Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Greatest All-Time Team Under Bobby Robson (club only)

UEFA Cup 1981 with Ipswich

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for players who played for Bobby Robson(club players only).  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.  

Bobby Robson had a colourful career as a manager.  he first made a name with Ipswich Town, where he won the 1978 FA Cup and the 1981 UEFA Cup.  After a very successful career managing the English national team, he began a career outside of the United Kingdom.  He is probably the most successful British manager coaching in the continental Europe.   

Bobby Robson's Ipswich

Forgotten Great Team: Bobby Robson's Ipswich: here

GK: Vitor Baia (Portugal/Porto/Barcelona)
He was Portugal's most decorated keeper. He was one of two keepers who had won all three UEFA main club competitions.  With Porto, he won 26 titles, including the Champions League in 2004.  He played in the Euro 1996 and 2000, and the WC finals in 2002.

GK: Shay Given (Ireland/Newcastle United)
Given started his career with Celtic, but made his professional debut with Blackburn Rovers.  He was remembered for playing with Newcastle United from 1997 to 2009.  He was voted into PFA Team of the Year twice, 2001-2002 and 2005-2006.  He earned 126 caps for Ireland. He played in the 2002 WC Finals and Euro 2010.

GK: Hans Van Breukelen (Holland/PSV)
He started his career with FC Utrecht and then, Nottingham Forest.  He moved to PSV in 1984, where he became a star.  For the nnational team, he was a fixture since 1980.  However, he helped the Oranje to reach a major touranemt until in 1988, where they won the first ever trophy for the national team.

RB: Joao Pinto (Portugal/Porto)
Bobby Robson said of him: "He has two hearts and four legs. It's extremely difficult to find a player like him."  He won the European Cup in 1987 with Porto.  He was one of Porto's greatest fullback.  He spent his entire professional career with Porto, winning nine leagues and the 1987 European Cup.
Joao Pinto

RB: Eric Gerets (Belgium/PSV)
Eric Gerets is considered one of the greatest European rightbacks in history. His best club career was spent with Standard de Liège and PSV Eindhoven.  He won the 1988 European Cup with PSV as their captain. He also played briefly for AC Milan and MVV Maastricht.  Gerets was capped 86 times.  He played a big role as the Red Devils finished second at the Euro 1980 and reached the semi-final of the WC 1986 Finals.

CB: Fernando Couto (Portugal/Porto/Barcelona)
Fernando Couto won the Double in every leagues he played in and in three different countries.  He was a member of Portugal's Golden Generation that won won the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship. He earned 110 caps.

CB: Jorge Costa (Portugal)
Except at the very end of his career, Jorge Costa played his entire career with Porto, serving as its captain for a few seasons.  He won the 2003 UEFA Cup and the 2004 Champions League with them.  He was a part of the Golden Generation that won the U-20 World Cup in 1991.  He represented Portugal at Euro 2000 and the World Cup 2002.

CB: Terry Butcher (England)
Butcher was one of England's greatest defenders. He captained the England national team, winning 77 caps in a ten-year international career that featured three FIFA World Cups. Butcher also enjoyed success in his club career, particularly with Ipswich Town and Rangers. With Ipswich, he was a part of Bobby Robson's team that won the UEFA Cup in 1981. In 1986, he joined Rangers as one of the first wave of English players playing for Graeme Souness' Rangers in the 1980's.
Terry Butcher
CB/DM: Gheorghe Popescu  (Romania/PSV/Barcelona) 
He was perhaps the most famous Romanian defender and the second most important player during Romania's Golden Generation in the 1990's.  He was Romanian Player of the Year 6 times.  In 2000, he helped Galatasaray to win the UEFA Cup, the first time ever for a Turkish club. 

CB: Russell Osman (England/Ipswich)
Osman spent 11 seasons with Ipswich.  He also played in the Football League for Leicester City, Southampton, Bristol City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Cardiff City. Osman played senior international football for England, for whom he received eleven caps.

RB/LB: Mick Mills (England/Ipswich)
Mills holds the record for appearance with Ipswich Town.  He became the captain of Ipswich in 1971, where he formed a close relationship with manager Bobby Robson.  He also played with Southampton and Stoke City.  Mills was capped 42 times.  He captained England at the 1982 World Cup Finals.  
Mick Mills

CB/LB: Kevin Beattie (England/Ipswich)
Beattie 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: Arnold Muhren (Holland/Ipswich)
Muhren was one of the few players who had won the European Cup (1972–73), the Cup Winners' Cup (1986–87) and the UEFA Cup (1980–81).  He first made his name by playing for Ajax with his brother Gerrie.  In 1978, he joined Ipswich, where he became one of the first Dutch players in the league.  Capped 23 times.  He was a part of the Euro 1988 winning team.  He crossed the ball to Marco Van Basten where he scored the famous volley goal in the Final against the Soviet Union.
Arnold Muhren

CM: Pep Guardiola (Spain/Barcelona)
He won a Champions' League with Barcelona in 1992. He was their captain from 1997 to 2001.  He also played for Brescia and Roma in Italy, Al-Ahli in Qatar, and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico.

CM: John Wark (Scotland/Ipswich)

LW/FW: Luis Enrique (Spain/Barcelona)

RW: Luis Figo (Portugal/Sporting CP/Barcelona)
He is probably one of Portugal's greatest players.  He was the 2000 European Footballer of the Year, the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year, and in 2004 was named in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players. He is one of the few football players to have played for both Spanish rival clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid. His controversial 2000 transfer from Barcelona to bitter rivals Real Madrid set a world record fee of £37 million (€62 million).  With Real Madrid, he was the first member of the Galacticos. He won the Champions' League title in 2002.
Luis Figo

LW: Ljuinko Drulovic (Yugoslavia/Porto)
In 1992, he went to play for Gil Vicente in Portugal.  A year later, he joined Porto, where he won 5 straight, league title.  He was also known for his partnership with Mario Jardel, who won the European Golden Shoe.  Later in his career, he joined Benfica and FK Partizan.

AM/LW: Gary Speed (England)
Speed played professionally for Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United.  He held the record for the most appearances in the Premier League at 535, until it was surpassed by David James.  He was best remembered for winning the English league title in 1992 with Leeds United..  He made the PFA Team of the year in 1993. He was capped 85 times for Wales and served as the captain.
Gary Speed

ST:  Emil Kostadinov (Bulgaria/Porto)
He is best remembered for scoring two goals against France in the World Cup Qualfying match that helped Bulgaria to qualify for the WC in 1994.  He was capped 70 times.  Professionally, his best stint was with Porto where he spent 4 seasons.

ST/FW: Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria/Barcelona)
He is Bulgaria's greatest player. At the 1994 World Cup, Stoichkov was awarded the Golden Boot as the joint top goal scorer of the tournament with six goals, as well as earning the Bronze Ball award. . At Barcelona he was part of Johan Cruyff's "dream team" that won four consecutive La Liga titles and one UEFA Champions League.  He also won the Ballon d'Or in 1994.

ST Romario (Brazil/PSV)
He helped the Seleção to win the 1994 FIFA World Cup, receiving the Golden Ball as player of the tournament. He was named FIFA World Player of the Year the same year. He missed the 1998 WC Finals because of an injury. One of very few strikers to surpass the mark of 1,000 goals. He was best remembered for his stint with Barcelona.
ST: Alan Shearer (England/Newcastle)
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.

ST: Paul Mariner (England/Ipswich)

ST: Ronaldo (Brazil/Barcelona)
He led Brazil to two WC Finals match, winning the one in 2002.  He scored 8 goals in 2002.  He was the winner of Ballon d'Or twice and the FIFA World Player of the Year three times.  He is the second top-scorer in WC history.  He played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, and for both AC Milan and Inter Milan.  

Honorable Mention
Alan Brazil(Ipswich), Paul Cooper (Ipswich), Frans Thijssen (Ipswich), Eric Gates (Ipswich), Brian Talbot (Ipswich), Jan Heintze (PSV), Gerald Vanenburg (PSV), Erwin Koeman (PSV), Iván de la Peña (Barcelona), Miguel Nadal (Barcelona), Rob Lee (Newcastle), Kieron Dyer (Newcastle).

Squad Explanation
-- I only considered players from Bobby Robson's club team. 
-- Cheung Chi Doy (張子岱) of Hong Kong was one of his first ever signings as a manager.  Robson signed him for Vancouver Royals(his story here), but he never got to coach the Canadian team.  
-- The team is geared toward Bobby Robson's Ipswich, where his name was most likely to be associated.  However, I tried to take players from different teams.
-- Alan Brazil and Eric Gates were some of my favourite players, growing up.
-- I am not familiar of his career with Sporting CP.
-- Luis Figo also played for Bobby Robson at Sporting CP.
-- Bobby Robson considered Ronaldo as the greatest ever player who played for him.
-- Bobby Robson also discovered Jose Mourinho who was his translator in Portugal.

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