All time England Team (since 1966 when I first watched them)

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†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Shilton

††††††††††††††††††††† Anderson††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Pearce

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Moore††††††††††††††††† Adams

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Coppell†††††††††††† Robson†††††††††† Gascoigne†††††††††††††

 

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††Charlton†††††††††††††

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†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Lineker††††††††††††††††††††† Shearer

 

Goalkeeper

A bit controversial choosing Peter Shilton over Gordon Banks and maybe David Seaman and Ray Clemence.But for longevity, playing through several generations of football, bossing the defence, saving and commanding the ball, itís Peter Shilton.

Right Back

Just like Man Utd, England have never had world class full backs.So you have to choose from steady full backs or the occasional genius but thereís not much there and most of them, even the ones with lots of caps are hard to remember.I always ask myself, if I was a player who would I not like to play against, either as a forward or a defender.Playing against Viv Anderson would be the most difficult, though there have been some other good steady full backs.Paul Parker had the pace but wouldnít frighten me; Gary Neville for a time was world class but not right now.Phil Neal, steady but hard to remember.Always loved Terry Cooper and Mick Mills, but in the end for gangly awkwardness, itís Viv Anderson.

Left Back

This one isnít so difficult.Who would I not like to play against?Who would frighten me?Who brings sprit to the team?Who can belt a good left footed free kick?Whoís got the bottle?Who can get up the wing?Whoís a Psycho?Stuart Pearce.Others to think about; Kenny Sampson well capped, Graham Le Saux on his day can be lethal, Ashley Cole not sure about yet, but I wouldnít be frightened to play against him.

Central Defenders

One player picks himself straight away. Bobby Moore.Reading of the game, pace, tackling, passing, commanding the team. Thatís the easy one.The other one is hard to choose.I laughed when I saw Jack Charlton chosen for the all time England team which is what prompted me to write this.But the more I looked at it the more difficult it was to choose this player.In every generation thereís one big centre back who stands out.Norman Hunter, Dave Watson, Terry Butcher, Sol Campbell, Martin Keown, Mark Wright.I thought about who was the most difficult, the tallest whoís won something, who can score goals.I nearly went back to Jack Charlton, but in the end for spirit, tackling, longevity, Iíve gone for Tony Adams.

Midfield

Always the most difficult ones to choose.There have been so many good players but no consistently great midfielders for England.Sure in their time Brooking, McDermott, Peters, Waddle, Hoddle, and the rest sometimes did it, and what about all those skilful players not given a run for England, Stan Bowles, Tony Currie, Alan Hudson, Matt Le Tissier, Rodney Marsh, Frank Worthington, Now it gets difficult because there have been so many midfielders.It also depends on if thereís going to be 2 wingers.Two hard central midfielders or one hard one and one skilful, or two skilful central midfielders.

One of the best ways to choose, is to look at the number of caps and goals.You canít go far wrong there.Mind you how does that explain John Barnes!

You also need something a bit special, someone who can produce a magic touch when needed.So for caps and steady play and goals and defending and box to box, itís Bryan Robson.For something special itís Paul Gascoigne.He did it in Italia í90, he did it in Euro96, he can score goals, he can create goals, heís daft as a brush and represents all those skilful players who never got a look in for England.

Next.Iíve just changed my mind.No Iíve changed it again! Controversially Iíve got Stevie Coppell.I want a winger who can cross the ball and plays well for England.I think Beckham is over rated and plays nowadays like theyíve changed to a plastic football, in other words he overhits his passes and shots.He doesnít do many crosses, and heís not so good he plays well in central midfield.So Iíll go for Coppell for the time being.However, if you want goals goals goals from all your midfielders then 2 players stand out.David Platt and Martin Peters.I donít remember Martin Peters that well, but the more I read about him the more I realise what a great player he was.So Iíd probably have him instead of Coppell if pushed.Platty never seemed that good, but for a while was Englandís only scoring player.A bit like Scholes.

The final player in midfield, or the third front man is of course Bobby Charlton.You have to have him in.Heís a winner, he has the caps and goals.He has the stamina, the passing ability the long range shots.Heís the first choice along with Bobby Moore.It means that some of those linking favourites arenít in the team.Beardsley and Sheringham, Scholes.Others like Hoddle and Le Tissier never really got the chance.Who cares, Bobby scored the goals.

Attack

This oneís not so difficult, just choose the top goal scorers and hope that does it.Just one problem, thereís more than 2.

I guess Iíll go for the modern day players who can also move wide.Lineker and Shearer. Gary Linekerís ability to be in the right place at the right time served England well, mind you, you could say that about Geoff Hurst.Shearer can do the lot, including free kicks.Maybe I should have Jimmy Greaves; again, I donít remember him that well but his record is second to none.

You have to pick two, which means Michael Owen (still not sure about him), Robbie Fowler (whoís never quite produced it), Kevin Keagan, Roger Hunt, donít get a look in.With Lineker and Shearer playing you always feel theyíll have a good game and produce something.

 

First

Second

Third

Fourth

Smile

Frown

Shilton

Seaman

Banks

Clemence

Banks

Shilton

Anderson

Neville

Parker

Neal

Dyer

Anderson

Moore

Ferdinand

Hughes

Charlton

Moore

Hunter

Adams

Campbell

Thompson

Hunter

Ferdinand

Charlton

Pearce

Le Saux

Sampson

Dorigo

Le Saux

Pearce

Robson

Bell

Ince

Ball

Waddle

Stiles

Gascoigne

Platt

Hoddle

Waddle

Gascoigne

McMahon

Coppell

Peters

Beckham

Hunt

Brooking

Robson

Charlton

Beardsley

Sheringham

Francis

Charlton

Lee

Lineker

Greaves

Owen

Hurst

Lineker

Shearer

Shearer

Keagan

Fowler

Channon

Worthington

Wise