The Best UK Football Team Ever
The BBC are having a bit of fun here, naming the best UK side ever in front of the Olympics. These are all players, that I’ve seen play live, so those whose careers ended nefore about 1958 are out.
What surprises me, is the number of times Danny Blanchflower is mentioned in proposed teams, probably in many cases by people, who never saw him play. To my mind, he was the best I ever saw and would be made captain of my side.
The goalkeeper picks himself and there is no-one to rival another Ulsterman, Pat Jennings.
One centre-back, Bobby Moore, picks himself and you can choose anyone from Billy Wright, Jack Charlton, Tony Adams, Billy McNeill and Terry Butcher. I was going to put Joleon Lescott in the list, until I saw the mistake he made this afternoon against QPR. I never saw Duncan Edwards play. So it has to be Terry Butcher, if only for his England performance against Sweden in qualifying for the World Cup.
I would choose the best midfield three I ever saw in it’s entirety; Blanchflower, John White and Dave Mackay. I saw that midfield many times and even some of the great sides we’ve seen in the last few years, could not have coped with the skill and intelligence of Blanchflower and White and the power of Mackay. They also weren’t short in the goal-scoring department.
I’ve always liked a speedy players to open up defenses and I’ve seen three of the best; Gareth Bale, Ryan Giggs and Cliff Jones. It’s not funny they’re all Welsh, as there have been large numbers of Welsh sprinters in athletics. In football, Leighton James was another fast left winger. Perhaps, the Welsh are just looking for the next world-beating successor to J J Williams et al. Incidentally, I believe Cliff Jones used to play some amateur rugby after he retired from football. Any one will do in truth, but I would take Gareth Bale.
That leaves me with two to play up front. They often go best in pairs, like John Toshack and Kevin Keegan, Alan Gilzean and Jimmy Greaves or currently Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck. On the other hand you have those like George Best and Gary Lineker, who very much worked indepoendently of the rest of the team. A lot of strikers too have problems and of course some are very selfish. I think that I’d put Rooney and Greaves up front. It would be an interesting experiment.
Obviously, you can disagree with my choice, but Blanchflower must stay as captain.
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