England Team - The Greatest 11 Of All Time

by nickupton

Every football fan in England has a view on who should be in the national team. Here is my fun look at fielding the greatest English 11 ever.

Since winning the World Cup on home soil in 1966 the England national football team has struggled to meet the expectations of the England fans.

Every football fan in England has an opinion on who should be in the national team and here I have created my own idea of who would be the ideal personnel for an all time greatest England team.

Reading this page it will become quite obvious that my selection is extremely tongue-in-cheek, but I hope that it provides a different way of looking at some of the qualities of a number of England's most historic figures.

I hope you have some fun reading my selection of the greatest England team of all time and there is a section for you to add your own suggestions as to who should have made the "team".

1. Queen Elizabeth II

Goalkeeper

Having been the Head of State for over sixty years Queen Elizabeth II has plenty of experience and has always provided the country with a safe pair of hands. Providing stability during the breakup of the British Empire, several periods of economic austerity and dramatically changing times and apart from one little slip up in the 1990s Queen Elizabeth II's performance has always been rock solid.

Queen Elizabeth II is of indisputable international quality and she would walk straight into the team of any other nation; her name is the first down on the team list with the knowledge that she will stay calm at the back - the perfect choice for England keeper.

2. Charles Dickens

Right Back

Simply putting the name Charles Dickens down on the team sheet strikes awe into the opposition even before the game has begun. With his defense of the poor he has shown that he is an ideal candidate for the England back line.

Although Dickens is low on international experience his performances on the domestic scene are extremely impressive and have become world renowned. 

Dickens has also shown that he can contribute to the attack with some particularly notable attacking performances against teams from London and Yorkshire, earning his place in the England team.

3. Alfred The Great

Centre Back

Having repelled a Viking invasion Alfred the Great supplied England with one of its greatest ever defensive actions providing a "no way through" attitude and a high level of organisation. Usually recognized as Englands first king, his leadership and defensive might is exactly what is needed from a centre back and with Alfred the Great playing this position England will be well-prepared for the physical threat provided by Scandinavian, German, African and Eastern European teams.

Having a player nicknamed "The Great" can only serve to intimidate opponents and his renowned intelligence helps him read the game from the back.

4. RAF

Centre Back

The Royal Air Force supplied the nation with its biggest ever defensive victory in the Battle of Britain making it the most obvious choice for a key role in the heart of the English defensive line.

Speed, manoeuvrability, bravery, doggedness and tactical awareness are the main qualities that the RAF bring to the back-line of the team as well as providing an aerial threat in attack at corners and free kicks around the opposition's box.

With the RAF organizing England's defense there will be no way through to goal and they will inspire the other players around them.

5. Queen Elizabeth I

Left Back

Queen Elizabeth I proved early on in her reign that she can defend well against even the most intricate attacks and deal with the pressure that comes from her own fans. Playing at international level for many years gives her the experience to do well at international competitions.

Modern full backs need to be able to turn defense into attack and Elizabeth I proved that she can do that with a great  victory against top ranked European opposition.

Under Elizabeth I England started to punch above its weight so her name goes down on the team list without a moment's hesitation.

6. Margaret Thatcher

Centre Midfield

Margaret ThatcherStaring down her opponents, the ability to intimidate and "the lady's not for turning" attitude makes Margaret Thatcher the obvious choice for the role of midfield ball-winner. Margaret Thatcher qualifies as this England team's "psycho" and there is no doubt that opponents will come off second best in bone-crunching tackles with "Maggie". The fact that she has experience leading the nation to victory against Argentina, one of England's biggest footballing rivals, adds to making her place in the side safe.

Most other countries would love to have someone as tough and single-minded as Margaret Thatcher in their team.

7. Henry V

Centre Midfield

Leadership, inspiration and an indomitable attitude is what Henry V brings to the England team. Having led the English to one of their most famous victories, at Agincourt, against a far superior French team, Henry V epitomizes what English fans like to see in a central midfield player. His performance against the French proved that he is able to turn defence into attack and deliver victory against the biggest nations.

Alongside experience in beating one of England's biggest rivals, Henry V's motivational speech as written by Shakespear will spur the players alongside him along when things are not going so well on the field of play.

8. Stephen Hawking

Right Wing

The position of right wing requires someone who can think outside of the box and do that something a little bit special and Stephen Hawking certainly falls into that category.

Stephen Hawking's ability to continually supply something new, complicated and confusing proves that he is just the right sort of player to outwit the opposition, regardless of their world ranking, making him the ideal person to play on the wing and supply the forwards with a high quality product.

Stephen Hawking has been playing at international level for over forty years giving him the experience to perform for England in the biggest games.

9. Captain James Cook

Left Wing

Captain Cook has an unprecedented level of international experience that most players can only dream about. Having repeatedly demonstrated his ability to penetrate deep into foreign territory he is the ideal candidate to play on the wing setting up the English attack.

Wingers need to have a sense of adventure to circumnavigate the opposing team's players and Captain Cook has this in abundance.

With his endurance and ability to withstand all sorts of hardships, Captain Cook is well-equipped to deal with hard tackles from big defenders and makes his claim on a place in the England team.

10. Lord Horatio Nelson

Centre Forward

Lord Horatio Nelson has all the characteristics needed to head England's attack, ruthlessness, speed, tactical awareness and great finishing. Having shown that he has what it takes to take on and beat two of Europe's strongest sides, away from home, England's attack has to be built around Lord Nelson.

Nelson is well-known, though, for not making it quite to the end of the game so he will probably need to be substituted having made all the moves to destroy the opposition.

Any country would welcome Lord Nelson straight into their team's attack such are the number of his victories over world class teams all over the globe.

11. Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington

Centre Forward

Having his own brand of boots gives Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington an edge in attack over the opposition's defenders and puts a unique swerve on the ball making him dangerous at free kicks.

Arthur Wellesley is a proven winner, with the self-assured attitude that all good attackers need as well as having the experience of obtaining important victories away from home. Throughout British history there have been few better attackers than the Duke of Wellington and his mere presence will strike fear into the hearts of many of the teams that will come up against an England side with him in it. 

Manager - Sir Winston Churchill

Tactical shrewdness, motivational skills, popular with the fans, meticulous planning, good with the media, the ability to manage lots of different personalities, bringing out the best in his players, finding the right people for the job - these are all skills which Sir Winston Churchill brings to the management table making him not only the best qualified for the post but also the "people's choice" for England Manager.

Whether its backs-to-the wall defensive movements, probing attacks or finishing off the opposition Sir Winston Churchill has a proven track record and having lead his country to one great victory over one of their greatest rivals, Germany, this is the manager to revive English footballing fortunes.

Physio - Florence Nightingale

As probably the most famous nurse the country has produced Florence Nightingale is an obvious choice as team physio.

Her legendary prowess with the "magic sponge" and "magic spray" will provide the correct remedy to players who have fallen to the ground as if shot by a sniper - a few minutes of Florence Nightingale's attention and any injured player will be back on their feet dancing a jig.

Most international teams can only dream of a team physio of the quality of Florence Nightingale.

Norman Wisdom

Substitute

If the team is flagging, needs an injection of energy or a boost in moral it is always great to have someone like Norman Wisdom to bring on as a substitute for the last 20 minutes. Shouts of "Mr Grimsdale" will motivate the team and his wild antics are sure to bamboozle even the best defenders in the world giving the team an edge in attack.

Norman Wisdom is exactly the sort of impact substitute who can change a game although there are question marks over his reliability over the whole 90 minutes.

Sir Barnes Wallis

Substitute

There come times in football matches when regardless of the quality of your side, you just cannot get a goal. Well, the inventor of the bouncing bomb, Sir Barnes Wallis, is just the player to blow a hole in the opponents' defense.

Coming off the bench to add a different style of attacking play, Barnes Wallis is the type of player who can hurt opponents when they are tiring towards the end of the game. Wallis's shooting ability comes in particularly useful at free kicks.

Sir Richard Branson

Substitute

Every team needs a utility player, one who can play in a number of positions and Richard Branson has a proven track record in being successful in a wide range of fields.

Whatever is needed on the pitch, whether it is an injection of pace, ability in the air, a boost in moral, energy or leadership, Richard Branson is able to turn his hand to it if another player is injured.

This level of adaptability is why Richard Branson makes it onto the bench; he is so versatile that he can even play in goal

Richard The Lionheart

Substitute

With the three lions of Richard the Lionheart's coat-of-arms forming the basis of the England team's badge pride in wearing the team shirt should not be a problem with this player. If a goal is needed towards the end of a game Richard the Lionheart's attitude of all-out attack will come in highly useful.

Richard's attacking prowess was proved with several victories over Saladin although several off-the-field scandals and tactical naivity mean that Richard has to be used sparingly.

Emmeline Pankhurst

Substitute

Passion, action, motivation and the ability to make a massive impact in a short space of time make Emmeline Pankhurst another ideal "super-sub" who can be brought on towards the end of a game to turn the result around.

She is not over-awed by a large and sometimes intimidating crowds but there are some questions surrounding the way that she plays so this is why Emmeline Pankhurst makes the substitute's bench and does not start.

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How The England Team Lines Up

England Team
England Team

I have picked my England team and given the reasons for selecting each player. As with any England team selection some people will agree with me and some will not - England fans always like to argue over who should be in the national team.

Many of these people are so well-known that many non-English readers may have an opinion on who should be in my all-time greatest England 11.

For these reasons I have supplied the following section for people to tell everyone who they would have picked and why.

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Have I Picked The Best England Team Ever?

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No, there are other players you should have picked.
JoHarrington on 06/18/2012

I'm objecting to Thatcher on the grounds that I can't support any team with her in it. How about Emily Wilding Davison instead?

chefkeem on 06/18/2012

I'd put the Prince of Wales between the goal posts. His big ears cover a lot of space.

Yes, this is a great team.
nickupton on 06/22/2012

I knew Thatcher would be a controversial one. You don't have to like her politics to recognize that she had enviable leadership qualities and would scare the hell out of the opposition. I stick by my selection.

Another England Football Page

In England being the England Football Manager puts you on par with the Prime Minister and God; only the Queen has seniority. Here is a step-by-step guide to being England Manager.

England's Best Keepers

England Keeper - My Top 5 Of All Time
Over the years England has had some great goalkeepers to call upon but there have also been times when potentially great keepers have not lived up to their promise. Here I list the top five best England keepers in my opinion.

Updated: 10/30/2012, nickupton
 
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