England's All-Time Best XI: 1,000th Game Anniversary Edition
England's men played their 1,000th match when they faced Montenegro on November 14th.
In the 147 years since their opening game against Scotland, the Three Lions have won 569 times, scored 2,195 goals and lost on 189 occasions. So, to commemorate this special moment, here in The Watch we decided to make our "England's All-Time Best X".
It wasn't an easy task to accomplish. Anyway, let's start, shall we?
GK: Gordon Banks (1963-72)
Is Gordon Banks the greatest keeper of all-time for England? This was a tough call, especially with the likes of Seaman and... Joe Hart? OK, maybe just Seaman, but still. Gordon Banks is the one we've chosen. Why?
A World Cup winner, who kept 35 clean sheets for England and made "that" save from Pele. Named Fifa goalkeeper of the year 6 years in a row from 1966 onwards, clearly, he needed to be in our team to secure the goal from rival's opposition.
LB: Ashley Cole (2001-14)
Sorry, Cole, but no outfield player has played more times for England without scoring (107 games, 0 goals). Yet, the former Arsenal and Chelsea left-back was truly world-class for the majority of his time in the white shirt.
His power, speed, and confidence made him a trust-worthy man on that left side of the defence, where many failed to pass him.
CB: Bobby Moore (1962-73)
Bobby Moore was England's youngest captain at the age of 22, and he went on to lead the team on 90 occasions, a record shared with Billy Wright. He's also widely regarded as one of the greatest defenders of all time and was cited by Pelé as the greatest defender that he had ever played against.
In the end, the man from Essex became a legend when he lifted the World Cup at Wembley in 1966. Without a doubt, a moment to remember (Obviously, Bobby needed to be in our team).
CB: Rio Ferdinand (1997-2011)
And the other centre-back is... Rio... De Janeiro!!! (JK!)
Rio Gavin Ferdinand was the youngest defender to play for England when he made his debut in 1997; he played 81 times for the England national team between 1997 and 2011 and was a member of 3 FIFA World Cup squads. However, the former Manchester United legend was one of the few English players who never played at a Euros. He's regarded by many to be one of England's greatest ever players as well as being one of the most decorated English footballers of all time.
RB: Sol Campbell (1996-2007)
Finally, on the right side of the defence, we have our last man: Sol Campbell.
If only that header had counted against Argentina in 1998… Campbell was the first player to feature for England in 6 consecutive major tournaments. He was captain on 3 occasions, however, the current Southend boss was a leader in defence. His big complexity and outstanding strength was something many fear, so even if he's not in his natural position (it was a hard choice, OK?), the former Arsenal tank man would do the job.
LCM: Bobby Charlton (1958-70)
Bobby Charlton... Another icon (This time in the midfield though).
One of three men to be picked in 4 World Cup squads, England's record appearance holder, and England's goalscoring record holder (49 goals) until Wayne Rooney broke the record in 2015.
Not many know this, but he made his England debut just two months after surviving the Munich air disaster, and later on, he won the Ballon d'Or in 1966. He finally retired from the national squad in 1970. An absolute legend!
CM: Steven Gerrard (2000-14)
Liverpool's star midfielder Gerrard missed the 2002 World Cup through injury but is still England's 4th most-capped player (114 games played). He didn't lose in his first 21 games, and he scored at two World Cups and a Euros. More known for his time with Liverpool than the national team, Gerrard marked an era of brilliant English midfielders alongside teammate and rival Frank Lampard.
CM: Frank Lampard (1999-2014)
The current Chelsea manager took nearly 5 years to cement himself in the England team, but then, he was virtually ever-present for a decade. Only eight men have scored more goals for their country, however, nobody has scored more penalties than his nine.
A tactical genius, skilled, and well balanced, he could create danger out of thin air.
Paul Gascoigne (1988-98)
Was Paul Gascoigne the best player of his generation?
"Gazza" was a genuine superstar who captured a nation's hearts in 1990. Even if he only played in two tournaments and lost a semi-final in a shootout to German opposition in both, the iconic player will still be remembered by many thanks to one of England's finest ever goals against Scotland in 1996.
ST: Alan Shearer (1992-2000)
Now, time for the striking force!
This was a tough call, but we needed to go with Alan.
Shearer scored 283 league goals in his career (all in the first tier of English football), including a record 260 in the Premier League (of which 58 were penalties) with a joint record 11 Premier League hat-tricks, and a total of 422 goals in all competitions including international at all levels. Until his retirement from international football in 2000, he appeared 63 times for his country and scored 30 goals.
The English striker had a goals-to-game ratio of 0.667 throughout his career. BLOODY JESUS! (If I was the opposing team, I would be scared)
ST: Wayne Rooney (2003-18)
Finally... Wayne "Shrek" Rooney is here!
Unsurprisingly, the former Everton and Manchester United man is England's record goalscorer and record outfield appearance maker. Rooney captained England's men on 22 occasions, and he's the youngest goalscorer for the team (53 goals total. WTF!?) at the age of 17 years, 317 days.
Perhaps peaked as early as Euro 2004 when he scored 4 times before picking up an injury. In the end, he only scored 3 times in his 5 subsequent major tournaments, ending his days in midfield at Euro 2016.
With Wayne and Alan at top, this team is complete. And Oh, well... F****** SCARY!!!