A blog by Patrick Crozier

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June 08, 2004

England's Dream Team

On Saturday night Channel 4 announced the results of its nationwide poll to find out the all-time top England eleven, or Dream Team, as they put it. This is it:


Ramsey managing.

First observation: only one player from before 1966. I suppose that's the influence of TV. If you weren't on TV, or that TV wasn't much cop (as it wasn't before colour and other advances) you don't count. The fact that Finney made it all is amazing. Ballot stuffing, anyone?

Gazza. NOOOOO. Sure, he had his moments but precious few after 1991. Bryan Robson would have been a far better choice.

Psycho at left back? Another one of those people's choices. The alternatives were Ashley Cole (too young) and Kenny Sansom. Remember him? Precisely. You don't. Why not? Because no one ever got past him. He should have been there.

Shearer. I tend to rate my strikers on the basis of magic moments. The problem is that Shearer didn't supply enough of them. Not like "when Lineker scored" or Owen against Argentina, Germany and Brazil.

Ramsey? The real problem was that we weren't offered either Sven or Taylor. Why not one has to ask? Sven has already been ridiculously successful. If he manages to get us into the second round in Euro 2004 he should be knighted. The absence of Taylor, the man who despite wrestling with an almost complete lack of talent masterminded England's most successful Euro campaign, is simply bizarre. Without those two we were left with Robson (who managed to lose all three games at Euro 88) and someone else whose name I have forgotten.