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What is the best XI in the history of the Premier League?

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Phil McNulty | 15:16 UK time, Thursday, 19 April 2012

The Premier League has been home to many of football's elite for 20 years - so choosing the final XI to represent the best of those two decades is the equivalent of the game's hospital pass.

No choice will please everyone because someone's favourite will be excluded, someone's compelling case ignored because only 11 players can be picked within the designated 4-4-2 format.

So with the hardest tin hat on, here goes - and then you have the opportunity to choose your Barclays Premier League team of the last 20 seasons.

Some areas are easier to decide than others. In a matter of personal preference, Peter Schmeichel's deeds at Manchester United will win my goalkeeper's choice.

Schmeichel's Old Trafford colleague Gary Neville goes in at right back while Ashley Cole's successes at Arsenal and subsequently Chelsea means he edges out the wonderful and unsung Denis Irwin on the opposite flank of this defence.

Central defence will provide another fruitful area for fierce debate and disagreement. As a judgement over the course of the entire Premier League I have gone for Arsenal captain Tony Adams, an inspirational leader and collector of trophies, to play alongside Rio Ferdinand, who has played in the top tier for West Ham United, Leeds United and for the last decade at Old Trafford.

Does Cristiano Ronaldo make the best XI? Photo: Getty

This area of the pitch, along with central midfield, caused more thought that any other and quite frankly plenty of combinations would be of equal stature when you study the other names up for nomination such as Marcel Desailly, Nemanja Vidic, John Terry and others.

As a little bit of a left-field suggestion I may have been tempted to pair Adams with his Arsenal colleague Martin Keown had he been on the list, but he is not available for selection.

And so the heartbeat of this team. This very phrase alone means one man takes his place straight away - and as captain. The great Roy Keane.

Keane was abrasive, fiercely competitive and undoubtedly had a dark side to his game. Set this aside, however, and you had the player you would want in football's trenches with you all day long. He could adapt to any type of game, whether it was of the flowing attacking variety or a physical war of attrition.

The choice of who partners Keane is virtually impossible, but as this is a reflection of 20 years of the Premier League I am going to go (with apologies to Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, Chelsea's Frank Lampard and Arsenal's Patrick Vieira) for Manchester United's Paul Scholes.

The key to this selection is endurance as well as quality. Scholes easily stands alongside those players but they were relative latecomers compared to Old Trafford's "Ginger Prince", who has played in the Premier League for 18 seasons and won 10 titles (so far).

Again it is a matter of personal preference but only one man was at the forefront of my thoughts when it came to leading the Premier League's attack - Alan Shearer.

Shearer's record of 260 goals in 441 Premier League games for Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United demands inclusion and, after much thought within the framework of the selection process and team formation, his partner will be Thierry Henry, with the not unreasonable goalscoring record of 176 goals in 258 games for Arsenal.

All the names on a world-class list of strikers would make a wonderful pairing. Players of the calibre of Dennis Bergkamp, Eric Cantona, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Wayne Rooney and Robbie Fowler are also available for your consideration.

The combination of Shearer and Henry, in this purely subjective selection, provides the identikit of the perfection striking partnership - but maybe you think differently.

Only one man could patrol the right-flank, and lots more besides, and that is Cristiano Ronaldo. The Premier League charted his journey from teenager arriving from Sporting Lisbon through his successes at Manchester United to superstar status and an £80m move to Real Madrid in 2009. And a record of 84 goals in 195 games only adds to the potency of his attacking cohorts Shearer and Henry.

The place on the other flank goes to Ryan Giggs, the man for all 20 seasons of the Premier League and now fighting to win his 13th title at Manchester United. Giggs has made the transition from dazzling teenager to the most mature of Premier League operators over these two decades, still possessing all the qualities Sir Alex Ferguson requires to continue his own silver-lined Premier League story.

Let the disagreements and debate begin - and let me know your best team of two decades of the Premier League


Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    No Matt Le Tissier or Georgi Kinkladze?

  • Comment number 2.

    wheres ronny rosenthal?

  • Comment number 3.

    "Shearer's record of 260 goals in 441 Premier League games for Blackburn Rovers,"

    Sorry, how many goals did Shearer get for Blackburn?
    Blame the sub-editor. Great team, Keown would've ruined it.

  • Comment number 4.

    Actually - Adams ahead of Desailly? I don't agree with that at all.

  • Comment number 5.

    I can't see alot wrong with that team. No mention in the article for Andy Cole or Zola is a but surprising.

  • Comment number 6.

    actually pretty hard to argue against your selections Phil, might not have had Rio, but can see why he is up there. Paul Scholes though? Yes he has played for most of the seasons but Gerrard and Lampard have both outperformed him in their admittedly shorter contributions.

  • Comment number 7.

    No Steven Gerrard? A man who has been dragging a poor Liverpool side up the league almost single handedly for the last 10 years...

  • Comment number 8.

    are you a man united fan?

  • Comment number 9.

    Good work Phil

    Swap Paul McGrath for Rio Ferdinand and it's job done.

  • Comment number 10.

    Man Utd bias screaming from this selection. Letting my bias show through, Rio not on the same planet as Terry or Desailly who are also both better than Adams. No slight mention of Zola/Le Tissier yet you mention Fowler and Van Nistelrooy?!?!?!

    Oh, and Ashley Cole "edges out" Denis Irwin!?!?!?!?!? Just like Shearer and Henry edged out Jason Lee?

  • Comment number 11.

    No Igors Stepanovs? It's a disgrace!
    Seriously, though: good choice. Certainly not easy.

  • Comment number 12.

    No Dean Windass, not even a mention.

  • Comment number 13.

    no arguments with ur team phil..except tht i think gerrard should be ahead of keane..!!

  • Comment number 14.

    "Shearer's record of 260 goals in 441 Premier League games for Blackburn Rovers"

    Do you even bother to research these articles? Wasn't Shearer's record for Blackburn 138 League appearances (171 in all competitions) scoring 112 goals (130 in all competitions)?

    Are you confusing his record for Blackburn with that for Newcastle (303 league appearances (404 in all competitions) scoring 148 goals (206 in all competitions)) where he break the club's all time goal scoring record?

  • Comment number 15.

    Matt le Tissier I can understand maybe being left out but Dennis Bergkamp and Eric Cantona. Hmmm

  • Comment number 16.

    With respect to Ferdinand and Adams, I think they'd both be embarrassed to be here ahead of Paul McGrath.

  • Comment number 17.

    To those putting Gerrard ahead of Keane and Scholes - do me a favour. I really worry about some people.

  • Comment number 18.

    good team choice, would definately leave out rio, good player but injured too much. Terry or Vidic are both superior. Lampard edges out Scholes aswell just for shear goalscoring.

  • Comment number 19.

    Thank you for ignoring David Beckham.

    The nominations list was extremely ropey in some positions, especially full backs and left mid. Even as a Leeds fan, I was surprised to see Kewell, Harte and Kelly nominated, but not Radebe or Martyn.

  • Comment number 20.

    This team is mostly Man Utd but I suppose they have had some talented players over the years. Success doesn't come from nothing. I think that some more of the Invincibles like Viera could have been included though.

  • Comment number 21.

    Surely Patrick Viera was a better player than Roy Keane or does there have to be a minimum of seven Manchester United players in the team? And what about Zola and Gerrard? Seems to me that Paul Scholes gets in because he's played a lot of games. I prefer to remember his mistakes which cost England the last game at the old Wembley. (a 1-0 win for Germany from a free kick caused by him trying to dribble on the edge of his own area) and the quarter final against Brazil (trying to nick the ball instead of a proper tackle). But it's all subjective isn't it?

  • Comment number 22.

    Surely you're having a laugh?

    Maybe you were worried that no-one would have much to say about a team that was properly representative of all teams in the Premiership over 20 years. What about Zola, perhaps the greatest player to play in the Premiership?

    Adams yes (although Tom Nash has a point about Desailly) but Ferdinand - did you do this team after a few beers too many? ;) John Terry, love him or hate him, has by far been the most consistent centre half in the Premiership.

    Lastly, I am no Liverpool fan but Keane instead of Gerrard, another joke surely? Come on Phil, get serious please !

  • Comment number 23.

    Leighton Baines only gets ignored because he doesn't play for Utd or a London team, he's been better than Cole for 2 years now. I'm amazed you've ignored Rooney ..or is that another example of your anti-Scouse bias?

  • Comment number 24.

    Rediculous blog really. There is literally 100's of candidates....zola, di canio, ronaldo, poyet, shearer,cantona,giggs,owen,le tissier, sheringham, bergkamp,zenden,henry....god where to start and where to end is unreal. i think more interesting would be the fight to see whos on the bench for this so called dream 11. All a matter of taste, influence and personal opinion.

  • Comment number 25.

    schmeichel neville terry adams cole ronaldo keane gerrard giggs henry shearer.

    terry and adams were inspirational as were keano and stevie g. the strength through the middle would keep the team organised and disciplined. shearer, henry and ronaldo pose their own threat with the possibility of linking up to cause even more problems. lack of options at right back and left wing but they can do a job. just missing out for me are cech, vidic, vieira, scholes, lampard and bergkamp.

  • Comment number 26.

    No place for Makelele? Underrated as always, but he was so good he had a position named after him.

  • Comment number 27.

    Having gone to the premier league website i am astonished at quite how rubbish right backs have been throughout the premier league. Warren Barton? Dan Petrescu? Stephen Carr? I have been watching the prem for its whole 20 years and one of the picks I have never even heard of. Rob Jones, who the heck is he?

  • Comment number 28.

    Pointless exercise, everyone will have a different opinion

  • Comment number 29.

    Why didnt you just go for the whole united squad? pretty abysmal that you left out Gerrard, might not of won the league but definitely should be there. Sami Hyypia, Matt le Tiss, Zola... you must've been sitting at you computer typing this guff wearing you man u shirt, with a man u blanket, drinking from your man u cup and wearing your man u glasses, and clicking away on your mouse on your man u mouse pad. screen saver the man u crest is it??. pretty appalled at the whole blog. should've just called it the 'Best Man U team of the last 20 years, with a couple of others that they wanted to sign thrown in for good measure" blog... rotten stuff

  • Comment number 30.

    swiss on chap. Guy went about his business quietly and effectively. What a holding player.

  • Comment number 31.

    No Bosko Balaban or Savo Milosevic? You really haven't considered this blog before writing it. How you can leave out such titans of the game is baffling.

  • Comment number 32.

    Yes, I'm a United fan (but it's clear on his usal blogs that Phil isn't!), and form my side of the fence Keane does Viera everytime - and Gerrard. Did you ever see Keane have a quiet game? You do Gerrard? He also matched Gerrard's feats in 'winning games himself' - or, at least, bucking the palyers up enough to get the team over the line.

    And @ Tatloaf - Denis Irwin was a fantastric left back, superb with a dead ball, an absolute team player and infinitely more likeable than Cashley. But yes, Cole JUST edges him.

  • Comment number 33.

    No point in saying Scholes shouldn't be in and backing up your arguement with non-Premiership performances, and then suggesting Gerrard!

    How Rio can be in the side ahead of Stam baffles me. Stam was the only player Fergie admits regretting selling.

  • Comment number 34.

    On a more serious note, Utd have been the most successful team in the premiership and had some of the best players to grace the English League. Given that it is hardly surprising that they have a large number of players in the starting XI.

    Its difficult to argue with the side picked and saying that Gerrard should be picked over Scholes and Terry over Ferdinand for example, will always come down to personal preference.

  • Comment number 35.

    That's a fair first XI for kid's time setting up good teams of last 20 years.

  • Comment number 36.

    An under-rated XI:

    Massimo Tiabi

    Winston Bogarde
    Jamie Carragher
    Titus Bramble
    Djimi Traore

    Bruno Cheyrou
    Eric Djemba-Djemba
    Tomas Brolin
    Ali Dia

    Bosko Balaban
    Ade Akinbiyi

  • Comment number 37.

    I forgot to mention that looking at that midfield in the graphic it hurts being a United fan....

  • Comment number 38.

    GK - Lehmann RB - Lauren CB - Campbell CB - Toure LB - Cole
    RM - Ljungberg CM - Vieira CM - Gilberto LM - Pires
    ST - Henry ST - Bergkamp

    Wouldn't lose a game all season

  • Comment number 39.

    For me, as a gooner, it has to be Viera ahead of Keane, but if a certain Mr Essien was free of injuries and ACN, im sure he would also be banging at the door.

    But, what a 4 man Midfield you have selected, that Man Utd era was one of a kind, especially being British / Irish.

    Also for me, why people like Cantona get voted above Henry I will never know, yes he was a Crazy / Brilliant talent, but Henry's record is astonishing!

    Alan Shearer, debatable for me, Torres at his best was one of the best PL players I have ever seen, Rooney, will no doubt surpass his acheivements, so in my view, already he should be their.

    If you are talking about longtivity, then people like Scholes should be included, but presuming your not due to the inclusion of C. Ronaldo, how you can say Scholes is better then Cesc is crazy. Already he shines in the best football team the world has probably seen! The man will become one of the best CM players ever!

  • Comment number 40.

    Good team although I would go for a slightly different formation:

    Gk: Schmeichel RB:G.Neville LB:Cole CB:Adams CB:Stam
    CM: Keane CM:Scholes CM: Gerrard
    FW:Bergkamp CF:Shearer FW:Henry
    Subs: Seaman, Ferdinand, Irwin, Vieira, Lampard, Cantona, Ronaldo

  • Comment number 41.

    Rooney, No. Clearly not. He has been brilliant but he just isn't quite that cut above the rest. Keeper is clear, Ashley Cole as well. CB pairing I would rather have Terry, because despite his personality on the pitch i.e never say die (which by the way is something we all love about him when it is for England but when it is for Chelsea it is like he isn't a decent defender). Vidic has been more important to Man Utd. in the last 5 seasons, so how Ferdinand gets in is a bit confusing. If your talking about a team that would win you wouldn't play Vidic and Terry because they aren't quick, but they both epitomize the clubs they play for as does Tony Adams, so I would pick 2 from three. Probably Terry and Adams. Neville is obviously the easy choice.

    Neville, Adams, Terry, Cole

    Ryan Giggs for everything he has done for the club is an easier choice than Scholes, mainly because he has fewer players to contend with on the left hand side. In the middle, everyone will have their own opinion between Gerrard Lampard Veira Scholes. Tough to say any of them don't deserve it, all I will say is... Is it more impressive that Gerrard "dragged" Liverpool to the Top four, or Lampards goals were the difference between second and first place in the league. Also, he will never get the praise from opposing fans, but I haven't heard a single Chelsea fan say they would rather have Gerrard, which whilst many will disagree does say something.

    Midfield 2= Toss up

    RW... I'm not sure this should go to Ronaldo. I think he has incredible ability, one of the best players I've ever watched but he did spend 4 seasons where every LB said "oh good Fergie's playing Ronaldo today". He was beyond brilliant for 3 years, but is that enough to get him into a team that doesn't include Gianfranco Zola? Brilliant for a lot longer... I love Ronaldo, I think he is a testament to what a player can do if they genuinely want to, he sort of defies what some South Americans with just as much ability could be. I'm thinking Robinho type players who have as much skill but clearly not enough passion, Ronaldo has both.

    Right hand side = Unknown

    Play a 4-3-3 with Giggs in the middle with 2 others

    Strikers, Henry, Shearer and Zola. Each were so important to their own club, with Cantona also increibly unlucky to miss out on the team.

  • Comment number 42.

    Good choices - one change for me - Vidic over Rio

  • Comment number 43.

    Fuming! Clearly your the biggest Man Utd fan ever! Such a biased team! No real reasons why you picked the Man U players other than your a Man Utd fan! Disgracefull! Call yourself a journalist when you dont even have an open mind!

  • Comment number 44.

    Very good choices Phil - almost identical to mine.

    I went with Vidic instead of Adams and Cantona for Henry but as you said there are strong cases for so many players.

    Henry probably would have slipped in if it wasn't for the memories that Cantona has given me as a United fan.

  • Comment number 45.

    @43. Maybe the fact that United have dominated the Premier League for 20 years has something to do with it.

    What would be your changes then?

  • Comment number 46.

    Rio?? lol

  • Comment number 47.

    Can't believe that both shearer and henry are both ahead of cantona. And where is zola?

  • Comment number 48.

    Some blatant bias towards United here! Neville Southall should be in goal, best keeper ever in the Premier League.

  • Comment number 49.

    This article is shouting out MAN U FAN! You should be ashamed of yourself for being so biased! Journalist! pfft. I suppose you looked at the list and said "How many Man U players can i get away with?!"

  • Comment number 50.

    From reading these posts Phil it seems you're biased against everyone!

    The only ones you can argue with in my opinion are Scholes and Ferdinand. I think Gerrard runs Scholes very close, but his biggest achievements were not in the Prem so I can appreciate why you went for the Ginger one.

    I wouldn't have had Ferdinand though - injuries/suspensions/inconsistency have let him down throughout his career. Still a great CB, but Terry has been better and is a true leader (although an utter ****).

    No arguments up front, Henry and Shearer stand out by a mile. Rooney will likely take a place in this team at the 30 year anniversary of the Prem. Might have to go 4-3-3 then!

  • Comment number 51.

    A subs bench for No.36:

    & Claus Lundekvam

    Even Torres might score against that team!

  • Comment number 52.

    Haha!!!! must be a Chelsea fan????
    And seriously, anyone who thinks Paul Scholes does not earn his place in that side needs their head tested! Best central midfielder for generations and still showing his class now!!

  • Comment number 53.

    I would have Vieira ahead of Keane and find a place for Le Tissier who succeeded year after year with a very poor team around him, not a group who also made this team. Utd have clearly been the best team over last 20 years but didnt necessarily have 7 of the best 11 players. Definitely would not have Ferdinand. Much like Beckham, he has managed to fool a nation (although he is far superior to Beckham)

  • Comment number 54.

    Seeing as the bulk of the team is made up of united players (and perhaps rightly so considering their success) it would be interesting to compare a manchester utd XI against and all time premiership XI. Thoughts?

  • Comment number 55.

    How anybody can not select Frank Lampard in central midfield is simply inexplicable, please do explain? Statistics don't lie. When compared to Scholes he's got more goals overall, more goals per game. Oh and he's the leading goalscorer from midfield in Premier League history. Has three times as many assists overall and again more per game. He also has made more interceptions and has a better disciplinary record with half the cards per game and about half as many overall. Please do justify how your brain can possibly come to the conclusion that Scholes is better?

    As HeartofTottenham has put so well above this is a ridiculous blog, there are 100s of candidates and of course this is just a matter of taste and personal opinion. However while there are perhaps plenty of midfielders who I could understand someone selecting over Lampard. Scholes is just not one of them, he is essentially a slightly worse player of very similar style. He may have been around for longer (one more season) than Lampard, but Lampard has achieved so much more in the time he has had.

  • Comment number 56.

    Seaman, Neville, Ferdinand, Campbell, Cole, Ronaldo, Scholes, Fabregas, Giggs, Shearer, Bergkamp

    Looking through the nominated players for the right back does show a lack of options other then neville, though with 5 players from UTD i guess it's why they've won over 50% of the premierships since it's inaugural season.

    Bergkamp is a legend and will contrast the pure power of Shearer. The pure quality that the centre mid's would produce for me puts Fabregas above the likes of Keane.

    Giggs, Scholes are a given. Went for Ronaldo as he is the only world player of the year that won it while playing in England

  • Comment number 57.

    It just goes to show what amazing players Man United has had over the last twenty years. You could slip in Vidic (so there's a partnership in defence), Irwin (who as you mentioned was close to selection anyway), Cantona and van Nistelrooy without any real grounds for complaint.

    I'd be interested to see a best XI made of players who never won a title. Unsung heroes who lifted their team but didn't have the same support as Man United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

    Would we see Gareth Bale, Joe Hart, Stuart Pearce, Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher? How about Arshavin and Modric?

  • Comment number 58.

    Almost on impossible task...... But Gerard has to be in there!!!

  • Comment number 59.

    Mr McNulty, its the best players over 20 years - not the best Man U players! Bias journalist! Pathetic! Disgracefull! An abomination!

  • Comment number 60.

    can't believe all the people claiming this blog is biased towards United, you realise Man U have easily been the best team of the premier league era? of course they will have the majority of the best players! Gerrard and Lampard are both excellent players but Keane and Scholes is a combination that has yet to be outdone in the Premier League (and when Zidane calls Scholes "undoubtedly the best midfielder of his generation" - you don't ignore that!). Ferdinand is an admittedly contentious pick but the central defence could easily have included Vidic or Bruce as well. Leaving Cantona out is quite a big step to take as well but I can't disagree with Shearer and Henry as the best and most prolific strikers the Premier League has seen (so far).

    Grow up United haters, you don't win the league 12 times in 19 years (as well as looking to win the 20th season) without having some of the very best players.

  • Comment number 61.

    No Paul McGrath ? No Le Tissier ? No Bergkamp ? I take it that Mr McNulty is not a fan of the beautiful game

  • Comment number 62.

    36 No room for Andy Carroll, then?

  • Comment number 63.

    Phil is not and never has been a Man Utd fan. He's Everton through and through. Probably the reason that a lot of Man Utd players get in the team is that they won the Premier League 13 times in 20 seasons and finished 2nd, 3rd or 4th in the others. And the reason Gerard doesn't get in the side? is because he won precisely nowt despite being a reasonable player in a poor team.

  • Comment number 64.

    Here's my pick:-

    David Seaman
    Ashley Cole
    Sol Campbell
    Sami Hyppia
    Lee Dixon
    Patrick Viera
    Steven Gerrard
    Frank Lampard
    Thierry Henry
    Alan Shearer
    Robbie Fowler

    50 times better than McNulty's, probably won't sell many shirts in Asia or get the Japanese tourists in but certainly a better team

  • Comment number 65.

    @55. "Lampard has Achieved so much more in the time he has had" than Scholes...

    They are only 3 and a half years apart in age yet...

    10 Premier Leagues's
    3 Premier Leagues's

    2 Champions League's

    FA Cup's 3
    FA Cup's 3

    Oh sorry Lampard won the Intertoto Cup in 1999!

    You must be delusional

  • Comment number 66.

    I did this a few days ago and the only difference between my team and this one was John Terry for Rio Ferdinand. I dont know if Shearer and Henry is an imbalance up front, but with the two united wingers, this team would be scoring goals for fun

  • Comment number 67.

    #64, swintondude,

    loved reading it. Nice to kick start a weekend with a good laugh.
    Is it a trademark choosing as best players that won less?

  • Comment number 68.

    @55 "He may have been around for longer (one more season) than Lampard, but Lampard has achieved so much more in the time he has had"

    Really - Lampard has won more trophies than Scholes??!!!!!

    @TMFJay - instaed of insulting Phil how about you make your own selection and arguments for that selection. Posting rubbish every ten posts is pointless.

    I have to echo what others have said about Scholes. How on earth you would replace him for Gerrard or Lampard is beyond me. Although Gerrard and Lampard WERE great players - Scoles is still in a class above them. People should maybe look at the various quotes attributed to him from the likes of Zidane, Pele, Henry, Viera etc. None of these greats have even mentioned Gerrard or Lampard.

  • Comment number 69.

    Can't argue with the Gk, full backs, wingers and strikers.
    Midfield is really any two from Gerrard/Lampard/Keane/Viera/Scholes, though my personal opinion is that Scholes is the greatest player to grace the Premier league so I would pick him.
    With the central defenders only one or two have mentioned the great Paul McGrath - as a Utd fan I'd say he is better than Vidic or Stam and definitely Ferdinand. I'm obviously biased though!

  • Comment number 70.

    It's all highly subjective, but:
    LB: Riise
    CB: Hyypia
    RB: Richards
    LM: Giggs
    CM: Gerrard
    CM: Viera
    RM: Beckham
    ST: Shearer
    ST: Fowler

  • Comment number 71.

    Hi Phil,

    I am amazed you included players who never wore the Man Utd shirt.
    I dont know how you could leave Rooney out when you nomiated him twice for best goal (even though one of them was clearly shanked).

  • Comment number 72.

    Hello Phil.

    Firstly, I hope you get the time to read some of these posts, must be difficult though.

    Next, I would like to see two teams selected, that would play each other. What a game that would be, eh?

    All in all, a decent choice of players, but I would have had at least Cantona or Bergamp, as these weren't just players but artists.

  • Comment number 73.

    What about Cantona? And Bergkamp?

  • Comment number 74.

    What about Des Walker...made Adams look like a joke. Stuart Pearce best left back by miles. Because they didn't win any titles their whole game has been overlooked!!

  • Comment number 75.

    @65 very good deliberate ignorance you must be a United fan! I said Lampard has achieved more as an individual player, look at the statistics.

    Scholes didn't win those titles by himself did he? The fact that Lampard has been in 'weaker teams' most of the time that have not won titles just exemplifies how much more impressive it is for him to have the superior player statistics he has (goals per game, goals overall, assists per game, assists overall, successful tackles per game and overall, less cards per game, less cards overall. Also this is about the Premier League so the FA cups and CL cups have nothing to do with it.

    If the number of titles won is all that matters then surely it should just be all United players?

  • Comment number 76.

    Not even a mention for Sami Hyypia? Surely one of the best buys in premiership history and as consistent a centre back as you will find.

  • Comment number 77.

    Would say Jap Stam would make a better choice for central defence...and that way the number of United players in the line-up is not altered! also, Scholes and Keane have zero tackling skill beyond fouling between them and do either of them have any kind of pace?? and imagine bringing them back to defend corners against anyone who is 6ft or above! what a joke...
    I think a good shout for leftback is George Elokobi too...

  • Comment number 78.

    #64, swintondude,

    Spot on mate (I think your team is actually 73 times better) The only difference between your team and the author of the blog is a fixational love of all things Man Utd.

    65.At 10:03 21st Apr 2012, timilovepropertylowe
    Djimi Traore won a champions league medal but I certainly wouldnt argue that he was better than Lampard.
    Or would I?

  • Comment number 79.

    Let's pick a team on winners only! I get ten man u players every time with Henry the only exception. It takes nation of losers to see it any other way and 66 and all.

  • Comment number 80.

    @64 so not I a single united player in your team despit 12 league titles in those 20 years!!! Yet 3 Liverpool players who between them have won next to nothing!!! Sammi hyppia, just spat my cornflakes everywhere reading that!!!

  • Comment number 81.

    @75 What drivel.

    Andy Coles premier leagues stats are better than Shearers - would you have him ahead of Shearer??!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 82.

    Bergkamp has to be in there for me - if there was ever a player that had the ability to turn a game and conjour something fantastic out of absolutely nothing, it was him. Always an absolute delight to watch, and a player that was generally liked by fans of any club.

  • Comment number 83.

    Sami Hyypia. Bet Fergie would have loved to have had him.

    And any one of top strikers other than Shearer.

  • Comment number 84.

    @55. Statistics can be misleading. What most people don't understand about football is what makes a great player. And that is not just his ability on the ball but his positioning off it. Pulling an opposition player away from their duties to create space for a team mate is what Scholes is brilliant at. You don't see it on TV because they focus on the ball more.

  • Comment number 85.

    @ TMFJay

    Get over yourself! If you have anything between those ears of yours, try putting it to some use, and go and do something else with your time.

    @ Phil - Fair team, can't really complain. Vidic over Rio prob, but otherwise good shout

  • Comment number 86.

    @78 Ha-ha Djimi Traore. That's hilarious!

    @81 Really please do qualify why you think it's drivel, any empirical evidence to support your view or do you just like to slate people?

  • Comment number 87.

    I think a tragic oversight to have not considered the inclusion of Pineapple Head - Jason Lee - whose own individual flair greatly oveshadowed the 'short,back&sides' of Paul Scholes, the 'emotional meltdown ability' of Gazza and the goal rate of Andrei Shevchenko - I implore the panel to review his inclusion.

  • Comment number 88.

    Agree about the forwards, but that midfield is definately not the best premier league midfield.

  • Comment number 89.

    Spot on.

  • Comment number 90.

    @77 "Scholes and Keane have zero tackling skill"


    Scholes can't tackle - that is a given.....but you are obviously only about 5 or 6 years old if you think Keane couldn't tackle.


  • Comment number 91.

    don't see how Ronaldo gets picked, had about 2 good seasons. Would've put Le Tissier, Cantona or Beckham in his place

  • Comment number 92.

    Did you know you put some none Man Utd players in your team?

  • Comment number 93.

    80. At 10:19 21st Apr 2012, Aj wrote:
    @64 so not I a single united player in your team despit 12 league titles in those 20 years!!! Yet 3 Liverpool players who between them have won next to nothing!!! Sammi hyppia, just spat my cornflakes everywhere reading that!!!
    Swintondude- Looks like your selection had the desired effect.

  • Comment number 94.

    Riise...are you serious?

    I would probably play a 3-4-1-2 formation

    Keeper - Schmeichel
    CB - Stam
    CB - Campbell
    CB - Vidic
    RW - Ronaldo
    LW - Pires
    CM - Viera
    CM - Scholes
    AM - Cantona
    STK - Henry
    STK - Shearer

  • Comment number 95.

    @timilovepropertylowe Look at how many goals Lampard has over Scholes! Look at how many games Lampard has lpayed more! Look at how many times Lampard has captained his club over scholes! Look at how many times Lampard has captained country over scholes! Look at how many many "Player of the months" Lampard has over scholes! Look at how many assists Lampard has over Scholes! Its not all about the medals!

  • Comment number 96.

    @75 yes lampard has scored more than scholes not arguing there but on that basis he and lampard should be in midfield anyway as the top two scoring midfielders in premier league. Also Andy cole should be up front instead of Henry???? Ridiculous I hear you say??? I agree as judging a player purely on goals scored is stupid even when it's a striker who's main job is to score. So basing your midfield choice on goals scored is even more stupid!!! Lampard is a very very good player but again as the greats like zidane xavi etc have said scholes is the best of a generation!! P.s I include myself as a great saying it :)

  • Comment number 97.

    To all those that are questioing Scholes inclusion, please stop, have a word, do you guys actually follow football. Yes Gerrard is brilliant, explosive, inspirational, best player for Liverpool for years but does he actually control a football match like Scholes. No he doesn't. Why are Spain so good and England so bad? Because Spain have a team full of Scholes' who control the football, keep possession and unlock defences. Gerrard isn't this type of player, he can score goals but is he like Scholes or Cesc, Xavi or Iniesta? Unfortunately not.

    In terms of the team selection there are enough goal scorers included to exclude Gerrard and by including Scholes instead, how often would the opposition get the ball? one more point, Rio brilliant, but would probably have picked Sol Campbell.No arguments with any other selections......

  • Comment number 98.

    Some peoples bitterness is astonishing. It really just makes you look like a pathetic little person with ZERO idea of football. (Swintondude)

    Manchester united have been the best club of the premiership era, and have achieved by far the most, so it stands to reason the best team of the premiership era will contain a few of their players.

    Cant see much wrong with Phils selection. When I think of the Premiership era and all the fantasy football teams I have done every pre season, every top 10 I have done with my mates in the pub, and all the discussions I have had with supporters of premiership teams, these are the players I think of.

    Some people really do wreck these threads with their inability to discuss without it turning into a slanging match, because they can't stand to hear praise of another successful teams players. Sad.

  • Comment number 99.

    @86 I did. Did you stop reading after the word drivel?

    You claim Lampards stats are better than Scholes and I countered with Andy Coles (premier league stats) are better than Shearers. Therefore if we follow your argument through then you would have Cole ahead of Shearer.....that's why you are talking drivel

  • Comment number 100.

    I like Keane and Veira but no one beats Claude Makélélé for that role...


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