Sam Allardyce has chosen his greatest ever 11 players who he has managed throughout his career.

The Premier League official website asked the former Newcastle boss to pick his best ever team, with perfect timing the selection is being announced as Sam Allardyce is expected to take over at Sunderland in the next few days.

Allardyce has managed in 437 Premier League matches (so far…) and in his selection he has chosen players from Blackburn, West Ham, Bolton and Newcastle United.

Here is his selection with reasons below:

Jussi Jaaskelainen (Bolton)

Habib Beye (Newcastle)

Ryan Nelsen (Blackburn)

Winston Reid (West Ham)

Ricardo Gardner (Bolton)

Fernando Hierro (Bolton)

Jay Jay Okocha (Bolton)

Gary Speed (Bolton)

Stewart Downing (West Ham)

Nicolas Anelka (Bolton)

Youri Djorkaeff (Bolton)

Sam Allardyce has only picked the one player from his Newcastle days, Habib Beye, who he bought from Marseille.

Gary Speed is also selected but the pair were together at Bolton, a surprise there is no Kevin Nolan but Allardyce gives a part explanation below.

It could have been three former Newcastle players but Shay Given just missed out:

Sam Allardyce:

“It was a close call with Shay Given at Newcastle but I wasn’t there that long…”


Left central midfielder: Gary Speed (Bolton)

“It was difficult not to pick Kevin Nolan for obvious reasons, but I went for Gary. The combination of the three would tantalise any midfield in the Premier League today, if they were together in their prime. All three didn’t play together because Gary came just after Fernando (Hierro) left. He was Mr Dependable as well.”

Right back: Habib Beye (Newcastle)

“Right-back was a tough choice. Habib Beye, who I took to Newcastle after being Marseille captain, was one of the best players to have adjusted to the Premier League. He finished player of the year in his first season. That meant he just pipped Michel Salgado, who I got from Real Madrid at Blackburn. Michel was at the latter stage of his career so Habib just edged him.”

A major surprise that not more of his brilliant Newcastle signings feature, how on earth could Allardyce have left out Geremi, Viduka, Smith, Cacapa, Barton, Rozehnal…