Monday, October 15, 2018

Leicester All-Time Greatest Team

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and the 2016 Premiership
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index

Manchester UnitedLiverpoolArsenal,
ChelseaTottenhamManchester CityEverton, Ipswich
Aston VillaNewcastle UnitedNottingham Forest
Leeds UnitedLeicester CityWest HamBlackburn Rovers
East Midlands

Leicester City was founded in 1884 as Leicester Fosse F.C. They won the 2015–16 Premier League, their first top-level football championship. They are one of only six clubs to have won the Premier League since its inception in 1992. The victory was one of the biggest surprising victory in sport's history. At the start of the season they were favourites to face relegation.  The team was dubbed "The Unbelievables". The team was built by Thai tycoon Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, but unfortunately, he died in a helicopter crash in 2018 after a game against West Ham.

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. 
1997 League Cup
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: Gordon Banks (England)
Gordon Banks was named FWA Footballer of the Year in 1972, and was named FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year on six occasions. He won the World Cup in 1966.  He also made one of the game's great saves to prevent a Pelé goal in the 1970 World Cup.  Along with Lev Yashin, he is considered the greatest keepers of his generation. The prime of his club career was spent with Leicester and Stoke City.

GK: Kasper Schmeichel (Denmark)
Kasper Schmeichel is the son of Peter Schmeichel.  At the club level, he played with Manchester City, Notts County and Leeds United.  In 2011, he moved to Leicester City, where he had his a major break through.  He was their starting keeper as they won the Premiership. He received his first international callus in 2011, but he did not make his senior debut until 2013. He was the hero of the 2018 World Cup Finals.

RB: John Sjoberk (Scotland)
John Sjoberg joined the Foxes from Scottish amateur side Banks O' Dee in August 1958, and went on to play 413 first-team matches for Leicester.  He was an almost ever-present in the great Ice Kings side of 1962/63, including playing in the FA Cup final at Wembley, where City lost 3–1 to Manchester United.  That season, Leicester City was chasing the Double, but fell short.  He played briefly for Rotherham United before retiring.
John Sjoberg
RB: Sep Smith (England)
Sep Smith is Leicester City's longest serving player of all-time having been a player at the club for nearly 20 years, as well as being the club's longest serving captain(13 years). He played for them between 1929 and 1949, seven years were lost due to the Second World War.  He played only once for England against Ireland in Belfast in 1935. 

CB/RB: Frank McLintock (Scotland)
McLintock started with Leicester City in 1956. He played in two FA Cup final defeats before he was sold to Arsenal in 1964. As captain,  he led the club to their first European trophy, the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1970. The following season, 1970–71, he captained Arsenal to the Double, as they won the league and the FA Cup.  He won nine caps for Scotland in an eight-year international career.

CB: Wes Morgan (Jamaica)
Wes Morgan was born in England.  He rejected by Notts County. He was playing for non-league team before being discovered by Nottingham Forest in 2002. In 2012, he moved to Leicester City.  In the 2015-2016 season, he played every minute of Leicester Town's historical Preimership winning year and also served as the team's captain. At the time of writing, he had 30 caps for Jamaica.
Wes Morgan
CB: Graham Cross (England)
Cross spent most of his career playing for Leicester City originally as an inside forward, then later as a centre-half and occasionally a right half. At Leicester he holds the record for the most appearances for the club with 599 between 1961 and 1975. He went on to join Brighton & Hove Albion and then Preston North End. He also represented Leicestershire as a right-handed batsman and a right-arm medium-fast bowler between 1961 and 1977.

CB: Steve Walsh (England)
Steve Walsh spent most of his career at Leicester City. He also played for Wigan, Norwich, Tamworth and Coventry City. He was normally a defender but at times was used as a striker. He is the record holder for the most red cards in the Football League, with 13, a record he holds jointly with Roy McDonough. He won two League Cup in 1997 and 2000 for Leicester City.

CB: Matt Elliot (Scotland)
Born in England, he chose to play for Scotland.  He won 18 caps for them.  He was in the Scotland squad for the 1998 World Cup although he did not appear in any of the games.  He played with Leatherhead and Epsom & Ewell, Charlton Athletic, Torquay United, Scunthorpe United  and Oxford United.  He joined Leicester City in 1997, where he won 2000 League Cup Final,  scoring both goals in the Final. 

LB/CM: David Nish (England)
In 1966, Nish began his career with Leicester City. In 1972, Derby County paid a record transfer fee of £225,000 for his contract. At Derby he was part of the team under manager Brian Clough that won the First Division in 1975. At the end of his career, he played in the United States  Tulsa Roughnecks and  Seattle Sounders.  He also played indoor soccer.  Nish earned five caps for the England national team in 1973 and 1974.
David Nish
DM: N'Golo Kanté (France)
Kante played in France before. he joined Leicester City in 2015 winning the Premier League in his only season there. The following year, he joined Chelsea, winning the league again in his first season. He also won the PFA Players' Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year and became the first outfield player to win back-to-back English league titles with different clubs since Eric Cantona in 1990's. He was a key player as France won the 2018 World Cup Finals.

CM: Andy King (Wales)
Andy King has made over 375 appearances across all competitions for Leicester, where he has spent his entire senior career (excluding loans). He won the League One, Championship and Premier League in 2009, 2014 and 2016 respectively.  At the time of writing, he made over 48 caps for Wales since 2009.  He went to Euro 2016.

CM: Danny Drinkwater (England)
Drinkwater started with Manchester United, but without successes..  He previously spent time on loan at Huddersfield Town, Cardiff City, Watford and Barnsley. From 2012 to 2017, he played for Leicester City, where helpd to win the Premiership. He made his England debut in 2016 during Leicester City's successful season.  At the moment, he plays for Chelsea.

RW: Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)
Born in France, Riyad Mahrez joined Leicester from La Harve in 2014.  He helped Leicester Town to win the Premiership in 2015-2016.  He won the PFA Players' Player of the Year, and was a member of the Premier League PFA Team of the Year as he helped Leicester City win the Premier League.  In 2018, he joined Manchester City. For the national team, he was eligible to play for France. He was selected to play for Algeria at Brazil 2014, but only played in one match. 
Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy
RW: Keith Weller (England)
Weller signed for Millwall in 1967 from Tottenham. He went to  Chelsea in 1970,  where he was Chelsea's top scorer in the 1970/71 season and helped them to a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup victory in 1971. Weller signed for Leicester City in 1971, and played there for eight seasons. and won four caps for England, scoring one goal against Northern Ireland in the 1973–74 British Home Championship.

LW: Lenny Glover (England)
Lenny Glover once described as the "best uncapped winger in the world".   He mainly played for  for Charlton Athletic and Leicester City.   At the end of his career, Glover was the captain of the Tampa Bay Rowdies during the 1977 NASL season. He served as the Rowdies' caretaker manager for one game in June 1977 after Eddie Firmani abruptly resigned.

AM: Muzzy Izzet (Turkey)
Izzert started with Chelsea, but mainly served on loan elsewhere.  With Leicester City, he had the longest spells.  In 1997, he won the League Cup. He formed a famous partnership in midfield with Neil Lennon.  He also played for  Birmingham City.  Born in England, he was son of a Turkish Cypriots.  He chose to play for Turkey. He was capped 9 times between 2000 and 2004.  He was a part of the team that came at the World Cup Finals in 2002.

FW: Jamie Vardy (England)
From 2007 to 2012, Vardy played in the lower leagues of English football.  In 2012, he joined Leicester City, which was then in the Championship. In 2015-2016, his career took off.  He was voted the Premier League Player of the Season and FWA Footballer of the Year as outsiders Leicester won the title. He earned his first cap in 2015 before his breakout season.  He became a key player soon after.

FW: Frank Worthington (England)
Worthington  was born into a footballing family. Both of his parents had played the game and his two older brothers became professional footballers.  He started with Huddersfield Town in 1966 before playing for Leicester City in 1972.  After he left Leicester, he played for many clubs around the world. He won eight caps for England in 1974, scoring two goals, during his time at Leicester City.
Frank Worthington 
FW: Ernie Hine (England)
Hine is the top goalscorer in the history of Barnsley with 131 goals and the third top goalscorer in the history of Leicester City scoring 156 times. He is the 18th top goalscorer in the history of English league football overall, netting 287 league goals in total.  He also played for spells with Huddersfield Town and Manchester United.  Between 1926 and 1932, he played 6 timed for England.

FW: Arthur Rowley (England)
Rowley holds the record for the most goals in the history of English league football, scoring 434 from 619 league games. He was the younger brother of Manchester United footballer Jack Rowley.  He is also Shrewsbury's record league goalscorer with 152 league goals. He is Leicester's second all-time top goalscorer, netting 265 times for the Foxes, 8 goals short of Arthur Chandler's record.

ST: Emile Heskey (England)
Emile Heskey made a name for himself when he helped Leicester Town to win the League Cup in his first professional season in 1997. In 2000,  Liverpool signed him for a club record fees at the time. He left Liverpool in 2004. He later played for Wigan, Birmingham City, Aston Villa, Newcastle Jets, etc.  Internationally, he played 62 times for England.  He went to four major tournaments from 2000 to 2010.
Emile Heskey
ST: Arthur Chandler (England)  
From 1923 to 1935, Chandler played for Leicester City.  He is the club's all-time record goal scorer, with 273 goals, though he also played for Queens Park Rangers and Notts County.  He also never scored a penalty in his career.  He missed both of his penalty kicks. He helped Leicester to finish second Football League First Division runner-up 1928–29.  It was the club's highest finish until the 2015-2016 season.

ST: Gary Lineker (England)
Gary Lineker was one of England's best goal poachers.  He scored 48 goals for England(second overall) and won the Golden Boot with 6 goals at Mexico 1986.  He also played in the 1990 World Cup Finals. He was the PFA Players' Player of the Year in 1985–86 and FWA Footballer of the Year in 1985–86 and 1991–92.  In England, he played with Leicester Town, Everton and Tottenham Hotspurs. He also played for Barcelona FC in Spain.
Gary Lineker
Honorable Mention
Kasey Keller (USA), Mark Wallington (England), Tim Flowers (England), Johnny Anderson (Scotland), Robert Huth (Germany), Harry Maguire (England), Muzzy Izzet (Turkey), Neil Lennon (Northern Ireland), Steve Guppy (England), Hugh Adcock (England), Leonard Barry (England), Ernie Hine (England), Gary Mills (England), John O'Neill (Northern Ireland), Willie Cunningham (Northern Ireland), Adam Black (Scotland), Dave Gibson (Scotland), Colin Appleton (England), Gary McAllister (Scotland), Ally Mauchlen (Scotland), Don Revie (England), Esteban Cambiasso (Argentina, Frank Sinclair (Jamaica). 
2015-2016 Premiership title
Squad Explanation
-- I did not mean to do an all-time team for Leicester City.  Then, I realised that they are one of the few clubs that has won the English Premeirship.  Peter Shilton, Gordon Banks and Gary Lineker also played for them.  So Leicester City deserved an all-time team.   
-- Owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha had created a miracle for the club.  From the Preimership winning season, I selected Wes Morgan, Kasper Schmeichel, Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, Danny Drinkwater, Andy King and N'Golo Kanté from the team known as "The Unbelievables".  Vardy was voted the Premier League Player of the Season and FWA Footballer of the Year.  Mahrez won the PFA Player of the Year. Wes Morgan was their captain.
-- Leicester City won the League Cup in 1996-1997 and again in 1999-2000.  Muzzy Izzet, Steve Walsh and Emile Heskey were on both teams.  Matt Elliot was not on the 1997 team, but he scored two goals in the 2000 Final.  I selected those 4 players on my all-time team.
-- Neil Lennon was a big part of both victories.  He was an importanty player, but he was edged out by Andy King, N'Golo Kanté and Danny Drinkwater on this all-time team.  
-- Andy King is the first player to win the top three divisions with the same club in the Premier League era.  Apart from loan spells, King is a one club man, who has played for Leicester City since 2006.
-- I went with two of the biggest goalkeepers in England's history, namely Peter Shilton and Gordon Banks.  When Gordon Banks joined Leicester City in 1959, the team had four keepers.  He fought to become the starter.  Peter Shilton was born in Leicester.  He was discovered by Gordon Banks who was then playing for Leicester City when Shilton was a schoolboy.  He made his debut at the age of 16.  Banks was dropped somewhere in the 1966-1967 season because of the emerge of Shilton. He was sold to Stoke after 7 seasons here. Shilton became the starter of this club at the age of 17.
-- Kasper Schmeichel brought home the Premiership. Kasey Keller was sensational during his time with Leicester, winning the League Cup. Tim Flowers, Mark Wallington and Johnny Anderson were also considered.  I also studied Horace Bailey who played for Leicester between 1907 and 1908.
-- On rightback, I also had Steve Whitworth, but I took Frank McLintock who was wing-half with Leicester. He also played as a rightback. He was, however, converted into a centerback with Arsenal.
-- I already had Morgan West, Steve Walsh and Matt Elliot as my centerbacks. The last centerback position was between Graham Cross, John O'Neill and Robert Huth.  Huth won the Preimership, but O'Neill spent 10 seasons with the club. He also served as a Leicester City captain. Cross is the all-time appearance recorder holder for the club. So I went with Cross in the end his long-time services to the club
-- Centerback Harry Maguire is too young to be considered at the time of writing.  Plus, he only played two seasons here, but he is the world's most expensive defender.  
-- I do not have a clear cut choice for left backs.  Sid Bishop was capped by England while at Leicester.  I looked into Dennis Rofe and Christian Fuchs. In the end, Brian Clough broke the British transfer record to buy David Nish from Leicester City. He was considered a top leftback at his time with Leicester.
-- The "Ice King side" was the nickname for the side in the 1962-1963 season, where it was chasing for the Double, but failed at both FA Cup and the League.  Frank McLintock, Gordon Banks and John Sjoberg played for that team. 
-- Don Revie was not often mentioned as one of their greatest player, but I only selected him on my honourable mention. Sep Smith was his mentor at the club.  
-- Esteban Cambiasso helped Leicester to avoid dropping down to the Championship in the 2014-2015 season.  He also made honourable mention.
-- I studied some very old players, namely Hugh Adcock, Leonard Barry, Ernie Hine and Adam Black.  I only took Ernie Hine who is the club's third highest scorer.
-- I took Arthur Chandler who played in 1920's.  He is the club's all-time leading scorer.  He played with Ernie Hine to finish second in the league for the 1928-1929 season.  It was Leicester City's highest finish until 2015.
-- Gary Lineker was born in Leicester City.  He graduated from Leicester City's academy.  From 1978 to 1985, he played for their senior team.
-- Emile Heskey was also born in Leicester.  He was one of the best young player in England when he played for Leicester City. I foresaw a greater future for him when I watched him over here in the 1990's.  While he earned over 60 caps for England, he never lived up to the expectation after he left Leicester City.

The team is focused on the 2014-2015 team. I am starting 6 players from that team.

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