Ahead of the big game tonight, the chaps at BetBright have asked me to pick my all-time England XI and, to be honest, it’s been bloody hard but I’ve given it a right good go.
There were some seriously tough choices to make, no doubt you’ll disagree with a few here, but I’ve gone with flair, pace and stature in a 4-1-4-1 formation.
Goalkeeper: I’ve gone with Joe Hart here. People will say you’ve got to go with Gordon Banks but modern football has moved on. He might not suit Pep but you’ve got to be good with your feet now so Hart gets the nod. Couldn’t put Seaman in ‘cos of the dodgy tash.
Right-back: Easy choice, this. G Nev all the way. Top class, always consistent – one of the best ever in his position.
Left-back: Same goes for Ashley Cole, here. Simply put a phenomenal player and the best left back in the world for many years.
Centre-back: What can you say about Rio Ferdinand that hasn’t already been said? An absolute monster of a centre-back, a nightmare to get around.
Centre-back: Had to go way, way back to find a partner with Rio. I was going to put JT in here but it has to be Bobby Moore. One of the classiest defenders ever to play the game and a good ol’ West Ham boy to boot.
Midfield: That defence takes care of itself so I’m going all-out attack from here and it starts at the base of the midfield with the genius that is Glenn Hoddle. The man had wands for feet. He could put it on a six-pence from a mile away.
Midfield: Out wide right, it simply has to be Becks. That boy’s right foot should be entered into the National Museum of Art. I just loved watching him play plus he had the heart of a lion.
Midfield: Paul Scholes – what a player. The ‘Ginja Ninja’ they used to call him. He could do it all: score goals, create goals, get stuck in. He’s a must in this side.
Midfield: An All-Time England XI side that doesn’t include Paul Gascoigne is criminal, in my opinion. Gazza was an absolute genius and one of my heroes growing up – world class.
Midfield: To complete the midfield, you need a jinxy, wizard of a winger out on the flank and they don’t come much better than Chrissy Waddle.
Striker: We’ve had some incredible strikers over the years: Geoff Hurst, Jimmy Greaves, Alan Shearer – the list is endless. I’ve gone with Gary Lineker, though. He had it all.
Subs: Nat Lofthouse, John Terry, Nobby Stiles, Wayne Rooney, Bobby Charlton & Billy Bremner. Although apparently he’s Scottish but the lads let me have him as a wild card.