More from the Alphabet League; take a peek at the P-Team…
Goalkeeper: Rui Patricio
Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio takes the number one spot in the P-Team, with the European Championship winner seeing off competition from a host of P ‘keepers. The Portuguese stopper spent over a decade in the Primeira Liga with Sporting Lisbon before his Premier League arrival in 2018. England’s Jordan Pickford takes the back-up slot, with his national team-mate Nick Pope also in contention. Geordie star Pickford started his career at Sunderland – if you fancy a goalkeeper challenge, try naming three other P goalkeepers who played for the club in the Premier League.
Right-back: Dan Petrescu
Most famous for his spell at Chelsea, Romanian international Dan Petrescu spent five seasons at Stamford Bridge, playing under three different managers. He won the 1997 FA Cup, as influential Chelsea boss Ruud Gullit began to build a cosmopolitan side capable of competing in the Premier League and in Europe. England international and Premier League winner Paul Parker provides the competition at right-back.
Premier League – defenders with most assists:
53 – Leighton Baines
44 – Graeme Le Saux
36 – Andy Hinchcliffe / Ian Harte
35 – Gary Neville
33 – Dan Petrescu
31 – Gary Kelly / Ashley Cole
30 – John Arne Riise
28 – Cesar Azpilicueta
Photo Copyright Steve Haag pic.twitter.com/qz6GkUXtUk
— Hollywoodbets UK (@HollywoodbetsUK) May 12, 2020
Centre-back: Gary Pallister
A crucial figure in Manchester United’s dominance of the early Premier League years, Gary Pallister was one of England’s finest centre-backs during the early to mid-nineties. He only made 22 international appearances but made up for his lack of caps with four Premier League titles and three FA Cup wins. Pallister starts ahead of West Ham legend Steve Potts, Chris Perry, Darren Peacock and Ian Pearce. .
Centre-back: Gerard Pique
Former United defender Gerard Pique didn’t make it as a first-team regular at Old Trafford like Pallister but he certainly showed his former employers what they were missing after he helped Barcelona to two Champions League final victories over the Red Devils in 2009 and 2011. Despite his short stay in England, the Spaniard does have a Premier League winner’s medal in his trophy cabinet, alongside a plethora of La Liga and Copa del Rey titles.
Gerard Piqué playing for Manchester United doesn’t look real 🤣 pic.twitter.com/diFqM3Wd80
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 17, 2020
Left-back: Stuart Pearce
Golden oldie Stuart Pearce is the standout choice at left-back, with the Euro ’96 hero taking the number 3 shirt ahead of late England debutant Chris Powell. Pearce won’t be managing the P-Team but he can have a role as coach alongside Tony Pulis and Nigel Pearson…just imagine those training sessions. Alan Pardew and his best pal Manuel Pellegrini complete manager Mauricio Pochettino’s eclectic coaching staff.
Right wing: Morten Gamst Pedersen
One of the Premier League’s greatest ever Norwegian players, Morten Gamst Pedersen starts on the right for the P-Team. Arsenal ‘Invincible’ Ray Parlour gives the former Blackburn Rovers star some competition, having spent over a decade playing for the Gunners under legendary managers George Graham and Arsene Wenger. Manchester United misfit and Czech Republic’s Euro ’96 star Karel Poborsky is another option on the right, alongside current Chelsea player Pedro.
Defensive midfielder: Emmanuel Petit
Former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Emmanuel Petit gets the holding role in the P-Team, having won a Premier League and FA Cup double during his stay at Highbury. The 1998 World Cup winner takes the spot ahead of Scott Parker, with the ex-West Ham star having to settle for a place on the bench. Other options include Parker’s former team-mate John Paintsil, Stiliyan Petrov, Wilson Palacios, Gheorghe Popescu and Carlton Palmer; a man with the same number of England caps as Parker.
Emmanuel Petit was criminally underrated.
— 𝐋𝐢𝐚𝐦 𝐊𝐞𝐧𝐧𝐚 (@Liam_Kenna) May 17, 2020
Attacking midfield: David Platt
Plenty of options in attacking midfield for Pochettino, with England’s 1990 World Cup hero David Platt providing a goalscoring threat. The Manchester-born player won the PFA Player of the Year award shortly before his exploits in Italy, netting 19 times in the 89/90 season for Aston Villa. Dimitri Payet provides excellent back-up, alongside former Chelsea and Tottenham star Gus Poyet.
Attacking midfield: Paul Pogba
‘A P please POG’, ‘The POGdington Ps’, ‘POG Ps Pants’. The headlines write themselves for Paul Pobga in the P-Team but maybe Pochettino could at least convince Paul Pogba to play some football in the Alphabet League. Perhaps the former Spurs boss could light a fire inside the World Cup winner at Manchester United too…if newly-minted Newcastle can’t lure him to St. James’ Park first of course. There are no transfers or agents in Alphabet football, so there won’t be any talk from Mino Raiola over potential moves to the P-Teams of Serie A or La Liga.
Left wing: Robert Pires
Arsenal legend Robert Pires starts on the left for the P-Team, although there is plenty of competition for a place on the flanks. Current Gunners winger Nicolas Pepe has a long way to go to get anywhere near matching Pires’ success in north London, whilst Ji-Sung Park provides some defensive cover and everlasting energy on the wing if Pochettino needs it. Another former Arsenal player gets a place in the squad, with Lukas Podolski spending three years in the Premier League.
Thierry Henry and Robert Pires scored 44 of @Arsenal ‘s 73 PL goals during the invincible season (60%)
🇫🇷 Thierry Henry (30)
🇫🇷 Robert Pires (14)
— Premier League Statman ⚽️ (@EPLStatman) May 15, 2020
Striker: Kevin Phillips
Sunderland hero Kevin Phillips starts up front, with his outstanding 1999/2000 season earning him a European Golden Shoe Award. He remains the only English player to have achieved that feat, with Premier League legends Thierry Henry, Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo joining him on the list. P-Team back-up strikers include Graziano Pelle, Marian Pahars, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Ayoze Perez, Claudio Pizarro and current Norwich City forward Teemu Pukki.
James Wiles – whose Instagram has a whole load more XIs
We could not keep away from the camera for long so we made a Football365 Isolation Show. Watch it, subscribe and share until we get back in the studio/pub and produce something a little slicker…