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Last Updated: Friday, 28 March, 2003, 12:13 GMT
Blast from the past: Part five
By Tom Fordyce

Bobby Moore
How West Ham could do with this fresh-faced youngster...

Which player from your club's past does the current-day team need most?

Each day this week, from Monday to Friday, we have looked at a different four Premiership clubs, working through the full 20 in alphabetical order.

So far we've had a young Tony Adams returning for Arsenal, Bryan Robson slotting into the Man United midfield and Jackie Milburn rampaging up front for Newcastle.

The assumption is that the player in question is at the peak of their powers and could cope with the fitness demands of the modern day game.

Beyond that, it's a matter of opinion and debate. Agree or disagree? Log on to the 606 message boards to have your say...


Could just one man save today's Sunderland side from their current woeful state?

Possibly even Superman would struggle with this one - but we can at least try to improve their sorry lot.

Born: 03/05/23
Sunderland games: 348
Sunderland goals: 101

A big solid centre-half like Charlie Hurley would be a start, or maybe a striker with an eye for local rivalries like Gary Rowell, who famously netted a hat-trick in a thumping of Newcastle at St James's Park.

But there is only one man who could lift the mood of gloom that hangs around the Stadium of Light - football's original clown prince.

Forget for a moment the number of goals that Len Shackleton scored. This is a player who, with Sunderland 2-1 up against Arsenal with five minutes to go, dribbled the ball into the Gunners' penalty area and then stood on the ball, pretending to comb his hair while looking at his watch.

Legend also has it that he often chose to mock opposition full-backs by playing one-twos with the corner flag - something which you sense Kevin Kilbane will never, ever be seen doing.


This is really a case of working out which position Spurs most need help with - and that's no easy task.

There would be few complaints down White Hart Lane if Pat Jennings' massive hands were spotted in the goalmouth - or the smaller but no less capable mitts of Ted Ditchburn.

Born: 20/02/40
Spurs games: 381
Spurs goals: 268

Either Glenn Hoddle or Ossie Ardiles would be a delight in the middle if the park - and Chris Waddle loping down the flanks would be sheer pleasure.

Not to mention every member of Billy Nic's Double-winning 1961 side seems like heresy.

But it is up front that Spurs are begging for an injection of old-school class. From whom? Martin Chivers would be a fine partner for Robbie Keane, Gary Lineker would surely be bagging 25 a season and Jurgen Klinsmann could do no wrong.

Yet all these fine players must step aside in favour of the greatest goalscorer the Lane has ever seen.

If you only remember Jimmy Greaves as a hapless pundit in the dark days of the 1980s, you are doing the man a mighty disservice.

There was pace, there were dribbling skills, but above all else there were bagfuls of goals. Oh, to see him in action once again...

West Brom

Immediate shouts go out to Bryan Robson and Remi Moses, from Ron Atkinson's first spell at the Hawthorns.

But Robbo has already had the nod as the player Man United most need while Remi - bless him - never escaped from his team-mate's illustrious shadow.

Born: 09/02/58
West Brom games: 370
West Brom goals: 140

The late Laurie Cunningham, described by Atkinson as the finest British player since George Best, has to figure in any discussion, as does Brendan Batson and Jeff Astle.

But this season's West Brom have needed goals more than anything else - and that means Cyrille Regis has to get the nod.

If you had to pick one particular version of Cyrille, it would be the 1981-82 version, when he notched 25 times.

"Smokin' Joe" was bull-strong and bullet-fast, a horror-story for any defender. If only his nephew Jason Roberts could go halfway to replicating his impact, the Baggies might yet have avoided the drop back to Division One.

West Ham

This is surely the easiest pick of any team in the Premiership.

Martin Peters, Trevor Brooking and Geoff Hurst would see it as an honour to take second place to this man.

Born: 12/04/41
West Ham games: 642
West Ham goals: 27

Bobby Moore was the finest defender Britain has produced. He didn't need lightning pace or towering height - it was all about reading the game and timing the interceptions.

He was also a Hammer through and through - ironic when one of his middle names was Chelsea. Would West Ham be dicing with the drop if Moore was in today's side? No.

We leave the final word to his old adversary, Pele: "Bobby Moore was the greatest defender I ever played against."

That list in full:

Arsenal: Tony Adams
Aston Villa: Billy Walker
Birmingham: Trevor Francis
Blackburn: Alan Shearer
Bolton: Nat Lotfhouse
Charlton: Derek Hales
Chelsea: Alan Hudson
Everton: Alex Young
Fulham: Johnny Haynes
Leeds: Billy Bremner
Liverpool: Kenny Dalglish
Man City: Colin Bell
Man United: Bryan Robson
Middlesbrough: Brian Clough
Newcastle: Jackie Milburn
Southampton: Matthew Le Tissier
Sunderland: Len Shackleton
Tottenham: Jimmy Greaves
West Brom: Cyrille Regis
West Ham: Bobby Moore

Blast from the past: Part one
24 Mar 03  |  Premiership
Blast from the past: Part two
25 Mar 03  |  Premiership
Blast from the past: Part three
26 Mar 03  |  Premiership
Blast from the past: Part four
27 Mar 03  |  Premiership

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