Saturday, August 22, 2015

North East England Greatest All-time 23 member team

North East England is the home of several greatest coaches ever to have emerged from England.  Bobby Robson, Brian Clough, Don Revie and Bob Paisley all came from the region.  Newcastle United, Sunderland and Middlesbrough are also located in North East England.

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

GK: Eddie Hopkinson (County Durham)
He spent almost his entire career at Bolton Wanderers and currently holds the record for appearance at the club.  He earned 14 caps and was England's backup keepers at the 1958 WC Finals

GK: Jimmy Montgomerry (Tyne and Wear)
Montogomerry is Sunderland appearance record holder.  He helped them to win the FA Cup in 1974. He later joined Nottingham Forrest and served as Peter Shilton as they won the European Cup in 1980.

GK: Fraser Forster (Northumberland)
Forster started his career with Newcastle United.  After a series of loan deals, he joined Celtic in Scotland. He won three straight league title with them. In 2014, he moved to Southampton.  At the time of writing, he earned 3 caps for England and went to Brazil 2014 with the national team.

RB: William Ashurst (County Durham)
He played for Lincoln City, Notts County and West Bromwich Albion in the 1920's.  He had 5 caps for England.

CB/DM: Norman Hunter (County Durham)
Hunter was known as one of the hardest tackler ever came out of English football. His nickname was "Bites Your Leg" Hunter.  He was one of Don Revie's key players at Leeds United, forming a strong partnership with Jack Charlton. He was PFA Player of the Year in 1974.  He won the WC in 1966 as an unused player.  He went to Mexico 1970, but only made a single appearance.
Norman Hunter
CB: Jack Charlton (Northumberland)
Jack Charlton played his entire career with Leeds United.  He was FWA Player of the Year in 1967.  He is the elder brother of the Manchester United great, Bobby.  They helped England to win the WC in 1966 and reached the semi-final of Euro 1968.  He earned 35 caps for England.

CB: Colin Todd (County Durham)
Started his career with Sunderland, but his most famous stint was with Brian Clough's Derby.  His transfer fees in 1971 to Derby was a record for a defender in England.  He would win the league title in his first season with Clough. He was PFA Player of the Year in 1975 after Derby won their second league title in 1974. He earned 27 caps for England.

CB: Jonathan Woodgate (Tyne and Wear)
Known as one of brightest talents while playing in Leeds United, he went on to play for Newcastle United and Real Madrid.  However, his career was marked a series of injuries. He later played for Tottenham Hotspurs, Stoke and Middlesbrough.  He managed to earn 8 caps for England.
Jonathan Woodgate
LB: George Hardwick (North Yorkshire)
Widely considered to be Middlesbrough's greatest defender.  He was England's first post-WW II captain.  He played 13 times for England.  He also captained Great Britain in a friendly match vs the Rest of Europe in 1947.

LB: Terry Cooper (North Yorksire)
He was Don Revie's trusted left back at Leeds United. He played for Leeds from 1962 and 1975.  He left to join Middlesbrough, which was then managed by his teammate Jack Charlton. He had 20 caps for England.

CM: Bryan Robson (Country Durham)
He was at one point the most expensive British player.  He is considered to be one of England's best ever box-to-box midfielders.  He earned 90 caps for England. He went to three World Cup Finals, but he only played a major role in 1982.  He was injured in both 1986 and 1990.  He spent 13 years with Manchester United.
Bryan Robson
CM: Michael Carrick (Tyne and Wear)
He started his career with West Ham and Tottenham Hotspurs before moving to Manchester United in 2006.  At Old Trafford, he won every major trophy for club football, including the Champions' League Title in 2008.  He went to the WC Finals in 2006 and 2010.

CM: Colin Bell (County Durham)
Bell is considered to be Manchester City's greatest ever player.  He won the league in 1967-1968, FA Cup in 1969 and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1970. While Bell is considered to be one of England's greatest midfielder, he was unable to showcase his talents in the world stage.  He was remembered as the substitute for Bobby Charlton at the WC Finals in 1970 against West Germany.  In 1973, he was a part of the ill-fated national team that failed to qualify for West Germany 1974.
Colin Bell 

LW: Chris Waddle (Tyne and Wear)
During his long career, his most important stints were played with Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspurs, Olympique Marseille and Sheffield Wednesday.  He won the FA Cup with Tottenham Hotspurs in 1987.  Then, in 1989, he joined Bernard Tapie's Olympique Marseille for 4.5 million pound, which was then the third highest transfer fees.  He went to Sheffield Wednesday in 1992-1993, where he reached both FA Cup and League Cup Final.  Despite losing both finals, he was voted FWA Player of the Year for that season. he won 62 caps for England, and went to the WC in 1986 and 1990.

RM/RW: Trevor Steven (Northumberland)
He was a key player in the great Everton side of the 1980's, where he won two League titles and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1985.  In 1989, he moved to Gramme Souness' ambitious Rangers.  Two seasons later, he broke the English transfer record in 1991 when he joined Tapie's Marseille for 5.5 million pounds.  However, he only lasted one season and returned to Rangers.  He went to the WC Finals in 1986 and 1990.

AM: Paul Gascoigne(Tyne and Wear)
Gazza was the most gifted player of his generation, but his career was marked controversy and injuries.  He made his debut with Newcastle United before moving to Tottenham Hotspur.  After impressing at Italia 1990, he moved to Lazio.  However, his career there was marked with injuries and incidents off the field.  In 1995, he joined Rangers with a club record fee. He had a successful career at Rangers, but he left in 1998 and went to play for many clubs all over the WC Finals.  For the national team, he earned 57 times.  He was remembered for the tears in his eyes as he received his yellow card against West Germany in the semi-final.

Paul Gascoigne

AM: Bobby Charlton(Northumberland)
Sir Bobby was considered one of the greatest midfielders of all-time.  He was capped 106 times by England and led England to World Cup victory in 1966.  He is also England's all-time leading scorer and all-time cap leader at the time of his retirement.  He was selected for four World Cups (1958, 1962, 1966 and 1970). For club career,  he almost played his entire career with Manchester United.  He was the hero of Manchester United's the first ever European Cup trophy in 1968. He won the Ballon D'Or in 1966.
Bobby Charlton

CF: Jackie Milburn(Northumberland)
Milburn was best remembered for his career with Newcastle United and was considered .  He won three FA Cup titles in 5 years in the 1950's. He was a second cousin to Jack and Bobby Charlton.  He went to the WC finals in 1950, which was England's first ever appearance at the WC Finals.

SS/FW: Peter Beardsley (Northumberland)
He was the only player in history to have joined Manchester United and Manchester City, and Liverpool and Everton.  He made his professional debut in Canada before moving to England in 1982.  In 1987, he joined Liverpool on the same summer that John Barnes joined the club, forming another great side for Liverpool.  He later played for various clubs in England.  For the national team, he played in the WC Finals in 1986 and 1990

CF: Stanley Mortensen (County Durham)
Mortensen spent most of his career playing for Blackpool. In 1953, he scored a hat trick at the FA Cup Final that would became as the "Matthews Final".  For the national team, he became the first English player to score in a WC qualifying match and then, the first to score in the Final.  
Stanley Mortensen

ST: Raich Carter (Tyne and Wear)
In 1936, he became the youngest captain ever to have captained a league winning team when Sunderland won the league.  He broke the same record for FA Cup when Sunderland won it a year later.  His career was, however, limited by the War.  After the War, he joined Derby, where he won the FA Cup again in 1946.  He became the first player to win the Cup both before and after the War.  And because of the War, he only earned 13 caps for England.  He also played cricket.

ST: Wilf Mannion (North Yorkshire)
Nicknamed "Golden Boy",  he played for Middlesbrough between 1936 and 1954.  He received 26 caps and went to the 1950 WC Finals in Brazil.  He also fought in Italy and France during the War.

ST: Alan Shearer (Tyne and Wear)
Shearer is the all-time leading top-scorer for the Premiership.  In 1992, he joined Blackburn Rovers from Southampton in a record transfer. He won the Premiership for 1994-1995 season.  In 1996, he joined his home town club, Newcastle United for a world record transfer fees. He was FWA Player of the Year in 1994, and PFA Player of the Year in 1995 and 1997.  For England, he earned 63 caps. IN 1996, he led England to the semi-final of Euro 1996 at home, winning the Golden boot award. He also played the 1998 WC Finals and Euro 2000.
Alan Shearer

Honorable Mention
Dennis Tueart,  Mick McNeil, Adam Johnson, Ralph Coates 

Squad Explanation
-- The backline had a strong Leeds United connection.
-- The rightback position is relatively weak.  So I only brought one. 
-- The last player "cut" was Dennis Tueart. I opted to pick an extra midfielder in Michael Carrick than selecting Dennis Tueart.
-- The rest of the squad is very straight forward.  

Starting lineup

-- I toyed with the idea of starting Cooper, Charlton and Hunter together using the Leeds United connection.
-- I moved Norman Hunter to the midfielder because I wanted ro start Todd in the back and he might be a better player than Carrick.
-- Shearer, Mortensen and Carter could start in the attack. In the end, I dropped Carter.

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