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Two Newcastle United players make the greatest ever England team

11 months ago

England play their 1,000th international match tonight.

Gareth Southgate’s side taking on Montenegro at Wembley.

Ahead of the match, BBC Sport set out to find the greatest ever England team.

They picked out 53 England players from down the years and asked fans to pick their 11.

Over 126,000 took up the invitation.

Amongst the 53 nominations, 10 were former Newcastle United players (see below).

BBC Sport have announced the results and two former Newcastle players make it into the ll-time 11, with another on the bench.

Gazza makes the England team with 50% of fans choosing him, whilst Alan Shearer also makes the cut with 47%.

Whilst Stuart Pearce is on the bench with 28%.

I agree with a lot of this all-time England team but I reckon the likes of Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole and David Beckham are all a bit dubious.

BBC Sport report:

‘England’s men play their 1,000th match when they face Montenegro on 14 November, and to mark the occasion we asked you to pick your all-time Three Lions XI.

Over 147 years, 19 managers have selected 1,244 players, but through consultation with a collection of BBC Sport’s finest football minds, we narrowed it down to 53 of the best from which you could choose.’

The final England selected (percentage shown of how many fans selected each player):

Gordon Banks (61%)

Gary Neville (42%)

Rio Ferdinand (41%)

Bobby Moore (78%)

Ashley Cole (58%)

David Beckham (50%)

Bobby Charlton (61%)

Paul Gascoigne (50%)

Jimmy Greaves (40%)

Gary Lineker (58%)

Alan Shearer (47%)


These are the players who narrowly missed out on your XI and the percentage of teams they were selected in…

Steven Gerrard (39%), Wayne Rooney (35%), Bryan Robson (28%), Stuart Pearce (28%), Peter Shilton (27%), Paul Scholes (27%), John Terry (24%), Tony Adams (24%), Stanley Matthews (20%)

The Mag – 11 November 2019:

It will be the 1,000th England international match when they face Montenegro on Thursday 14 November 2019.

So far they have a record of Played 999, Won 568, Drawn 242, Lost 189 and have scored 2,188 goals.

Altogether 19 managers have selected 1,244 different players.

BBC Sport are trying to put together the greatest ever England team of 11 players.

BBC Sport journalists – including chief football writer Phil McNulty, BBC Radio 5 Live’s football correspondent John Murray, senior football reporter Ian Dennis and BBC Sport live text commentator Tom Rostance – have selected a long list of potential players who could/should be included.

They are asking England fans to pick their eleven players which you can do HERE, results will be revealed in a special programme on BBC Radio 5 Live on Wednesday, 13 November from 7pm with a panel of guests discussing the selections.

Looking through the nominations picked out by the journalists, I counted up 10 different one-time Newcastle players…

The 10 former Newcastle United players and the BBC Sport England write-ups (Caps and goals, then tournaments played in):

Sol Campbell (1996-2007). 73/1. WC 98, 02, 06. EU 96, 00, 04

If only that header had counted against Argentina in 1998… Campbell was the first player to feature for England in six consecutive major tournaments. The current Southend boss was captain on three occasions.

Kenny Sansom (1979-88) 86/1. WC 82, 86. EU 80, 88

Was England’s most-capped full-back until overtaken by Ashley Cole. The left-back played in 37 consecutive games for England.

Stuart Pearce (1987-99) 78/5. WC 90, EU 92, 96

Provided one of England’s most memorable moments with his penalty against Spain in 1996, six years after missing in the World Cup 90 semi-final shootout against West Germany. Third-oldest outfield player to play for England when he faced Poland in 1999 at the age of 37 years and 137 days. Captain on 10 occasions.

John Barnes (1983-95). 79/11. WC 86, 90. EU 88, 92

Maybe never reached the heights of his club career with Liverpool but still a key player for a decade and scored one of the great individual goals in Brazil in 1984. Played up front alongside Gary Lineker at times.

Paul Gascoigne (1988-98) 57/10. WC 90. EU 96

The best player of his generation? ‘Gazza’ was a genuine superstar who captured a nation’s hearts in 1990. Only played in two tournaments and lost a semi-final in a shootout to German opposition in both. Iconic player who scored one of England’s finest ever goals against Scotland in 1996.

Chris Waddle (1985-91). 62/6. WC 86, 90. EU 88

Hit the crossbar and the post against West Germany in the 1990 World Cup semi-final – and then missed the decisive penalty. The third-most expensive player in the world when Marseille paid Tottenham £4.5m in 1989, Waddle was an old-fashioned winger who played centrally at times.

Peter Beardsley (1986-96) 59/9. WC 86, 90. EU 88

Only scored nine goals but that doesn’t tell the whole story – was often the foil to the prolific Gary Lineker. Made a late comeback for England under Terry Venables and was named in the provisional squad for Euro 96 at the age of 35.

Kevin Keegan (1972-82) 63/21. WC 82, EU 80

England struggled to qualify for major tournaments during much of Keegan’s international career, then went out at the Euro 80 group stage. His England days ended with a header wide in a match against Spain in 1982 as Ron Greenwood’s side missed out on a World Cup semi-final spot. Captained England on 31 occasions and managed them briefly in 1999-2000.

Michael Owen (1998-2008) 89/40. WC 98, 02, 06 EU 00, 04

Few England players have announced themselves on a global stage quite like Michael Owen did at France 98. His goal against Argentina in the last 16 ranks as one of England’s finest and for so long he seemed certain to set records. He was only 27 when he scored his 40th and final goal for his country as his form and fitness tailed off. Scored in four consecutive major tournaments – a record – before injury ended his World Cup in Germany. Only Rooney has more competitive goals.

Alan Shearer (1992-2000) 63/30. WC 98. EU 92, 96, 00

Scored on his debut alongside Gary Lineker and on his final appearance alongside Michael Owen. Captained England at his only World Cup and was top scorer at Euro 96.

Some of these played for Newcastle United at their peak, some in the twilight of their careers…

Your memory plays tricks and I was sure I remembered Kenny Sansom playing for NUFC but had to double-check just in case I had imagined it. Turned out it was the 1988/89 relegation season when he turned out 20 times for us.

Of the 10 players above, the ones I would say are in any way candidates for the greatest ever England team, are Alan Shearer, Gazza, Peter Beardsley, Kevin Keegan and Stuart Pearce.


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