Tuesday, May 11, 2021

South East England All-Time Team

South East England is one of the nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It consists of the counties of Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Surrey and West Sussex. Major towns and cities in the regions include Brighton and Hove, Guildford, Portsmouth, Milton Keynes, Reading, Oxford, Slough and Southampton.

Some of the football clubs in this region included Southampton, Portsmouth, Brighton, Reading, Oxford United, Wycombe Wanderers FC,m etc.  Southampton spent continuous 27 years in the top tier from 1978 to 2005. The club has won Football League Division One in 1983-84.  Portsmouth has won more silverware.  They won the first division football league in 1949 and 1950. The club has also won the FA cup twice, most recently in 2008.  At the time of writing, approximately 90 players born in the region have played for England.  Only South West England and East of England have produced less.

This is the all-time team for players born in South East England.  Birthplace is the criteria for selection for this team. If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament. 

GK: Ted Ditchburn (Kent)
Ditchburn made his senior debut for the Spurs in a wartime league match in 1940. At the end of the war, he returned to Tottenham. He went on to play in an unbroken run of 247 matches between April 1948 and March 1954. Tottenham won promotion as Division Two champions in 1949–50 and the First division league title the following year. Capped 6 times and went to the WC Finals in 1950.

GK: Vic Woodley (Slough)
Woodley signed for Chelsea in 1931, making his debut the same year. Woodley was a member of the glamorous Chelsea side of the 1930s, playing alongside the likes of Hughie Gallacher, Alex Jackson and Alec Cheyne. Woodley won nineteen caps for England - all consecutive, a record at the time - and in an era when there was stiff competition from Harry Hibbs, George Tweedy and Frank Swift. 

GK: Robert Barker (Wouldham)
Barker was educated at Marlborough College where he played both rugby and association football. After leaving school he joined Hertfordshire Rangers to concentrate on "soccer". He represented both Middlesex and Kent during his career, as well as making occasional appearances for Westminster School and Wanderers. He was selected to play in goal for England's first ever international match against Scotland on 30 November 1872. The original selection for goalkeeper, Alexander Morten, was unavailable

RB/DM: Peter Storey (Surrey)
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.Surrey)
Peter Storey 
RB: Peter Sillett (Southampton)
Peter Sillet was the son of Charlie Sillett, a fullback who also played for Southampton.  He played with Southampton until 1953 when he joined Chelsea along with his brother John. He was the club's highest scoring defender until John Terry broke the record.  He won the League title in the 1954-1955 season.   He went to the World Cup Finals in 1958. 

CB: Graham Roberts (Southampton)
Roberts came from Southampton's academy, but he never played for them.  After stints with  Dorchester Town and Weymouth, he joined Tottenham Hotspurs in 1980.   He was a member of the successful Tottenham Hotspur side of the early 1980s, winning the FA Cup in 1981 and 1982.   He later played with Rangers, where he was involved in a controversial match in the Old Firm. Roberts won six caps for England.

CB: Gary Pallister (Kent)
Pallister played for Middlesbrough before he moved to Manchester United in 1989.  His transfer broke the national record for a fee paid for a defender, as well as being the highest fee between British clubs. By the time of his departure from Old Trafford after nine years, he was the only player to have collected winner's medals in all of the club's successes under Alex Ferguson's management.  He was capped 22 times.
Gary Pallister
CB: Martin Keown (Oxford)
Keown's career lasted from 1984 to 2005. He made over 400 appearances for Arsenal and won 10 honours. He also played for Brighton, Aston Villa, Everton, Leicester City and Reading. He won 43 caps for England, gradually forming a respected defensive partnership with Arsenal teammate Tony Adams at both club and international level. Keown represented England at four major international football finals including the 1998 and 2002 World Cups.

CB/CM: David Sadler (Kent)
David Sadler started his career with Maidstone United, but signed a professional contract with Manchester United in 1963, helping the club win the 1965 and 1967 First Division Football League championships as well as the 1968 European Cup. He left United in 1974 after scoring 27 goals for the club to join Preston North End, who were being managed by Sadler's former team-mate Bobby Charlton. Capped 4 times.

RB/LB: Mick Mills (Surrey)
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 
LB/LH/LW: Jimmy Dickinson (Hampshire)
Dickinson played for Portsmouth from 1946 to 1965.  He holds the record for number of league appearances for Portsmouth (764). Only Swindon Town's John Trollope (770) has made more appearances for a single club.  During his record 845 club appearances for Pompey and his 48 England caps he was never once booked or sent off, earning him the nickname Gentleman Jim.  He went to 1950 and 1954 World Cup Finals.

DM/RB: John Hollins (Surrey)
His father, grandfather and three brothers were all professional footballers as well.  His brother Dave, played international football for Wales. From 1963 to 1975, he played for Chelsea. He later played for Arsenal. He made 714 First Division appearances, an English top division record for an outfield player and second only to goalkeeper Peter Shilton.  He was only capped once.

CM: Dele Alli (Milton Keynes)
Dele Alli made his professional debut with his hometown Milton Keynes Dons in 2011.  He signed for Tottenham Hotspur in February 2015. In his first full campaign at White Hart Lane, Alli was voted the PFA Young Player of the Year, and won again the second year. He made his national team debut in 2015.  He was a part of the Euro 2016 team as well as the 2018 World Cup Finals in Russia.
Dele Alli 
DM: Gareth Barry (Hastings) 
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 among 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.(Hastings)

RW: Peter Harris (Portsmouth) 
Harris was an outside right, and he played a crucial role in Portsmouth's Football league title-winning sides of 1948–49 and 1949–50.  Only the competition from Stanley Matthews and Tom Finney, in an era before substitutions were introduced to the game, prevented Harris earning more than two caps for the England national football team. He made England debut against Ireland in a 2–0 defeat in September 1949.

RW/LW: Terry Paine (Winchester)
Paine is best known for his career with Southampton, for whom he made over 800 appearances (a club record) in 18 seasons with the club between 1957 and 1974. He was known for his partnership with John Sydenham, Ron Davies and Martin Chivers.  He later played for Hereford United, and briefly worked at Cheltenham Town as a player-manager.  For England, he played 19 times and was a member of the 1966 World Cup team.
Terry Paine
LW: Charles Bambridge (Windsor)
Banbridge was considered one of the best players in England in the 19th Century. His football career was spent with Swifts, Windsor Home Park, Streatham, Upton Park, Clapham Rovers and Corinthian, also gaining representative honours for Surrey, Berkshire and London.  He made eighteen appearances as a left winger for England between 1879 and 1887, being appointed captain twice. He was one of three brothers who played for England.

LW/ST: Bobby Tambling (Sussex)
Bobby Tambling was Chelsea's all-time top scorer for 47 years, with 202 goals in all competitions until Frank Lampard surpassed this total on 11 May 2013. Tambling remains Chelsea's all-time top scorer in league competition with 164 goals. After enjoying a successful career in the Football League during the 1960s and early 1970s, Tambling moved to Ireland. He subsequently played for several Irish clubs.  Capped 3 times. 

AM: Tony Currie (Middlesex)
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.
Tony Currie
CF: Ted Drake (Southampton)
As a player, he first played for Southampton but made his name playing for Arsenal in the 1930s, winning two league titles and an FA Cup, as well as five caps for England. He is Arsenal's joint fifth highest goalscorer of all time. He also holds the record for the most goals scored in a top flight game in English football, with seven against Aston Villa in 1935. 

ST: Peter Osgood (Berkshire)
Osgood was a legend with Chelsea.  He helped them to win the Cup Winners' Cup in 1970.  Despite his successes with Chelsea, he only earned 4 caps.  Sir Ramsey is rumoured to dislike him for his playboy lifestyle.   He was a member of the 1970 World Cup squad, making two appearances against Czechoslovakia and Romania as a substitute. Near the end of his career, he played for Southampton, Norwich, Philadelphia Fury and a return to Chelsea.

CF: Cuthbert Ottaway (Dover)
Cuthbert Ottaway was the first captain of the England football team and led his side in the first official international football match in 1872 against Scotland. As a club player, Ottaway took part in three successive FA Cup finals between 1873 and 1875. Representing his university at five different sports – a record that remains unmatched– Ottaway was also a noted cricketer until his retirement shortly before his early death at the age of 27.

ST: Martin Chivers (Southampton)
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 
Squad Explanation
Leslie Gay, Alex McCarthy,  John Hawtrey, Percy Melmoth Walters, Arthur Melmoth Walters, Alfred Bower, R. Cunliffe Gosling, Steve Forster, Gordon Hill, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Neil Webb and Jamie Redknapp, Arthur Bambridge, Ernest Bambridge, Wayne Bridge, Herbert Smith, Stan Willemse, Neil Webb, Jamie Redknapp, Darren Anderton, Archie Turner and George Brann, William Jones, Johnny Berry, Alf Milward, R. Cunliffe Gosling, Peter Broadbent, Evelyn Lintott, Frank Jefferes, Bill Ellerington, Mason Mount, Trevor Whymark, Charles Wollaston, Ray Crawford, Harrod Fleming, John Atyeo, Johnny Byrne, George Cotterill, Mark Wright.

Squad Explanation
-- Brazil-born Charles William Miller, who went to school in Southampton, was responsible for taking football to Brazil. He had a Scottish father and a Brazilian mother.
-- Nobody made my England All-Time team.  Every regional team has at least a single player.  It is hard to say who is the best player from this region.
-- Both Cuthbert Ottaway and Robert Barker played in the first international football match on 30th November, 1872 against Scotland. Ottaway was the captain.
-- Terry Paine and Ted Drake were on the Football League 100 Legends created in 1998.
-- Four players are on my projected England's 1974 World Cup team.  Of course, England failed to qualify for the Finals in real life.  My team was just an imaginary team and the analysis was own fantasy.  The players were Peter Storey, Mick Mills, Tony Currie and Martin Chivers.
-- Fourteen players on this team had played for one of the bigger London clubs.  In addition, Charles Bambridge, Robert Barker and Cuthbert Ottaway all played for a London-based team.
-- I created a Southampton All-time team.  They are the only club from the region I have created an all-time team. Terry Paine is the only player from this team making the squad, but not on the all-time team.  Several of them did play for the club. Portsmouth deserved to have their own all-time team.  They won two First Division titles.
-- Ted Ditchburn only earned 6 caps, but he was often rated higher than his contemporaries Bert Williams and Gil Merrick.  Both of which earned more caps.   He also played most of his career wehn Frank Swift was active ehich limited his career. Then, I selected Vic Woodley who was among Chelsea's greatest goalkeepers.  His international career was also affected by playing in the same generation as Swift.
-- Robert Barker (Wouldham) played in the first ever International match, but he was drafted to play the goalie position for that game.  Nevertheless, he had the honor of being the first English international goalkeeper.  I took him as my third keeper over Leslie Gay, Alex McCarthy and John Hawtrey. 
-- John Hawtrey was born at Eton College, where his father, the Reverend John Hawtrey, was master of the lower school. His younger brother was the actor, Sir Charles Hawtrey.
-- I selected three centerbacks Graham Roberts, Gary Pallister and Martin Keown who were famous club players of their time.
-- The last spot was between David Sadler. Mark Wright and Steve Forster.  Steve Forster played for a local club. He was known for helping Brighton to reach the 1983 FA Cup, but he was not as well known as Sadler who was an European Cup winner with Manchester United and an important player for Matt Busby.  Actually, he probably should even be ahead of Roberts.  
-- Both Percy Melmoth Walters and his brother Arthur played as a rightback for England.  Percy made a total of thirteen appearances for England, five as captain between 1885 and 1890.  However, they went too far back. Instead, I took two modern rightbacks Peter Sillett and Peter Storey.  Both of them were also club heros.  I listed Sillett as Chelsea greatest rightback. 
-- I don't know much about Alfred Bower's actual position.  He was listed as a fullback. He made five appearances for England between 1923 and 1927, three times as captain.  So I put him on honorable mention.
-- For leftback, Mick Mills is the starter.  He was the acting captain of the 1982 World Cup team.  I did not select a backup.  I seriously considered Wayne Bridge, and looked into Herbert Smith and Stan Willemse.
-- I do not have much candidates for central midfielders.  So I took John Hollins, Dele Alli and Gareth Barry.  Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Neil Webb and Jamie Redknapp were the other possible choices.
-- Gareth Barry was an unsung hero for club and country.  
-- Dele Alli was carrying an injury at the 2018 World Cup Finals.  His performance was affected.  Nevertheless, he scored an important goal against Croatia in the semifinal. Furthermore, he carried Tottenham Hotspurs to the Champions' League Final the same year.  He was on the PFA Team of the Year twice at the time of writing.  At the moment, I selected him over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Neil Webb, but I will re examine his career at a later date.  
-- If Neil Webb never joined Manchester United, his reputation might have been better. His injury woes over there and his poor relationship with Sir Alex affected his overall career.
-- Being one of the Spice Boys affected Jamie Redknapp's image and reputation during his career.  He was highly rated, but his career was unfulfilled because of injuries.  So I put him on honorable mention only. 
-- John Hollins made 714 First Division appearances, an English top division record for an outfield player and second only to goalkeeper Peter Shilton. 
-- Right winger Terry Paine is included on Football League 100 Legends.  He was also on England's 1966 World Cup winning team.  He only played one match against Mexico in that World Cup Finals. Then, I took Peter Harris as his backup.  He was a hero of a local club Portsmouth.  I have no room for Darren Anderton, Archie Turner, William Jones, Johnny Berry and George Brann.  
-- Darren Anderton was never the best of England in his prime.   His career was affected by injuries earning him the nickname "Sicknote".  He might also have more caps if he did not play at the same time as David Beckham.  He did play with Beckham, but nevertheless he could have been the undisputed right winger.  So I had Terry Paine and Peter Harris over him.
-- On the left, Charles Bambridge was one of the first star player of early years of the game.  His two brothers Arthur and Ernest Bambridge also made honorable mention.  They are the only trio of brothers to have played for England.  Jimmy Dickinson is Portsmouth's most capped English player of all time. In 1998, he was included on the list of Football League 100 Legends.  He also went to two World Cup Finals.
-- Mason Mount is only 22 years old.  In time, he might make the team.
-- Inside forward R. Cunliffe Gosling was described by Sir Frederick Wall, the long-serving Secretary of the Football Association, as "the richest man who ever played football for England".
-- Peter Broadbent was George Best's childhood hero, but I selected others over him.  He might be better than some of the players selected.
-- Peter Osgood, Martin Chivers, Ted Drake, Peter Harris, Bobby BobbyTambling and Terry Paine were household names at their time.  

I picked Peter Storey because he had more international caps than Peter Sillett. Dele Alli's World Cup performance in 2018 was affected by an injury.  Nevertheless, he played in 5 games in which England enjoyed one of their greatest run in World Cup history.  John Hollins was a club hero with limited international experience.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

South West England All-Time Team

Hapgood, Bowden, Britton and Bastin (Battle of Highbury) 
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

South West England is one of nine official regions of England. It consists of the counties of Bristol, Cornwall (including the Isles of Scilly), Dorset, Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. Large cities and towns in the region include Bristol, Bournemouth, Cheltenham, Exeter, Gloucester, Plymouth and Swindon. It is geographically the largest of the nine regions of England covering 9,200 square miles (23,800 km2), but the third least-populous, with approximately five million residents.

South West England is not known for associated football. It is a region for rugby. At the time of writing, approximately 40 footballers from South West England have played for England.  The region produces the least amount of English international footballers.  As compared, South East England has about 110 players while the Greater London area has about 170.  The region has 9 teams in the English Football League: Bristol City, Bristol Rovers, AFC Bournemouth, Cheltenham, Exeter, Plymouth Argyle, Swindon, Yeovil and Forest Green Rovers. All of them usually spent their time in the lower division. 

GK: Nigel Martyn (St. Austell)
Having started his career with Bristol Rovers he moved to Crystal Palace where he became the first £1million goalkeeper in British football and was a member of the Palace side that lost the 1990 Cup Final and won the Full Members Cup in 1991. Subsequently, Martyn spent six seasons at Leeds United. He went on to win 23 England caps. An ankle injury forced him to retire in 2006, following three seasons at Everton.
Nigel Martyn 
GK: Jack Butland (Bristol)
Butland began his career with Birmingham City, but mainly sent out for loans. He transferred to Premier League club Stoke City in January 2013 for a fee of £3.3 million, but spent his career on loan elsewhere until 2015 where he became first choice. Butland was the first choice for Great Britain squad at the 2012 London Olympics. In 2012, he received his senior cap at the age of 19, the youngest ever England's keeper.

GK: Dick Pym (Devon)
Pym was best known for being the Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper at the first ever FA Cup final to be played at Wembley Stadium in 1923.  The match was known as the "White Horse" Final.  In total, he won three FA Cups. In 1921, he was sold from Exeter City to Bolton Wanderers for 5000 pounds, which was a record.  From 1925 to 1926, he was capped 3 times for England.

FB: Edward Haygarth (Gloucestershire)
Born in 1854, Haygarth represented the England national football team and played first-class cricket with Gloucestershire and Hampshire. Haygarth was capped just once for England, in a 2–2 draw against Scotland where he played as a full-back.  He played club football for Reading and Swifts.  He was a member of Reading Hall of Fame.

CB/RB: Gary Mabbutt  (Bristol)
Gary Mabbutt became one of the best known defenders in English football in the 1980s, playing initially for Bristol Rovers before joining the first division club Tottenham Hotspur, where he became captain. With Spurs, he won the UEFA Cup in 1984 and the FA Cup in 1991 (as captain). However, he scored an own goal in the 1987 FA Cup that gave Coventry the cup. He played 16 times for England between 1982 and 1992. He scored his only international goal against Yugoslavia. 
Gary Mabbutt
CB/RB: Keith Curle (Bristol)
Curle  played notably for Manchester City between 1991 and 1995, where he was also the club captain. He also played for Bristol Rovers, Torquay United, Bristol City, Reading, Wimbledon, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sheffield United, Barnsley. He became player-manager of Mansfield Town in 2002, where he remained until 2005.  He earned a total of 3 caps for England.  He played against Denmark at Euro 1992.

CB: Larry Lloyd  (Bristol)
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/GK: Charles Wreford-Brown (Bristol)
Charles Wredord-Brown was credited of creating the term "soccer" for the sport to separate it from rugby football. He played both football and cricket while in Oxford University.  He played for Old Carthusians and Corinthian FC won 4 England caps over a 9 year period, captaining the side on 2 occasions in 1894 and 1895.  He later served as the Vice-President of the English Football Association.

LB: Eddie Hapgood (Bristol)
Hapgood captained both Arsenal and England during the 1930s. He was one of first star players in England.  His image was used for advertisement which was a pioneer at his time. He started his Arsenal career in 1927 and ended in 1944.  Internationally, he had 30 caps with 21 times as its captain.  He captained England during the famous "the Battle of Highbury" against World Cup winner Italy in 1934.
Eddie Hapgood 
MF: Phil Taylor  (Bristol) 
Taylor played for his hometown club Bristol Rovers as an apprentice before he was signed by Liverpool in March 1936.  He played for them until 1954.  Liverpool won the Football league in the 1946–47  season.  He represented England 3 times, making his debut on 18 October 1947 in a British Home Championship alongside Tom Finney, Stan Mortensen and Tommy Lawton. 
LH/LM/LB: Ray Barlow (Wiltshire)
Ray Barlow was considered West Bromwich Albion's greatest footballer.  He played for them between 1944 and 1960, helping them to win the 1954 FA Cup.  That year, they also finished second in the league.  He also played briefly for Birmingham City.  For England, he played once in 1954 against Norther Ireland.  He also played twice for England B.

LM/LWF/DM: Maurice Setters (Devon)
Setters was known for his 6 seasons with Manchester United.  He was the club's captian. He also played for Exeter City, West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City, Coventry City and Charlton Athletic, and in the United Soccer Association with the Cleveland Stokers.  Setters was included in the provisional England squad for the 1958 World Cup squad but was not selected for the main team. 

DM: Eric Dier (Cheltenham)
Eric Dier grew up in Portugal with British parents and was signed by Sporting CP at an early age. He spent two seasons on the first there. In 2014, he joined Tottenham Hotspurs in England. Dier was one of models for England's Umbro kit in 2011 as a 16 years old before he was considered by England at any level. In 2015, he received his first senior cap.  He was a part of the team at Euro 2016 in France and the World Cup 2018 in Russia, where he captained one of the games.
 Eric Dier 
WH/RH/RB: Cliff Britton (Hanham)
His professional playing career began when he signed for Bristol Rovers in 1928, where he played with his brother Frank.  In 1930, he joined Everton.  He was one of the stars of Everton's 1933 FA Cup win. He was one of the classiest playmakers of his era.  He was a member Gwladys Street's Hall of Fame (Everton FC).  Between 1934 and 1937 Britton also played nine times for England

CH/CB: Billy Wedlock  (Bristol)
William John Wedlock was also known as "Fatty" or the "India Rubber Man".  He played for Bristol City in 1900–01 and from 1905 until his retirement in 1921. Between 1901 and 1905 he played for Aberdare.He He won 26 England caps between 1907 and 1914. The East End at Ashton Gate Stadium was named the Wedlock Stand in his honour, before being demolished in 2014 as part of the Ashton Gate Stadium redevelopment.

HB/CM: Jimmy Allen (Poole)
Allen played for his local club Poole Town and transfered to Portsmouth in 1930.  Allen joined Aston Villa in 1934 for a record transfer fee of £10,775.  Allen was in his prime when his career was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. He was forced to retire through injury in 1944. Allen made his international debut for England at the age of 23.  He has two caps.

RW: Tim Ward (Cheltenham)
Ward started with  Cheltenham Town before joining Derby in 1937, whete he played until 1951.  Ward's career was adversely affected by the outbreak of World War II, and during his time in the army Ward made guest appearances for Notts County, Hamilton Academical and Leeds United and also played for the Scottish Army XI before he was sent to fight in Europe.  He earned two caps.

LW: Cliff Bastin (Devon)
Cliff Bastin played for Arsenal between 1929 and 1937.  He was one of the best player on the Arsenal team that dominated football in the 1930's.  Arsenal won 5 league titles in the decade. He was the Arsenal all-time leading scorer from 1939 to 1997. He also played for Exeter City, where he started his career in 1928. At the international level, Bastin played 21 times for England national team. He played against Italy in 1934 at the "Battle of Highbury".
Cliff Bastin
FW: Ray Bowden (Looe)
Bowden began his football career with the local non-league club, Looe F.C.  Between 1926 and 1933, he played for Plymouth Argle.  He signed for Herbert Chapman's Arsenal in March 1933 for £4,500.  It was one of Arsenal's greatest periods.  Between 1937 and 1939, he played for Newcastle United.  In all Bowden represented England six times and scored once, against Wales in February 1936.

FW/CB: Roy Bentley (Shirehampton, Bristol)
Started with Newcastle United, Roy Bentley joined Chelsea in 1948. He played 367 games for Chelsea and captained the club to their first League Championship in the 1954-55 season. He also won 12 caps for the England national side. He played at the World Cup Finals in 1950, including the 1-0 loss against the United States.

SS/WF/ST: Trevor Francis (Plymouth)
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
FW: Walpole Vidal (Abbotsham)
Vidal was well known as the "prince of dribblers".  He played in the first three FA Cup Finals, of 1872, 1873 and 1874. He was a member of the Wanderers F.C. team when they won the first ever FA Cup.   He then played for Oxford.   In March 1870 he played in the first ever international football match, which took place at Kennington Oval, London. He represented England again in 1871.  Vidal also played for Old Westminsters and Remnants football clubs and in representative matches for London and The South v The North. 

Mick Channon (Wiltshire)
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.  He is from South West England.
Mick Channon
Honorable Mention
John Hillman, Freddie Fox, Tyrone Mings, Stuart Taylor, Bert Lee, Ralph Birkett, Ronnie Dix, Stanley Harris, Harold Fleming, Dean Ashton, Henry Hammond, Geoff Bradford, Jack Cock, Joe Cottle.

Squad Explanation
-- Eddie Hapgood and Cliff Bastin are automatic selections.  Both are members of my England All-Time team.  In their lifetime, they also played together for Arsenal and England.  I also quickly selected Mick Channon and Trevor Francis.  They are household names at their time.
-- At the time of writing, approximately 40 footballers from South West England have played for England.  The region produces the least amount of English international footballers.  As compared, South East England has about 110 players while the Greater London area has about 170.  The region has 9 teams in the English Football League: Bristol City, Bristol Rovers, AFC Bournemouth, Cheltenham, Exeter, Plymouth Argyle, Swindon, Yeovil and Forest Green Rovers. All of them usually spent their time in the lower division. 
-- South West England is known for rugby union football.  In 2019, the region had the highest number (6) of players on England's Rugby World Cup squad.  By contrast, only two players (Jack Butland and Eric Dier) from this area went to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. So twenty-three percentage of the 2019 Rugby World Cup came from here while South West born players consisted only 8% of the 2018 World Cup football team.
-- In 1934, England played against World Cup holder Italy in a match that was later known as the "Battle of Highbury".  It was Italy's first match after winning the World Cup while England who did not participated at the tournament was considered one of best teams in the world.  The match was often billed as the 'real' World Cup Final. England started 4 players from South West England and won 3–2 in a highly violent match.  The South West footballers were Eddie Hapgood, Ray Bowden, Cliff Britton and Cliff Bastin. 
-- Ray Bowden, Eddie Hapgood and Cliff Bastin played together for Herbert Chapman's Arsenal in the 1930's.  The club was one of the pre-war greatest club sides. As mentioned, they played on the "Battle of Highbury".  Ralph Birkett (Devon) was also on that team, but his career with the club was limited.  He only made honorable mention.  
-- Nigel Martyn is the obvious choice for keepers.  Then, I selected Jack Butland who went to some bigger tournaments with England.  He was also the youngest ever England international goalkeeper at 19 years 158 days.  Dick Pym earned the third spot for winning three FA Cups.  His transfer fees of 5000 pounds in 1920 were listed as a record. He also played on the first ever FA Cup held at the Wembley Stadium. The match was known as the "White Horse Final".
-- I admitted not knowing the other goalkeepers.   It also seemed that John Hillman would be a good candidate for this team.  Charles Wreford-Brown also played goalkeeper, but I selected him as a defender.
-- For fullbacks, I had Eddie Hapgood, but I am unfamiliar with the rest of them.  In actuality, I do not have many candidates.  I took Edward Haygarth even through the role of fullback in the 19th Century was not the same as the modern game.  Besides, I do not know which side he played on.  His inclusion is still a question mark.  
-- Ray Barlow was ranked as one of England's top 100 players on a website.  He was West Bromwich Albion's greatest player. His position was a cross between the leftback and left midfielder.  It was believed Bobby Moore modelled his game after him. Bobby Robson described him as the greatest footballer he ever played against. I listed him as a midfielder, but he would be my backup leftback.
-- I do not have a natural rightback.  Gary Mabbut who also played as a rightback would be my starting rightback.  He would have made the team as a centerback as well.   Centerback Keith Curle was England's cover for the rightback position at Euro 1992.
-- For central defenders, Larry Lloyd and Gary Mabbut were all-timers at their respective clubs.   Curle had experience (as a backup) at Euro 1992.  Then, I took Charles Wreford-Brown from the 19th Century who captained England twice.  I already mentioned him above.
-- Charles Wredord-Brown captained England twice.  He also was credited of creating the term "soccer" for the sport to separate it from rugby football. He later served as the Vice-President of the English Football Association.  He was selected based upon his contribution to the game as well.
Charles Wredord-Brown
-- Larry Lloyd played in two of England's most painful defeats(he only had a total of four caps).  Nevertheless, he helped Nottingham Forest to win the European Cup.
-- At the time of writing, Tyrone Mings is still 28 years old.  He is too young to be considered.  He might one day take over Curle's spot.  Stuart Taylor is an all-timer for local club Bristol, but he was a lower division player.
-- The midfield lacked a big time player.  Eric Dier is probably the most famous midfielders due to his performance at the 2018 World Cup Finals.
-- Some of the positions of the older players were confusing.  I actually moved Billy Wedlock  who was a centre-half to the midfield. 
-- Maurice Setters was an uncapped player.  He was selected for the 1958 World Cup Finals, but only twenty players travelled to Sweden. He also was famous due to his association with Manchester United in the 1950's.  He was Bobby Charlton’s best man at his wedding in 1961.  He was known for his combative style.  He would be a defensive midfielder.
-- In 1934, Jimmy Allen joined Aston Villa for a record transfer fee of £10,775.  However, his performance over there did not justify his fees.  Nevertheless, it was still a milestone for South West England.  Besides, he had been a stalwart of the Portsmouth team.  
-- Despite the lack of midfielders, Bert Lee was the last player dropped.  I took forward Ray Bowden over him.  Bowden's successes with Arsenal were the main reason.
-- I need a right winger or outside-right (a wide player on the right). Right winger Mike Summerbee who was born in Lancashire was raised in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.  He should easily make the team, but birthplace remains as my only criteria. 
-- Cliff Britton was a fine crosser of the ball according to Dixie Deane. He was listed as a Wing-Half or Right-Half.  
-- Arthur Milton (Bristol) was the last man, and the last survivor, of the twelve people to have played at the highest international level for both England's football and cricket teams.  However, he seemed to be a better cricket player than a footballer.  Instead, I studied the careers with Ralph Birkett and Tim Ward.  Both players played around the same time and their careers were cut short by the Second World War.  Brikett was only 26 when the War began, but was 33 by the time league football resumed.   He did not seem to play football after 1939 (see above about Arsenal).  Tim Ward, on the other hand, played until the 1950's.  Based upon that, I took Tim Ward.
-- Ronnie Dix holds the record for being the youngest goalscorer in Football League history, when he scored for Bristol Rovers aged 15 years 180 days in 1928.  Harold Fleming was among Swansea's greatest player.  Stanley Harris captained the first ever England Amateurs.  Geoff Bradford is the most successful player in the history of Bristol Rovers, and still holds the club records for most goals scored in a season (33) and most career league goals (242).  He had a single cap. Jack Cock had the distinction of being the first Cornishman to play for the England national team. But I took more famous English international over them.
-- The five attackers I selected were Mick Channon, Trevor Francis, Walpole Vidal, Roy Bentley and Ray Bowden.  Channon, Francis and Bentley were establish English internationals. 
-- Walpole Vidal played oor England on the first international match.  He seemed to be a dominating player in the 1870's.  
-- Roy Bentley is a member of my Chelsea All-time team while Bowden had a great career with Arsenal.

Billy Wedlock's position was probably a centerback in the modern game so I out him there. I also moved Gary Mabbut to the rightback where he also played in his career.   Cliff Britton was a fine crosser of the ball.  Alternatively, I could have played Roy Bentley and move Trevor Francis out in the wide.  Francis was a natural striker, but he had played as a right wing.  The left side could be England's greatest since both Hapgood and Bastin are on my England All-Time team.  Some website ranked Ray Barlow very high, but I admitted not knowing much about him. Dier started over Settlers because he had World Cup experiences.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Top 10 Real Madrid Greatest leftbacks

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index

Real Madrid is the most successful club in soccer's history.  They have won more titles in Europe than any other clubs. Of course, their players were among the greatest of all-time.  This post is about my Top 10 ranking of greatest leftbacks in Real Madrid's history.  But every fan has their favourites and opinions.  The ranking is extremely subjective.  Some player played in multi-positions.  Sometimes, people would even argue about the position of each player considered.  For this goalkeeper blog, I do not have this issue.

1st: Roberto Carlos (Brazil)
Roberto Carlos was regarded one of the best leftbacks in history.  He had 125 caps for Brazil playing in three World Cup Finals. He won 3 Champions League titles with Real Madrid and one World Cup title with Brazil in 2002.  In 1997, he was runner-up in the World Player of the Year.  He is especially famous for a free kick from 35m out against France in the  Tournoi de France 1997. The goal is considered one of the greatest goals ever scored.
Roberto Carlos
2nd:  Jose Antonio Camacho (Spain)
Jose Camacho is widely considered to be Spain's greatest leftback.  He earned 81 caps for Spain.  He played at the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cups, as well as the Euro 1984 and 1988. Spain reached the Euro Final in 1984.  He spent 15 seasons with Real Madrid. He played with the great Real Madrid side of the 1980's.  He won 19 titles with Real Madrid, including two back-to-back UEFA Cups: 1984–85, 1985–86.
3rd: Marcelo (Brazil)
Marcelo started his career with Fluminense before making a dream move to Real Madrid in 2007.  He spent several years in and out of the lineup before establishing himself as one of the stars of the team.  With them, he won four Champions' League titles from 2014 to 2018.  He was known for his partnership with Cristano Ronaldo. At the time of writing, he has over 58 caps for Brazil and played at the 2014 and 2018 World Cup in Brazil.
4th: Rafael Gordillo (Spain)
Rafael Gordillo was known as the greatest left wingback in Spanish history.  He played at the same time as Camacho for both club and country.  Both players started on the left side.  Camacho supported him defensively.  He was a legend at both Real Betis and Real Madrid. He was voted the Best Player in Spain for 1979-1980 season.  He played with the great Real Madrid side of the 1980's, winning an UEFA Cup.
Rafael Gordillo 
5th: Manuel Sanchís Martínez (Spain)
Like his son Manuel, Sanchis Senior represented Real Madrid and Spain. They were one of only three father/son pairs to have won the European Cup/Champions League.  He played in 213 La Liga games over the course of ten seasons for Real Madrid.  He also represented for CD Condal, Real Valladolid and Córdoba CF.  An international during nearly two years, Sanchís appeared with the national team at the 1966 World Cup.  He had 11 caps between 1965 and 1967.
Manuel Sanchís Martínez 
6th: Rafael Lesmes (Spain)
Over 12 La Liga seasons Rafael Lesmes played for Real Valladolid (two spells) and Real Madrid, appearing in 263 games in the competition. He began his career with local Atlético Tetuán, and retired in 1962 at the age of 35.  With Real Madrid, Lesmes was part of the team that won five consecutive European Cups. Lesmes was an unsused player at the 1950 World Cup.  In total, he played twice for Spain in 1955 and 1958 respectively.
Rafael Lesmes
7th: Pachín (Spain)
Pachín signed for Real Madrid in 1959 from Segunda División club CA Osasuna. Pachín left the Merengues in May 1968, having appeared in 218 competitive games and scored two goals. He won 11 major titles during his spell, including seven national championships and the 1960 and 1966 editions of the European Cup.  He earned 8 caps and played in the World Cup Finals in 1962.
8th Mikel Lasa (Spain)
Mikel Lasa made his debut at the age 17 with Real Sociedad.  From 1991 to 1997, he played for Real Madrid.  Then, he played for , Athletic Bilbao, in 1997–98, between 1997 and 2001.  Then, he ended his career with Murcia and Ciudad de Murcia.  For international football, he played 3 times for Spain 1993.  In addition, he was also a member of the side that won the gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics, in Barcelona.
Mikel Lasa 
9th Juan Carlos Touriño (Spain)
Born in Argentina, Touriño made his debut aged 22 in 1966 for Quilmes. Then, Touriño played over 100 league games for Real Madrid between 1970 and 1976, during which time he was part of three La Liga championship and two Spanish cup winning squads. He also played for Independiente Medellín of Colombia and Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata.  Touriño made his only international appearance on 12 January 1972 in Spain's 1–0 victory over Hungary.
Juan Carlos Touriño
10th: Jesús Ángel Solana (Spain)
"Chucho" Jesús Ángel Solana was a product of Real Madrid's youth ranks. He was used regularly in five of his six seasons with the capital club's first team, as it won five La Liga titles in a row in the 1980's.  However, Solana would be most known for his spell at Real Zaragoza, where he won a Copa del Rey as well as the memorable 1994–95 edition of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup against Arsenal.  He was capped once in 1988.
"Chucho"  Solana 

Honorable Mention
Fábio Coentrão, Robert Jarni, Gabriel Heinze, Rafael  García Cortés, Raul Bravo.

Ranking Explanation
-- Roberto Carlos was probably one of the greatest leftbacks in football's history.  His half-volley goal against Tenerife in 1998 is undoubtedly one of Real Madrid's most defining goals of all time.  I personally thought that it was much more impossible than the freekick he scored for Brazil against France in 1997.

-- Roberto Carlos took Marcelo under the wing when Marcelo arrived in 2007.   He personally mentored the young Brazilian who considered Roberto Carlos as his idol when he grew up in Brazil.  He even invited him to his home for Christmas dinner shortly after arriving.
-- Marcelo's grandfather Pedro was the most important person in his life. He died just two days before the semifinal against Germany in the 2014 World Cup.  Marcelo was devastated and his performance was by huis death.
-- Rafael Gordillo was a natural wingback, but used mainly as a left winger in Madrid.  At Madrid, Rafael Gordillo often played as a winger in front of Camacho.  I was debating whether I should put him on the left wing section.
-- Rafael Gordillo was one of the greatest footballers from Andalusia.  He was born in Extremadura, but he is an Andalusian. 
--  When Red Star Belgrade played against Real Madrid in the 1974-1975 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quaterfinal, the game was billed as the "Dragan Džajić vs Camacho" show.  Džajić was the best left winger in the world at that time and Camacho was one of the best defenders.  Real Madrid was coached by Miljan Miljanić who was the long time coach of Red Star. In Madrid, he promoted Camacho to the first team.  
-- Rafael Lesmes played as a left-sided centerback on  a 3 men defence.  He was also one of the pioneers attacking defender.
-- While playing for Osasuna against Real Madrid, Pachín was assigned to mark Ferenc Puskas, in which Puskas completely destroyed him.  In the second half, however, he was switched to guard Alfredo Di Stefano.  Di Stefano was so impressed with his performance that he recommended Real Madrid to sign him.
-- Pachín was considered one of the first all purpose defender because he could play across the backline.  
-- Pachín played between 1959 and 1968 in which he won two European Cups and seven Leagues.  He won a title every single season in Madrid.  He was very decorated. 
-- At one point, Fábio Coentrão was a challenge to Marcelo's starting position.  He even started at the 2014 Champions' League Final ahead of Marcelo.  Marcelo suffered an injury on the previous round.  Later, Coentrão's career was affected by injuries and other issues.  
-- Gabriel Heinze played both as a leftback and centerback.  He was a transitional player between Roberto Carlos and Marcelo.  Real Madrid also bought Royston Drenthe soon after Marcelo joined the club.
-- Gabriel Heinze and Royston Drenthe would take care of left-back duties for new coach Bernd Schuster during the 2007/08 season,  Heinze was steady while Drenthe was a bust.
-- Mikel Lasa played in the years between Camacho and Roberto Carlos.  In the beginning of his career, he was battling for a position with Francisco Villarroya whom I considered to be a winger.
-- Juan Carlos Tourino was born in Buenos Aires to Spanish parents, but he represented Spain for football.  In Argentina, he was also known as to get Argentine footballers unionized.
-- Jesús Ángel Solana (Spain) is also on my Real Zaragoza All-Time team.
-- Robert Jarnis career here did not stand out. 
-- Raul Bravo did not play much as a leftback because of Roberto Carlos.