis Bergkamp
So there you have it. That's my best 11 from the start of the premier league to the present day. Here it is in full:
1. Peter Schmeichel (GK)
2. Gary Neville (RB)
3. Ashley Cole (LB)
4. Tony Adams (CB) (CAPTAIN)
5. John Terry (CB)
6. Roy Keane (CM)
7. Cristiano Ronaldo (RM)
8. Frank Lampard (CM)
9. Alan Shearer (ST)
10. Dennis Bergkamp (ST)
11. Ryan Giggs (LM)
When i started this hub i decided to make a list for each position and whittle them down taking into consideration a number of factors such as ability, influence, and overall contribution to their team, and i think i have stuck that.
I'm sure there is players in the team who some of you think shouldn't be or maybe there are players i haven't even mentioned. If you think someone else should be in the team or a player deserves recognition then why not drop me a comment with your team,after all it's a game of opinions. Someone else's best 11 could be completely different to mine. That's what makes our sport the best in the world
I'd like to thank you for reading this hub. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as i enjoyed writing it and i invite you to take a look at my other hubs if you have the time. Thanks again.