Last Sunday I posted my all time favourite Premiership with the view to making it a running series. As the response to the concept was resoundingly positive I will be doing just that. Thus every Sunday I will now be posting the all time favourite Premiership XI of a different football writer, blogger and/or enthusiast. This week it is the turn of Dave Peacock and so, without further ado, here is his selection.
As per the criteria, the following 11 players aren’t necessarily who I think are the best players to have graced the Premiership, more the players that I personally like and have enjoyed watching over the years. I will also say that I have picked these players as a team that could function – hence the 4-2-3-1 formation.
First off, let me explain my choice of ‘keeper. Clearly, the obvious choice would be that red nosed Danish glove man who won a few league titles. As mentioned above, this isn’t about that though. I’ve chosen Nigel Martyn as he was a very solid goalkeeper. Had it not been for David Seaman, he’d have won many more England caps than the 23 he earned
Now, on to the defence. Here I’ve tried to mix style, speed, strength and aggression. My right back is Lauren, a main stay of the unbeaten Arsenal side of 03/04. For two or three seasons, Lauren was the best right back in the league (yes, even better than Neville). He was the modern day full back, strong, quick and athletic, always up and down the flank. On the other side, I’ve gone for Stuart Pearce. Maybe the Premier League years weren’t when he peaked, but nevertheless he was still good to watch – he never shirked a tackle. Would have been fascinating to watch Ronaldo try and dance around him! My first centre half had to be Sami Hyypia. Sami was a revelation when he came to Liverpool. He never had much pace but such was his awareness, he was always in the right place at the right time. I feel he and Sol Campbell would complement each other well and would be unbeatable in the air. Campbell had that raw speed that any defence needs.
In midfield, I felt I needed two players in front of the back four to cover my more attack minded wingers. David Batty was always a favourite of mine. He rarely lost a tackle and was a much better footballer than he was given credit for. With the engine of Paul Ince next to him, these two would be a formidable midfield partnership. In front of them, I had to find a place for Steven Gerrard, who could easily have played further back. But this way, he was licence to roam and create, and would almost guarantee 10-15 goals a season.
A more obvious choice is my number 7 – Cristiano Ronaldo. As a Liverpool fan, there was many reasons to hate Ronaldo. Arrogance, petulance and selfishness – to name just a few of his less desirable traits. But for two seasons (at least) he was untouchable in the Premier League. Breathtaking goal followed breathtaking goal as he dragged Man United to victories almost single-handled. On the other wing, I’ve gone for the mercurial David Ginola – because he’s worth it! At his best he could drift past players with ease and he had a classy touch.
And finally… every team needs a good striker. There’s not been many better than Alan Shearer. As the record Premier League scorer, he’s an obvious choice perhaps. The reason I admired him so much was that he wasn’t a striker who’d pass the ball into the net. Whether he was 5, 15 or 25 yards out, he’d smash it (not in the Richard Keys style, mind). As he grew older and a few injuries took their toll, Shearer lost some of his pace. But he adapted his game and became a stronger, more physical centre forward. One thing never changed though – goals!
Thoughts, comments and opinions please...