Friday, August 21, 2015

North West England All-time 23 member team

The two most successful clubs in England are located in North West England.  In addition, it is the home of Everton, Manchester City, Burnley, Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool, Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End and Wigan FC.  They all have made impacts on English football.

This is my selection of a 23 member all-time team for players born in North West England.  All players are selected according to their place of birth.  I have also created an all-time team foEngland.

GK: Frank Swift (Lancashire)
Widely to be considered the greatest English keeper before the emerge of Gordon Banks and Peter Shilton.  He was an all-time great with Manchester City. Because of the War, his international career was limited to 19 times.

GK: Scott Carson (Cumbria)
Carson has played with many clubs.  His stint with West Bromwich Albion was probably his best years.  He was a part of the 2006 WC team, but he did not play his first international game until 2007.  However, he was best remembered for his blooper vs Croatia at a qualifying match for Euro 2008.

GK: Joe Corrigan(Greater Manchester)
He played majority of his career with Manchester City between 1967 and 1983.  He only made 9 appearance for England in an era dominated by great English keepers.

RB: Jimmy Armfield(Lancashire)
Blackpool's greatest player.  He captained England for 15 times.  He was voted "the best right-back in the world" after the 1962 WC in Chile.


Jimmy Armfield


RB: Bob Crompton (Lancashire)
Crompton was a great player early into the 20th CenturyHe played his entire career with Blackburn Rovers.  He played 41 times for England between 1902 and 1914, a record until Billy Wright broke it in 1952.

CB: Roy McFarland (Merseyside)
McFarland was one of the top defenders in the late 1960's and early 1970's. He was a key player for the great Derby side under Brian Clough. He played 28 times for England and was a part of the team that did not qualify for the WC in 1974

CB: Jamie Carragher (Merseyside)
Carragher spent his entire career with Liverpool.  He is their seond longest serving player in history.  He won the Champions' League in 2005 and two FA Cups with them.  He was a part of England's team at Euro 2004 and the WC Finals in 2006.

 CB/LB: Emlyn Hughes (Lancashire) 
He was at one point the captain of England and Liverpool.  He was considered to be one of Liverpool's most important defenders.  He played under Bill Shankly in the 1970's where he won two European Cups, four League titles and a single FA Cup. He was FWA Football of the Year in 1977.  He earned 62 English caps. 

CB: Phil Thompson(Merseyside)
He made his professional debut in 1971 for Liverpool and never looked back.  He was a part of the decorated team that won 3 European Cups and 7 league titles.  He formed a partnership with Alan Hansen that was considered among the best ever in Europe.  he was briefly the captain for Liverpool.  He also earned 42 caps and went to Spain 1982.

LB:  Roger Byrne (Lancashire)
Byrne was the captain of the Busby Babes.  With Manchester United, he won the league title in 1952, 1956 and 1957. He earned 33 caps with England while playing in every England's fixtures in that period, a record for England.  Unfortunately, he died at the age of 28 in the Munich Air Disaster.

CB/LB: Kevin Beattie (Cumbria)
He was a key player for Bobby Robson's great Ipswich side of the 1970's and early 1980's.  He won the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 1973-1974.  He played 9 times for England.

CM: Steve Gerrard (Merseyside)
He represented his country at the 2000, 2004 and 2012 UEFA European Football Championships, as well as the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups – captaining the team at the latter two tournaments.  He led Liverpool in winning the Champions' League in 2005. He is the third highest cap holder for the Three Lions.  He won the PFA Players' Player of the Year in 2006 and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 2009.


Steve Gerrard


DM: Nobby Stiles (Greater Manchester)
Stiles was a member of the WC team in 1966 as well as Manchester United's European Cup winning team in 1968.  He was remembered for his battle against Eusebio at both the WC in 1966 and the European Cup Final in 1968.  He earned 28 caps with England.

AM/CM: Paul Scholas (Greater Manchester)
Scholas was a member of Manchester United's Class of 1992.  He spent 20 years with Manchester United's first team.  He won 11 Premier League, three FA Cup and two UEFA Champions League winners medals.  He earned 66 caps for England before he retired from the Three Lions in 2004.

CM: Alan Ball  (Lancashire)
Ball was the youngest member of the WC winning team in 1966. He started his career with Blackpool.  He also played with Everton, Arsenal, Southampton and various clubs in North America and Hong Kong.  He played 72 times for England and was a key player at the WC finals in 1966 and 1970.  He missed the ill-fated match vs Poland in 1973 due a suspension.

RW/LW: Steve McManaman (Merseyside)
From 1990 to 1999, McManaman played for Liverpool as a member of the "Spice Boys".  In 1999, he made a big move to Real Madrid, where he won the Champions' League in 2000, scoring one of the goals.  He also won two La Liga titles.  He was considered of the best football export from England in recent years. He later played for Manchester City.


Steve McManaman

RW: Steve Coppell (Merseyside)
He was a great winger for Manchester United between 1975 and 1983.  In 1977, he won the FA Cup by defeating Liverpool and stopping them from winning the treble.  He picked up 43 caps for England.  He played at Spain 1982 while suffering from an injury.  That injury would eventually end his career at the age of 28 with Manchester United.

RW/LW: Tom Finney
He was knighted in 1998.  He was widely considered one of the greatest winger in history.  He was the FWA Footballer of the Year twice: 1954, 1957.  He played with Preston North End.


Tom Finney


ST: Tommy Lawton(Greater Manchester)
Considered to be one of England's greatest attackers.  He started his career shortly before the outbreak of the War.  He scored 65 goals in 87 matches for Everton before the War.  he joined Chelsea after the War.  In 1947, he shocked the world by joining Third Divison Notts County.  He later played for Brentford and Arsenal. He scored 22 goals in 23 matches for England.

ST: Nat Lofthouse (Greater Manchester)
Loftthouse played his entire career with Bolton Wanderers. He played over 450 games for them.  He played 33 times for England, scoring 30 goals.  He is considered among the greatest attackers in England's history.

FW: Wayne Rooney(Merseyside)
In 2002, Rooney made his professional debut as a 16 years old with Everton.  Less than a year later, he became England's youngest international when he played against Australia.  He made his big tournament debut at Euro 2004.  he scored 4 goals and named as a member of the tournament's best XI.  At the time of writing, he is England's key player for every major tournament since Euro 2004.  As for Manchester United, he has won 5 Preimer League titles.  In 2008, he formed a partnership with Cristano Ronaldo and won the Champions' League.

ST: Sir Geoff Hurst (Greater Manchester)
Best known for scoring a hat trick at the 1966 WC Final against West Germany.  He also played in Mexico 1970.  He earned 49 caps for England.  His club career was spent mainly with West Ham and Stoke City.  He had a stint in NASL with Seattle Sounders in 1976. 

ST: Dixie Dean
He was a star player in the pre-War era,  He scored 379 goals in 438 games, 28 goals in FA Cup matches, and 18 goals in only 16 caps for the national team.  England did not participate in any major international tournament in his era.

Honorable mention
Terry McDermott, Ted Taylor, Tommy Smith, Gary Neville, Gary Stevens, Tommy Wright, Brian Labone, Nicky Butt, Michael Owen, David Platt


Squad Explanation
-- I went for three keepers more well-known than Ted Taylor. 
-- Gary Neville, Garry Stevens and TommyWright are overshadowed by two of the best right backs in England's history.
-- McManaman get selected because he played in the left wing position before, a position that England always has problems
-- Labone was underrated, but North West has many talents in the back.  I went with two former WC winners over David Platt and Terry McDermott.
-- Michael Owen had the talents to be great, but his career was cut short by injuries.

Starting lineup
-- All four centre-backs can start for this team.  I went with Thompson and Hughes at the back.  They played together art Liverpool in real life.
-- Scholes and Gerrard might not fit together in this formation.  Alan Ball could have started in place of Scholes, but Scholes played well at the end of his career over there andI should try this formation.










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