After putting together one older Brit team that would function really well and a U24 Brit team with the best players (but not necessarily the biggest chance of winning), I now want to create the most balanced “All Brit” team.
I have included a graphic at the top, to what it may look like if the two teams lined up against each other. I think the older team would have the upper hand because they have the more structured defence and would absorb the pressure with Ramsey and Wilshere dropping back, before springing vicious speedy counter attacks. They would create 2 vs 1 situations on the wings with the wingbacks supporting Lallana and Vardy before crossing the ball in flat with 2/3 players in the box. The lack of outside defenders would be the downfall for the young team.
On the other hand, the U24 has significant advantages when it comes to set pieces. They have 4-5 top headers of the ball (as opposed to 2 on the 25+ side) and players who are strong at bringing the ball in or shooting directly. In addition to this, if they can catch Ramsey and Wilshere or the WBs too far forward, and Barkley can join the attack they can easily create a mismatch with more offensive players rushing in.
Nonetheless, I believe that having a top defence and structured team trumps purely offence over 90 mins. This is why I think the Oldies would win.
Creating the All Brit Team
The main attributes I will be looking for in the team:
- a competitive line-up that could beat teams
- the best possible going forward (speed, power but also with the ability to score against deep sitting teams)
- while maintaining the ability to keep the back clean (fast getting back, strong tacklers, good in the air, first point of attack)
- a good mixture of young and old players
- 4 sub players across the field
I will also be applying these principles to the “All International” team and my final “All Premier League” team.
The All Brit Team
Pickford I went with Pickford as my first choice because he has been a beacon of light for the worst team in the league and still emerged a leader at such a young age. I hope he stays in the Premier League even though Sunderland will be relegated because, as I have previously mentioned, I believe he will be the next great England goalie if he carries on developing the way he has.
(sub) Forster because you need a sub goalie incase of injury.
Clyne he was the number one choice for the right before. Chambers isn’t a position specialist there, could have been the sub option because of his versatility but was beaten out by Walker for the reasons mentioned below.
Smalling he is an experienced leader who can hold the back together. I was close to taking all three of the young CBs but the experience would be essential for the team as a whole. This is why he narrowly wins the position from Mawson, who would be my first choice to add to the defensive position group for a full squad.
Stones wins this position because of his play opening rather than his defensive skills. This would be THE position for him. He can do the defensive work but thrive as a 6/CB hybrid.
Keane already a starter in the national team at this position for a good reason. Top guy there in the UK, he has it all for a defender.
Bertrand no competition for him because Shaw hasn’t reached the same level yet, doesn’t have the experience, and is injured a lot.
(sub) Walker because it is already quite a defensive set up, it is anticipating that the team needs to get more offensive or a CB gets injured/red carded (in which case a Midfield player can be subbed in), or more intensity is needed late in the game on the wings (he could do a good job on both sides).
Lallana I have to admit that I didn’t much like him in the past, but over the last year something has changed, I like his drives to the top of the box (he comes more to the inside) and I think with Clyne on that side it would be a top match. Also if Alli pulls out to the left as he sometimes does, he is good covering OM.
Alli 6th on the list of topscorers in the Premier League. First full Midfielder on that list. 4 more assists than the guy in front of him on that list. All that at 21 and I love the attitude with which he plays. If he keeps going he will be one of the great midfielders of his generation.
Vardy mentality is a big reason why I choose players. Vardy is a quiet guy who almost never looks happy, but he is always sprinting, driving for goal and thereby leading by example. To add to that he is a tough guy and it would be great having him AND Alli on the same team as they both have the same bad-ass bite to them.
(sub) Barkley even if he isn’t having the best season he is a great young player and, when he is not asked to shoulder all the expectancy of dragging the team along with him, he is a powerful midfield dynamo. Due to the line-up, none of the DMs get a look in to the squad. The first choice would have been Allen as a play manager, this would be my first midfield addition to an extended squad.
(sub) Sterling can come in on both sides and is arguably as good as either of the guys in the starting line-up. However, not as consistent. Chamberlain was really close to getting this spot but he doesn’t have as good a flexibility for both wings.
Kane at the time of writing this post he scored 7 goals (1 assist) in his last 2 games!! He has also moved to top of the Goalscorer board in the Premier League scoring 4 more goals in 8 full games less gametime, which he missed through injury. He is the best striker in the Premier League and Top 10 in the World.
Rashford ok, so I admit that this might be a “guilty pleasure” rather than the right choice. Defoe has, by far the better scoring record (for a worse team) and is a more accomplished player. BUT this is my team and I love the way Rashford plays. If he keeps getting the gametime and starts to gradually nestle into that CF position he has the potential to be top at his position. He is only 19, I went for the guy with potential rather than the guy who might be on his last great Hurrah.
This is an absolutely top team, the only players I would put question marks behind are Stones (could go extremely either way), Lallana (he is good, but not as good as the rest of the squad) and Rashford (simply for age – the potential is there and already coming out). This final team is also all English, the other UK nations from the Premier League did not make the cut. The only British player that would be an upgrade to this squad in my opinion would be Bale instead of Lallana.
Tomorrow I will be looking at the All International Team.