Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Greatest All-Time Team Under Bobby Robson (club only)


UEFA Cup 1981 with Ipswich


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

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for players who played for Bobby Robson(club players only).  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.  

Bobby Robson had a colourful career as a manager.  he first made a name with Ipswich Town, where he won the 1978 FA Cup and the 1981 UEFA Cup.  After a very successful career managing the English national team, he began a career outside of the United Kingdom.  He is probably the most successful British manager coaching in the continental Europe.   

Bobby Robson's Ipswich

Forgotten Great Team: Bobby Robson's Ipswich: here

Team
GK: Vitor Baia (Portugal/Porto/Barcelona)
Vitor Baia was Portugal's most decorated keeper. He was one of two keepers who had won all three UEFA main club competitions.  With Porto, he won 26 titles, including the Champions League in 2004.  He played briefly with Barcelona. For Portugal, he had 80 caps.  He played in the European Championship in 1996 and 2000, and the World Cup finals in 2002.

GK: Shay Given (Ireland/Newcastle United)
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.

GK: Hans Van Breukelen (Holland/PSV)
Hans Van Breukelen started his career with FC Utrecht and then, he played for Nottingham Forest.  He moved to PSV in 1984, where he played until 1994.  He helped the club to win the European Cup in n1988.  For the national team, he was a fixture since 1980.  However, he did not help the Oranje to reach a major touranemt until the 1988 European Championship, where they won the first ever trophy for the national team.

RB: Joao Pinto (Portugal/Porto)
Bobby Robson said of him: "He has two hearts and four legs. It's extremely difficult to find a player like him."  He won the European Cup in 1987 with Porto.  He was one of Porto's greatest fullback.  He spent his entire professional career with Porto, winning nine leagues and the 1987 European Cup. He played 70 times for Portugal. He went to the 1986 World Cup Finals as well as the European Championship in 1984.
Joao Pinto

RB: Eric Gerets (Belgium/PSV)
Eric Gerets is considered one of the greatest European rightbacks in history. His best club career was spent with Standard de Liège and PSV Eindhoven.  He won the 1988 European Cup with PSV as their captain. He also played briefly for AC Milan and MVV Maastricht.  Gerets was capped 86 times.  He played a big role as the Red Devils finished second at the Euro 1980 and reached the semi-final of the WC 1986 Finals.

CB: Fernando Couto (Portugal/Porto/Barcelona)
Fernando Couto won the Double in every leagues he played in and in three different countries.  He started with Porto, and went to play in Spain and Italy. He was a member of Portugal's Golden Generation that won won the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship. He earned 110 caps. He went to the 2002 World Cup Finals, and three other European Championships.

CB: Jorge Costa (Portugal)
Except at the very end of his career, Jorge Costa played his entire career with Porto, serving as its captain for a few seasons.  He won the 2003 UEFA Cup and the 2004 Champions League with them.  At the international level, he was a part of the Golden Generation that won the U-20 World Cup in 1991.  He represented Portugal at Euro 2000 and the World Cup 2002.

CB: Terry Butcher (England)
Butcher was one of England's greatest defenders. He captained the England national team, winning 77 caps in a ten-year international career that featured three World Cups. Butcher also enjoyed success in his club career, particularly with Ipswich Town and Rangers. With Ipswich, he was a part of Bobby Robson's team that won the UEFA Cup in 1981. In 1986, he joined Rangers as one of the first wave of English players playing for Graeme Souness' Rangers in the 1980's.
Terry Butcher
CB/DM: Gheorghe Popescu  (Romania/PSV/Barcelona) 
Gheorghe Popescu was perhaps the most famous Romanian defender and the second most important player during Romania's Golden Generation in the 1990's.  He was Romanian Player of the Year 6 times.  He played for a string of European clubs in his career, including Barcelona where he was their captain and a four-year stint at PSV Eindhoven. In 2000, he helped Galatasaray to win the UEFA Cup, the first time ever for a Turkish club. 

CB: Russell Osman (England/Ipswich)
Russell Osman spent 11 seasons with Ipswich Town from 1976 to 1985 during the club's greatest period, winning the UEFA Cup in 1981.  He also played in the Football League for Leicester City, Southampton, Bristol City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Cardiff City. Osman played senior international football for England, for whom he received eleven caps.

RB/LB: Mick Mills (England/Ipswich)
Mick Mills holds the record for appearance with Ipswich Town.  He became the captain of Ipswich in 1971, where he formed a close relationship with manager Bobby Robson.  It was Ipswich's greatest era, winning the 1978 FA Cup and the 1981 UEFA Cup. He also played with Southampton and Stoke City.  Mills was capped 42 times between 1972 and 1982.  He played both rightback and left back for England. He captained England at the 1982 World Cup Finals.  
Mick Mills
CB/LB: Kevin Beattie (England/Ipswich)
Kevin Beattie was a key player for Bobby Robson's great Ipswich side of the 1970's and early 1980's.  He won the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 1973-1974.   He later played for Colchester United, Middlesbrough, Harwich & Parkeston, Sandvikens IF, Kongsberg IF, Nybergsund IL-Trysil and Clacton Town. He played 9 times for England between 1975 and 1977.

CM: Arnold Muhren (Holland/Ipswich)
Muhren was one of the few players who had won the European Cup (1972–73), the Cup Winners' Cup (1986–87) and the UEFA Cup (1980–81).  He first made his name by playing for Ajax with his brother Gerrie.  In 1978, he joined Ipswich, where he became one of the first Dutch players in the league.  Capped 23 times.  He was a part of the Euro 1988 winning team.  He crossed the ball to Marco Van Basten where he scored the famous volley goal in the Final against the Soviet Union.
Arnold Muhren
CM: Pep Guardiola (Spain/Barcelona)
Pep Guardiola spent most of his career with Barcelona.  He was their captain from 1997 to 2001.   He was a part of Johan Cruyff's Dream Team that the European Cup in 1992.  He also played for Brescia and Roma in Italy, Al-Ahli in Qatar, and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico.  At the international level, he was capped over 40 times by Spain from 1992 to 2001.

CM: John Wark (Scotland/Ipswich)
John Wark earned 29 caps and scoring 7 goals for Scotland. He played in the 1982 World Cup in which he scored twice.  At the club level, he was known for three spells with Ipswich and a spell with Liverpool between the first two Ipswich spells. He played with the great Ipswich side under nder manager Bobby Robson, winning the 1981 UEFA Cup.  He was the 1981 PFA Players' Player of the Year.  With Liverpool, he won two First Division league title.
John Wark(R)
LW/FW: Luis Enrique (Spain/Barcelona)
Luis Enrique started with Sporting Gijon in Spain.  He later represented both Real Madrid and Barcelona. Luis Enrique played for Spain in three World Cups: 1994, 1998 and 2002,  He was also a member of the Gold Medal winning team at the Summer Olympics in 1992.  At the 1994 WC Finals, he was remembered for the incident with Mauro Tassotti's elbow against Italy.

RW: Luis Figo (Portugal/Sporting CP/Barcelona)
Figo is probably one of Portugal's greatest players.  He was the 2000 European Footballer of the Year and  the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year. His controversial 2000 transfer from Barcelona to bitter rivals Real Madrid set a world record fee of £37 million (€62 million).  With Real Madrid, he was the first member of the Galacticos. He won the Champions' League title in 2002. He played for Inter Milan and Sporting SP.
Luis Figo
LW: Ljuinko Drulovic (Yugoslavia/Porto)
Ljuinko Drulovic started his career at home with FK Rad. In 1992, Ljuinko Drulovic went to play for Gil Vicente in Portugal.  A year later, he joined Porto, where he won 5 straight league title.  He was also known for his partnership with Mario Jardel, who won the European Golden Shoe.  Later in his career, he joined Benfica and FK Partizan. He had 38 caps for Yugoslavia from 1996 to 2001.

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

ST:  Emil Kostadinov (Bulgaria/Porto)
Emil Kostadinov is best remembered for scoring two goals against France in the World Cup Qualfying match that helped Bulgaria to qualify for the World Cup in 1994.  He was capped 70 times.  He started his career with CSKA Sofia. His best stint was with Porto where he spent 4 seasons. He also played for Deportivo de La Coruña, Bayern Munich (winning the UEFA Cup with them in 1996 and scoring in the final itself), Fenerbahçe, FSV Mainz, and UANL Tigres.

ST/FW: Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria/Barcelona)
Hristo Stoichkov is Bulgaria's greatest player. At the 1994 World Cup, Stoichkov was awarded the Golden Boot as the joint top goal scorer of the tournament with six goals, as well as earning the Bronze Ball award. . At Barcelona he was part of Johan Cruyff's "dream team" that won four consecutive La Liga titles and one UEFA Champions League.  He also won the Ballon d'Or in 1994.

ST Romario (Brazil/PSV)
Romario helped the Seleção to win the 1994 FIFA World Cup, receiving the Golden Ball as player of the tournament. He was named FIFA World Player of the Year the same year. He missed the 1998 World Cup Finals because of an injury. He also went to the 1990 World Cup Finals, but did not play. He is one of very few strikers to surpass the mark of 1,000 goals in history. He was best remembered for his stint with Barcelona.
Romario
ST: Alan Shearer (England/Newcastle)
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.  Capped 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. 

ST: Paul Mariner (England/Ipswich)
Paul Mariner started with 1973 with Plymouth Argyle.  In 1976, he joined Ipswich Town, where he would win the UEFA Cup in 1981 playing under Bobby Robson. Later, he would play for Arsenal, Portsmouth.  From 1977 to 1985, he played 35 times for England national team. He represented them at Euro 1980 and the World Cup Finals in 1982.

ST: Ronaldo (Brazil/Barcelona)
Ronaldo was widely considered among the greatest ever to have play the game.  He led Brazil to two World Cup Finals match, winning the one in 2002.  He scored 8 goals in 2002.  He was the winner of Ballon d'Or twice and the FIFA World Player of the Year three times.  He is the second top-scorer in WC history.  He played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, and for both AC Milan and Inter Milan. His first club was Cruzeiro Esporte Clube in Brazil.
Ronaldo

Honorable Mention
Alan Brazil(Ipswich), Paul Cooper (Ipswich), Frans Thijssen (Ipswich), Eric Gates (Ipswich), Brian Talbot (Ipswich), Jan Heintze (PSV), Gerald Vanenburg (PSV), Erwin Koeman (PSV), Iván de la Peña (Barcelona), Miguel Nadal (Barcelona), Rob Lee (Newcastle), Kieron Dyer (Newcastle).

Squad Explanation
-- I only considered players from Bobby Robson's club team. 
-- Cheung Chi Doy (張子岱) of Hong Kong was one of his first ever signings as a manager.  Robson signed him for Vancouver Royals(his story here), but he never got to coach the Canadian team.  
-- The team is geared toward Bobby Robson's Ipswich, where his name was most likely to be associated.  However, I tried to take players from different teams. I took 7 players from Ipswich Town, I selected Mick Mills, Paul Mariner, Terry Butcher, Rusell Osman, Kevin Beattlie, Arnold Muhren and John Wark.
-- Alan Brazil and Eric Gates were some of my favourite players while growing up, but both only made my honorable mention.
-- In 1971, Robson made Mick Mills as his captain.  He was one of Robson's most important players.  Ironically, he never played for Robson's England.
-- Vitor Baia and Fernando Couto played for him at both Porto and Barcelona.
-- I am not familiar of his career with Sporting CP. Luis Figo played for Bobby Robson at Sporting CP, but I selected him for his career with Barcelona. He is the only player from Robson's Sporting CP who made the team.
-- Bobby Robson considered Ronaldo as the greatest ever player who played for him.
-- Bobby Robson also discovered Jose Mourinho who was his translator in Portugal as most football fans already knew.
-- Robson was known to have issue with Romarios lifestyle while at PSV.  In his autobiography, he claimed that he knew what Romario was doing.  He only went dancing at night clubs, which was acceptable.

Formation






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