It’s been almost 20 years since the ‘Premiership’ as it was then called first kicked off in 1992. Some truly wonderful players have graced the world’s elite league, here is my all time XI.
GK – Peter Schmeichel
A close call between Schmeichel and David Seaman, but the Dane gets the nod. The two outstanding goalkeepers over the years, Schmeichel’s five league wins tipped it for me.
RB – Gary Neville
Although it pains me a little bit to write his name, hats off to Gary Neville. Neville played in seventeen of nineteen campaigns until his retirement at the end of last season, notching up over 400 appearances in the process. A brilliant right back who, apart from the tail end of his career, was remarkably consistent.
CB – Tony Adams (c)
The best English centre back of my lifetime, Adams was also talismanic as the captain of the Gunners. A Premier league winner twice, and runner up three times, Adams was a fantastic example of an ‘old fashioned’ centre half.
CB – Sol Campbell
Campbell made his name at Tottenham Hostpur, before making the very bold move to North London rivals Arsenal, where he went on to win two titles. Campbell continued his Premier League career with three seasons at Portsmouth, before making his bow at Newcastle. For the best part of his career, Campbell was world-class.
CB – Patrice Evra
There were only two candidates for this spot, Evra marginally beat Ashley Cole on the basis that he’s been more consistent. Ashley Cole was brilliant at Arsenal, but his performances at Chelsea haven’t always matched that. Evra, on the other hand has been brilliant throughout and shows no signs of slowing down. He’ll be looking to add to his four domestic titles in England.
RM – Cristiano Ronaldo
An easy choice. Arguably the best player in the world, Ronaldo spent six seasons in the English Premier League, scoring 84 goals during his time here. Since his move to Real Madrid, Ronaldo has managed an incredible 87 goals in two and half seasons. Ronaldo tore defences apart time and time again with his strength and flair.
LM – Ryan Giggs
No explanation necessary.
CM – Paul Scholes
A true footballing genius, Scholes has made over 450 Premier League appearances and has been an ever-present during Manchester United’s dominance of English football. Xavi stated last year that Scholes was a ‘reference point’ for any modern footballer. High praise indeed, but no more than he deserves. Ten winner’s medals shows his class, and at 37 years of age, he’s after number eleven.
CM – Frank Lampard
Since Lampard signed from West Ham in 2001, he has gone on to become one of the greatest midfielders in the world. Often criticised unfairly, Lampard has scored 124 goals, provided 90 assists, won three Premier League titles and came runner up to Ronaldinho in 2005’s Ballon d’Or. If you need convincing any more, read this.
ST – Thierry Henry
Blessed with outstanding technical ability and a lethal finish, Thierry Henry is perhaps the finest individual player I’ve seen play in the Premier League. He scored 174 goals over eight seasons and picked up two league titles. Arsenal love him that much, they built a statue of him outside The Emirates Stadium, which brought Henry to tears.
ST – Eric Cantona
Cantona beat the likes of Alan Shearer, Dennis Bergkamp, Robin van Persie and Ruud van Nistelrooy to claim the final spot in my Premier League XI. Cantona was a brilliant footballer who could win any game. He spent five seasons at Old Trafford, winning four titles and scoring 64 goals. Furthermore, “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea”.
Manager – Jose Mourinho
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