WouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t it be fascinating if you selected an England team of the year from the Premier League to play against an overseas team of the year from the Premier League. I hope you think it would be, because if not, thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not much point in reading the rest of this article!
I am going to select the England team first, based just on this seasonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s performances. It is a very subjective selection but I will stick by the tried and trusted English system of playing a solid 4-4-2 formation with no naturally left sided forward player. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve done that for years and it has always brought us great success.
In goal, there has been little competition for David James. Maybe Robert Green at West Ham has staked a claim, but Calamity James it is.
The right back slot goes to Glen Johnson, also of Portsmouth. He has excelled this season. I thought about giving the role to Wes Brown but then realised that he isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t very good.
Left back provides a problem. Ashley Cole has been poor, EvertonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Jolean Lescott is really a centre-half and I think that BlackburnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Stephen Warnock is the only other English left-back in the top half of the Premiership. On that basis, I will select Lescott as he has been pretty impressive. Anyway, it fits in with the English system of playing right footed players on the left and having no natural width.
The centre-half pairing will be Rio Ferdinand who has been immaculate and David Wheater at Middlesbrough who has impressed everyone this year including Fabio Capello. John Terry has been below his best, Jonathan Woodgate and Ledley King are rarely fit and Matthew Upson is, well, Matthew Upson.
On the right of midfield we will go with David Bentley and on the left Aston VillaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ashley Young who gets better each time I see him.
The central midfield pairing is crucial and I will go with Steve Gerrard and Michael Carrick. Paul Scholes was close, but Carrick is better at holding.
Up front, I really should go for the top two English goalscorers. That is Jermaine Defoe in joint tenth place with twelve goals and Wayne Rooney in joint twelfth with eleven.
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the England team then:
Johnson, Ferdinand, Wheater, Lescott
Bentley, Gerrard, Carrick, Young
Now for the Rest of the World Premier League team.
In goal it is a choice between Petr Cech, Edwin Van Der Saar, Pepe Reine, Tim Howard, Brad Friedel and Mark Schwarzer. Bit of wider choice than I had for England! IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll go with Friedel, just because of his performance against Manchester United the other week.
Right back is tight, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll give it to ArsenalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Bacary Sagna who had an impressive first season.
Left back is between Clichy and Evra. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll give it to Evra on the basis that I think he is marginally the all-round better player, but thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not much in it.
The centre-halves pick themselves in my opinion. Nemanja Vidic and Ricardo Carvalho have been magnificent all season.
I thought I might give that Ronaldo chap a run-out on the right. On the left, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll go with Alexander Hleb of Arsenal, who has shone after a slightly disappointing start.
Central midfield is not easy as there are many contenders. Anderson, Alonso, Flamini, Essien, Cahill and Elano have all staked a claim, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to select Fabregas and Mascherano.
Up front IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll go with the top scorers behind Ronaldo. Fernando Torres and Emmanuel Adebayor.
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the Rest of the World team then:
Sagna, Vidic, Carvalho, Evra
Ronaldo, Mascherano, Fabrigas, Hleb
Whilst you may well argue with many of my choices, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll agree that the members of both teams would be there or thereabouts if such teams were selected.
So who would win? I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to be negative about the England set-up or the quality of players we currently possess, but I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see them standing a chance against this World eleven.
I think Ronaldo, Torres, Adebayor and Hleb, prompted by Fabrigas would give the English defence a torrid time. For England, whilst Rooney and Gerrard might pose the odd problem to the Rest of the World, their biggest threat would probably come from the set piece deliveries of Bentley and Young.
I do think the game would be close, but the overseas players would undoubtedly be victorious in the end.
I was going to select a team of English players earning their living on the continent, but I got stuck after David Beckham and Colin Kazim-Richards! Maybe we may have just stumbled on why England are not terribly successful in international competitions.
What do you think?
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