The English Premier League formed for its first season all the way back in 1992. Since then a plethora of the world’s greatest players ever have graced the league up and down the country. A debate that has separated fans for years is who should be included in the league’s all-time greatest lineup. Now I must stress this is only my opinion but I have taken into consideration stats, longevity, and overall popularity among the fans. Let’s get into All Everything Entertainment’s Premier League All-Time XI and who would be the three subs that I would bring on as fresh legs towards the end of the games.
GK – Petr Cech
The former Chelsea and Arsenal shot-stopper has beaten out the likes of all-time legends like Peter Schmeichel, David Seaman, and Jens Lehmann. He also bests current world-class goalkeepers like David De Gea, Hugo Lloris, and Allison. Cech first joined Chelsea back in 2004 and went on to make 333 appearances. The total would have been higher, but was cut short due to a nasty head injury that caused the Czech Republic icon to miss 4 months of action. The injury is also responsible for Cech sporting the head guard that he is known for today.
He began his career in style keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Manchester United before going on to set a Premier League record of not conceding in 1,025 minutes of play. However, that isn’t the only record that he holds. Cech has an astounding 5 records, including being the quickest goalkeeper to reach 100 clean sheets (he did that 180 games), the most clean sheets in one season (with 24), the most clean sheets ever (with 202), and the joint-most golden glove trophies (with 4). That’s not to mention the number of trophies he’s won with both Chelsea and Arsenal, winning the Premier League 4 times, FA Cup 5 times, League Cup 3 times, Europa League 1 time, Champions League 1 time and the Community Shield 4 times. How can you argue with a goalkeeper who played 333 games and only conceded in 131 of those games?
RB – Trent Alexander-Arnold
I bet you’re confused by my inclusion of Alexander-Arnold seeing as he is only 21 and debuted in 2016. However, within the three and half seasons that he has played right back for Liverpool, he has been head and shoulders above all the other wing backs in the league. Alexander-Arnold has become possibly the world’s best right back at a time where the right back position is at its peak. The England national side has at least 5 right backs at their disposal, all playing at top level including Kyle Walker, Kieran Tripper, Aaron Wan Bissaka and Max Aarons. Not to mention the league’s plethora which includes the likes of Ricardo Pereira, Cesar Azpilicueta and Hector Bellerin.
Trent has shown to be lethal going forward providing 25 assist in 84 games but also having 102 interceptions, 337 accurate long balls, 56.68 passes per match and only having one error that lead to a goal being conceded. Alexander-Arnold plays at a level of someone much older and still has room to grow. Being 21 means he has at least another 10 years playing at the top level and when the league starts back up again he will have already won the Champions League, played in 2 finals of that competition and will have won the Premier League. The future looks bright for him and Liverpool moving forward. Honourable mention to Gary Neville who is the obvious choice for this list but even as a Man United fan I believe Alexander-Arnold will go on to have a more successful individual career than Neville did.
CB – Rio Ferdinand/John Terry
Ferdinand and Terry are two of the greatest centre backs to ever play in the Premier League and for England.
Ferdinand began his career at West Ham before Joining Leeds United and then making the controversial switch to Man United. Ferdinand picked up a wide range of trophies in his time at Manchester including 6 Premier League titles, 2 League Cups, 4 Community Shields, 1 Champions League and 1 Fifa Club World Cup. The only trophy to elude the 41 year old was the FA Cup because he missed the chance to claim a winner’s medal due to a drugs scandal in 2003 after failing to attend a drugs test.
Rio wasn’t impartial to a laps of concentration at the back. However, he was a leader on and off the pitch. He did this while playing alongside some of world footballs best players in both the Premier League and for England which he was capped 81 times. Rio appeared in the Prem an impressive 504 times and picking 189 clean sheets. He also holds an impressive 81% tackle success rate and only ever picked up 1 red card during his time playing in the league.
His former England team mate John Terry was one of folklore. His willingness to put it all on the line at all times to win games Terry picked up a reputation of one of the league top tacklers. Terry a 5 time Premier League winner appeared in the Prem 492 times keeping 214 clean sheets and only losing 74 of those 492 games.
Terry also won honours such as the FA Cup 5 times, League Cup 3 times, FA Community Shield 2 time, Europa League 1 time and the Champions League 1 time (Although he did miss the final game). Terry’s name may be shrouded in controversy after sleeping with then teammate, Wayne Bridge’s, wife. However, there is no doubt that he was one of the best Centre backs to ever play in the Prem. The question still remains as to how England never managed to threaten winning an international trophy with these playing at the back.
Honourable mention goes to Nemanja Vidic, Virgil Van Dijk and Tony Adams. all who could have been added in this list but where just beaten out by the above.
LB – Ashley Cole
Finishing off the defence is possibly the best left back that England has ever produced. Cole began his career at Arsenal playing 158 games for the Gunners and playing apart in their famous invincible season.
He would make the jump to Chelsea for the 06-07 season in a swap deal for William Gallas. There he would go on and play another 229 times in the Prem for the Blues. Cole has an impressive trophy collection including 3 Premier League titles, 7 FA Cups, 1 League Cup, 3 Community Shields, 1 Europa League and 1 Champions League.
Cole was also capped 107 times by England, where he was proven to be a calm and composed player when on the ball and a top tackler off the ball. Although Cole’s career took a nose dive after his switch from Chelsea to Roma in 2014, the impact Cole had on the Prem makes him a guaranteed pick for this team.
Honourable mention to Patrica Evra who played for Man United. The Frenchman was a great player but just not quite as impactful as Cole.
CM – Patrick Vieira/Frank Lampard/Steven Gerrard
I have opted to play a 4-3-3 formation as there are too many midfielders to not have a wide range. The age old debate of who was better between Gerrard and Lampard has been brewing for years however we can forget that debate as they both find a spot in this team alongside the French enforcer Vieira.
Patrick was one of Arsenal’s best ever players and one that no Midfielder or attacker looked forward to playing against. The Frenchman played 279 games for the Gunners and was involved in their invincible season. However, that was just one of the three Premier League titles that he would win. He also won 3 FA cups and 3 Community Shields in his 9 seasons at Arsenal.
Vieira left Arsenal to join Inter Milan in Italy where he would go on to win the Seria A 4 times and the Supercoppa Italiana twice. Patrick would return for two seasons in the Prem with Manchester City and would win another FA Cup before retiring to become a manager. He also has a World cup winners medal and a European Cup winners medal with France from the 1998 and 2000’s competitions respectively. The man was top tackler but was also graceful on the ball, with the vision to almost spot a pass from anywhere. He would also command the middle of the park freeing up the room for the rest of his team.
Steven Gerrard is considered as one of England’s best midfielders of all time. The heart and soul of the Liverpool team for a number of years ,Gerrard earned his respect in the sport by playing like every game was his last. He is most well-known for inspiring Liverpool’s dramatic comeback from a 3-0 deficit in Instanbul against AC Milan in the Champions League final. Steven played 504 times for Liverpool and would win The FA Cup twice, League Cup 3 times, Champions League, UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup.
However, one trophy that eluded the scouser was the Premier League. He may possibly go down as one of the best players to never win the league. However, he has won multiple individual awards. They include the UEFA Club footballer of the year and placed third in the Ballon d’Or in 2005. Gerrard also capped 114 times for England and was Captain at the 2010 World Cup.
The last midfielder on this list is Frank Lampard. He is another one of England’s golden generation. Lampard played originally for West Ham racking up 148 games. He then moved to Chelsea where he would play 429 games scoring 147 goals. He is the only midfielder to have scored 150 goals in the Premier League. Lampard is 4th on the list of all time assist’s with 102. Frank also appeared for England 106 games.
However, he holds the unfortunate record of most shots at the World Cup without a goal. Although he should have had a goal against Germany in the 2010 World Cup because it crossed the line clear as day. No, I’m not still salty, you are! The current Chelsea manager won 3 Premier Leagues, 4 FA Cups, 2 League Cups, 2 Community Shields, 1 Europa League and 1 Champions League. He was named 2nd in the Ballon d’Or in 2005 (we won’t get into that argument I swear).
Honourable mention to Paul Scholes. He is also in the debate between Gerrard and Lampard. However, we need a holding midfielder. N’golo Kante is also a world class midfielder but still has a lot to do to catch up to Vieira.
RW – Cristiano Ronaldo
Could it really be anyone else? (Yes, there’s a lot of player to choose from and this is only an opinion) Ronaldo will go down as one of the greatest footballers to ever play. The man is a machine. Like a fine wine he only seems to get better with age and has proved that time and time again.
The Ballon d’Or winner played for Man United 196 times. He scored 84 goals, picking up the Premier League 3 times, FA Cup once, League Cup twice, Community Shield, Champions League and Club World Cup.
He then left for Real Madrid. Since then he has gone on to win another 19 trophies including 4 Champions Leagues. Ronaldo is a 5 time Ballon d’Or winner, picking one up whilst playing for Man United. He holds the record for most goals in the Champions League ever. He didn’t have his best days with Man United, but still had to be in this team.
LW – Thierry Henry
The Classy Frenchman gets in this squad in his old position of LW that he played in before joining Arsenal. Henry was a clinical finisher, deadly dribbler and all round playmaker. He had pace to spare and would freight defenders when picking up the ball from deep. Henry played 254 times for Arsenal and scored 174 goals in the Prem. He is Arsenal’s all-time top scorer with 228 in all competitions.
The final member of the invincible squad holds the record for most golden boot awards (with 4). He won 2 FA Cups, 2 Community Shields and 2 Premier League trophies. Like fellow countryman Vieira, Henry also won the World Cup and European Championship with France. He was also the runner up in the Ballon d’Or in 2003. Henry would leave Arsenal for Barcelona in 2007. However, he will go down as one of the best player to ever play in the Prem.
ST – Alan Shearer
This pick is one of the hardest to choose. The Prem has had some of the best strikers from Agüero, to Van Nistelrooy, to Owen to Bergkamp. It’s hard to pick just one. Although, what better player to pick than the record leading goal scorer for the Premier League. Shearer scored 283 goals in 559 matches. He commanded the world record transfer fee in 1996 when he joined Newcastle from Blackburn Rovers. Shearer was just the best finisher that English football had ever seen at the time. He could score from anywhere on the pitch. However, his trophy cabinet is rather small with only one Premier League winner’s medal. Even so there is no denying that Shearer was lethal. I’m sure playing alongside Henry and Ronaldo that he would have won a lot more trophies.
The man with the best dead ball technique ever wasn’t going to miss out on this team. Beckham’s corner and free kick taking became a work of art. Few people in the world of football could place a ball like him. Beckahm played for Man United in the famous 96 team. There he played with the likes of Gary & Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes. He managed 265 appearances, with 62 goals and 80 assists. He picked up 6 Premier Leagues, 2 FA Cups, 1 Champions League, 1 Club World Cup. Although he is now better known off the football field, it shouldn’t take away the shine from his illustrious career.
Kevin De Bruyne
The Man City maestro is one of world footballs best midfielders today. He will clearly have the the accolades to be on this team when his career ends. The Belgium international has made an amazing impact since joining City from Wolfsburg. He has since played 143 times and scoring 31 times and assisting 62. Within those 143 games his team have only lost 20. Kevin has picked up 2 Premier League Trophies, 1 FA Cup, 4 League Cups and 1 Community Shield. At 28 De Bruyne still has time to add to this. He’s a part of the Belgium international side with the likes of Eden Hazard, Lukaku and Axel Witsel. Hence, don’t be surprised if they add a trophy for his country.
The record goal scorer for England and Man United has to be included in this team. Rooney started out as fierce attacker with lightening pace and power. He transitioned into a calm, cool headed centre forward with an eye for a pass not many midfielders have. Rooney played 393 games for Man United and scored 183 goals.
He won the Premier League 5 times, FA Cup once, League Cup 3 times, Champions League once, Europa League once and the Club World Cup once. Rooney may go down as one of the greatest all around players of all time. However, he had a reputation of being reckless with challenges. This may lead to a few question marks. Although, as a player to bring off the bench what more could you ask for in a striker?
That’s my all-time Premier League XI. Let me know if you agree or disagree and who your all-time XI would be in the comments below.