I was asked recently to pick my all time Newcastle United one to eleven. I think a friend of mine had been watching Fantasy Football Club with Fenners and tubby Newcastle hating Paul Merson, in which they ask players to pick the best they played with.
Something inspired him to ask me for my line up.I must say I thought about it long and hard, I’m 27 years old and in that time I have seen some absolute magicians…..I have also seen a lot of crap as I’m sure you can all relate. I realise that a thread like this is hardly unique and has in fact probably been done on here prior to this. But I thought I would share my team with you all, I have based this on players I have seen in my time.
Right, so I have gone 3-4-1-2 in what is a very attack minded team but hey it’s the only way I could get everyone in that I wanted. Now I feel this team would concede heavily but would score more than enough to compensate. So here goes, apologies in advance if anyone has already fallen asleep!!
GK- Shay Given– Pretty obvious pick, speaks for it’s self. Wonderful servant to our club and is a huge reason that we didn’t get relegated a lot sooner than we did. Shay resisted big offers over the years to remain on Tyneside, but finally lost all patients and left for Manchester City the season we went down. For a player that cost in the region of £1.5 million, we had a wonderful keeper in Given.
CB- Jonathan Woodgate– I genuinely think that Woody when he was fit was the finest defender I have seen in black and white stripes. It broke my heart when he was sold to Madrid, but given the money that was being thrown at us and the player’s injury record it made sense.
CB- Fabricio Colocinni– Captain Colo has been a rock for us, following a difficult first season in England. He oozes class, very composed and comfortable and a huge hitter in our current squad. Colo is the only current player that would make my team.
CB- Phillipe Albert– Albert is the last of my three at the back. The Belgian was one of my favorite players growing up. Like Woodgate, he wore the number 27 which strangely is my favorite number. Great character and if for nothing else he makes the cut for the infamous chip in the 5-0 Man United victory.
RM- Nobby Solano– So dangerous from set pieces, Nobby’s delivery was fantastic. So often given the responsibility of providing for Shearer, the little Peruvian didn’t disappoint. Bought for peanuts originally and enjoyed two spells on Tyneside. Genuinely loved our club, he reluctantly moved south to West Ham for family reasons after his second spell. I remember Nobby playing against us for Leicester in the Championship, we sang his name for the majority of the 0-0 draw.
LM- David Ginola – There has always been a bit of a debate on who was better between David and Laurent Robert. Both fantastic on their day, frustrating on others. For me Ginola easily makes it to the best eleven. He frustrated whoever was playing left back (usually Bez) with his reluctance to track back and defend, but on the ball he was a magician. I had his name on the back of the 96 shirt, I always thought it was such a pleasure watching him. I was very bitter when Dogleash sold Ginola, if I remember correctly there was personal beef between the two?
CM- Gary Speed– Speedo would of had his work cut out for him in this team, as it’s so attacking. Gary was solid and reliable, excellent passer of the ball and had an eye for goal too. I remember meeting Speedo when I was a kid and he was a top guy too, really had time for the fans. He was a proper role model and a credit to the game. Gary was finding his feet as a manager and was doing an excellent job with the Welsh national team. For reasons that have not been confirmed Gary was found dead two years ago. it is thought he hung himself, there has been lots of unconfirmed stories as to what happened. Sad sad loss either way. R.I.P Gary.
CM- Robert Lee– True Newcastle legend. Kevin Keegan told him Newcastle was closer to London than Boro was in a ploy to snatch the player away from the smoggies. It worked! Rob signed for Newcastle and went on to captain the club and become a big fans favorite. Probably my favorite player of all time. Once branded as ‘the best midfielder in Britain’ by KK, Rob was a pivotal part of The Entertainers who were irresistible in the mid 90s. lee eventually left for Derby.
AM- Peter Beardsley– I thought I would have Beardo in a bit of a free role, we all know Pedro had bags of ability. An absolute pleasure to watch wherever he played, another magician and another integral member of The Entertainers. Not much you can say about Beardo, he was pure class and definitely a gorgeous man! I did notice he had a fondness for using the word ‘obviously’ in interviews, haha.
CF- Alan Shearer – What can I say?! Love him or hate him as a football fan there is no denying how important this man is to English football. Still holds the record for most Premier League goals. Shearer showed an awful lot of loyalty to the club too, throughout his career he was constantly linked with moves away from St James’ Park. Once Big Al arrived for £15 million, he would spend the rest of his career at Newcastle United. Selection again speaks for it’s self.
CF- Les Ferdinand– We have had a few strikers over the years who could rival Sir Les- Tino, Cole, Bellamy even. But for me Les was superb, physical presence, good in the air and he formed a good partnership with Shearer. He’s another good player that fell victim to Kenny Dalglish. The striker was sold to Spurs when Kenny arrived.
So there you have it, had to miss a few out. I listed the strikers, also special mentions to David Batty, Kevin Nolan and apologies to full backs that haven’t got a look in. For me that’s the best in recent years. Not the most detailed thread, but just a bit of fun. Who would make your eleven?