Wednesday, November 27, 2019

What if United Kingdom went to the World Cup 1994

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Paul Gascoigne in 1992 against Norway but he would have missed the World Cup Finals

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

United Kingdom
Sweden World Cup 1950
Austria-Hungary 1954
Argentina World Cup 1958
Scotland World Cup 1970
United Kingdom World Cup 1970
England World Cup 1974
United Kingdom World Cup 1982
Catalonia World Cup 2010
USA World Cup 2010
Brazil 1982 with Careca, etc
Netherlands Euro 1984
English-born players capped by other national teams
Spain without Catalan players World Cup 2010
I have create imaginary World Cup teams for United Kingdom in 1970 and 1982 Finals.  I do believe United Kingdom could have won the World Cup in 1970 and made a good run in the 1982 World Cup Finals.  However, the idea of this United Kingdom's 1994 World Cup team was born out of the weakness from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. In 1993, all four of United Kingdom's national teams failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup Finals in the United States.  At the time of writing, it is the only time in history since the British teams first entered the World Cup tournament where none of the British teams qualified for the World Cup Finals. For the 1970 and 1982 United Kingdom team, I was looking at a "Dream Team" that could win it all.  For this 1994 team, I was trying to see if this United Kingdom could do better than their original separated national teams.  
England at the end of the World Cup Qualifier

Prediction for the World Cup Qualifying
On paper, this United Kingdom can field the likes of Neville Southall, John Barnes, Alan Shearer, Ian Rush, Ryan Giggs, etc on the same field.  Basically, England could reinforce with two of Wales' greatest players.  However, none of the British players in 1994 were in their prime.  Southall, Barnes and Rush were over 30 years old.  Alan Shearer was 22 years while Giggs was only 19 years old at the time of the qualifying rounds.  

Formation during the Qualifiers
Paul Gascoigne was injured in April of 1994, but he would still be healthy during the World Cup Qualifying Rounds. Peter Beardsley just joined Newcastle United in the summer of 1993 after disappointing in Everton.  He had not played himself in consideration throughout the World Cup Qualifying rounds.  Paul Parker or Rob Jones might start ahead of Lee Dixon.  David Seaman had not established as England's number one until the summer of 1993.  The United Kingdom would probably go with Neville Southall.  Colin Hendry made his national debut in May, 1993 for Scotland.  So basically, this United Kingdom would only have three additional starters to the original England, namely Gary McAllister, Ian Rush and Gary Southall.  So it was not a big upgrade.  When I came across the idea of an United Kingdom team, I envisioned a better team.

The First question: Would they even qualified for the World Cup Finals? When I first started this blog team, I never imagined the possibility of this UK team not qualifying.  After doing some research, I still think the UK team could qualify, but not as dominating as I anticipated. 

Group 1: 
In real life, Scotland finished 4th behind Italy, Switzerland and Portugal.  Italy would reach the Final in the World Cup Finals with the likes of Roberto Baggio, Franco Baresi, Paulo Maldini, Giuseppe Signori, Roberto Donadoni, etc.  Swizterland was having their best team in years with Stéphane Chapuisat and Ciriaco Sforza on their lineup.  Portugal had a young team that included two future stars, namely Rui Costa and Luis Figo.  They also had Paulo Futre. I do not think the United Kingdom could beat Italy, but beating Switzerland and Portugal were very possible.

Group 2
This group had a clearer indication of the United Kingdom's chance because the majority of the players on the United Kingdom team were from England. England finished third behind Netherlands and Norway.  Norway who was considered a minnow before the start of the World Cup Qualifiers was in confortable position throughout the group games.  The reinforcement of just a few non-English players might not be able to overcome them.  Netherlands was having their rebuilding years.  They still had Dennis Bergkamp and Frank Rijkaard.  Ruud Gullit had problems with manager Dick Advocaat.  He did not play much in the World Cup Qualifiers.  Marco Van Basten was out for an entire season.  People did not know at the time that he would not be back again.  England was only two points behind Netherlands. In real life, England drew 2-2 with Netherlands at home.  They surrendered a 85th minute penalty after going up 2-0.  England might be able to take all the points with a few additional players.  They also could produce a better result against other opponents such as 1-1 away tie with Poland with this UK team.

Gorup 3:
In real life, Northern Ireland stood no chance against Spain, Ireland and Denmark.  Spain was not a bad team.  They probably have enough to beat this United Kingdom. Denmark was the reigning European Champion with Michael Laudrup back in the team. On paper, Denmark would be difficult for the United Kingdom, but they could not overcome Ireland in real life.  Ireland used a lot of English born players under manager Jack Charlton.  So on paper, this United Kingdom could handle this "English-based" Irish team easily, but manager Jack Charlton was able to create a team that could beat anybody in 1993 and 1994.  Ireland has beaten England at Euro 1988, a result that shocked all across the United Kingdom.  They also proved themselves at the 1990 World Cup Finals.

Group 4
Wales finished 4th, but just 3 points away from the top qualifying teams, Romania and Belgium (only two points were awarded for a win in 1993).  Romania was having their Golden generation.  They would beat England in the 1998 World Cup Finals and the 2000 European Championship.  And those two English teams might be better than this UK team.  England featured the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholas, Alan Shearer, etc. Of course, Romania was also a much more inexperience team in 1993, but they peaked in the 1994 World Cup Finals.  Gheorghe Hagi was in his prime. Belgium and the Czech Republic (finished 3rd in the group) were beatable.  The Czechs did not have the same players as their team that reached the Final in Euro 1996. 
Wales World Cup Qualifying team 1993

Prediction at the World Cup  Finals
It is impossible to make a prediction or assessment of this team in the 1994 World Cup Finals without knowing the teams in their groups.  The seedings were based upon the FIFA rankings at the time and results of the previous three World Cup Finals. If I based my United Kingdom team on England. they probably would be a seeded team as England was ranked 8th in November, 1993 and 11th a month later.  Furthermore, England were the semifinalist in the previous World Cup Finals.  England probably would take Belgium's place as a seeded team. If i put the UK team on Group F, they would face with the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Morocco.  On paper, it should be easy task, but the Saudis beat Belgium to progress with Saeed Al-Owairan scoring one of the greatest goals in World Cup history.

This United Kingdom could probably progress to the knockout rounds, given sixteen teams out of 24 also progressed in 1994.  So only eight teams were eliminated in the Group Stage.  

Beyond that, I am unsure if the United Kingdom could do much.  Brazil the eventual winner had a forward line consisted of Romario and Bebeto.  Italy had Roberto Baggio and Pablo Maldini, but Franco Baresi was injured throughout the Finals.  I don't think that the UK team could beat Sweden, Bulgaria, Germany and Netherlands.  The Americans had beaten England in June, 1993.  They were not to be underestimated. Nigeria, Romania and even Ireland could beat this team.  Argentina had one of the best teams in 1994 when they still had Diego Maradona.  But with Maradona's suspension during the Group Stage, Argentina was hard to predict.

 Team (only 22 allowed in 1994)

GK: Neville Southall  (Wales/Everton)
Neville Southall was the FWA Football of the Year in 1985 and one of the few keepers to win the award.  He was regarded as one of the best British keeper of his generation in a generation filled with great keepers.  He started with Bury, but played most of his career with Everton, where the club was enjoying its most successful period. He won two First Divison title and two FA Cup with them.  He had 92 caps for Wales.
Ian Rush and Neville Southall 
GK: David Seaman (England/Arsenal)
The peak of Seaman's career was during his period as Arsenal and England goalkeeper in the 1990s and early 2000s. At Arsenal, he won three league championships, four FA Cups, the League Cup in 1993 and the European Cup Winners Cup in 1994.  He also played in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, and Euro 96 and Euro 2000, and is England's second-most capped goalkeeper with 75 caps.

GK: Tim Flowers (England/Blackburn Rovers)
Flowers began his career with Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1984.  He was Peter Shilton's unberstudy with Southampton before becoming their starter in the 1989–90 season. He was notably part of the Blackburn Rovers side that won the Premier League in 1995. He also played for  Swindon Town, Leicester City, Stockport County, Coventry City and Manchester City.  He had 11 caps.  He went to both Euro 96 in England and the 1998 World Cup.

RB: Lee Dixon (England/Arsenal)
Lee Dixon played as a right-back for Arsenal, Burnley, Bury, Chester City and Stoke City.  He was a part of Arsenal's famous back four along with Tony Adams, Steve Bould and Nigel Winterburn. Dixon is also one of the only players in English football history to have won a league title in three different decades with the same club. 

CB: Tony Adams (England/Arsenal)
Tony Adams is a club legend and one club man with Arsenal who became the club captain at the age of 21.  A stature of him is erected at the Emirates Stadium. He formed the legendary backline with Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn and Steve Bould with club.  He was a fixture for England from 1987 to 2000.  For England, he had 66 caps and served as its captain at one point. He played in the World Cup Finals in 1998 and went to three European Championship.

CB: Des Walker (England/Sheffield Wednesday)
Walker played 59 times for England.  He started in all of England;'s games at the World Cup Finals in 1990. He was rated as one of the best defender at that Finals.  For club football, he mainly played for Nottingham Forrest and Sheffield Wednesday.  He played one season at Sampdoria in then 1992-1993 season.   He was Forest's player of the year three times. On four straight occasions at Forest he was selected for the PFA Team of the Year.
Des Walker in the World Cup Qualifiers
CB: Gary Pallister (England/Manchester United)
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.

CB: Colin Hendry (Scotland/Blackburn Rovers)
Hendry started his career with Dundee in 1983. and spent spells at Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Rangers, Coventry City, Bolton Wanderers and Blackpool. He was part of the Blackburn squad that won the English Premiership in 1995 and the Rangers squad that won the Scottish domestic treble in 1998–99.  He played 51 caps for Scotland. He captained Scotland in the 1998 World Cup.

LB: Stuart Pearce (England/Nottingham Forrest)
Stuart Pearce was a club legend with Nottingham Forrest.  He was the club's most capped international player with 78 caps between 1987 and 1999.  He played at the World Cup Finals in 1990 and the European championship in 1996 at home, where England had the best two results since the World Cup win in 1966. He also played for Wealdstone, Coventry City, Newcastle United, West Ham United and Manchester City.

LB: Tony Dorigo (England/Leeds United)
Born in Australia, Tony Dorigo chose to represent England.  He had 15 caps.  He went to the European Championship in 1988 and 1992 as well as the 1990 World Cup Finals.  For his club career, he played for He played for Aston Villa, Chelsea, Leeds United, Torino, Derby County and Stoke City.  He had lengthy spells with Aston Villa, Chelsea and Leeds United.

DM: Paul Ince (England/Manchester United)
From 1992 to 2000, Paul Ince was capped 53 times.  He was a key player for England at Euro 1996, WC 1998 and Euro 2000.  For his club career, he started with West Ham, but his best known stints were with Liverpool, Inter Milan and Manchester United.  He is one of the few players who played and starred for both Liverpool and Manchester United.

CM: David Batty (England/Blackburn Rovers)
David Batty is most famous for playing for Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United.  He won league titles with both Leeds United and Blackburn Rovers, but his role with Blackburn Riovers was limited by an injury.  He was capped for the England national football team, and representing the nation at UEFA Euro 1992 and the 1998 World Cup.

CM: David Platt (England/Sampdoria)
Platt began his career as an apprentice at Manchester United but later moved to Crewe Alexandra where he began building a reputation as a goal scoring midfield player. In 1988, he signed for Aston Villa and made his debut for England a year later. At the 1990 World Cup, his performances in Italy earned him a move to Bari in 1991. In 1992, Platt moved to Juventus, where he spent one season. In 1993, he moved to Sampdoria where he stayed for two seasons before returning to England with Arsenal.  Capped 75 times.

CM/RM: Gary McAllister (Scotland/Liverpool)
Garry McAllister started with Motherwell before heading to play in England. He had a lengthy career with Leicester City, Leeds United and Coventry between 1985 and 2000.  Then, he played two seasons with Liverpool, winning the 2000 UEFA Cup.  In the final, he scored one, and had a hand in three, of the five Liverpool goals in a memorable 5–4 victory.  He was awarded the Man of the Match.  He had over 50 caps, appearing a single World Cup Finals and two European Championship.
Gary McAllister 
RW/AM: Chris Waddle (England/Sheffield Wednesday)
Waddle mainly played with Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspurs, Olympique Marseille and Sheffield Wednesday.  He won the 1987 FA Cup with Tottenham Hotspurs.  Then, in 1989, he joined Olympique Marseille for 4.5 million pound, which was then the third highest transfer fees.  He went to Sheffield Wednesday in 1992, where he reached both FA Cup and League Cup Final.  He was voted FWA Player of the Year for that season. He went to the WC Finals in 1986 and 1990.

LW: Ryan Giggs (Wales/Manchester United)
Giggs was Sir Alex's longest serving player at Manchester United, where he played from 1990 to 2014.  He also holds the club record for competitive appearances. During his time at United, he won 13 Premier League winner's medals, four FA Cup winner's medals, three League Cup winner's medals and two Champions League winner's medals. He is widely considered one of the greatest British wingers in modern history. He played 64 times for Wales.  He led Great Britain at the London Olypmpics in 2012.
Ryan Giggs World Cup Qualifier 1993
CM/LW: John Barnes (England/Liverpool)
John Barnes was widely considered to be one of the greatest Liverpool players, where he formed one of their greatest team playing alongside Ian Rush, Peter Beardsley, John Aldridge and Ray Houghton.  Before joining Liverpool, he played for Watford. At Watford, he also helped them to the Final of the FA Cup in 1984. He was voted PFA Player of the Year in 1988 and FWA Player of the Year in both 1988 and 1990.
John Barnes in 1993
FW/SS: Peter Beardsley (England/Liverpool)
Peter Beardsley was one of the few players i history to have played for Liverpool, Everton, Manchester United and Manchester City. His first successes came in the early 1980's while playing for Newcastle United.  In 1987, he joined Liverpool as the most expensive player in England's history.  Together with John Barnes, they formed one of the best English sides of the later 1980's.

ST: Ian Rush (Wales/Liverpool)
Ian Rush was voted as the third greatest Liverpool player by fans in 2013. He is the Liverpool's all-time leading goalscorer, with 346 goals. He won both the PFA Player of the year and FWA Player of the Year in 1984.  he was European Golden Boot winner in the same year.  He also had short spells with Chester City, Juventus, Leeds United, Newcastle United, Sheffield United, Wrexham and Sydney Olympic. Rush made 73 appearances for Wales between 1980 and 1996.

ST: Ian Wright (England/Arsenal)
Wright was a legendary striker with Arsenal.  Before joining Arsenal, he was a hero with Crystal Palace.  At the time of writing, he was their highest goal scorer since the War.  In 1991, he joined Arsenal.  He spent 7 seasons with them, winning all three domestic trophies and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1994.  Despite being a top scorer in the domestic league(he scored over 20 goals every season from 1991 to 1998), he only played 33 times for England and was never selected for any of the major tournaments.
Ian Wright
ST: Mark Hughes  (Wales/Manchester United)
Mark Hughes was best remembered for his spells with Manchester United. He won two Premier League title medals, four FA Cups, three League Cups and two European Cup Winners' Cups. He was the first player to win the PFA Players' Player of the Year award twice, in 1989 and 1991.  He also played for Barcelona and Bayern Munich, as well as the English clubs Chelsea, Southampton, Everton and finally Blackburn Rovers.

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

Players considered
Barry Horne (Wales/Everton), Steve Morrow (Northern Ireland/Arsenal), Andy Sinton (England/Sheffield Wednesday), Stuart Ripley (England/Blackburn Rovers), David Batty (England/Blackburn Rovers), Dean Saunders (Wales/Aston Villa), Paul Merson (England/Arsenal), Gary Speed (Wales/Leeds Uniteds), Paul Gascoigne (England/Lazio),  Les Ferdinand (England/QPR), Paul Parker (England/Manchester United), Robert Lee (Newcastle United/England). Rob Jones (England/Liverpool), Stuart Ripley (England/Blackburn Rovers),  Andy Cole (England/Newcastle), Carlton Palmer (England/Sheffield Wednesday).

Squad Explanation
-- I did a review of the team in July, 2023.  I felt very uncomfortable with my selections.
-- The team is dominated with 16 English players.  With exception of Peter Beardsley and Chris Waddle, all English players considered were based upon the numbers of caps earned during the World Cup Qualifiers.  Basically, this was England's team with reinforcement from other British players. The non-English selections are Neville Southall (Wales), Ryan Giggs (Wales), Mark Hughes (Wales), Ian Rush (Wales), Gary McAllister (Scotland) and Colin Hendry (Scotland).  Chris Waddle and Peter Beardsley would be considered reinforcements since he took no part in the World Cup Qualifiers.
-- I had a lot of doubts even for my own team.  John Barnes over Lee Sharpe in 1994 might not be a wise move.  The inclusion of Des Walker was questionable.  I also ignored younger players such as Matt Le Tissier, Gary Speed, Darren Anderton, Graeme Le Saux, Andy Cole and Les Ferdinand, which would be terrible mistakes.  To be realistic, I left off the injured Paul Gascoigne, but I brought back Chris Waddle, especially he had some injuries around that time.  
-- Most of the players from Northern Ireland were not as well known as their counterparts from the Home Nations.  Steve Morrow was the only player considered.  For United Kingdom 1970 team, I took Mike England because he was the only player from Wales.  I did not do that for Morrow for this team.
-- England played in the 1993 US Cup a tournament which served as  preparation for the United States to host the World Cup Finals a year later.  Brazil, Germany, the United States and England participated in a Round-robin tournament.  England finished last with just a draw against Brazil.  
-- Right before the World Cup Finals, England played two qualified teams in May, 1994.  They beat Greece 5-0 and drew Norway 0-0.  I did not really use the lineups as my reference.  I did select Peter Beardsley (see below). 
-- Manchester United won the Double that season.  Mark Hughes, Ryan Giggs, Paul Ince and Gary Pallister made the team.
-- I reunited John Barnes, Ian Rush and Peter Beardsley, but it was a decision probably puzzled by many (See below).
-- Chris Wood was blamed for the 2-0 loss against the USA in the summer of 1993.  He was never called up again by England.  David Seaman played in the most critical games of the World Cup Qualifiers later that year.  Between June 1993 to June 1994, Tim Flowers was the only goalkeeper used by England. He was also the goalkeeper on the PFA Team of the Year.  So from England, I only went with Seaman and Flowers. Nigel Martyn (Crystal Palace) was the only other goalkeeper played who played for manager Graham Taylor, but he was actually playing in the First Division that season.   Instead, I took Neville Southall. He was 35 at the time of the World Cup Finals, but still highly regarded.  
-- Scotland's Andy Goram was the starting goalkeeper for Scotland at Euro 1992, but he suffered a serious injury in 1993.  He did not return to action until the Spring of 1994.  During this time, Jimmy Leighton's club career was revitalised with Hibernian, but between 1991 and 1993, he was not playing much club football.  The United Kingdom probably would take David Seaman, Tim Flowers and Neville Southall.
-- Both Tony Adams and Gary Pallister were on the PFA Team of the Year.  Adams was a vital part of England's World Cup Qualifiers. He led Arsenal winning the European Cup Winners' Cup. Pallister was a part of Manchester United's Domestic Double that season.  
Tony Adams
-- Colin Hendry (Scotland) made his Scotland debut at the age of 27 in May, 1993.  He had some injuries in the 1993-1994 season, but his impact with his club team Blackburn Rovers was felt.  I wanted to add a non-English player to change things around.  
-- Martin Keown and Steve Bould were fighting for a spot at the club level, but Bould was overlooked by England during this period. Bould remained an uncapped player until the summer of 1994.  I tried to keep real-life capped players. So he was out of the question.  Keown was mainly a bench player on England's team. In the end, I took Des Walker for his experience who also started on the England's last match of the World Cup Qualifiers against San Marino.  He had a poor spell with Sampdoria the season before, and a bad performance against the Netherlands in the World Cup Qualifiers which forced Graham Taylor to use the Adams-Pallister duo.  Nevertheless, he was still England's best defender by reputation in 1994.  
-- Stuart Pearce was an easy selection for the leftback position.  England also used Lee Dixon, Paul Parker and Rob Jones as rightbacks.  I took Dixon who was probably the most famous of the lot.  He also started the last game of the World Cup Qualifiers against San Marino.  Leftback Tony Dorigo was used in the early matches of the World Cup Qualifiers.  Graeme Le Saux made his debut in early 1994 under new England manager Terry Venables, but I decided to take the more experienced fullbacks.  
-- Steve Morrow was in and out of the lineup that season with Arsenal.  He scored the winner, but had a famous injury after the 1993 League Cup Final after he was dropped by Tony Adams in the celebrations after the match.
-- Paul Ince became England's first ever Black captain during the tour of the United States in 1993.  He had established himself as a regular selection for England.
-- Graham Taylor also used rightwing Darren Anderton regularly.  Terry Venables continued to start him in 1994 after he took over.  
-- In April, 1994. Paul Gascoigne was injured by club mate Alessandro Nest during training in Italy.  He would not be available for the World Cup Finals.  I have taken injured players on some of my imaginary blog teams to reinforce the team.  However, since this team was not about a "Dream Team" that set to conquer the world, I decided not to take him.  This blog team was about the survival of the team against all odds.  The injury of Gazza would be the one of the odds.  During the review of the team in 2023, I added Chris Waddle, which would be hypocritical for Gazza, but they played in different positions.
-- Matt Le Tissier had a strong 1993-1994 season.  It was his highest scoring league season with  25 league goals (20 league goals and another 10 in FA Cup and League Cup the season after). But he had not made his international debut with England until the summer of 1994.  He played in two friendly matches in May, 1994 against Greece and Norway. Without Paul Gascoigne, he might be the perfect replacement. However, during his career, a succession of English managers ignored him. To keep things realistic, I also ignored him.
-- Blackburn Rovers paid Leeds United  £2.75million for David Batty in October 1993. David Batty was on the PFA Team of the Year alongside Gary McAllister (Scotland). In turn, Leeds United used Batty's transfer money to buy Carlton Palmer  in the summer of 1994.  Palmer played his last international match at that critical qualifier against the Netherlands.  He was also one of the most unloved English international players. For this team, I went with Batty and McAllister, largely because of the PFA award.  Andy Sinton was also considered.
-- Paul Merson's lifestyle was an issue for many managers.  He played under Graham Taylor throughout the period, but new manager Terry Venables did not want him.  For this imaginary United Kingdom team, I am the manager.  I decided not to risk his inclusion to the team.
-- David Platt led England in goal scoring during the World Cup Qualifiers with 7 goals.  Ian Wright was in second with 5 goals.
David Platt
-- Darren Anderton was uncapped until 1994.  So I took him out of contention.  Instead, I took Chris Waddle.  He had underused player for England and he had many issues with Graham Taylor and others by 1994.  His critics said that his style did not fit England's team.  He was 33 years old at the time of the World Cup Finals.  However, he was named the FWA Footballer of the Year for the 1992–93 season.  He had a good season with Sheffield Wednesday the following season, but suffered some injured.   Liked  Le Tissier, Waddle was ignored by various England's manager, but this right wing position was in short of a star player more than the midfield position.  In real life, the other winger Stuart Ripley only earned 2 caps, and his England career ended with the World Cup Qualifier.  
-- Ryan Giggs has became a key player for Manchester United by the 1993-1994 season.  John Barnes played regularly in the World Cup Qualifiers, but was dropped after the USA Cup in 1993.  He was booed off by the English fans in one of the matches largely because his loyalty to England was questioned.   In the 1993-1994 season, Lee Sharpe was still considered one of the best young players in England.  He played more than Barnes during the World Cup Qualifiers. At the club level, Giggs had taken over his left wing position with Manchester United, but Sharpe still played 30 games and had 11 goals that season, which was his career best.  In the end, I took John Barnes who had more experience than Lee Sharpe. In 1994, I probably would receive a lot of criticism from the fans, the pundits, etc for doing that.  Sharpe was an upcoming star while Barnes was not a popular player in that period of time. At the same time, some fans would want me to reunite Rush, Barnes and Peter Beardsley who had regained his form that season.  Personally, I am a football historical blogger.  Nostalgia got to me, in which the trio going to a World Cup Finals would be too sentimental to pass up.  Furthermore, I saw Barnes of a winger/midfield hybrid.  By the early 1990's, Barnes had became a midfielder.  The midfield corps consisted only of Gary McAllister, Paul Ince, David Batty and David Platt.  Barnes was needed there. Graham Taylor had played both Barnes and Sharpe on the same field, but I won't do that. Barnes would also backup Giggs.
-- Gary Speed could be a left midfielder.  He might be a more in form player than Barnes, but Barnes was a more seasonal professional.  I left Speed off the team.  In real life, Andy Sinton’s international career ended after the win at San Marino.
-- Peter Beardsley joined Newcastle United in the summer of 1993.  He helped Andy Cole to become the top scorer of the Premiership in the 1993-1994 season.  Peter Beardsley was on the PFA Team of the Year. However, he was uncapped during the World Cup Qualifiers because he had not fully revitalised his career until afterward, but I would bring him back for his performance in the 1993-1994 season.
John Barnes and Peter Beardsley
-- Andy Cole was Premier League Golden Boot winner in the 1993-1994 season. He was not selected into the PFA Team of the Year.  He did not make his England debut until 1995. So I went with Ian Rush, Alan Shearer, Ian Wright and Mark Hughes.  They were all big names in 1994.  
-- Alan Shearer was the FWA Player of the Year that season.  He was second highest scorer in the Premier League behind teammate Andy Cole.  Ian Wright was used regularly for England throughout 1993 and 1994.  His club form was fine, but his output for national team was always weaker.  
-- Mark Hughes scored 22 goals for Manchester United.  He was three goals behind Eric Cantona.  Manchester United won the Domestic Double that season.
-- Les Ferdinand was in fine form for England.  He scored 18 goals for QPR.  He was an upcoming player in 1994, but I opted for the bigger names in football.
-- Ian Rush only scored 19 goals that season, but he remained Liverpool's top scorer.  But he scored 11 goals during the last two months of the season.  He would be in form heading toward the World Cup Finals.  So it would be hard to ignore a big name player with so an amazing form and scoring steak. 
-- Here were some of the other candidates.  Robbie Fowler debuted for Liverpool that season.  He had 18 goals as a comparison.  However, he was not in consideration due to his age in 1994.  He did not make his senior national debut until 1996. Nigel Clough lost his starting spot to him in Liverpool during the season.  He also never represented England again after the 1993 US Cup. 
-- Terry Sheringham made his international debut, but it would be hard to select him over the four strikers. 
-- Ally McCoist played in Scotland's World Cup Qualifiers, but he was bothered by injuries throughout the 1993-1994 season.  He only scored 11 goals that season.
As mentioned, Paul Gascoigne was injured and missed the tournament.  Instead, I put the 20 years old Ryan Giggs into the starting lineup.  His youthfulness would benefit the team.  I still stayed with Southall in goal.  Peter Beardsley might start ahead of  Gary McAllister.  

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Germany All-Time Team without Bayern Munich players

Oliver Bierhoff and Matthaus Sammer

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

German-born Players Capped by Other National Teams
Germany All-Time Team After Beckenbauer

Germany All-Time Team before 1972
Bayern Munich All-Time Team
Bayern Munich All-Time Team for Foreign Players

Germany is the most successful European footballing country.  They won the World Cup in 1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014.  They finished second in 1966, 1982 and 1986.  They also have the best record at the European Championship.  They won the tournament a record 3 times in 1972, 1980 and 1996, and finished second in 1976 and 2008.  

Bayern Munich is the most successful, German clubs.  They won more European Cups and Bundesliga than any other German teams.   They are known to buy the best players from their domestic rivals.  As a result, some of the greatest ever German footballers have played for them.

This is my selection of a 23 member all-time German team without players from Bayern Munich. The number 23 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the World Cup Finals.  
Guido Buchwald and Rudi Voller
GK: Bert Trautmann 
Trautmann was a former POW who decided to remain in England after the war.  He signed for Manchester City in 1949, where he replaced the popular Frank Swift.  He turned from the most hated player in England to a fan favourite.  He was the hero of 1956 FA Cup winning team. In his prime, he was known as one of the best keeper in the world.  He was credited for healing the German-British relations after the War.

GK: Hans Tilkowski 
Hans Tilkowski  played mainly for Westfalia Herne and Borussia Dortmund. With Borussia Dortmund, he won the Cup Winners' Cup.  For West Germany, he was a member of the World Cup teams of 1962 and 1966.  In 1966, Tilkowski was the No. 1 goalkeeper of the West German team which lost the World Cup Final against England. He was the German Player of the Year in 1965.
Hans Tilkowski 
GK: Andreas Köpke
Köpke began his club career at Holstein Kiel in 1979, he retired  at 1. FC Nürnberg at the end of the 2000–01 2. Bundesliga season. He also played at Eintracht Frankfurt, Hertha Berlin, Charlottenburg and Olympique Marseille.  He earned 59 caps for Germany, winning the Euro 1996 as the starting keeper.  He also went to both 1990 and 1994 World Cup Finals. He was German Player of the Year in 1993.

RB: Berti Vogts
Nicknamed “Der Terrier”, Vogts was one of the greatest rightback in German history.  He won 5 Bundesliga titles and two UEFA Cups with the great Borussia Mönchengladbach of the 1970's.  He had 95 caps, winning both the World Cup in 1974 and the European Championshipmin 1972. He famously marked Johan Cruyff out of the World Cup Final in 1974. 

RB: Paul Janes
The DFB listed Paul Janes in the top 20 best German footballers of all time.  He is known as one of the best fullback in the world before the War. He went to two World Cup Finals in 1934 and 1938. He was a member of the Breslau Eleven that beat Denmark 8:0 in Breslau in 1937. Janes played 71 times for Germany. He held Germany's all-time cap record until it was broken in 1970. His longest club stint was with Fortuna Düsseldorf.  He broke his foot after the restart of football after the War and had to retire.

SW: Matthias Sammer
With Borussia Dortmund as a player, Sammer won the Bundesliga and DFL-Supercup in 1995, the Bundesliga, DFL-Supercup, and European Footballer of the Year in 1996, and the UEFA Champions League and Intercontinental Cup in 1997. He also played for Inter Milan and Dynamo Dresden. With Die Mannschaft  as a player, Sammer won the UEFA Euro 1996, where he was named the tournament's best player, and was subsequently awarded the Ballon d'Or later that year. Sammer retired with 74 total caps, 23 for East Germany and 51 for the unified side.  

CB: Karl-Heinz Forster
With West Germany, Karl-Heinz Forster earned 81 caps. He won the European Championship in 1980, and came 2nd at the World Cup in both 1982 and 1986.  He was regarded one of the best defenders in the 1980's.  He played with VFB Stuttgart between 1977 and 1986. and Marseille between 1986 and 1990.  With Stuttgart, he won a Bundesliga in the 1983–84 season.  He won two league titles in France.
Karl-Heinz Forster
CB: Willi Schulz 
Willi Schulz was one of the best center-backs in the world during the 1960's.  He played 66 times for West Germany. He was the starting sweeper in the 1966 World Cup Finals, where Franz Beckenbauer played in the midfield.  He also went to the World Cup Finals 4 years later in Mexico, but was injured.  He started Schalke 04 in 1960.  From 1965 to 1973, he played for Hamburger SV.

CB/CM: Guido Buchwald 
The best game of Buchwald's career was probably the final of the 1990 FIFA World Cup where he effectively marked the skilled footballer Diego Maradona, earning him the nickname "Diego". He was also part of Germany's disappointing 1994 FIFA World Cup squad and collected in his career 76 caps. he spent most of his career with Stuttgart, winning two league titles.  At the end of his career, he played in Japan.

CB/LB: Karl-Heinz Schnellinger
In his prime, Karl-Heinz Schnellingerwas considered one of the best leftbacks in the world.  He participated in 4 World Cup Finals, unfortunaitely sandwiched between West Germany's two World Cup winning tournaments.  He was remembered one of the first German footballer to star in Italy.  He had a remarkable stint with AC Milan and As Roma.  He won the European Cup in 1969 with AC Milan. He was awarded the (German Footballer of the Year) in 1962. 

LB/CB/DM: Hans Peter Briegel 
Briegel's original sport was Decathlon.  From 1975 to 1984, he played with FC Kaiserslautern before he moved on to Hellas Verona in Italy, capturing the Serie A title in 1985. The same year Briegel was named German Footballer of the Year, being the first foreign-based winner. With West Germany, he won the European Championship in 1980. He played in the WC Finals of both 1982 and 1986.

Bernd Schuster was the star of West Germany's Euro 1980 winning team, but disagreed with the German Football Association and seldom played for West Germany after the tournament.  He started with FC Koln in 1978. He was a star at La Liga in the 1980's, playing for Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. He was the first player to have won the Spanish Cup for the big three in Spain. He later played for Bayer Leverkusen.
Bernd Schuster 
CM: Horst Szymaniak 
Horst Szymaniak was one of West Germany's greatest midfielders.  He played 43 times for the national team. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1958 and 1962, but was omitted by Helmut Schön from his 1966 squad.  He played for SpVgg Erkenschwick, Wuppertaler SV, Karlsruher SC, Calcio Catania, F.C. Internazionale Milano, A.S. Varese 1910, and Tasmania 1900 Berlin. He joined Inter Milan in 1962 at a time when Serie A clubs seldom signed German players.

CM: Fritz Szepan
Szepan is one of Germany's greatest midfielder.  He played in both 1934 and 1938 World Cup Finals.  In 1938, Szepan was named captain of the "Unified Germany" team shortly after the Anschluss at the 1936 World Cup Finals. He was also the captain of the 1934 team. He played his entire career with Schalke 04 from 1925 and 1950.  He was voted as the club's greatest ever player.  He formed a famous a partnership with Ernst Kuzorra at the club.

RW:  Helmut Rahn
Rahn was known as "Der Boss" (English: "The Boss") because of his on-field leadership and occasionally also as "The Cannon from Essen".  He was considered one of the best ever German winger.  His club career was associated with Rot-Weiss Essen. He was capped 40 times.  He was a star of the 1954 World Cup team.  He scored the winning goal in the final vs Hungary. This match is known in Germany as The Miracle of Bern (Das Wunder von Bern). He also went to the World Cup Finals in 1958.
Helmut Rahn
RW/AM: Pierre Littbarski   
Littibarski was a major star in the 1980's.  He had over 70 caps and played in three WC Finals with Germany reaching the Final all 3 times, winning his final World Cup in 1990. He spent most of his career with Koln. Littbarski spent most of his playing career at 1. FC Köln, winning the DFB-Pokal once, in 1983, and was three times runner up in the Bundesliga (1982, 1989 and 1990).  He also played in France and Japan.

LW:  Hans Schafer  
He played for 1. FC Köln between 1948 and 1965. He also played for the West Germany, earning 39 caps and scoring 15 goals. He played in three World Cups, in 1954, 1958, and 1962, earning a winner's medal in 1954 and scoring a total of seven goals. Between 1957 and 1962, Schäfer captained Germany 16 times. He was German Player of the Year in 1963. He spent all of his career with Koln.

AM/FW: Fritz Walter
Fritz Walter was the captain of the 1954 World Cup winning team.  His brother Ottar Walter was also on that team. He had over 60 caps and also went to the 1958 World Cup Finals. He was selected as the UEFA Golden Player for Germany at the 50th anniversary of UEFA in 2004. During the War, he captured as a POW and his life was spared because the guards recognised him as a famous footballer. He played his entire career with Kaiserslautern between 1937 and 1959.

Fritz Walter
LM/CM: Wolfgang Overath
Wolfgang Overath was one of the best left midfielders in history,  He won the 1974  World Cup, where he kept Gunter Netzer from the starting lineup. In total he won 81 caps for the national side between 1963 and 1974, scoring 17 goals.  In addition to 1974 World Cup Finals, he also went to the 1966 and 1970 World Cup Finals. He spent all of his career with Koln.

CM: Gunther Netzer
Gunther Netzer was the star of the great Borussia Mönchengladbach of the 1970's.  He won the European Championship in 1972 and then, the World Cup in 1974.  His best performance, however, was in 1972, where he was the star at the quarterfinal against England.  He later joined Real Madrid in 1973 and outperformed Johan Cruyff's Barcelona in the early 1970's in a period dominated by Real Madrid.
Gunter Netzer
STOliver Bierhoff (Germany)
Biefhoff scored the first golden goal in the history of major international football, for Germany in the Euro 96 final. The goal defined his career. He played 70 times for Germany between 1996 and 2002.  He also played in Euro 2000, and both the 1998 and 2002 World Cups. He was a later bloomer.  He was playing in Austria and Italy's Serie B until at the age 27 when he joined Udinese.  He would later star for AC Milan.

ST: Rudi Völler 
Völler started his career with TSV 1860 Hanau, before joining Werder Bremen in 1982. After becoming Bundesliga's top scorer, he was transferred to A.S. Roma.  In 1992, Völler moved to Olympique Marseille, where he won the Champions League in 1993. He joined Bayer Leverkusen in 1994.  He was capped 90 times.  He was a key player as West Germany won the World Cup in 1990. He was known for his partnership with Jurgen Klinsmann.

ST: Uwe Seeler 
Uwe Seeler was captain of both his club team and the national team for many years. He played in 4 World Cup Finals (1958, 1962, 1966 and 1970), but sandwiched between Germany's two World Cup winning years(1954 and 1974).  West Germany came second in 1966 and reached the semifinal in 1970 while playing next to Gerd Muller. However, he is still regarded one of Germany's greatest players.  He spent his entire career with SV Hamburger.
Uwe Seeler
Honorable Mention
Richard Hofmann, Helmut Haller, Mesut Özil, Horst Hrubesch, Klaus Fischer, Toni Turek, Ernst Lehner, Hans Schafer, Helmut Rahn, Max Morlock, Erich Juskowiak, Manfred Kaltz, Wolfgang Weber, Uli Stielike, Thomas Hassler, Andreas Möller, Felix Magath, Jurgen Grabowski, Reinhold Münzenberg, Ernst Kuzorra, Rainer Bonhof, Jupp Heynckes, Josef Posipal.

Squad Explanation
-- Since this is the "German National All-Time Team", only 23 players are selected.  
-- We can compare this team with that of my Bayern Munich All-Time Team for German players.  
-- Only ten players from my all-time German team never played for Bayern Munich. They are Willi Schulz, Berti Vogts, Karl-Heinz Forster, Matthias Sammer, Helmut Rahn, Pierre Littbarski, Hans Schäfer, Wolfgang Overath, Gunther Netzer, Fritz Walter and Uwe Seeler.
-- Bayern Munich did not become a powerful club team until the emerge of Franz Beckenbauer and the formation of professional football in Germany in the 1960's. I expect this team full of players before the 1970's.  Germany's win over England as well as winning the European Championship in 1972 marked the beginning  of the dominance of the German national team in Europe.  Bert Trautmann, Hans Tilkowski, Paul Janes, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger, Fritz Walter, Horst Szymaniak, Fritz Szepan and Uwe Seeler made my Germany All-Time Team before 1972 blog team.
-- Bert Trautmann was not considered for my all-time German team due to the fact that he never played for Germany.  However, I decided to select him here.  Toni Turek was left off the team.
-- Borussia Mönchengladbach of the 1970's was a rival of Bayern Munich. Gunter Netzer and Berti Vogts were their star players.
-- East German players between the end of World War Two and the reunification in 1990 were not considered to the fact that they could not play for Bayern Muinch.  Matthaus Sammer played for the reunified Germany after 1990.  Jürgen Croy and Hans-Jurgen Dorner should make honorable mention if I considered East Germans.
-- People forgot that Toni Schumacher played for Bayern Munich for the 1991-1992 season.
-- Righback Manfred Kaltz is considered to be among the greatest rightback, but I have Bertie Vogts and Paul Janes ahead of him.  On my Bayern Munich All-Time team, I have Philipp Lahm and Willy Sagnol (France) as my two rightbacks.  In additional to Lahm, Herbert Erhardt is on my Bayern Munich All-Time Team for German players.  
-- Wolfgang Weber and Uli Stielike lost out to Willi Schulz, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger and Matthaus Sammer.  The players selected can also play in other positions.
-- Matthias Sammer becomes a porting director of Bayern Munich. I find it weird given that he played for Borussia Dortmund.  Anyway, this has nothing to do with this blog.
-- I wanted to select Jurgen Grabowski.  I always found him underrated.  He could play in many positions, but his best position was probably right wing. But I already have Helmut Rahn and Pierre Littbarski. 
-- Uwe Seeler is the obvious selection for striker. Then, I took Oliver Bierhoff and Rudi Voller over Richard Hofmann, Horst Hrubesch and Klaus Fischer
-- Of the modern players, Bernd Schuster and Oliver Bierhoff spent most of their prime playing outside Germany.  Schuster played for the big three in Spain during the prime of his career.  
-- Before I started this blog, I thought the big spending Italian club teams in the 1980's and 1990's kept the German players away from Bayern Munich.  So I envisioned a large number of Italian-based players from that era on this team.  Hans Peter Briegel and Rudi Voller, Matthias Sammer and Oliver Bierhodd are the only ones from that generation selected.  Thomas Hassler and Andreas Möller are on my honorable mentions.  Pierre Littbarski and Karl-Heinz Forster played in France while Bernd Schuster played in Spain.
--Fritz Walter, Gunther Netzer and Wolfgang Overath kept out Andy Moller, Thomas Hassler, Mesut Özil and Helmut Haller.