Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Nottingham Forest Greatest All-Time Team

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Founded in 1865, Forest were founder members of the Football Alliance in 1889 and joined the Football League in 1892. Since then they mostly competed in the top two League tiers, excepting five seasons in the third tier. Forest won the FA Cup in 1898 and 1959. Their most successful period was under the management of Brian Clough between 1975 and 1993, winning the League in 1978, back to back European Cups in the two years thereafter, four League Cups and two Full Members Cups.

GK: Peter Shilton (England)
Peter Shilton is considered one of the greatest keepers ever.  He is England's all-time cap record-holder with 125.  He earned his first cap in 1970 and his last 20 years later in 1990.  He took England to 4th place in the 1990 World Cup.  He played for 11 different clubs in his career, all in England.  He won two straight European Cups in 1979 and 1980 with Nottingham Forrest. He was PFA Players' Player of the Year: 1977–78, an award rarely won by a goalkeeper.
Peter Shilton
GK: Harry Linacre (England)
Linacre started his career with Derby, where he ony playd two games.  He joined Forest in 1899. He was chosen to go on the first foreign tour to South America with his Nottingham club in 1905. In the same year as he appeared for England, he toured Uruguay and Argentina. He appeared twice for England that year, first against Scotland and Wales.

GK: Mark Crossley (Wales)
From 1988 until 2011,  he has previously played for numerous clubs in England's top flight, notably for Nottingham Forest, where he became the only goalkeeper to stop a Matthew Le Tissier penalty kick. He has also played for Manchester United, Milwall, Middlesbrough, Stoke City, Fulham, Sheffield Wednesday, Oldham Athletic and Chesterfield. He earned 8 caps playing for Wales between 1997 and 2004.

RB: Viv Anderson (England)
In 1978, Viv Anderson became the first Black player to play for the English senior national team. He would earn 30 caps between 1978 and 1988.  He was on two World Cup team: 1982 and 1986, and two European Championshiop team: 1980 and 1988. He was a part of Brian Clough's Nottingham Forrest team that won back-to-back European Cup in 1979 and 1980.  He also played for Arsenal, Manchester United and and Sheffield Wednesday. 
Viv Anderson

CB/ST: Kenny Burns (Scotland)
Kenny Burns arrived at the Birmingham as a defender in 1971, but was converted to striker and earned the first of his 20 international caps in that role soon afterwards. However, after joining Nottingham in 1977, he was converted back into a central defender. Burns was voted FWA Footballer of the Year in 1977–78, as Forest won the First Division title. He was an influential figure to Forest's victory in the 1979 and 1980 European Cup tournaments.

CB: Des Walker (England)
Walker played 59 times for England.  He started in all of England;'s games at the World Cup Finals in 1990. He was rated as one of the best defender at that Finals.  For club football, he mainly played for Nottingham Forrest and Sheffield Wednesday.  He played one season at Sampdoria in then 1992-1993 season.   He was Forest's player of the year three times. On four straight occasions at Forest he was selected for the PFA Team of the Year.
Des Walker
CB: Bob McKinlay (Scotland)
Born in Scotland, Bob McKinlay was an one club player for Nottingham Forest.  He played for them between 1951 and 1969. He bgan in the 2nd divsion with the club, but most of his career was spent in the top flight. He is the club's record appearance holder and won the 1959 FA Cup Final with the club against Luton Town.

CB: Larry Lloyd  (England)
Larry Lloyd was remembered for his stints with Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. He was a part of Bill Shankly's great side from 1969 to 1974.  He helped Liverpool winning the First Division in 1972-1973, the FA Cup 1973-1974 and the UEFA Cup 1972-1973. He was also a part of Brian Clough's team that won back-to-back European Cup. For England, he played 4 times between 1971 and 1980.
Larry Lloyd
CB: Colin Cooper (England)
Colin Cooper spnet 7 seasons with Middlesbrough in the lower divsions. After playing another two seasons in the lower division with Millwall, he moved to Nottingham Forest in 1993. It was at Forest where Colin arguably played the best football of his career, his form earning him two England caps in 1995. He returned to Middlesbrough in 1998 when it was in the Preimer League.

LB: Stuart Pearce (England)
Stuart Pearce was a club legend with Nottingham Forrest.  He was the club's most capped international player with 78 caps between 1987 and 1999.  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.
Stuart Pearce
LB: Frank Clark (England)
Clark started his career at Crook Town.  He started his professional career at Newcastle United, and played a total of 464 games for them between 1962 and 1975.  He then joined Nottingham Forest, and helped them win promotion in 1977, and he played for them in the 1979 European Cup Final, where they beat Malmö FF

CM/DM: Roy Keane (Ireland)
Keane was the captain of Manchester United from 1997 to 2005, where he won one Champions' League, 7 Preimer League titles and 4 FA Cups.  He was the PWA Player of the Year in 2000.  He had 67 caps.  He played for Ireland at the 1994 World Cup Finals in the USA, but was sent home 4 years later before the start of the World Cup Finals in 2002. He later played for Celtic in Scotland after leaving Manchester United.

CM: John McGovern (Scotland)
John McGovern played under manager Brian Clough for Derby, Leeds United and finally, Nottingham Forrest. He is most famous for captaining the Nottingham Forest side that won the European Cup twice.  At the age of 19 he became the youngest player to play in all four divisions of the Football League. During his playing career he won promotion with Hartlepools United, Derby County and Nottingham Forest.  At the end of his career, he also played for Bolton Wanderers F.C.
John McGovern
CM: Neil Webb (England)
Neil Webb played as a midfielder but could also play as a defender between 1980 and 1997 notably for Portsmouth, Nottingham Forest and Manchester United. Webb also played for Reading, Swindon Town, Grimsby Town, Aldershot Town and Hong Kong side Instant-Dict. Capped 26 times in five years for the England team, and was also the 1,000th player to be capped by England.

CM: Steve Hodge (England)
Steve Hodge joined his boyhood club Nottingham Forest as an apprentice in 1980 and helped the club to reach the semifinal of the UEFA Cup.  He also played for Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspurs and Leeds United. Capped 24 times fro England.  He went to both 1986 and 1990 World Cup Finals. He exchanged shirt with Diego Maradona after the infamous quaterfinal match vs Argentina in 1986.

RW: Martin O'Neill (Northern Ireland)
Starting his career in his native Northern Ireland, O'Neill moved to England where he spent most of his playing career with Nottingham Forest, with whom he won the European Cup twice, in 1979 and 1980. He also played for Manchester City, Norwich, Notts County, etc. He was capped 64 times for the Northern Ireland national football team, also captaining the side at the 1982 World Cup.

RW: Steve Stone (England)
Stone began his career at Nottingham Forest, where, despite suffering three broken legs, he managed to establish himself as a vital team player, and also earned a call up to the England squad, making his international debut in 1995 against Norway. He went on to earn nine caps, scoring twice, and was part of Terry Venables' squad for Euro 96.

LW: John Robertson (Scotland)
John Robertson played for Nottingham Forest when they were at the peak of their success under manager Brian Clough, notably scoring the only goal in a 1–0 victory in the 1980 European Cup Final against Hamburger SV. He also played 28 times for Scotland, scoring the winning goal against England in 1981 and against New Zealand in the 1982 FIFA World Cup. He also played for Derby between two stints with the Forrest.
John Robertson
LW: Stewart Imlach (Scotland)
Stewart Imlach started his professional football career with Lossiemouth FC and then, Bury paid £150 for his services in May 1952. In 1954,  he joined Derby County. However the "Rams" were relegated out of the Second Division at the end of the 1954–55 season. He joined Nottingham Forest in 1955. He was part of the City Ground club's 1959 FA Cup winning team, providing the cross for the first goal in the final by Roy Dwight. Capped 4 times.

FW: Stan Collymore  (England)
Stan Collymore held the English transfer record when he moved from Nottingham Forest to Liverpool for £8.5 million in 1995.   He formed a great partnership with Robbie Fowler.  Unfortunately, he never lived up to expectation after his first few seasons.  He left Liverpool in 1997, where he played for Aston Villa, Leicester City, Fulham, Bradford and Real Oviedo. At the international level, he was capped three times at senior level by the England national football team.
Stan Collymore

FW: Grenville Morris (Wales)
Grenville Morris was one of the greatest players of his generation and was known as "The Prince of the Inside-Lefts".  He still holds Forest's all-time goal scoring record with 217 in all competitions.  He won his first full international Welsh cap at the age of 18 in 1896 against England, and went on to play 21 times for his country,

ST: Wally Ardron (England)
Wally Ardon joined Rotherham United from Denaby United in 1938, and went on to score 98 Football League goals for Rotherham, either side of World War II. He joined Nottingham Forest in 1949 after his time at Rotherham, and holds the record for scoring most Forest league goals in one season (36 in 1950–51). He retired in 1955.

ST: Nigel Clough  (England)
Nigel Clough is most notable for his time as a player at Nottingham Forest, where he played over 400 times in two separate spells, mostly under the managership of his father Brian and scored 131 goals throughout his career making him the second highest scorer in the club's history.  He subsequently had spells with Liverpool, Manchester City and Sheffield Wednesday.  He was capped 14 times between 1989 and 1993.
Nigel Clough

ST: Tony Woodcock (England)
Woodcock broke into the Forest first team in 1976–77, helping the team to promotion to the First Division. Under Brian Clough, Forest went on to win the First Division title and Football League Cup in 1978 (Woodcock winning the PFA Young Player of the Year award that year as well), and the European Cup in 1979. In 1986, he joined FC Köln in 1979 and later played for Arsenal.  Capped 42 times and went to Spain 1982.

ST: Trevor Francis (England)
From 1971 to 1979, Francis played for Birmigham Town.  He was England's first £1 million player when he moved from there to Nottingham Forrest. He was known for winning the European Cup with Nottingham Forest in 1979 and 1980.  His career also took him to Manchester City, Birmingham, Detroit Express, Sampdoria, Atlanta, etc. He played for England 52 times. He went to the 1982 World Cup Finals.
Trevor Francis

Honorable mention
Brian Laws, Des Lyttle, Johnny Metgod, Michael Dawson, Steve Chettle, Wes Morgan, Archie Gemmill, Joe McDonald, Julian Bennett, Pierre Van Hooijdonk, Ian Woan, Ian Bowyer, Jermaine Jenas, Jeff Whitefoot, Jack Burkitt, Gary Crosby, Barry Lyons, David Phillips, Garry Birtles, Ian Storey-Moore. 

Squad Explanation
-- Nottingham Forrest is unlike the other all-time teams I have created. They are much smaller than the other clubs. They spent many years in the lower divsion, but they are two-time European champions.
-- Ten players won one or both of Nottingham Forrest's two European Cup titles. I selected 10 players from those teams.  They Peter Shilton, John McGovern, Kenny Burns, Viv Anderson, Trevor Francis, Tony Woodcock, Martin O'Neill, John Robertson, Larry Lloyd and Frank Clark. Woodcock left for Koln in the Bundesliga after the first title. Chris Wood who later found successes was a backup goalkeeper.  His career was over here limited.
-- Peter Shilton is known to be England's greatest goalkeeper. His time with Nottingham Forrest was his most decorared career.
-- John McGovern played under manager Brian Clough for Derby, Leeds United and finally, Nottingham Forrest. John O'Hara also played for all three clubs. Archie Gemmill also played for Clough with Derby, but he never played for Leeds United.  Colin Todd joined Nottingham Forrest in 1982.
-- Nottingham Forrest reached the semifinal of the 1984 UEFA Cup. It was the best result since the two European Cup victories in the late 1970's.The club's best result in Europe without Peter Taylor by Brian Clough's side.
-- Nigel Clough was Nottingham Forrest's second all-time leading scorer.  He was on the team, not because of his name. When he was transfered to Liverpool, he was one of Liverpool's most expensive ever signing.
 --Andy Reid only played in the lower division for Nottingham Forest.
-- Michael Dawson and Jermaine Jenas were famous elsewhere.


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Newcastle United Greatest All-Time Team

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 1969

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

North East EnglandNorthWest England.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

The club was founded in 1892 by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End, and has played at its current home ground, St James' Park, ever since.  They have won four League Championship titles, six FA Cups and a Charity Shield, as well as the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and the 2006 UEFA Intertoto Cup. Newcastle United has the ninth highest total of trophies won by an English club.

GK: Shay Given (Ireland)
Shay Given started his career with Celtic in Scotland, but made his professional debut with Blackburn Rovers.  He was remembered for playing with Newcastle United from 1997 to 2009.  He was voted into PFA Team of the Year twice, 2001-2002 and 2005-2006.  He later played for Manchester City, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough F.C. and Stoke.  He earned 126 caps for Ireland. He played in the 2002 World Cup Finals and the European Championship in 2010 and 2016.
Shay Given
GK:  Ronnie Simpson (Scotland)
Ronnie Simpson was one of the "Lisbon Lions" who won the European Cup in 1967.  He also played for Queen's Park, Third Lanark and Hibernian. From 1951 to 1960, he played for Newcastle United. He represented Great Britain at the 1948 Olympics, but he did not play for Scotland until 1966.  He set a new record for being the oldest player to make his Scotland debut, aged 36 years and 196 days.  He was considered to be Celtics' best ever keeper.

GK: Jimmy Lawrence (Scotland)
Born in Glasgow, Lawrence's first club was Partick Athletic, from where he moved to Glasgow Perthshire. Although still connected to Glasgow Perthshire, he sporadically played for Edinburgh side Hibernian. He played with Newcastle for eighteen years after joining the Tyneside club in 1904 and still holds the record for making the most appearances for them, 496 matches in total.  Capped once.

RB: Billy McCracken (Northern Ireland)
He was one of the most successful defender of his time.  McCracken played for the English club Newcastle United from 1904 to 1924, helping them win three League titles and the FA Cup. He was known for setting the offside trap for the attackers.  The offside rule was changed because of him. He was a part of Ireland(IFA) that became the co-champion of the 1903 British Home Championship, the first time the tournament was not won by England or Scotland.

RB: David Craig (Northern Ireland)
David Craig joined Newcastle United in 1962 and went on to make 412 appearances for the club, scoring 12 goals. He left the club in 1978 after retiring from the game, and remains seventh-highest appearance-maker for the club. Frank Clark played on the other side. He played 25 times for Northern Ireland, fighting a position with Arsenal's Pat Rice at the time.

CB/RB: Warren Barton (England)
Barton began his league career with Maidstone United.  He was transferred to First Division side Wimbledon on 7 June 1990 as the most expensive for a 4th Division player.  In 1995, he became the most expensive defender in English football when he moved to Newcastle United for £4 million. He later played QPR and Derby. Capped 3 times.

CB: Bobby Moncur (Scotland)
Bobby Moncur played a total of 296 times for Newcastle United, scoring three goals – all in the two-legged final of the 1969 Fairs Cup. He also played 16 times for Scotland between 1968 and 1972. In 1974 after Captaining Newcastle in the FA Cup final, he was transferred to Sunderland, moving again to Carlisle United in 1976, where he ended his playing career.

CB: Philippe Albert (Belgium)
Philippe Albert made 41 appearances for Belgium from 1987 to 1997, and represented his country at the 1990 and 1994 World Cup Finals.   He played for Charleroi, KV Mechelen and Anderlecht in his native Belgium, and for English clubs Newcastle United and Fulham. He was known as an attack-minded centre-back for his forward runs from defence in the team dubbed as "the Entertainers"
Philippe Albert
CB: Frank Brennan (Scotland)
Brennan was a tough centre half who moved to Newcastle United from Airdrieonians for £7,500 in 1946.  He appeared on 351 occasions for the Magpies between 1946 and 1956.  He was a part of Newcastle United's victory at the FA Cup in 1951 and 1952. He was indicted into Newcastle Hall of Fame. Capped 8 times.

LB: Frank Hudspeth (England) 
Hudspeth spent nineteen seasons at Newcastle, from 1910 to 1929. This makes him the joint longest servant for the club along with Billy McCracken. During his time at the club he became a popular figure amongst the fans and gained the nickname 'Old Surefoot' for his reliability. He captained the team from 1923 to 1926.

LB: Alf McMichael (Northern Ireland)
He played over 400 times for Newcastle United between 1950 and 1963.  He won the 1952 FA Cup. At one point he was considered the best left-back in Britain and was a popular player amongst Newcastle United supporters. Before Newcastle United, he played for Linfield from 1945 to 1950. He represented Northern Ireland 40 times.

DM: Joe Harvey (England)
Joe Harvey played briefly for different clubs and then, joined Newcastle in 1945, where he stayed until his retirement in 1953.  He spent much of his career at Newcastle United. He was the club's longest serving captain.  He captained the team to two successive FA Cup victories in 1951 and 1952.  Later, he became Newcastle's most successful manager, and as of the 2014–15 season, the last to win a major trophy. Harvey was a member of Newcastle United's Hall of Fame.
Joe Harvey with the 1951 FA Cup
CM: Rob Lee (England)
Rob Lee came through the academy of Charlton Athletic and established himself in the first team by the 1984–85 season.  He was sold after the start of 1992–93 season to Newcastle United.  He was on the PFA Team of the Year (Premier League) in 1996. He played for England between 1994 and 1998, scoring twice in 21 appearances. He was in the squad for the 1998 World Cup under Glenn Hoddle. 

RW: Jock Rutherford  (England)
Rutherford was known for his longevity; he played nearly six hundred Football League and FA Cup matches, despite four seasons of football being cancelled due to World War I. He started his career at Newcastle United. Nicknamed "the Newcastle flyer", he spent ten seasons at the "Magpies", picked up three First Division medals, and played in five FA Cup finals (1905, 1906, 1908, 1910 and 1911). Won 11 caps.

AM/LW: Gary Speed (England)
Gary Speed played for Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United.  At one point, he held the record for the most appearances in the Premier League until David James surpassed by David James.  He was best remembered for winning the English league title in 1992 with Leeds United.  He made the PFA Team of the year in 1993. From 19988 to 2004, he played for Newcastle United. He was capped 85 times for Wales and served as the captain.
Gary Speed
LW: David Ginola (France)
For the national team, David Ginola only played17 times.  He was blamed for the goal against Bulgaria that eliminated France for the 1994 World Cup qualification.  He moved to England shortly afterward.  Ginola became a big star at the English Preimer League in the late 1990's.  In England, he played for Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspurs, Aston Villa and Everton.  He won both PFA and FWA Player of the Year in 1998-1999.
David Ginola
AM: Nolberto Solano (Peru)
In 1998, Nolberto Solano became the first Peruvian to play in the Premier League when he joined Newcastle United from Boca Juniors. He played 15 seasons in England.  He also played for Aston Villa, West Ham and Leicester City. At home, he is associated with Sporting Cristal. He earned 95 caps for Peru.  He made his debut as a 18 years old in 1994.

AM: Paul Gascoigne (England)
Gazza was the most gifted player of his generation, but his career was marked controversy and injuries.  He played for Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and Lazio.   In 1995, he joined Rangers with a club record fee. He had a successful career at Rangers, but he left in 1998 and went to play for many clubs all over the world.  For England, he earned 57 times.  He was remembered for the tears in his eyes as he received his yellow card against West Germany in the semi-final.
Paul Gazza
FW: Jorge Robledo (Chile)
Robledo was born in Iquique, Chile to a Chilean father and an English mother.   He joined Newcastle United in 1949.  In the 1950–51 season, he became the first South American to play in the FA Cup final and also winning it. He finished as Division One's top scorer in the 1951–52 season with 33 goals, becoming the first non-British to win the title. Chile recruited Robledo for the 1950 World Cup. He made his debut in the opening group game against England.  He would be capped 31 times.  He would also play for Colo Colo.

FW: Peter Beardsley (England)
Peter Beardsley was one of the few players i history to have played for Liverpool, Everton, Manchester United and Manchester City. His first successes came in the early 1980's while playing for Newcastle United.  In 1987, he joined Liverpool as the most expensive player in England's history.  Together with John Barnes, they formed one of the best English sides of the later 1980's. He had 56 caps for England.

CF: Jackie Milburn (England)
Jackie Milburn was best remembered for his career with Newcastle United and was considered legend there.  He was also known as Wor Jackie (particularly in North East England, a Geordie dialectal version of 'Our Jackie'). He won three FA Cup titles in 5 years during the 1950's. He was a second cousin to Jack and Bobby Charlton.  He had 13 caps for England.  He went to the World Cup finals in 1950, which was England's first ever appearance in the Finals.
Jackie Milburn
ST: Les Ferdinand (England)
Les Ferdinand's playing career included spells at Queens Park Rangers, Beşiktaş, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Leicester City, Bolton Wanderers, Reading and Watford during which period he earned 17 caps for England. Ferdinand is the eighth highest scorer in the Premier League with 149 goals.  He is Rio Ferdinand's cousin.

ST: Hughie Gallacher (Scotland)
Hughie Gallacher is one of the greatest British footballers in the pre-war generation. He scored 463 goals, playing senior league football for Airdrieonians, Newcastle United, Chelsea, Derby County, Notts County, Grimsby Town and Gateshead. Prior to his he also played and scored for then non-league Queen of the South. For Scotland,  he scored 23 goals in 20 games for Scotland.  He was also a member of "Wembley Wizards", the Scottish team that beat England 5-1 in 1928.
Hughie Gallacher
ST/SS: Kevin Keegan (England)
Kevin Keegan was two-time European Footballer of the Year in 1978 and 1979. He won the European Cup in 1977 with Liverpool. He also found successes in the Bundesliga with Hamburger SV, where he played between 1977 and 1980.  He later played for Southampton and Newcastle United. He had 63 caps for England. However, his World Cup appearance was limited to 20 minutes against Spain at the World Cup Finals in 1982. 

ST: Alan Shearer (England)
Shearer is the all-time leading top-scorer for the Premiership.  In 1992, he joined Blackburn Rovers from Southampton in a record transfer. He won the Premiership for 1994-1995 season.  In 1996, he joined his home town club, Newcastle United for a world record transfer fees. He was FWA Player of the Year in 1994, and PFA Player of the Year in 1995 and 1997.  For England, he earned 63 caps. IN 1996, he led England to the semi-final of Euro 1996 at home, winning the Golden boot award. He also played the 1998 WC Finals and Euro 2000.
Alan Sheaer

Honorable Mention
Malcolm McDonald, Andy Cole, Steve Watson, Faustino Asprilla, Chris Waddle, Jimmy Scoular, Bobby Mitchell, Jonathan Woodgate, Pavel Srmicek, Shola Ameobi, Steve Harper, Colin Veitch, Fabricio Coloccini, Willie McFaul.

Squad Explanation
-- Ronnie Simpson was known for his career with Celtic.  He actually spent 9 seasons with Newcastle United from 1951 to 1960 before returning to Scotland. He won the FA Cup twice with Newcastle. He would join Celtic in 1964. 
-- I took Jock Rutherford over Jimmy Scoular at right wing because he won more trophies and at a time when Newcastle dominated.
-- Newcastle won the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Final, but only two players made my team(David Craig and Bobby Moncur). Jim Scott who scored one of the goals in the Final only played two seasons at St James Park.
-- Chris Waddle and Bobby Mitchell were left wings.  I already have Speed and Ginola.  Both players were more associated with the club than Waddle.  Then, I prefer the younger players than Mitchell.
 -- Jonathan Woodgate only played a handful of games for Newcastle.
-- Hughie Gallacher, Jackie Milburn and Alan Shearer were locked for two of the strikers' position.  Kevin Keegan only played two seasons with Newcastle, but he helped Newcastle to gain promotion from the second division.  The promotion itself was a historical moment for the club.  I have rewarded players on other teams who helped their club for historical moment.  For Newcastle, that player happened to be Keegan.  He was also a popular figure with the fans.  Andy Cole and Malcolm Macdonald were seriously considered, but he is up against some of the greatest British strikers ever played the game.
-- David Ginola won both PFA and FWA Player of the Year in 1998-1999.
-- Jorge "George" Robledo was selected because he broke a historical milestone.  He was the first non-British to be the top scorer in England.
-- The final striker position was between Les Ferdinand and Andy Cole. Andy Cole played for the club from 1993 to 1995, scoring 68 goals in 86 appearances. Both players scored a lot of goals, and only spent two seasons there. Cole scored 40 goals in his first season, which was a record for the club in all competition for a single season. Hughie Gallacher holds the record for the highest number of "league" goals in a season with 36. I selected Ferdinand because his team came second twice in his two seasons.
-- In 1987, Mirandinha became the first Brazilian to play in England, but his career was not too good in England. He does not make my team.
--  Malcolm McDonald, Shola Ameobi, Steve Harper and Colin Veitch are into their Hall of Fame.  They only made my honorable mention.
-- Fabricio Coloccini's career never stood out, but with Newcastle United, he finally fulfilled his potential. He was on the PFA Team of the Year in 2011-2012 season. He made my honourable mention.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Aston Villa Greatest All-Time Team

European Cup 1982
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Manchester UnitedLiverpoolArsenal,
ChelseaTottenhamManchester CityEverton,
Aston VillaNewcastle UnitedNottingham Forest
Leeds UnitedLeicester CityWest Ham

Aston Villa are one of the oldest and most successful football clubs in the history of English football. Villa won the 1981–82 European Cup, and are thus one of five English clubs to win what is now the UEFA Champions League. They have the fifth highest total of major honours won by an English club,  having won the First Division Championship seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the Football League Cup five times, and the European Cup and UEFA Super Cup double in 1982.

GK: Jimmy Rimmer (England)
Rimmer is considered to be the greatest Aston Villa goalkeeper. He won two European Cup medals: 1968 with Manchester United and 1982 with Aston Villa.  He was Alex Stepney's understudy in the 1968 Final.  In 1982, he only played 9 minutes before getting an injury. He played 3 seasons with Arsenal, where he was their player of the year in 1975. He was capped once in 1976.

GK: Sam Hardy (England)
Hardy was discovered by Liverpool FC after playing against them with Chesterfield.  He joined Liverpool in 1905, where he played until 1912.  Later, he played for Aston Villa between 1912 and 1921. He also played for Nottingham Forrest. He was capped 21 times between 1907 and 1920, which was then an astonishing number and was widely considered to be England's first ever star keeper. 

GK: Mark Bosnich (Australia)
Bosnich was voted as Oceania Goalkeeper of the Century.  He was known for his career with Aston Villa.   He earned himself a transfer back to Manchester United in 1999, but his career started to fall apart over there.  He also played for Chelsea. He also played in Australia for Sydney United, Central Coast Mariners and Sydney Olympic. For the national team, he only earned 17 caps due to club's commitment.

RB: Stan Lynn (England)
Nicknamed "Stan the Wham", Stan Lynn was renowned for his powerful right-footed shots which came from his "Booming Boots".  He started with Accrington Stanley.  He was all-time great with Aston Villa. Playing against Sunderland in January 1958, Lynn became the first full-back to score a hat-trick in a top-flight match. He moved to Aston Villa's arch-rivals Birmingham City in 1961.

CB: Gareth Southgate (England)
Gareth Southgate won the League Cup with both Aston Villa and Middlesbrough (in 1995–96 and 2003–04 respectively, and as captain), and captaining Crystal Palace to win the First Division championship in 1993–94. He also reached an FA Cup and UEFA Cup final as a player, and made 57 appearances for the England national team, featuring in the 1998 FIFA World Cup and both the 1996 and 2000 European Championships. 
Gareth Southgate
CB: Martin Laursen (Denmark)
Martin Laursen played three seasons for Italian club AC Milan, with whom he won the 2003 UEFA Champions League and the 2004 Serie A championship. He also played for Italian clubs Hellas Verona and Parma FC, and Aston Villa. Capped 53 times from 2000 to 2008, and he was named 2008 Danish Football Player of the Year. He represented Denmark at the 2000 European Championship, 2002 World Cup, and 2004 European Championship tournaments.

CB: Allan Evans (Scotland)
Evans played for Dunfermline Athletic (1973–77), Aston Villa (1977–89), Leicester City (1989–90) and Darlington (1990–91).  He won the league title in 1980/1 and was part of Villa's 1982 European Cup winning team. Evans was later club captain and helped Villa win promotion back to the First Division in 1988. 

CB: Chris Nicholl (Northern Ireland)
Chris Nicholl played for Burnley, Witton Albion, Halifax Town and Luton Town, before establishing himself as a centre-half with Aston Villa. He won the 1976/1977 League Cup after two final replays. The second replay is remembered for Nicholl scoring one of the greatest goals in any Aston Villa match, a forty-yard left footer which helped take the match to extra time. He was capped 51 times between 1973 and 1983.  He went to the 1982 World Cup Finals in Spain.

CB/DM: Paul McGrath (Ireland)
Paul McGrath is one of Ireland's greatest players.  He played 83 times for Ireland. He appeared at the 1990 and 1994 World Cup Finals, as well as the Euro 1988.  He played for St Patrick's Athletic and then, joined Manchester United in 1982.  He had a run-in with Sir Alex Ferguson who was the new manager at Manchester United and moved to Aston Villa in 1989 where he won the PFA Player of the Year in 1993. He later played for Derby County and Sheffield United.
Paul McGrath

LB/CB: Steve Staunton (Ireland)
Steve Staunton was capped 102 times for Ireland.  He was the first footballer to have reached a century of caps for them. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1990 and 1994.  He captained Ireland at the WC Finals in 2002 after the depature of Roy Keane. For his club career, he started his career with Dundalk.  He played mainly for Aston Villa and Liverpool. 

LB:  Charlie Aitken (Scotland)
Aitken is the all-time record appearance holder at English club Aston Villa. He played for Villa from August 1959 until May 1976, a period of 17 seasons. Aitken was a member of the 1975 League Cup winning team, having been a runner-up in 1971. He spent the last two seasons of his professional career in the NASL with the New York Cosmos.

DM: Gareth Barry (England)
Gareth Barry has made 597 appearances in the Premier League, including 365 for Aston Villa, putting him third on the all-time appearances list, and top amongst current players. In 2009, he joined Manchester City, where he won the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League title the following season. After a season on loan, he joined Everton on a three-year contract in July 2014. He played 53 times for England.  He was a member of Euro 2000 team, and then, the 2010 World Cup team.
Gareth Barry
CM: Dennis Mortimer (England)
Mortimer captained Villa to the 1982 European Cup Final. A 1–0 victory against Bayern Munich in the De Kuip Stadium was courtesy of a Peter Withe goal. From 1975 to 1985 he made 403 appearances for Villa scoring 36 goals. He also played for  Coventry City, Sheffield United, Brighton & Hove Albion and Birmingham City.

CM: Gordon Cowans (England)
Cowans started his career at Aston Villa as an apprentice in 1974, and signed as a professional in 1976. During his time at Aston Villa, he won the League Cup, the League Championship, the European Cup and the European Super Cup.  He also played for Derby County, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sheffield United, Bradford City, Stockport County, Burnley and Bari in Italy.  Capped 10 times.

CM: David Platt (England)
Platt began his career as an apprentice at Manchester United but later moved to Crewe Alexandra where he began building a reputation as a goal scoring midfield player. In 1988, he signed for Aston Villa and made his debut for England a year later. At the 1990 World Cup, his performances in Italy earned him a move to Bari in 1991. In 1992, Platt moved to Juventus, where he spent one season. In 1993, he moved to Sampdoria where he stayed for two seasons before returning to England with Arsenal.  Capped 75 times.
David Platt
RW: Tony Daley (England)
Daley joined hometown club Aston Villa as an apprentice and soon made his senior debut aged 17 in1985. He played there for ten seasons.  His team finished a runner-up in both the 1989–90 and 1992–93 league championships. He also played in their 1994 League Cup final triumph where they defeated Manchester United at Wembley.  Capped seven times for England between 1991 and 1992 under former club manager Graham Taylor.

LW Tony Morley (England)
Morley played for Preston North End, Burnley, Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City, as well as playing for other teams in Hong Kong and the USA. His goal against Everton at Goodison Park won him the 'Goal of the Season' award for 1980–81. He was a vital part of the Villa side that won the League Championship in 1980–81 and the European Cup the year after. His brilliant dribble and cross set up Peter Withe for the winning goal against Bayern Munich in the final. Capped 6 times for England.
Tony Morley
LW: Eric Houghton (England)
Eric Houghton signed for Aston Villa as a seventeen-year-old and played in the Villa side for two decades, scoring 170 goals in 392 games. He also won 7 caps for England. His formidable and powerful shot was regarded as the hardest shot of his era. Houghton converted 58 spot kicks and also scored direct from about 30 free-kicks. He finished his playing career at Notts County.

FW: Archie Hunter (Scotland)
Hunter was one of Victorian football's first household names. He was first captain of Aston Villa to lift the FA Cup, in 1887. Despite being one of the greats of the 19th century game, Hunter never fulfilled his dream of playing for Scotland against England. This is because at the time the Scottish Football Association had a policy of not picking 'Anglo-Scots' (i.e. Scots who played in the English League).

FW: Pongo Waring (England)
Tom "Pongo" Waring is one of Aston Villa's all-time great centre forwards. He signed for Tranmere Rovers in 1926, scored 6 of the 11 goals scored against Durham City. He moved to Aston Villa for £4,700 in 1928. As well as playing football, Waring also worked for The Hercules Motor and Cycle Company in Aston.  He was capped 5 times for England.

ST: Peter McParland (England)
Peter McParland scored two goals against Manchester United at the FA Cup Final of 1957.  He was also remembered for injuring Manchester United keeper Ray Wood in a legal move during the game. He also won the Second Division title in 1960 and the League Cup in 1961 while with Aston Villa. Represented Northern Ireland 34 times and starred for them in the 1958 World Cup in which he scored five goals and helped his team to the quarter-finals. 
Peter McParland
ST: Harry Hampton (England)
Better known as "Happy" Harry Hampton or as "The Wellington Whirlwind," he played for Aston Villa from 1904 to 1920. He scored both goals against Newcastle United in the 1905 FA Cup Final. He was joint top goalscorer in the First Division in the 1911–12 season. Between 1913 and 1914 Hampton was capped by England four times, scoring two goals in games against Wales and Scotland. His career was cut short by injuries suffered in the First World War.

ST: Andy Gray (Scotland)
Andy Gray joined Aston Villa in 1975. His 29 goals in the 1977-78 season earned him the PFA Young Player of the Year and PFA Players' Player of the Year awards.  At the time he was the youngest player to earn the Players' Player of the Year award.  Later, he had successful careers with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Everton.  With Everton, he was a part of their great team of the 1980's, winning the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. He won 20 caps for Scotland. Despite winning the Player of the Year award, he was not selected for the WC Finals in 1978.
Andy Gray
ST: Peter Withe (England)
Peter Withe was a much-travelled English footballer who played as a striker between 1971 and 1990.  The highlights of his career came at Aston Villa, where he was a key player in the Football League title triumph of 1980–81 and scored his side's only goal in their 1982 European Cup Final victory.  Capped by England 11 times, Withe scored once, and was the first Aston Villa player to be selected in an England World Cup Finals squad (in España 82).

ST: Billy Walker (England)
Billy Walker is considered by many to be the greatest footballer to ever play for Aston Villa Football Club. He made 531 appearances for Villa between 1914 and 1934, scoring 244 goals, of which 214 came in 478 league matches.  He remains Aston Villa's all-time top goalscorer to this day. He was an FA Cup Winner with Villa in 1920. Walker is the only-player to have scored a hat-trick of penalty kicks in a Football League game, doing so against Bradford City in November 1921.
Billy Walker
Honorable mention
Ashley Young, Johnny Dixon, Brian Little, Darius Vassell, Ken McNaught, Olof Mellberg, Richard Dunne, James Collins, Kent Neilson, Stan Lynn, Kenny Swain, Clem Stephenson, Harry Hampton, Trevor Ford, Eric Houghton, Stiliyan Petrov, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Gary Shaw, Howard Spencer, Stan Lynn.

Squad Explanation
-- Aston Villa's greatest achievement is their victory at the 1982 European Cup.  Peter Withe, Jimmy Rimmer, Tony Morley, Dennis Mortimer played in the Final.
-- Mark Bosnich has a remarkable career with Aston Villa.  His career after Villa Park faded quickly.  
-- Nigel Spink is the 4th keeper. He helped Aston Villa to win the European Cup, but not enough to be one of the top three. Peter Schmeichel only played one season with Aston Villa. I never considered him.
-- Paul McGrath won the PFA Player of the Year in 1993 with Aston Villa.  His career with Manchester United was marked with off field issue.  His career took off while playing here.
-- Howard Spencer was left largely because I was not sure about his playing position. He was probably a right fullback. Stan Lynn was selected as the only rightback, leaving out John Gidman.
-- Garth Barry is one of Aston Villa's longest serving player. He edged out Stiliyan Petrov who is a member of Aston Villa Hall of Fame. David Platt, Dennis Mortimer and Gordon Cowans were also selected ahead of Petrov.  Paul McGrath could also play in the midfield.
--  I chose Tony Daley because he is probably the best right winger avaliable.  Tony Morley, Ashley Young and Eric Houghton played on the left.
-- Billy Walker, Gordon Cowans, Eric Houghton and Peter McParland are members of Aston Villa Hall of Fame, but Stiliyan Petrov and Brian Little only made honourable mention.
-- Danny Blanchflower's career with Aston Villa often got overlooked. He did not fit into the team's playing style at the time.  However, I did not put him on honorable mention.  
-- Trevor Ford only spent three seasons with Aston Villa. While his scoring rate was high, I took players who had a longer tenure with the club.  Gary Shaw and Brian Little also missed out. Clem Stephnson were overlooked.  Instead, I took Peter Withe who won the European Cup.  He is also a member of the Hall of Fame.
-- Dwight Yorke also missed the team because it was hard to select him over Peter McParland, Peter Withe, Harry Hampton, Archie Hunter and Andy Gray.
-- Andy Gray won the PFA Players' Player of the Year award= while with the club.
-- Eric Houghton, Harry Hampton, Archie Hunter and Andy Gray were not on my original team. I did not recall why and how I missed their selection on my first selection.

I do not think Platt is effective on the right side. And I am not sure about Walker partner Hampton upfront. Morley got the start over Houghton because I grew up watching Morley. Yes, it is biased.