Friday, November 17, 2017

What If England went to the World Cup in 1974

England 1973

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index
Hungary World Cup 1950
Sweden World Cup1950
Austria-Hungary 1954
Angels with Dirty Faces with Di Stefano WC 1958
Spain without Catalan players World Cup 2010
USA World Cup 2010
If Ronaldo and Messi played for Australia in 2006

By 1973, Bobby Charlton and Gordon Banks were no longer with the English national team.  Nevertheless, England was still viewed as a super power in football.  However, because of an away defeat against Poland on June, 1973, England needed to beat Poland at home on the last match of the World Cup Qualifiers in order to qualify for the World Cup Finals.  

On October, 1974, England took on Poland at the Wembley Stadium. Before the match, Polish goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski had been labelled "a clown" by Brian Clough.  In turn, Tomaszewski had the match of his life as England only managed to draw 1-1.  Poland's only goal came as a result of two separated bloopers by Norman Hunter and Peter Shilton on the same play. England surrendered an unlucky goal in the match, and failed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup Finals. Poland went on to finish third at the World Cup Finals.  Grzegorz Lato, Wladyslaw Zmuda, Jan Tomaszewski and Kazimierz Deyna all became international stars.  

If England beat Poland that night, they would be qualified for the World Cup Finals.  This is my selection of England for the World Cup Finals in 1974. Only 22 players were on the official roster back then.
 England vs Poland 1973
GK: Peter Shilton (Leicester City)
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: Ray Clemence (Liverpool)
Clemence was considered one of England's greatest keepers. He won 3 European Cups and 2 UEFA Cups in the 1970's with Liverpool and a UEFA Cup with Tottenham Hotspurs.  He was voted as Liverpool's greatest keeper.  For the national team, he was locked in a battle of number 1 with Peter Shilton.  He made 61 appearances for England.

GK: Phil Parkes (Queens Park Ranger)
Born in 1950, Phil Parkes began his career at Walsall, turning professional in 1968, he made over 50 appearances in the Black Country before moving to Queens Park Rangers.  Parkes was sold to West Ham in 1979 for £565,000, a world record for a goalkeeper at the time. He also played for Ipswich Town. He was capped once for England in 1974.

RB/DM: Peter Storey (Arsenal)
Peter Storey spent 15 years at Arsenal , winning the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1970, the First Division title in 1970–71, and the FA Cup in 1971. He also was a losing finalist in the 1968 and 1969 League Cup and the 1972 FA Cup Final. He also won 19 caps for England between April 1971 and June 1973. He played in the Home Championships. He was transferred to Fulham in March 1977 before announcing his retirement eight months later.
Peter Storey 
RB/LB: Mick Mills (Ipswich Town)
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. He also played with Southampton and Stoke City.  Mills was capped 42 times.  He captained England at the 1982 World Cup Finals.  
CB: Bobby Moore  (Fulham)
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: Colin Todd (Derby County)
Colin Todd started his career with Sunderland, but his most famous stint was with Brian Clough's Derby.  His transfer fees in 1971 to Derby was a record for a defender in England.  He would win the league title in his first season with Clough. He was PFA Player of the Year in 1974 after Derby won their second league title in 1974. He also played for Sunderland, Derby County, Everton, Birmingham City, Nottingham Forest, Oxford United and Luton Town. He earned 27 caps for England.

CB: Roy McFarland (Derby County)
Roy McFarland was one of the top defenders in the late 1960's and early 1970's.  He played for Tranmere Rovers, Derby County and Bradford City.  He was a key player for the great Derby side under Brian Clough. With them, he won two league titles in Division One. He played 28 times for England between 1971 and 1976, but was a part of the team that did not qualify for the World Cup Finals in 1974 after the memorable game against Poland in Wembley.
Roy McFarland
CB/LB: Emlyn Hughes (Liverpool)
Emlyn Hughes was at one point thcaptain of England and Liverpool.  He was considered to be one of Liverpool's most important defenders.  He played under Bill Shankly in the 1970's where he won two European Cups, four League titles and a single FA Cup. He was FWA Football of the Year in 1977.  He earned 62 English caps.  He went to the 1970 World Cup Finals in Mexico.

DM/LB: Paul Madeley (Leeds United)
Paul Madeley signed for Leeds from non-league Farsley Celtic in May 1962 and became a regular in the team from 1966 onwards. In his Leeds career, he played in every position on the pitch except goalkeeper. He was capped 24 times for England.  He declined to be a stand-in player for the 1970 World Cup Finals.

CB/DM: Norman Hunter (Leeds United)
Norman Hunter was known as one of the hardest tackler ever came out of English football. His nickname was "Bites Your Leg" Hunter.  He was one of Don Revie's key players at Leeds United, forming a strong partnership with Jack Charlton. He was PFA Player of the Year in 1974.  He later played Barnsley FC and Bristol City. He won the World Cup in 1966 as an unused player.  He went to the following World Cups in Mexico, but only made a single appearance.
Norman Hunter

CM: Alan Ball  (Arsenal)
Alan Ball was the youngest member of the World Cup winning team in 1966. He started his career with Blackpool.  He also played with Everton, Arsenal, Southampton and various clubs in North America and Hong Kong.  He played 72 times for England and was a key player at the World Cup finals in 1966 and 1970.  He missed the ill-fated match vs Poland in 1973 due a suspension. In 2003 Ball was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in recognition of his talents.
Alan Ball
CM: Martin Peters (Tottenham Hotspurs)
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.

CM: Colin Bell (Manchester City)
Bell is considered to be Manchester City's greatest ever player.  He won the league in 1967-1968, FA Cup in 1969 and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1970. While Bell is considered to be one of England's greatest midfielder, he was unable to showcase his talents in the world stage.  He was remembered as the substitute for Bobby Charlton at the WC Finals in 1970 against West Germany.  In 1973, he was a part of the ill-fated national team that failed to qualify for West Germany 1974.
Colin Bell 

RW/FW: Mike Summerbee (Manchester City)
Summerbee made his league debut playing for Swindon Town in 1959 at the age of 16. He made more than 200 appearances for the Wiltshire club, scoring 38 goals. In 1965, Manchester City signed Summerbee.  Playing on the right wing, Summerbee was one of the most influential players in the Manchester City side which won four trophies in three seasons from 1968–70. Capped 8 times.

AM: Tony Currie (Sheffield United)
Currie started with Watford in 1967.  He was transferred to Sheffield United in 1968 and went on to score 54 goals in 313 appearances and was also made captain by manager Ken Furphy in March 1974. In September 2014, as part of the club's 125th Anniversary celebrations, he was named Sheffield United's Greatest Ever Player. In 1976,  he moved to  Leeds United.  His curling shot against Southampton F.C. In 1978 won ITV's The Big Match Goal of the Season that year.  Capped 17 times.

ST/SS: Kevin Keegan (Liverpool)
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 after returning from Germany. 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. 
Kevin Keegan 
FW: Rodney Marsch (Manchester City)
A youth product for West Ham United before he made his professional debut with Fulham in March 1963.  He transferred to Queens Park Rangers in 1966. He helped the club to the 1967 League Cup and to consecutive promotions through the Third Division and Second Division. In March 1972 he was sold to Manchester City.  He played for Tampa Bay Rowdies.  Capped 9 times.

ST: Mick Channon (Southampton)
Mick Channon played notably for Southampton from 1965 and 1977, and then from 1979 and 1982.  Between the two stints, he played for Manchester City. At the age of 34, he joined Norwich, where he played form 1982 and 1985. For England, he was capped 46 times, but England failed to qualify for the World Cup Finals during his career. He also became known for his trademark windmill goal celebration.

ST: Allan Clarke (Leeds United)
Earlier in his career, Allan Clarke played Walsall, Fulham and Leicester.  In 1969, he joined Leeds United, where he was a part of Don Revie's great team.  They were the dominating team in England at the time. With Leeds United, Clarke won the Fairs Cup in 1971, scoring in the final against Italy's giant Juventus.  They also reached the Final of the European Cup in 1975.  He was capped 19 times for England.  He made his debut during the 1970 World Cup Finals in Mexico.
Allan Clarke 
ST: Kevin Hector (Derby County)
Hector joined Derby County in 1966 and he was a key player in their success under the management of Brian Clough and Dave Mackay over the next few seasons, during which time they reached the semi-finals of the European Cup, FA Cup and the League Cup. He also played for Vancouver Whitecaps. Hector played twice for England, his debut coming as an 88th-minute substitute in the fateful World Cup qualifier against Poland at Wembley in October 1973.

ST: Martin Chivers (Tottenham Hotspurs)
From 1962 to 1966, Martin Chivers played with Southampton. He  moved to Tottenham Hotspurs in 1968, breaking the tran sager record at the time.  During the 1971–72 campaign, Chivers hit the best form of his career, netting 44 times in 64 first team appearances. He scored eight times in 11 UEFA Cup matches in 1972, in which Tottenham became champion.  He was indicted to Tottenham's Hall of Fame. Chivers was capped 24 times for England.
Martin Chivers 

Player Pool  
Alex Stepney, Jimmy Rimmer, Malcolm Macdonald, Trevor Brooking, Dave Watson, David Nish, Jeff Blockley, John Richards.

Squad Explanation
-- England failed to qualify for the World Cup because of two bloopers in the decisive match against Poland.  So history could easily be different.  In Germany, Poland would end up in third place.  Many pundits considered Poland to be as good as the Netherlands and West Germany.  They were missing star striker Włodzimierz Lubański. So does it mean England was as good as Poland and should be able to reach at least the semifinal? 
-- Only 22 players were on the World Cup Finals' roster back in 1974.
-- Sir Alf Ramsey did not get sacked until May, 1974.  In July 1974, Revie accepted the offer of the England manager's job.  For this team, Alf Ramsey was never sacked due to his successful campaign.  However, I was not making an England team under him.  In this blog, I was the manager of this team, but I was using Sir Ramsey's selection pattern as a guideline.
-- Leeds United won the league with Liverpool and Derby county finishing 2nd and 3rd. Meanwhile, Manchester United were relegated from the First Division after 36 year stay in the top division.  Southampton also went down, but Mick Channon had a great season.  He was the First Division Top Scorer for the 1973-1974 season.  
-- England switched to Admiral for jersey supplier in 1974.  The new Admiral jersey made its debut on October, 1974 after the World Cup Finals.  The Admiral jersey was associated with Don Revie.  In real life, he was appointed as England's manager on July, 1974.  Sir Alf Ramsey would have remained on his job if England qualified for the World Cup Finals.  They would have continued with the old jersey.  All photos on this blog were using the old jersey. 
-- Peter Shilton, Ray Clemence, Roy McFarland, Alan Ball, Colin Bell, Martin Peters, Norman Hunter, Martin Chivers and Mick Channon were likely selections.
-- The third keeper was a difficult decision.  Peter Shilton and Ray Clemence have kept their position throughout the period.  Alex Stepney and Jimmy Rimmer were also active keepers in 1974, but both only played once for England in their career.  They were famous because of Manchester United. So I chose Phil Parkes who actually played for England that year.
-- Bobby Moore was dropped after his mistake against Poland in the first World Cup Qualifying match (the away match not the decisive home match in Wembley) by Sir Ramsey, but Ramsey assured Moore that he would be going to the World Cup Finals.  Ramsey told him: "Of course not, I need you as my captain at the World Cup next year." Moore's form also dropped while playing for West Ham right before the World Cup Finals in 1974. He left the club early in 1974 and joined Fulham in the Second Division.  However, I do believe Ramsey would have taken Moore to the 1974 World Cup Finals.  
-- Colin Todd was not used for the World Cup Qualifiers, but he had been in the players' pool before 1974.  He probably got ahead of Dave Watson.  
-- I took both Emlyn Hughes and Paul Madeley over David Nish.  They are more famous players.
-- Both Trevor Brooking and Dave Watson made their debut in April of 1974 against Portugal as a result of England's failure to qualify. If England qualified, Brooking and Watson might not have gotten their chance in 1974. On the other hand, Phil Parkes also made his debut on that day(his only cap).  Parkes went because England had limited options on keepers.  
-- Kevin Keegan was seldom used during the World Cup Qualifiers, but he played 6 times for England in the 1973-1974 season.  Some of the matches took place after England failed to qualify for the WC Finals.  Right before the World Cup Finals, he had a great game against Newcastle United in the FA Cup Final on May, 1974.  Keegan scored two goals as Liverpool won the cup with a 3-0 scoreline.  I was not sure if Ramsey would have taken him, but I would still select him.  I did not always follow what I predicted Ramsey would have done.
-- Ian Callaghan was the FWA Player of the Year in 1974.  However, he did not play a single international game between 1966 and 1977.  I did not consider him as he was not playing for England.
-- The PFA Players' Player of the Year award was won by Norman Hunter of Leeds United.  The English players on the PFA Team of the Year were Paul Madeley, Roy McFarland, Norman Hunter, Colin Todd, Tony Currie, Allan Clarke, Mick Channon and Malcolm Macdonald. Except Macdonald, they all made the team.  Macdonald was seldom used by England during the period around the World Cup Qualifiers.  He played well for Newcastle United that season.
-- Unliked Callaghan, Norman Hunter played regularly for England.  In this alternative world, he never made the blooper that caused England a spot in West Germany.  
-- The final spot was between Kevin Hector and Malcolm Macdonald.  I chose Hector because Ramsey did not use Macdonald during the World Cup Qualifiers.  Hector at least made a single appearance.  Keegan was a big star so I bypassed Ramsey's selection history in that period for Keegan, but not for Macdonald.

The starting eleven is the most common lineup used by Sir Ramsey during that period.  Moore was briefly replaced by Norman Hunt during the World Cup Qualifier, but Sir Ramsey indicated that Moore would start in the World Cup Finals.


  1. Clemence
    Chris-Lawler Todd McFarland Madeley
    Ian-Callaghan Allan-Clark Tony-Currie
    Channon Malcolm-McDonald

    Maybe with Hunter further away from the goal accidents can be avoided. Todd and Mcfarland had an excellent understanding. It is all in retrospect.

  2. Love this.
    Not sure Peter Storey was still being used by England after getting exposed by the Germans of Netzer and Muller in 1972; similarly, Micky Mills was rarely getting a game for England, so David Nish would more likely be the back up left back to Emlyn Hughes. I'm not sure Mike Sumerbee was still around either... possibly Martin Dobson would have had a look in. Excellent article though. Have you done one for 1978 WC?

  3. Love this.
    Not sure Peter Storey was still being used by England after getting exposed by the Germans of Netzer and Muller in 1972; similarly, Micky Mills was rarely getting a game for England, so David Nish would more likely be the back up left back to Emlyn Hughes. I'm not sure Mike Sumerbee was still around either... possibly Martin Dobson would have had a look in. Excellent article though. Have you done one for 1978 WC?

  4. Love this.
    Not sure Peter Storey was still being used by England after getting exposed by the Germans of Netzer and Muller in 1972; similarly, Micky Mills was rarely getting a game for England, so David Nish would more likely be the back up left back to Emlyn Hughes. I'm not sure Mike Sumerbee was still around either... possibly Martin Dobson would have had a look in. Excellent article though. Have you done one for 1978 WC?

  5. Shilton Todd Nish McFarland Madely Bell Ball Peters Keegan Clarke channon

  6. Great article but with a few errors. It was Phil Parkes not Paul Parkes and Malcolm Mcdonald played for Newcastle.

  7. Shilton, Lawler, McFarland, Hunter, Hughes. Storey, Bell, Peters, Hudson, Keegan, Channon.

  8. Moore done at this time, McFarland and Todd for an in form club partnership. Strikers too similar, one of them out for Hudson, 4-3-1-2 with Hudson in behind.