Tuesday, August 4, 1998 Published at 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Football Legends: What you think
It's O.K. to select the star players, but if you ask Sir Bobby, I'm sure he will admit that the players who should be saluted are those guys who come to play each week and are the core of every team. I specially remember Tommy Docherty and Steve Kember. The midfield grinders who always made the game for me.
What about these players: Stan Bowles, Rodney Marsh, Mark Lawrenson, Duncan MacKenzie, Tony Currie, Ian Callaghan, Roger Hunt.
If you think that they are all league legends then you've got problems.
I don't know who compiled this list but some of the later additions are truly ridiculous.
You have Eric Cantona for one, an immensely talented individual but also a man who brought shame and unwanted publicity on the beautiful game and yet just a few years later here he is in the football hall of fame .
I just don't get it.
What?!?!?! Peter Beardsley left off the list!!! What the hell is that?? How could they leave out the single most dedicated player who ever pulled on a pair of boots? I've watched him from his earliest days at the Vancouver (Canada) Whitecaps, when he virtually undressed George Best in a game against the San Jose Earthquake (I know, what a naff name).....to his stellar performances in the English top flight. It is a crime that anybody selecting players for a best of list would omit the heart and soul of the game itself.But to add insult to injury, Mr Beardsley must read about how such luminaries as Ossie Ardiles and Peter Schmeichel are included. Not to mention Mr Bergkamp, who for all his undeniable talent, has yet to really distinguish himself as one of the top 100 players in League history.
I became very aware of soccer as a schoolboy in '66 with the World Cup but left the UK in '79 and so I may have an odd perspective.
I think Nobby Stiles was a great showman and a great asset to the overall spirit and colour of all the teams he played in, but there were many players with more skill than Nobby. One player that falls to mind is Francis Lee (Man City) whose sheer energy and spirit led to moments of excitement in some otherwise lacklustre performances by England in the early 1970s.
No Rodney Marsh? No Stan Bowles? No Alan Clarke? No Alan Hudson? No Billy Bremner?
I think that players should have to be retired from playing for 5 years before they can get on the list - just like the American Baseball. That way we get a chance to reflect on their contributions. Some of the people getting upset at no Michael Owen prove that they are getting caught up in the emotions of the moment rather than judging a player over time.
Thanks for the chance to have my say.
What about Mark Lawrenson, one of the greatest, and most successful central defenders to grace the English game. The omissions of Phil Neal - who apart from being the most successful player in terms of medals, also scored more goals than any other defender - and Bruce Grobbelaar are also very surprising. I'm glad to see Paul McGrath included as he was possibly the greatest defender to ever play in England - yes even better than Bobby Moore - and to think that he couldn't train due to the most famous knees in football. One of a kind.
How the panel could include Tony Adams, and exclude Jackie Charlton is beyond me...
I have not witnessed directly Tony's recent playing form, but even his last few years of excellent form cannot in my opinion elevate him to the level of dominance that Jackie Charlton exhibited in his playing days.
Jackie was a constant threat to score, and no centreforward relished playing against him. Until Tony curbed his drinking, I would think that many "centreforwards" (the position of course has changed much since Jack's time..) would have relished the idea of playing against "the donkey" as I know he was more popularly known (amongst fans) while I was watching him play.
Malcolm McDonald over Trevor Brooking ? I know they are in different positions, but a gulf apart in ability and quality of play. I don't think blood and guts centreforwards (of which there have been many more than McDonald) should be regarded as "legendary". High level performers who proved over a long time, in mediocre clubs that they were the real deal are more worthy, except of course that by my own standards I would have to consider including players like Le Tissier....all that says is, I admit, that it was a difficult task !!!!
No room either for Roger Hunt?
Loved the list though !! Great food for thought!
Ossie Ardiles!!!! Where's Alan Clarke?
Roy Keane, Pat Crerand, Terry McDermott, Duncan McKenzie, Stan Bowles, Tony Currie, Trevor Brooking, Ian Callaghan, and Steve Coppell were all great performers for their respective clubs. They all deserve to be in - especially Roy Keane and Trevor Brooking.
I would say the list is reasonable. However, with obvious Leeds bias. I do not understand how Jackie Charlton, Alan Clarke, Paul Madeley, and Eddie Gray could have been left out. The latter being in my opinion of the same calibre as George Best.
I don't get to see any "real football players" here in the USA but I remember the likes of;
Tommy Taylor, Franny Lee and the irrepressible Bobby Charlton.
Forgive me if I am wrong but Emlyn "Crazy Horse" Hughes surely belongs on this list. One of perhaps only a few Englishmen to lift the European Cup and provide years of service to the most successful team in Britain, as well as captain his country.
Whilst I am showing my red colours, what about Phil Neal? A solid defender, though not a glamour player by any stretch of the imagination. Certainly not a Sir Stan, George Best, or Denis Law. I would bet though, that Phil Neal has the most extensive collection of football league, FA Cup, UEFA, European Cup, and assorted other championship medals in history. Apparently, he is the most decorated Liverpool player in terms of winner/runner up medals. That would make him the most successful player in English FA history does it not? Where is he on your list then??????
I would include Tony Currie and the late Cunningham of Real Madrid.
What about chaps like Terry Butcher, Trevor Brooking and Mark Hughes?
Don't they deserve a shout too?
The omission of Michael Owen from the list of 100 may appear at first to be a just decision considering his inexperience, but just how many of this list have scored such a goal at such a time as his against Argentina. His verve, pace and awesome ability has filled every England supporter's (not to mention Liverpool fan's) heart with joy and optimism for the future. For this reason alone, his name should be there at the top in bold print.
Growing up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia there was nothing I enjoyed more than English soccer. Like many of my country men, Saturday night had a very special meaning in our home. Unfortunately the programme only lasted for an hour, however, it was the greatest one hour programme I can ever remember.
My childhood memory is full of Liverpool's glorious games. Liverpool is a very special team for me. Grobbelaar, Kennedy, Rush, Dalglish, Barnes, Keegan, and many of them weren't just soccer players for me. I used to worship them. Now after a long time I am coming to England just to see Liverpool and the English soccer. The day I see the game live, I will say my life is complete.
My choice of the best players:-
And so on.
I only picked the ones I saw playing.
I think Michael Owen should have been included. To become an England International and play in the World Cup after only one season, is surely legendary.
I agree with Gary Lineker, however I am not sure about Gazza. Lineker proved himself in several league as well as international matches that he is worthy of being considered one of the top. On the other hand, Gazza has been very talented, but far from that kind of crown.
Brian Clough's career may have been curtailed by injury, but his scoring record has hardly been matched... still, six entries for Middlesbrough, and proper recognition for Mannion and Hardwick, players who make me proud to support the club.
What about Jesse Pennington, Fullback for WBA and England?
I think the list is a fair assessment of the greatest players to play in the football league. I have my doubts over the inclusion of Bergkamp on premiership form alone, although if you include his international career I think it is justified. There are a few fringe players that I would have considered, the likes of Stuart Pearce and Roy Keane.
I fail to see how they can leave out the "cat" Peter Bonetti, Peter Osgood of Chelsea, Rodney Marsh, QPR, Ron Davies of Southampton and how about Clarke of Leeds? Where are all these great players?
How did Paul McGrath, Geoff Hurst and Malcolm McDonald get in there? McGrath was always injured. Hurst was a player very lucky to be in the right place at the right time. McDonald always talked a good game but never produced it for England.
Surely you would include Rodney Marsh?
I'll declare my United bias straight away, but if Dennis Bergkamp can go in there after three seasons (and at the most, two good ones), then surely there is a place for Norman Whiteside. The boy was a legend before he was 20 and would still be playing now but for injury. Ask any United player who the last great Old Trafford hero was before Cantona. They won't say Bryan Robson. They'll just say "Norman!"
Overall a pretty impressive list. However no Ian Wright? If Paul McGrath, Alec Young and Ossie Ardiles can get in there I would have thought these two would have been more 'legendary'?
What about Peter Lorimer, Zola or Jurgen Klinsmann?
I agree that Michael Owen and David Beckham should not be included in this list of the great and good in football. They haven't yet achieved anything amazing, apart from the odd goal (and red card...). Gary Lineker and Paul Gascoigne have, however, given years of dedicated service to the game and continue to do so.