Thursday, August 20, 2015

Greater London Greatest All-team 23 member team

The Londoners with Fabio Capello
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

North East EnglandNorthWest England
East Midlands
West Midlands
Yorkshire and Humber
Black English players
United Kingdom 1970
United Kingdom 1982
England 1974
Tottenham Hotspurs 
ArsenalChelseaWest Ham.

London probably is the city with the most football teams in the world. The city and its surrounding areas are the home of ArsenalChelsea, TottenhamWest Ham, Fulham, Queens Park Rangers, Wimbledon, Charlton Athletic and many other smaller clubs. The city is capital and the largest city of the United Kingdom.

This is my All-time 23 member team for players born in the Greater London region.  All players are selected according to their place of birth.  I have also created an all-time team foEngland.

GK: Peter Bonetti
Nicknamed as "the Cat", Bonetti was a legend at Chelsea. His finest moment came in the Final of the FA Cup in 1970 where his heroic play helped Chelsea to win the FA Cup. He was the FWA Player of the Year runner-up that year.  However, he only earned 7 caps for England.  his career was limited by playing with Gordon Banks at the same time.  He was Banks' backup in the World Cup 1966.

GK: Harry Swepstone 
Harry Swepstone's career sandwiched between 19th and 20th century. He was remembered as one of the founders of Corinthian, which later inspired the Brazilian club of the same name.  He was credited to be the person who named the team. He played 6 times for England between 1880 and 1883 in an era dominated by Scotland.

GK: Dave Beasant
Dave Beasant started his career in the late 1970's.  He remains an active player until 2015. He was best remembered for saving a penalty of the 1988 FA Cup Final against Liverpool, helping Wimbledon winning it 1-0.  He also had lengthy career with Cheslea and other clubs. He played twice for England. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1990 as Peter Shilton's backup.

RBGeorge Cohen
George Cohen played his entire career with Fulham.  He was the starting rightback for England during its World Cup victory in 1966.  He played as an attacking fullback.  Before the World Cup Finals in 1966, his international career was limited by the presence of Jimmy Armfield.  Cohen became England's first choice after Armfield got injured.  He played in the 1966 World Cup Finals.
George Cohen
RB: Glen Johnson 
Glen Johnson started with West Ham and played with Chelsea before he made his name with Portsmouth when they won the FA Cup in 2008. He earned a transfer to Liverpool in 2009.  In 2015, he moved to Stoke.  At the time of writing, he earned 54 caps for England. He went to 2010 and 2014 World Cup Finals.

CB: Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand became the youngest defender to play for the Three Lions at the time in 1997.  He played 81 times for England  between 1997 and 2011, and was a member of three World Cup squads.  At one point, he was the most expensive British footballer and also broke the world's record transfer fees for a defender twice. He won the Champions' League with Manchester United in 2008. He also played for Leeds United, West Ham and Queen's Park Rangers.
Rio Ferdinand
CB: Sol Campbell
Sol Campbell was a member of Arsenal's "Invincibles" that went undefeated in 2003-2004 season.  He spent 9 seasons for Tottenham Hotspurs and served as its captain before moving to its rival Arsenal on a free transfer that sparked a controversy.  He later played for Portsmouth. For England, he earned 73 caps in 11 years.  He went to three World Cup Finals: 1998, 2002 and 2006. 

CB: Bobby Moore  
Bobby Moore was the captain of the 1966 World Cup winning team. He was regarded one of the greatest defenders of all time and a perfect gentleman.  He won a total of 108 caps for the England team, which at the time of his international retirement in 1973 was a national record.  For his club career, he played mainly for West Ham, but he also played for Fulham and had a stint in the NASL.  He won a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup with West Ham. 
Bobby Moore
CB: John Terry
John Terry is a top centre-back of his generation and was the captain for Chelsea during most of his Chelsea's rise to the top of English football starting in the season 2004-2005.  He won 4 Premiership titles and the Champions League in 2012.  For England, he earned 78 caps for England.  However, his career was overshadowed by several controversies.

LB: Ashley Cole
Ashley Cole was considered one of the finest leftbacks of his generation.  He was voted the England Player of the Year in 2010. He played in 3 World Cup Finals.  He played 107 caps between 2001 and 2014.  He is also England's most-capped full-back in history.  He played with Arsenal, but moved to its rival Chelsea in 2006.  In 2014, he moved to AS Roma.  He won the Champions' League in 2012 with Chelsea.  He is playing in the MLS since 2016.
Ashley Cole

LB: Stuart Pearce
Stuart Pearce was a club legend with Nottingham Forrest.  He was the club's most capped international player.  He played at the World Cup Finals in 1990 and the European championship in 1996 at home, where England had the best two results since the World Cup win in 1966. He also played for Wealdstone, Coventry City, Newcastle United, West Ham United and Manchester City.

DM: Paul Ince
From 1992 to 2000, he was capped 53 times.  He was a key player for England at Euro 1996, WC 1998 and Euro 2000.  For his club career, he started with West Ham, but his best known stints were with Liverpool, Inter Milan and Manchester United.  He is one of the few players who played and starred for both Liverpool and Manchester United.

RW: David Beckham
Beckham is the greatest ever icon to play the game. He started his career with Manchester United where he was a part of the famous team that won the 1992 FA Youth Cup. For the senior side, he won 6 Premiership titles and the 1999 Champions' League.  In 2003, he joined Real Madrid for the well-publicized "Galacticos" signing.  In 2007, he moved to LA Galaxy, where he kickstarted a soccer fever in the United States.  For England, he earned 115 caps and was a key part of the national team throughout his career.
David Beckham
CM/LM: Martin Peters 
Martin Peters was an all-round midfielder who played for West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, Norwich City and Sheffield United. He was briefly a player/coach for Sheffield United.  He earned 67 caps for England between 1966 and 1974, and was a member of the 1966 World Cup winning team.  He also played in the 1970 World Cup Finals.

LW:  Laurie Cunningham
Cunnugham was considered to be the first Black star player in England and an icon for a generation of Black English players. With Cyrille Regis and Brendon Batson, they formed an all-Black attack that was known as "The Three Degrees" with West Bromwich Albion.  In 1979, he moved to Real Madrid and became the first British player ever to play for the legendary club. He returned to Manchester United in 1983. He was only capped 6 times by England and was overlooked for Euro 1980, despite starring at La Liga the season before.
Laurie Cunningham
AM/CM: Trevor Brooking 
Trevor Brooking played most of his career for West Ham United making 647 appearances for the club. He won the 1975 FA Cup and the 1980 FA Cup in which he scored the only goal. West Ham also reached the Final of the 1976 Cup Winners' Cup.  He was also the club's player of the season on four occasions. For England, Brooking was earned 47 caps, but only appeared twice in big tournament matches.

AM: Johnny Haynes
Johnny Haynes is widely regarded as Fulham's greatest player, where he played from 1952 to 1970. Pele called him the greatest passer he had ever seen.  At Fulham, he became the first player to earn 100 pounds per week.  He played 56 times for England and served as the captain 22 times.  He participated in three World Cup Finals.

AM: Glenn Hoddle
Hoddle often considered one of the most talented players of his generation, but not always appreciated by his fans.  He played mainly with Tottenham Hotspurs, where he won the UEFA Cup in 1984 and two FA Cups.  He also played for AS Monaco, Swindon and Chelsea. He was a fixture for the national team throughout the 1980's.

CM: Frank Lampard 
Lampard was the all-time leading scorer for Chelsea.  he started his career with West Ham before joining Chelsea in 2001.  He won the Champions' League in 2012 and 3 Preimership with Chelsea.  He was runner-up at FIFA Player of the Year in 2015.  In 2014, he made a controversial move to Manchester City through a loan deal from NY City FC.  For England, he was a key player from 1999 and 2014.  The Lampard-Gerrard debate was a hot topic  throughout his career with England.
Frank Lampard
FW/SS: Teddy Sherringham
Sherringham was a star player with Tottenham Hotspurs from 1992 and 1997.  In 1997, he made a big move to Manchester United as a replacement for Eric Cantona.  He won the Champions' league in 1999 with Manchester United.  He was capped 51 times for England.  He played at the Euro 1996, the WC 1998 and the Euro 2000.

ST/SS: Jimmy Greaves
Jimmy Greaves was the top scorer in the English league for 6 seasons. He won the FA Cup in 1962 and 1967, and the UEFA Cup in 1963. He started with Chelsea, but alo played with AC Milan and spent 9 seasons with Tottenham Hotspurs.  He was a member of the World Cup winning team in 1966.  However, he lost his starting position after suffering an injury against France.

ST: Harry Kane 
At the time of writing, Kane has played his entire career with Tottenham Hotspurs, except a few seasons on loan.  Kane made his first-team debut for Tottenham in 2011.  He finished top scorer of both the 2015–16 and the 2016–17 Premier League seasons, and aided Tottenham in qualifying for the UEFA Champions League on both occasions.  For England, he has earned over 30 caps. He captained England at the 2018 World Cup Finals, he won the Golden Booth award.

ST: Ian Wright
Wright was a legendary striker with Arsenal.  Before joining Arsenal, he was a hero with Crystal Palace.  At the time of writing, he was their highest goal scorer since the War.  In 1991, he joined Arsenal.  He spent 7 seasons with them, winning all three domestic trophies and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1994.  Despite being a top scorer in the domestic league(he scored over 20 goals every season from 1991 to 1998), he only played 33 times for England and was never selected for any of the major tournaments.
Ian Wright

Honorable Mention
William Merriman, Ron Harris, Scott Parker, Jermain Defoe, Billy Moon, Joe Cole, Steve Perryman, Kenny Samsom, Clive Allen, Sir Alf Ramsey, Alan Mullery, Gary A Stevens, Des Walker, Paul Merson, Trevor Sinclair, Robert Green, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Chris Smalling, Gerry Francis, Ray Parlour, George Hilsdon, Terry Venables, Alfred Lyttelton, G.O. Smith, Tony Adams, Martin Peters, Tony Currie, Dennis Wise, Paul Parker.

Squad Explanation
-- London was not known to be hotbeds for football talents until recent years.  Most players selected were active within the last 25 years. Three of them were goalkeepers. Only five players who played before 1980's were considered.  Before I started to research on this team, I did not know that.
-- At the time of writing, the Greater London Area produced around 170 England international players.  It is 13% of all England's internationals. It is second after Northwest.   One in two England's international players from the Greater London Area are midfielders.  
-- Bobby Moore, Jimmy Greaves, Rio Ferdinand, Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole are on my All-Time England team.  Three of them played in the Premiership era.
-- In 1965, a big parts of Essex were incorporated into the Greater London area under the London Government Act 1963.  For example, their birthplace of Moore and Brooking was listed as Barking, Essex.  The birthplace of John Terry who was born after 1965 was listed as Barking, London. When I created the blog, I assigned Moore and Brookings to East of England regional team. In 2021, I decided to make them  eligible for this team and East of England.  The same applied to Martin Peters.  I dropped Tony Adams, Dennis Wise and Tony Currie, and added Moore, Peters and Brooking.  Meanwhile, Young was added to the honorable mention.  
-- All four centre-back positions are among England's greatest ever. Bobby Moore needed no introduction.  Rio Ferdinand and Sol Campbell are one of the few modern footballers from the Premiership era who were elected into my All-Time England team.  John Terry is also honourable mention on that team.  Ron Harris who played in the 1960's and 1970's and Tony Adams were honourable mentions.  I also had Des Walker.
-- Sir Alf Ramsey who was a rightback was born in the Greater London area.  Terry Venables was born in Essex, which became a part of London in 1965.
-- However, two of my goalkeepers were not from the Premiership era.  Peter Bonetti is Chelsea's greatest goalkeeper, but his international career was limited due to playing with Gordon Banks at the same time. Harry Swepstone  played over a hundred years ago while the prime of Dave Beasant was sandwiched between the pre and post Premiership era.
-- I did not know much about goalkeeper William Merriman, Billy Moon and Harry Swepstone.  I chose Swepstone because he seemed to be more famous.  
 -- The left back position is very strong. Both Ashley Cole and Stuart Pearce are among the greatest ever from London. Both Steve Perryman and Kenny Samsom missed out.
-- Paul Ince was a lock for the defensive midfielders.  Dennis Wise was on my original team.
-- Laurie Cunningham was talented, but injuries kept him from fulfilling his promises.  However, he was considered a pioneer for Black players in England.  I did use that as a factor in selecting him.  Meanwhile, the 2011 census found that 1.85 million of a total Black population of 1.9 million lived in England, with 1.09 million of those in London, where they made up 13.3 per cent of the population, compared to 3.5 per cent of England's population and 3 per cent of the UK's population.   Thus, many of members of my Black England team are from the Greater London area.  Rio Ferdinand, Paul Ince, Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole, Laurie Cunningham and Ian Wright are on that team.
-- Jadon Sancho would one day make the team if his progress remained steady.
-- Jimmy Greaves, David Beckham and Frank Lampard are automatic selections.  No explanation is needed.  
-- Jimmy Greaves was the top scorer in the English league for 6 seasons. 
-- David Beckham was born in London.  He spent some time with Tottenham Hotspurs academy before signing with Manchester United as a youth player as a 14 years old. He is the only player selected who never played for a London-based club at the senior level.
-- Glenn Hoddle often considered one of the most talented players of his generation.
-- Joe Cole was also talented, but I went for Johnny Haynes instead.  Teddy Sherringham also edged him out.
-- Ian Wright was somehow ignored by England managers.  Only Mick Channon played more times for England without being selected for a World Cup or European Championships squad. However, during Channon's England career, which spanned the years 1972–1977, England failed to qualify for either of these tournaments, while during Wright's era,  they qualified for two European Championships and one World Cup.  So Wright was ignored more often than Channon. I rewarded him a place on the team based on his club career.  Hos son Shaun Wright-Phillips made honorable mention.
-- Harry Kane helped England to reach the semifinal of the 2018 World Cup Finals.  He edged out another Tottenham great Jermain Defoe.
-- Clive Allen played for QPR, Crystal Palace, Spurs, Chelsea, West Ham and Millwall.  That's six clubs from London.  He also spent a brief time with Arsenal, where he did not play a single game, except during a tour.  That's 7 clubs from London.  In 1997, he played for the London Monarchs in NFL Europe.  That would be his 8th "football" team in London.  Scott Parker had played for 5 London clubs: Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, West Ham, Tottenham Hotspurs and Fulham.
-- Alex Lyttelton was the first man to represent England at both football and cricket. He was also a successful politician and served as Secretary of State for the Colonies between 1903 and 1905.  His brother Edward also represented England at football.  Between 1905 and 1916 he was the Head Master of Eton College.
-- I left G.O. Smith because I do not know how to judge him against the modern players.

Starting lineup
Formation: 4-4-2
The formation is based upon Sir Alf Ramsey's 1966 World Cup winning team.  

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