Since the beginning of the Premier League era, some of the best players in the world have plied their trade in English football. Whether it be foreign stars, or homegrown talent, we are privileged to have witnessed some of the finest players in world football, lighting up the Premier League on a regular basis. Choosing the greatest ever team is a tough task. All football fans will have different views on who should be in, and who shouldn’t. Here is my greatest ever Premier League XI.
David Seaman was for a long period the number one, for both Arsenal, and England. He had a steadying influence between the sticks, one that reassured his defence. He could also pull off some incredible saves. He is, without doubt, Arsenal’s greatest goalkeeper in recent times.
Petr Cech won everything at Chelsea, a large part of that was down to him. His height makes him a commanding keeper, he can go toe to toe with the best strikers around, and come out on top. He is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League in the last ten years.
Peter Schmeichel was a big part of the Manchester United team that dominated English football. He helped his team win the treble in 1999. His presence in goal is legendary. In one on one situations, Schmeichel was the best around. Not only is he the best ever keeper who has played in the Premier League, he is also one of the greatest keepers the world has ever seen.
The winner is Peter Schmeichel.
Lee Dixon was the regular right back for Arsenal for a long period of time, during the time when Arsenal possessed one of the most feared defences in the country. He was a solid defender, and one that could be depended upon time and again.
Pablo Zabaleta has lost some of the form which made him the best right back in the league. He played a key part in Manchester City’s title-winning teams. A warrior on the pitch, who never knows when to give in. On his best form, he is still currently the best right back in the Premier League.
Gary Neville was a constant fixture in the Manchester United, and England team. He was hugely successful with Manchester United during his time at the club. He found the perfect balance for a full back, between defence and attack. He was also consistent, and could be depended upon in the biggest of games. Most of the work he did often went unnoticed, and the part he played was often under-rated.
The winner is Gary Neville.
Patrice Evra became a huge figure at Manchester United. He had speed, strength and was always up for a battle on the pitch. In later years, his experience proved crucial to his club. The French international is one of the most complete left backs to have played in the Premier League.
Denis Irwin was one of the most reliable players during his day. Not only could he be relied upon to perform to a high-level, he was also technically very good. This is why he has to go down as one of the best-left backs to have played in the Premier League.
Ashley Cole had everything, which is why he is remembered as one of the best-left-backs in world football, during his time playing in England. He possessed all the abilities required to make him an all round world class full back. He could defend, and attack in equal measure. Something which today’s modern full backs struggle to achieve. His pace, dribbling, and willingness to go forward, made him one of the best attacking left backs in the world. His tackling and positioning made him one of the most feared defenders to come up against.
The winner is Ashley Cole.
Centre Back 1
Jaap Stam was not only one of the best defenders of his time, he was also superb technically for a centre back. Although he departed Old Trafford acrimoniously, he will long be remembered as one of the best defenders to play in the Premier League. In his prime, he was one of the most complete centre-backs in world football.
Rio Ferdinand reached exceptional heights at his time at Manchester United. He could play the ball out from the back as good as any centre back in the world, he was also solid defensively. He epitomised how the modern day centre back should play the game.
Tony Adams wasn’t just a fantastic footballer, he was also an inspirational leader. Not many players have ever had the ability to read the game the way that Adams could. He was both physically, and technically, on another level to the majority of the opponents he came up against. During his time at Arsenal, he helped lead the club to reach new heights. His all round game makes him the best centre back to have ever played in the Premier League. This is why he has to be in this team.
The winner is Tony Adams.
Centre Back 2
When Vincent Kompany doesn’t start for Manchester City, they look like a shadow of the team that we are used to seeing. One his day I believe he is currently in the top three centre backs in the world. He is a complete centre back, with very few weaknesses.
Nemanja Vidic was a colossus at the back during his time at Manchester United. One of the strongest players to have played in the Premier League, with a warrior-like attitude. He enjoyed a hugely successful time at Old Trafford, and will go down as one of the best centre-backs ever for the club.
John Terry has spent his entire career at Chelsea. He will go down as one of Chelsea’s greatest ever players, and one of the Premier League’s greatest ever defenders. His leadership abilities and uncompromising style made him an important player for both club and country. Chelsea have relied on him for the last decade and he hasn’t let them down, guiding the team through their most successful period in history. When it comes to out and out defenders, nobody is as good as Terry.
The winner is John Terry.