21st Century Best XI - Perennial Contenders

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Norm Smith Medallist
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I love attempts at ‘best-of’ teams. This thread is created for those of us who wish to have a crack at the best XIs (with benches) for the clubs who are always in European league contention, whether it be Juventus, Man U, PSG or Ajax, put it out there for discussion.

I’m more a Premier League man, so I’ll have a crack at four of the mainstays from England.

LIVERPOOL

GK - Alisson Becker
RB - Trent Alexander-Arnold
CB - Sami Hyypia
CB - Virgil van Dijk
LB - Andy Robertson
CM - Xabi Alonso
CM - Stevie Gerrard
LW - Sadio Manè
RW - Mo Salah
ST - Luís Suarez
ST - Fernando Torres

Bench - Reina, Carragher, John Arne Riise, Mascherano, Coutinho, Firmino, Owen

MANCHESTER UNITED

GK - David DeGea
RB - Gary Neville
CB - Rio Ferdinand
CB - Nemanja Vidic
LB - Patrice Evra
CM - Roy Keane
CM - Paul Scholes
LW - Ryan Giggs
RW - Christiano Ronaldo
ST - Wayne Rooney
ST - Ruud Van Nistelrooy

BENCH - van der Sar, Irwin, Stam, Carrick, Beckham, Berbatov, Van Persie

ARSENAL

GK - David Seaman
RB - Lauren
CB - Sol Campbell
CB - Tony Adams
LB - Ashley Cole
CM - Patrick Vieira
CM - Gilberto Silva
RW - Freddie Ljungberg
LW - Robert Pires
FW - Dennis Bergkamp
ST - Thierry Henry

Bench - Lehmann, Tourè, Koscielny, Fabregas, Ozil, Sanchez, Van Persie

CHELSEA

GK - Petr Cech
RB - Branislav Ivanovic
CB - Ricardo Carvalho
CB - John Terry
LB - Ashley Cole
CM - Michael Essien
CM - Claude Makelele
CAM - Frank Lampard
FW - Eden Hazard
FW - Gianfranco Zola
ST - Didier Drogba

BENCH - Courtois, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Kante, Mata, Robben, Costa
 
Last edited:

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Pretty spot on for Chelsea but no Ballack and Joe Cole?
Well spotted. Both very unlucky.

As with any discussion on difficult choices, who would you leave out? Cole maybe replaces one of Robben or Costa. Was Ballack better than Mata? Mata was pretty bloody good for a few seasons there.
 

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Carefree
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Well spotted. Both very unlucky.

As with any discussion on difficult choices, who would you leave out? Cole maybe replaces one of Robben or Costa. Was Ballack better than Mata? Mata was pretty bloody good for a few seasons there.
Mata was great for us but I would still have Ballack ahead. Hard to deny Mata though so perhaps Costa goes. Courtois actually deserves to be nowhere near that side but I understand if he’s in there for balance. Depends what angle you’re going with really. That XI is absolutely spot on though.

I wonder if Kante displaces Makelele by the time his career is finished.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Mata was great for us but I would still have Ballack ahead. Hard to deny Mata though so perhaps Costa goes. Courtois actually deserves to be nowhere near that side but I understand if he’s in there for balance. Depends what angle you’re going with really. That XI is absolutely spot on though.

I wonder if Kante displaces Makelele by the time his career is finished.
Yeah, I am very much aiming for balance on the bench. Aside from Cech, I think Courtois is next keeper in line although the current keeper (Arrizabalaga) looks very impressive too. I was actually very close to going for Kante over Makelele but the weight of experience and trophies gives the latter the edge.
 

Bojan KantKick

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I love attempts at ‘best-of’ teams. This thread is created for those of us who wish to have a crack at the best XIs (with benches) for the clubs who are always in European league contention, whether it be Juventus, Man U, PSG or Ajax, put it out there for discussion.

I’m more a Premier League man, so I’ll have a crack at four of the mainstays from England.

LIVERPOOL

GK - Pepè Reina
RB - Jamie Carragher
CB - Sami Hyypia
CB - Virgil van Dijk
LB - John Arne Riise
CM - Xabi Alonso
CM - Stevie Gerrard
LW - Phillipe Countinho
RW - Mo Salah
ST - Luís Suarez
ST - Fernando Torres

Bench - Allison, Skrtel, Robertson, Milner, Manè, Firmino, Owen

MANCHESTER UNITED

GK - David DeGea
RB - Gary Neville
CB - Rio Ferdinand
CB - Nemanja Vidic
LB - Patrice Evra
CM - Roy Keane
CM - Paul Scholes
LW - Ryan Giggs
RW - Christiano Ronaldo
ST - Wayne Rooney
ST - Ruud Van Nistelrooy

BENCH - van der Sar, Irwin, Stam, Carrick, Beckham, Berbatov, Van Persie

ARSENAL

GK - David Seaman
RB - Lauren
CB - Sol Campbell
CB - Tony Adams
LB - Ashley Cole
CM - Patrick Vieira
CM - Gilberto Silva
RW - Freddie Ljungberg
LW - Robert Pires
FW - Dennis Bergkamp
ST - Thierry Henry

Bench - Lehmann, Tourè, Koscielny, Fabregas, Ozil, Sanchez, Van Persie

CHELSEA

GK - Petr Cech
RB - Branislav Ivanovic
CB - Ricardo Carvalho
CB - John Terry
LB - Ashley Cole
CM - Michael Essien
CM - Claude Makelele
RW - Frank Lampard
LW - Eden Hazard
FW - Gianfranco Zola
ST - Didier Drogba

BENCH - Courtois, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Kante, Mata, Robben, Costa
Pool - Mascherano should be on Pools bench at least and really should be in ahead of Coutinhlol with Pool moving to a 4-3-3. Would have thought a Pool fan would put Fowler on the bench at least...

United - Irwin for Uncle Pat, Ronnie up top for Wazza and Becks on the right instead. Cole for Berbarotica

Gooners - Alexis for Pires. Spot on aside from that.

Chelsea - Lampard RW? are you mad? That's Willians spot Zoom . Ballack for Kante.
 

Buckleys Jocks

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United - Irwin for Uncle Pat, Ronnie up top for Wazza and Becks on the right instead. Cole for Berbarotica
Do you rank these things purely on the quality of the player, or do you consider the service they gave the club?

If the former I'd have RVP in ahead of Rooney, Cole, Ruud, or Berba.
 

Bojan KantKick

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Do you rank these things purely on the quality of the player, or do you consider the service they gave the club?

If the former I'd have RVP in ahead of Rooney, Cole, Ruud, or Berba.
Bit of both. Too many good players to fit in and too many systems. 442 in the 90s. 1 up top with Ruud, 433 with Wazza and Ronnie, etc. Stam was a combo of Vida and Rio but was only around for a couple of years.
 

chef

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Chelsea
.............................Cech
Ivanovic......Carvalho......Terry.......Cole
..........................Makelele
...............Essien...............Lampard
.Zola..............................................Hazard
..........................Drogba

Cudicini Luiz Mata Ballack Azpilicueta Kante Hasselbaink
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Pool - Mascherano should be on Pools bench at least and really should be in ahead of Coutinhlol with Pool moving to a 4-3-3. Would have thought a Pool fan would put Fowler on the bench at least...

United - Irwin for Uncle Pat, Ronnie up top for Wazza and Becks on the right instead. Cole for Berbarotica

Gooners - Alexis for Pires. Spot on aside from that.

Chelsea - Lampard RW? are you mad? That's Willians spot Zoom . Ballack for Kante.
Coutinho is a definite in my Pool XI. He was sublime. Masch was unlucky. His spot went to Milner, who I really rate largely due to the versatility Milner would provide either as a full back or midfield as a sub. If I were assessing the full premier league era then Fowler would be there. I was only a casual observer in the 90s, hence why I thought I’d focus on the 21st Century. It would be a tough choice between him, Owen, Torres, Suárez and Salah though.

I’ll give you Irwin over Evra - could have gone either way. Harsh on Rooney. Beckham was underwhelming so often despite his outrageous boot. Cole wasn’t the same after ‘99. Berbatov was better than many give credit.

Alexis and Pires were neck and neck. Something about Pires really appealed to me though aesthetically to give him the nod.

Lampard could play right, left, central, it doesn’t matter. He’s simply a counter-balance to Hazard on the other side.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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How would people rank the forwards?

Salah Suárez Torres
Vs
Ronaldo Van Nistelrooy Rooney
Vs
Pires Bergkamp Henry
Vs
Hazard Zola Drogba

I’d probably go
1/ Man U
2/ Pool
3/ Arse/Chels (can’t decide)
 

Bojan KantKick

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Coutinho is a definite in my Pool XI. He was sublime. Masch was unlucky. His spot went to Milner, who I really rate largely due to the versatility Milner would provide either as a full back or midfield as a sub. If I were assessing the full premier league era then Fowler would be there. I was only a casual observer in the 90s, hence why I thought I’d focus on the 21st Century. It would be a tough choice between him, Owen, Torres, Suárez and Salah though.

I’ll give you Irwin over Evra - could have gone either way. Harsh on Rooney. Beckham was underwhelming so often despite his outrageous boot. Cole wasn’t the same after ‘99. Berbatov was better than many give credit.

Alexis and Pires were neck and neck. Something about Pires really appealed to me though aesthetically to give him the nod.

Lampard could play right, left, central, it doesn’t matter. He’s simply a counter-balance to Hazard on the other side.
Bizarre. Lampard never played anywhere but CM or CAM. You think Beckham was underwhelming but chose Rooney. So underwhelming was Becks that Real bought him as a Galactico and he was made England captain.

Milner over Mascherano...what a time to be alive.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Bizarre. Lampard never played anywhere but CM or CAM. You think Beckham was underwhelming but chose Rooney. So underwhelming was Becks that Real bought him as a Galactico and he was made England captain.

Milner over Mascherano...what a time to be alive.
As I said, Lampard could play anywhere as an attacking mid. Would you prefer it if I changed the RW to CM?

Milner is unfairly underrated. Was probably the driving force behind reaching the CL final. Mascherano, while being an important player for a few years for us didnt quite reach those heights. I’m not rating Masch on his Barca career here either where he went from strength to strength. I loved Masch at Liverpool, don’t get me wrong, but the flexibility Milner would provide from the bench gets him there in the end.
 

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Pool - Mascherano should be on Pools bench at least and really should be in ahead of Coutinhlol with Pool moving to a 4-3-3. Would have thought a Pool fan would put Fowler on the bench at least...

United - Irwin for Uncle Pat, Ronnie up top for Wazza and Becks on the right instead. Cole for Berbarotica

Gooners - Alexis for Pires. Spot on aside from that.

Chelsea - Lampard RW? are you mad? That's Willians spot Zoom . Ballack for Kante.
Didn’t even notice the RW next to Lampard haha.

W*****n should be in our worst team of the 21st century, supporting Torres and Morata.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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OK, so having obviously erred in thinking that Lampard could patrol from a right wing I have edited to make him CAM and Hazard to operate strategically alongside Zola.

As for Beckham as a Galactico, how much of that was really a marketing strategy?
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Didn’t even notice the RW next to Lampard haha.

W*****n should be in our worst team of the 21st century, supporting Torres and Morata.
Torres did the right thing by his bank account but the wrong thing by his legacy in going to Chelsea. The Benitez system and understanding with Gerrard accentuated his qualities. He was out of place and stifled at Chelsea. A real shame because he was just about the most enjoyable Liverpool player to watch at his peak. I reckon if Salah left Liverpool there’s every chance the same thing would happen to him. Klopp has been amazing at identifying the attacking potential that was lying latent in Mo.
 

Sozabarus

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Carragher wasn't a great player until he moved to centre back. Riise was shit, Robertson and Aurelio both way better.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Carragher wasn't a great player until he moved to centre back. Riise was shit, Robertson and Aurelio both way better.
Riise wasn’t shit. What I do concur with though is that Robertson is the more complete defender and all going well, now that he’s signed on for 5 more, will undoubtedly take the left back position in due course. Aurelio is a bit of a reach.

Carragher has to be there but Sami and Virgil are the more natural CBs. So not sure what you’re trying to say. Do you think Carragher goes out for Aurelio? Not a ******* chance!
 

go you pups

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Walker Alderweireld King Rose
Anderton Modric Dembele Bale
--------Sheringham Kane

Bench: Robinson, Vertonghen, Eriksen, Van Der Vaart, Ginola, Berbatov, Klinsmann

Think defence is easily our weakest area historically, heaps of plodders/hard workers but lacking quality. Guys like Dawson, Carr, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto etc did the job but were B graders at best sum us up here, then there's Judas who ain't getting into this team also :)

We've had quite a few decent strikers over the years, but we never held onto them long enough. The likes of Defoe and Keane unlucky but I've largely gone for quality in this side, hence why I stacked the bench with attacking midfielders also, so there's no real balance.

We are a bit weak in CM too, but Dembele and Modric are miles ahead of everyone there. If we kept Carrick for longer then maybe he sneaks in somewhere, but his best was under Fergie at United. Sandro was elite for 6 months, then did his ACL and was never the same again. Dier is solid but not good enough to push those ahead of him on the bench out as yet.

So yeah, think them flairy attacking type of players are who have had the biggest success with us in the PL era, would love to have an enforcer type in there, but we are yet to truly find one as yet.
 

Shoei

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Pool - Mascherano should be on Pools bench at least and really should be in ahead of Coutinhlol with Pool moving to a 4-3-3. Would have thought a Pool fan would put Fowler on the bench at least...

United - Irwin for Uncle Pat, Ronnie up top for Wazza and Becks on the right instead. Cole for Berbarotica

Gooners - Alexis for Pires. Spot on aside from that.

Chelsea - Lampard RW? are you mad? That's Willians spot Zoom . Ballack for Kante.
There's no way in the World Alexis gets in ahead of Pires.

Freddy MAYBE but certainly not Pires.
 

Bojan KantKick

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There's no way in the World Alexis gets in ahead of Pires.

Freddy MAYBE but certainly not Pires.
Fair enough. Just reckon Alexis carried Arsenal for years. Pires was great but also had the luxury of playing in a great team.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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--------------------Lloris
Walker Alderweireld King Rose
Anderton Modric Dembele Bale
--------Sheringham Kane

Bench: Robinson, Vertonghen, Eriksen, Van Der Vaart, Ginola, Berbatov, Klinsmann

Think defence is easily our weakest area historically, heaps of plodders/hard workers but lacking quality. Guys like Dawson, Carr, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto etc did the job but were B graders at best sum us up here, then there's Judas who ain't getting into this team also :)

We've had quite a few decent strikers over the years, but we never held onto them long enough. The likes of Defoe and Keane unlucky but I've largely gone for quality in this side, hence why I stacked the bench with attacking midfielders also, so there's no real balance.

We are a bit weak in CM too, but Dembele and Modric are miles ahead of everyone there. If we kept Carrick for longer then maybe he sneaks in somewhere, but his best was under Fergie at United. Sandro was elite for 6 months, then did his ACL and was never the same again. Dier is solid but not good enough to push those ahead of him on the bench out as yet.

So yeah, think them flairy attacking type of players are who have had the biggest success with us in the PL era, would love to have an enforcer type in there, but we are yet to truly find one as yet.
I think I’d be trying to slot Eriksen and Vertonghen into the team. Both are very impressive players in a side that’s thereabouts. Good to a have Tottenham side included!
 

Bojan KantKick

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OK, so having obviously erred in thinking that Lampard could patrol from a right wing I have edited to make him CAM and Hazard to operate strategically alongside Zola.

As for Beckham as a Galactico, how much of that was really a marketing strategy?
Stop talking about Beckham. You thought Lampard played anywhere in midfield so your credibility is kinda ruined. Becks was in the prem TOTS 4 times.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Stop talking about Beckham. You thought Lampard played anywhere in midfield so your credibility is kinda ruined. Becks was in the prem TOTS 4 times.
Why the need to try to belittle a post mate? Talk about being unnecessarily aggressive. My credibility is ‘ruined’ is it. Is this some sort of odd oneupmanship to claim some hero status on here. I am aware that Lampard played a central midfield role. I was going on the belief that he could do a role from a wing position. On reflection I can still balance the side with him as a central attacking mid. These threads are made for discussion and I’m happy to adjust to defer to those who know their teams best. This is a discussion thread. I’m not really here for street cred.
 

Sozabarus

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Riise wasn’t shit. What I do concur with though is that Robertson is the more complete defender and all going well, now that he’s signed on for 5 more, will undoubtedly take the left back position in due course. Aurelio is a bit of a reach.

Carragher has to be there but Sami and Virgil are the more natural CBs. So not sure what you’re trying to say. Do you think Carragher goes out for Aurelio? Not a ******* chance!
I'm saying Aurelio was better than Riise. Was just never fit.

I'd have Carragher at CB ahead of Hyypia but it's close.
 

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