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Thursday, 23 May, 2002, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
All-time England XI
David Brooks, author of the All-Time World Cup, selects his England starting line-up.
David Brooks, author of The All-Time World Cup, selects his greatest England side.

Who would be in your team?


Brooks starts Gordon Banks in goal and sticks with three of the four defenders who won the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966 - Jack Charlton, Bobby Moore and Ray Wilson.

BBC Radio Five Live commentator Jimmy Armfield takes the remaining full-back slot.

In midfield, Jack's kid brother Bobby Charlton is an easy choice and dazzling wingers Stanley Matthews and Tom Finney play alongside the sturdy Duncan Edwards.

Up front, he picks Gary Lineker and Jimmy Greaves.

Should Gascoigne be included - and what about Michael Owen or Glenn Hoddle?


This debate is now closed - A selection of your e-mails appear below.


If I were to choose the greatest England side, I would pick a 4-4-2.

Seaman: Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Sol Campbell, Bobby Moore: Bobby Charlton, Paul Gascoigne, Steven Gerrard, David Beckham: Gary Lineker, Michael Owen.
Subs: Alan Shearer, Gordon Banks, Robbie Fowler, Ashley Cole and Paul Scholes.
Ishu, UK

Clemence in goal. Back four of Rob Jones, Phil Neal, Phil Thompson and Jamie Carragher. Midfield of Steve Gerrard, Danny Murphy, John Barnes and Sammy Lee. Kevin Keegan and Michael Owen up front.
Davey Smith, UK

It's always the same when people are asked to pick an all-time XI ... more recent players invariably get the nod simply because those from the past were never seen by the majority of 'selectors'. Gordon Banks, for instance, would be the goalkeeping choice of most experts for an all-time World XI, let alone an England side - yet he's missing from many of the teams here. And no one who saw both will ever agree that Owen is a better striker than Greaves!
Chris Wheatley, New Zealand

Open Quote
I find it absolutely hilarious that there are some people with such a great sense of humour that they have included Gary Neville
Close Quote
Daniel Mac,England
David Seaman, Rio Ferdinand, Bobby Moore, Stuart Pearce, David Beckham, Bobby Charlton, Paul Gascoigne, Kevin Keegan, Gary Lineker, Teddy Sheringham. I'm amazed that no one has picked Teddy yet!
Laura, England

Gazza was one of the best players in the world so I think he should be included in the all time world XI
Danny, England

I find it absolutely hilarious that there are some people with such a great sense of humour that they have included Gary Neville, I can only presume they are Man United fans so therefore never see their team play and don't realise quite how poor the guy is. Why don't they just have done with it and put his brother Phil on the other side?
Daniel Mac,England

Gordon Banks, Rio Ferdinand, Tony Adams, Sol Campbell, Bobby Moore, David Beckham, Steve Gerrard, Bobby Charlton, Paul Gascoigne, Jimmy Greaves, Michael Owen.
Steve B, Englishman in Scotland

Open Quote
Banks; Armfield, Moore, Billy Wright, Pearce; Matthews, Bryan Robson, Bobby Charlton, Tom Finney; Lineker, Greaves
Close Quote
Andrew,UK
Best X11: Gordon Banks, Bobby Moore (captain), Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville, Nobby Stiles, David Beckham, Bobby Charlton, Paul Gascoigne, Stanley Matthews, Geoff Hurst and Gary Lineker.
James, England

Well done Paul McCloskey from the maturing USA for including the great Johnny Haynes. As far as I can see, you are the only person to have included him.
Freddy Brooks, England

Gordon Banks; Billy Wright, Bobby Moore, Stuart Pearce; Stanley Matthews, Paul Gascoigne, Bryan Robson, Bobby Charlton, Tom Finney; Gary Lineker, Michael Owen.
Michael, An Englishman in Italy

How about this, for an XI, off the top of my head:Banks; Armfield, Moore, Billy Wright, Pearce; Matthews, Bryan Robson, Bobby Charlton, Tom Finney; Lineker, Greaves.Subs: Clemence, Rio Ferdinand, Edwards, Keegan, Owen
Andrew,UK

Banks, Samson, Walker, Moore, Edwards, B Charlton, B Robson, Greaves, Stanley Matthews, Keegan, Gascoigne
Martin Feeney,England

Open Quote
Well obviously Beckham has to be in the all-time football 11
Close Quote
Jeff, UK
Seaman, Rio Ferdinand, Tony Adams, Stuart Pearce, Gary Neville, John Barnes, Paul Gascoigne, Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Michael Owen, Gary Lineker.(Subs: Gordon Banks, Sol Campbell, Bobby Moore, Kevin Keegan, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, Glenn Hoddle, Peter Beardsley, Alan Shearer)
Darren, England

Well obviously Beckham has to be in the all-time football 11. After all, if you believe everything you read, his hairstyle is so important to our chances of winning the World Cup that an injury to the European footballer of the year hardly warrants a mention.
Jeff, UK

My all time side is:Peter Shilton (goal)Phil Neal (right-back)Stuart Pearce (left-back)Booby Moore (central-defence)Rio Ferdinand (central-defence)David Beckham (right-midfield)Laurie Cunningham (left-midfield)Trevor Brooking (central-midfield)Bryan Robson[c] (central-midfield)Kevin Keegan (attack)Alan Shearer (attack).

Paul Gascoigne narrowly misses out to Brooking. Kenny Sansom narrowly misses out to Pearce. The complete line up of substitutes is another story. Thanks for the opportunity to express this divine football vision.
John Goodger,England

Open Quote
It is not an accident that Stuart Pearce is included in so many people's all time XI
Close Quote
David, England
A mix of iron, vision and creativity with fantastic finishing this team would be unbeatable. I thought of Nobby Stiles but in today's game he couldn't play to his strengths as the rules have changed.

So it is:Gordon Banks, Jack Charlton, Stuart Pearce, Paul Ince, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, David Beckham, Paul Gascoine, Gary Lineker,Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters.
Kevin Johnstone, Canada

Did Banks ever do anything else apart from 'that save?' I remember Carlton Palmer saving a definite goal with an acrobatic overhead kick - does this make him the best defender ever? No!

I am sure Mr Banks is as annoyed as me that a career that spanned 30 years, culminating in a World Cup winners medal, is remembered by one average save.Shilton gets the nod.
Gary Byrne,England

Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham, Beckham & Beckham.
Steve, UK

It is not an accident that Stuart Pearce is included in so many people's all time XI. He typified the never-say-die attitude and spirit of the English game. It would have been nice to have seen him with the England set up in some capacity.
David,England

Open Quote
Owen's pace and Lineker's know how would be an unstoppable force
Close Quote
Wayne, England
England (4-3-3): Peter Shilton, Gary Neville, Bobby Moore, Rio Ferdinand, Stuart Pearce, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, Robbie Fowler, Alan Shearer, Gary LinekerSub: Gordon Banks, Terry Butcher, Paul Gascoigne, Bobby Charlton, Kevin Keegan
Dave, England

Gordon Banks, Viv Anderson, Terry Butcher, Bobby Moore, Stuart Pearce, David Beckham, Bobby Charlton, Bryan Robson, Stanley Mathews, Gary Lineker, Jimmy Greaves.
Marcus Blurton, U.K.

For me it has to be Lineker and Owen along side each other without any doubt. With Owen's pace and Lineker's know how, they would be an unstoppable force.
Wayne, England

(4-4-2) Peter Shilton, Paul Parker, Bobby Moore, Kenny Sansom, Stuart Pearce, John Barnes, David Beckham, Bryan Robson, Paul Gascoigne, Gary Lineker and Jimmy Greaves.
Jamie Clark, New Zealand

Open Quote
Gazza is the best player I have ever seen in an England shirt
Close Quote
James Davey, UK
In all seriousness, the best England XI would be: Seaman, Neville, Campbell, Ferdinand, A. Cole, Dyer, Scholes, Gerrard, Beckham, Heskey and Owen. Although it may seem controversial, the high level of fitness that the modern player maintains puts the players from older eras into the shade.
Bobby Seagull, England

Peter Shilton, Bryan Robson, Stanley Matthews, Duncan Edwards, Gary Pallister, David Beckham, Gary Lineker, Michael Owen, Bobby Charlton, Paul Gascoigne, Bobby Moore.
Mehluli Sibanda,Zimbabwe

My first eleven would be Shilton, S.Pearce, Dixon, Moore, Adams, Scholes, Beckham, Alan Ball, Ince, Shearer, Lineker. Subs bench would have Gazza, Banks, Greaves, both Charltons, Owen and Heskey. And I would get Terry Venables to coach them.
Alan Pengelly, U.K.

Edwards and Gazza would be in the centre for me. Gazza is the best player I have ever seen in an England shirt (and that includes Beckham) and everyone who ever saw Edwards in awe of him.
James Davey, UK

Open Quote
Paul Scholes would be the first name on my sheet
Close Quote
Alan Pengelly, UK

David Seaman, Viv Anderson, Bobby Moore (capt), Tony Adams, Kenny Sansom, David Beckham, Bryan Robson, Paul Gascoigne, Stanley Matthews, Gary Lineker, Jimmy Greaves
Barry, England

Paul Scholes would be the first name on my sheet. Always competitive and lively and he has scored so many important goals for club and country. And for those who think we should just pick from the 1966 team, please remember that you can be an exceptional player in a mediocre team, i.e. Alan Shearer for most of his career.
Alan Pengelly, UK

Gordon Banks, Rob Jones, Bobby Moore, Terry Butcher, Stuart Pearce; David Beckham, Trevor Brooking, Bryan Robson, Peter Beardsley; Michael Owen, and that bloke who eats crisps with the big ears!
Duncan Deaville,England

Open Quote
Without Gazza there never was an English side
Close Quote
Badman, USA
Banks, Wilson, Moore, Butcher, Cooper, Beckham, Gazza, Hoddle, Matthews, Lineker, Greaves
Wynn, UK

Without Gazza there never was an English side. He's the heart and soul. Beckham is right up along with him. I'd have Michael Owen alongside Gary Lineker. Banks in goal, Stanley Matthews, Bobby Charlton without a doubt.
Badman, USA

Gordon Banks, Gary Pallister, Stanley Matthews, Duncan Edwards, Tony Adams, David Beckham, Bobby Charlton, Paul Gascoigne, Gary Lineker, Michael Owen, Teddy Sheringham.
Mehluli Sibanda,Zimbabwe

For a player who allegedly reached his peak in 1990 and was 'past it' very soon after, Paul Gascgoine was still able to demonstrate his unequalled talent in a few short moments with that great goal against Scotland in Euro '96. I don't worry about which other ten players play around Gazza. He makes my team.
Steve, England

Shilton, G Neville, Wright, Adams, Walker, Beckham, Waddle, Gascoigne, Steven, Lineker, Owen.
Peter Carpenter, UK

Gordon Banks,Jimmy Armfield, Bobby Moore, Duncan Edwards, Stuart Pearce, Stanley Matthews, Bryan Robson, Paul Gascoigne, Tom Finney, Tommy Lawton,Gary Lineker
Steve ,England

Open Quote
I can't believe no one has mentioned David Platt
Close Quote
JP, England
1.Shilton 2.Mick Mills (remember the Ipswich man from the 70s?) 3.Stuart Pearce 4.Keegan 5.Butcher 6.Jackie Charlton 7.Mcmanaman (when he was at his best) 8.Gazza (when he was at his best) 9.Jimmy Greaves (the greatest striker who never was) 10.Lineker 11.Alan Ball
Mike, Czech Rep.

I can't believe no one has mentioned David Platt. 30-odd goals in about 60 games from midfield is an exceptional record at international level.
JP, England

G.Banks, S.Pearce, G.Neville, B.Moore, T.Adams, J.Barnes, D.Beckham, P.Ince, B.Charlton, M.Owen, G.Hirst
Matt Redman, England

Banks, Scott, Wright, Moore, Hapgood, Coleman, Robson, Edwards, Matthews, Lawton, Finney.
Bernard Nightingale,Australia

Open Quote
It's hard to pick my greatest England side because I would need more than 11 players
Close Quote
Gary, Canada
Gordon Banks, Viv Anderson, Kenny Sanson, Bobby Moore, Terry Butcher, Stanley Matthews, Graham Rix, Bobby Charlton, Alan Ball, Gary Lineker, Michael Owen.
Paul Cook, UK

Banks, Moore, Wright, Pearce, Matthews, Charlton, Hoddle, Edwards, Greaves, Lineker, Beardsley.
John Dunne, England

To Duncan Kennedy, and I can't think why no one else hasn't said it yet, at least we are at the World Cup!
Mr English, England

Lineker has to be in every squad as he is the best striker this country has ever had.
Lewis Allen, England

GK: Peter Shilton,DEF: Terry Butcher, Bobby Moore, Rio Ferdinand,MD: Chris Waddle, David Beckham, Stanley Mathews, Paul Gascoigne, ST: Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer, Michael Owen
Chris,England

Banks in goal. He is without doubt one of the best keepers ever for England. I still marvel at his save from Pele. It's hard to pick my greatest England side because I would need more than 11 players. England, despite only winning the World Cup once, were blessed with a lot of talented players such as Greaves, Gascoigne and Waddle. Keegan was a superb athlete and could run all day. Bobby Charlton could show a few wannabes how to play the game even today.
Gary,Canada

Open Quote
Lineker has to be in every squad as he is the best striker this country has ever had.
Close Quote
Lewis Allen, England
In this new era of biotechnology I'd clone Chris Waddle. We'd probably lose every game but leave opponents in awe. Team: Waddle, Waddle, Waddle, Waddle, Waddle, Waddle, Waddle, Waddle, Waddle, Waddle, Waddle Subs: Waddle, Waddle.
Richard Youle,England

Banks, Cohen, Pearce, Moore (c), Adams, Matthews, Edwards, B.Charlton, Finney, Lineker, Keegan
Robin Ball, Wales

Keeper: Peter Shilton. Back four: Gary Neville, Billy Wright, Bobby Moore (c), Stuart Pearce. Midfield: Stanley Matthews, Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Tom Finney. Strikers: Bobby Charlton playing off Gary Lineker. Subs: Gordon Banks, Tony Adams, Paul Gascoigne, John Barnes, Alan Shearer.
David Jenkinson,England

Peter Shilton, Jimmy Armfield, Stuart Pearce, Bobby Moore, Billy Wright, Duncan Edwards, David Beckham, Stanley Matthews, Bobby Charlton, Alan Shearer, Tom Finney... I'd like to see the team that could beat those lads!
Mal Walker, Australia

I think managers play an important part in the England set-up. I would nominate Ramsey, Sven, and Bobby Robson as the best, whereas Graham Taylor was, I think, the worst ever, not counting Revie who turned his back on England to coach Saudi Arabia.
Ray, England

Open Quote
Does anybody remember Rodney Marsh?
Close Quote
John Cook, Australia

Peter Shilton, Terry Butcher, Jack Charlton, Bobby Moore, Stuart Pearce, Stanley Matthews, John Barnes, Bobby Charlton, Paul Gascoigne, Gary Lineker, Kevin Keegan.
Ben Norris,England

1: Alex Goode, 2: Alan Wright, 3: Gareth Barry, 4: Mark Wright, 5: Paul Parker, 6: Lee Hendrie, 7: Ian Taylor, 8: Paul Merson, 9: Steve Stone, 10: Dion Dublin, 11: Dalian Atkinson.
J P Angel,Colombia

Alex Goode, Paul Parker, Barry Venison, Steve Howey, Kev Ashby, Richard Screen, Gazza, Glenn Stallard, Gareth Hunt, Wayne Carter, Matthew Chandler.
Kimmer,UK

Some very interesting selections, many using those modern masters "the wing-backs". If you use wing-backs to turn the defences you MUST have a striker who is as good with his head as he is with his feet. Shearer is that man. Teams are usually successful with a player who does the extraordinary, especially in midfield: does anybody remember Rodney Marsh?
John Cook, Australia

Paul Gascoigne would be the first name on my all-time England XI. He is, without question, the most gifted player these shores have ever produced. My XI would be: Shilton in goal, Jones, Moore, Adams and Pearce in defence, Beckham, Gazza, Gerrard and Barnes in midfield and Beardsley and Owen up front.

Open Quote
Where's Carlton Palmer?
Close Quote
Benjamin Payne,UK

Steven Gerrard is included in anticipation that he will become one of the all-time greats. Rob Jones, the former Liverpool right-back, gets in because had he stayed injury-free he would still be wearing the England shirt now. This side has solidity, creativity and goals written all over it.
Robbie H, UK

An all-time England team would be: Gordon Banks, Keith Newton, Kevin Beattie, Bobby Moore, Paul Madeley, Stanley Matthews, Bobby Charlton, Colin Bell, Tom Finney, Jimmy Greaves, Alan Clarke. Subs: Edwards, Lineker, Hurst, Haynes, Carter.
Paul McCloskey,USA

Where's Carlton Palmer?
Benjamin Payne,UK

In response to Duncan Kennedy's comments, if you actually read the book, you'll see that Brooks actually has a good grasp of England's place in the World. I don't think any serious football fan would claim that England's history rivals that of Brazil, Italy or Germany, and the book reflects that. As an American I'd heard the Scots weren't keen on the English, but Kennedy just sounds bitter to me.
Debbie Knisely, USA

No arguments from me on this team. Anyone selecting Pearce must be a fan of rugby or freestyle wrestling!
Chris Coates, Australia

Open Quote
Jimmy Greaves has a far superior goal record to Lineker, Charlton or Keegan
Close Quote
James Andrews, England

Who cares? Does any of this matter? No doubt England end up winning the World Cup in this book - despite the fact that there are many teams who have been consistently better than England and have had more of an impact on world football. Brazil, Argentina and Germany immediately leap to mind. Stopping and thinking about it would no doubt round up some more.

England as a nation seems to vastly over-rate its national team, and seems to think it has a God given right to win everything that's going. It is time to realise that England are in fact a standard issue European footballing nation, no better than about a dozen others.
Duncan Kennedy,Scotland

I support the inclusion of Jimmy Greaves, having seen him score one of his greatest goals. He picked up the ball deep in his own half dribbled down the right wing past three defenders and from 25 yards hammered the ball into the two foot space between the keeper and the post. An ordinary goal from Jimmy except the venue was Filbert Street and the keeper was Gordon Banks.
Paul,USA

Number of goals is not as important as ratio of goals per game, or what else a player can bring to a team. Jimmy Greaves has a far superior goal record to Lineker, Charlton or Keegan, but then so do Dixie Dean, Stan Mortenson, and Tommy Lawton.

As for Owen being too young for inclusion, Johnny Wilkinson - that other English number 10 - has recently been voted the best EVER player, in the world. He's only three months older than Owen.
James Andrews, England

Rodric Jenkin (below) says the present England team would beat the 1966 team as they are fitter and more skilful - what a joke. Fitter they certainly are, but more skilful - come off it. Let's see the present bunch play with the same equipment, ball etc.

As far as skill is concerned - there is no-one to touch Banks, Wilson, Moore, Charlton (both Bobby and Jack). My best-ever England team would be (in a 4-3-3 format): Banks, Wright (Billy), Moore, Jack Charlton, Wilson, Edwards (the BEST England player ever), Charlton, Matthews, Finney, Lineker, and Greaves.
Michael, Canada

Open Quote
To ignore Gazza is a big mistake
Close Quote
Hassan, UK

The greatest team ever, surely has to be the only one that has actually won anything at international level for England - the 1966 eleven. And remember that same team was taken apart by Scotland less than a year later at Wembley.
Douglas McLellan, Scotland

To ignore Gazza is a big mistake. He had pure football talent. And the claim that he didn't play that often for England and so should be disregarded denies the fact that when he played at his best few could rival him.
Hassan, UK

As a Chelsea supporter I would want to put Wise in the starting line up. Do you all remember that great goal he scored on his debut? This is the best team bar none. Banks, Charlton, Adams, Moore, Pearce, Beckham, Gascoigne, Robson, Matthews, Lineker, Shearer, I rest my case.
Lee Illing,England

Open Quote
How about the all-time worst XI
Close Quote
James Walton,London

David Beckham is a must for any team. He can turn a game from nothing into a dazzling victory with one swing of his deadly right foot
Sean, England

To say Hoddle never performed for England is not fair - he was consistently left out of the team because he was considered to be a luxury. Lineker has to be upfront as England's greatest goalscorer, and Banks, Moore, Charlton, and Matthews must be certainties.

Duncan Edwards never got the chance to show just how good he could have been, just as Gazza didn't.

To suggest Beckham, Ferdinand and Owen is ridiculous when none of them have really been around long enough. So I have gone for: Banks; Pearce, Moore, Wright, Wilson; Hoddle, Robson, Matthew, Charlton (B); Lineker, Greaves. Subs: Waddle, Keegan, Finney, Adams, Shearer.
James Walton, London

How about the all-time worst XI - the ones who should never have played for England.... I would suggest this: Beasant; P. Neville, Scales, Ruddock, Dicks; Palmer, Butt, Sherwood, Geoff Thomas; Chris Armstrong (he was on the bench for Keegan), Deane; Subs: Fashanu; Guppy; Venison;
James Walton,London

The best was a combination of '66 and the potentially great but defensively naive '70 side (the only side to run Brazil OF '70 close). Apart from the Dutch in '74 nobody has come close...but '90 and '86 (unlucky) and non qualifying '74 were equally unlucky. We could have won it in 1974 but for a very good Polish side.
John Goody, UK

Open Quote
Why bother comparing players from such different times?
Close Quote
Peter Kimber, England

My all-time England XI would have to be the winners of 1966. To say that they are technically and physically weaker to their counterparts today is entirely relative. They won the World Cup. Sure, Lineker and Gascoigne, Keegan or Hoddle were quality, but did they ever win the highest accolade? Surely football's a team game and England won in 1966. Until that happens again I don't see any point in including anyone else...
Trebor Poulet,GB

My England XI would bePeter Shilton;Billy Wright,Bobby Moore,Jack Charlton,Jimmy Armfield;Stanley Matthews,Bryan Robson,Bobby Charlton,Kevin Keegan;Gary Lineker, andMichael Owen.
Philip Wright,England

Why bother comparing players from such different times? As I'm only 20 my team could only be 1986+. It would be: Shilton; Anderson, Adams, Butcher, Pearce; Barnes, Waddle, Robson, Gazza; Beardsley and Shearer.
Peter Kimber, England

My all time England XI has to be: Gordon Banks;Rio Ferdinand,Stuart Pearce,Bobby Moore,Tony Adams;Paul Gascoigne,David Beckham,Bobby Charlton;Gary Lineker,Alan Shearer andStanley Matthews.On the bench I would have: Keiron Dyer, Geoff Hurst, Jack Charlton, David Seaman and Michael Owen.
Nigel,Co. Durham

Open Quote
Any team without Paul Gascoigne just isn't complete
Close Quote
Pete Walton, England

Any team without Paul Gascoigne just isn't complete. Even though he never properly reached his peak, in the early '90s he was still one of the best players in the world.

His dribbling skills were unrivalled, and he was never fazed - whatever the quality of the opposition. When you can score a goal in Serie A by beating seven defenders, or get a hat-trick from free-kicks past Peter Shilton in one match, you're something special.
Pete Walton, England

Shilton; Wilson, Moore, Butcher, Pearce; Beckham, Charlton (R), Gascoigne, Matthews; Lineker and Beardsley.Subs: Banks, Charlton (J), Stiles, Keegan, Finney
Richard Warmington,London, England

My England XI: Seaman; Moore, Adams, G Neville, Pearce; Gascoigne, Ince, Beckham, Keegan; Lineker and Shearer.
Brett Haynes,England

I wish this team was going to this year's world cup:Chris Woods;Phil Neville,Andy Hinchcliffe,Carlton Palmer,Terry Fenwick;Earl Barret,Steve Guppy,Geoff Thomas,Luther Blisset;Brian Deane andStuart Ripley.Subs: Sinton, Hirst, Cowans, W Brown andBeasant. Manager: Graham Taylor.
Paul Sherring,England

Open Quote
Shearer is the deadliest, hungriest striker we've had
Close Quote
Bill, UK

Banks, Moore, Adams, Pearce, J Charlton, Beckham, B Charlton, Matthews, Gascoigne, Beardsley, Shearer. Beardsley was an underrated creator of chances from nothing. Matthews was just generations ahead of his peers.

Gascoigne is erratic, but in the World Cup you need someone who can stun the most experienced teams with strokes of genius no defence can plan for. On the other hand, Shearer is a prosaic choice, but he was just the deadliest, hungriest striker we've had. That defence is just daunting, isn't it!
Bill, UK

Paul Gascoigne should undoubtedly be in any England all-time World Cup team. He is quite simply the most gifted England player of all time. At his peak in 1990 he had everything - great passing ability with both feet, fantastic close control and dribbling ability, good tackling skills and was decent in the air.

Every player of every nationality in that World Cup knew how good he was - what a tragedy that he wasted it all in later years!
Roger Ayton, USA

Banks, Ferdinand, Moore, Jack Charlton, Campbell, Beckham, Robson, Bobby Charlton, Lineker, Owen, Matthews.
Stewart Hawker,England

Open Quote
With the tackling of Adams and the passing of Beckham to Shearer, Owen and Keegan, England would be invincible!
Close Quote
Ian Smith, England

I would start with Banks in goal, behind a competitive but skilful back four of Armfield, Moore, Hunter, (Norman, not the gladiator!) and Pearce. Bryan Robson would grace the holding role, alongside the attacking qualities of Matthews, Gascoigne and Hoddle. Up front the goalscoring responsibilities would fall to Greaves and Shearer.

The likes of Keegan, Charlton (x2), Finney and Lineker were all greats, but have lost out to world-class players. Of the current crop, players like Ferdinand, Gerrard, Scholes and Owen can aspire to join this legendry status, but it is unfair to compare their qualities until their careers are completed.

Also, in the absence of a world-class right back, the door is open for any young exciting players to become great - Hargreaves or Mills perhaps?
John, England

What about people like Shearer, Owen, Beckham, Tony Adams and of course Kevin Keegan? With the tackling of Adams and the passing of Beckham to Shearer, Owen and Keegan, England would be invincible!
Ian Smith, England

The all-time greatest team can only be the one which won the 1966 World Cup - no other English players have won anything of substance and therefore, by definition, are "also-rans" until they prove themselves.
Michael Perman, England

Banks, just ahead of Shilton, in goal. Bobby Moore as captain in defence alongside Jack Charlton, Duncan Edwards and Stuart Pearce. In the middle: Robson, Charlton, Matthews, Brooking. Up front it has to be Lineker, and the man we're all forgetting - Dixie Dean!
Joe Williams, England

Open Quote
I don't understand why Alan Shearer is not in that XI. He is already well clear of the rest in the Premiership and let's not forget 1996
Close Quote
Adam Parkes, UK

Banks, Matthews, J Charlton, Moore, Sansom, Hoddle, Robson, B Charlton, Waddle, Lineker, Greaves
Ubaid , UK

I utterly disagree with the naive comments of Huw Jenkin of England (below). While Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton were excellent and should make the England XI based on their dominance of their own era, to say that they had the skills or could do things with the ball that some of the modern day players can do is just hopeful nostalgia.
Rodric Jenkin, England

Shilton in goal, Ray Wilson at left back, Jimmy Armfield right back, Bobby Moore and Billy Wright in the centre.

Midfield: Alan Ball, Bobby Charlton, Paul Gascoigne, and Peter Reid (PFA player of the year in '85 and responsible for England's recovery at WC86).

Up front: William Dean and Gary Lineker.
Michael Barker,Finland

I don't understand why Alan Shearer is not in that XI. He is already well clear of the rest in the Premiership; and let's not forget 1996.
Adam Parkes, UK

Open Quote
The skills possessed by Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton would put them among the top 11 of English football
Close Quote
Huw Jenkin,England

Peter Shilton would be in goal, with a back four of Bobby Moore, Stuart Pearce, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville. A midfield of Hoddle, Beckham, Keegan and Gascoigne would play behind a front two of Gary Lineker and Sir Bobby Charlton.
Koya Phillip, Scotland

I disagree totally with Rodric Jenkin of England (below). The skills possessed by Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton would put them among the top 11 of English football - even in the modern game.

With modern training techniques their fitness, speed and strength could be brought up to par without any difficulty. I think it's important to judge based on qualities such as skill rather than fitness - some things can be taught, some can't.
Huw Jenkin,England

England's greatest ever team would be Peter Shilton in goal with Stuart Pearce, Billy Wright, Bobby Moore and Ray Wilson making up the back four.

My midfield would be Stan Matthews on the right-wing, Tom Finney on the left, and Bryan Robson and Paul Gascoigne playing in the centre. I would then choose Gary Lineker and Tommy Lawton as my strikers.

Open Quote
I think people underrate Gascoigne's brilliance
Close Quote
Jack Barne, England

I think it is ridiculous that a lot of people on this site are saying that Michael Owen should be in England's greatest ever team, in my opinion it shows they know very little about football. Owen is only 22, and has only scored 15 goals so far, so how they can say at this stage that he should be in the team instead of the brilliant Gary Lineker, who scored 48 goals in 80 games, is beyond me. Put it this way, I would be very surprised if Owen finishes his career with as many as 48 international goals.
John Ballard, UK

My all time England team would be: Gordon Banks in Goal. At centre- half, and as captain, I would have Bobby Moore with Tony Adams next to him. Ray Wilson and Stuart Pearce would fill the full back spots. In midfield I would have Jack Charlton and David Beckham in the middle with Stanley Matthews and Tom Finney on the wings.

Up front would be difficult, as you have four top strikers to choose from: Owen, Shearer, Greaves and Lineker. My choice would have to be both Owen and Greaves.
Danny Mountford, England

I think people underrate Gascoigne's brilliance. The man played in two major championships, at both of which England reached the semi finals. However erratic and crazy he was, the bloke was genius.

He bought us pure, unadulterated joy - more so than any other England international footballer has done in my 20 years of England watching. Gascoigne goes in any great England team - bottom line.
Jack Barne, England

Open Quote
In time Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen will replace Jack Charlton and Gary Lineker
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Jon B,UK

Tricky one this, but I would go with:Gordon Banks; Stuart Pearce, Tony Adams, Bobby Moore, Jack Charlton; Glenn Hoddle, Paul Gascoigne, Bobby Charlton, Stanley Matthews;Kevin Keegan and Gary Lineker.
Gareth Hunt,England

After England win the World Cup this summer, the likes of Beckham, Owen, Gerrard and Ferdinand will fit in perfectly alongside Charlton, Moore and Lineker.
Jonathon Priestley, England

I agree with David's team with the exception of Jack Charlton and Gary Lineker. I think in time Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen will replace these two. Kevin Keegan also deserves a mention.
Jon B,UK

People hark back to the past too readily. Yes, England won the world cup in 1966, but football was easier in those days. If you beat a man you beat him, nowadays footballers are athletes and getting a yard is so much more difficult.

The current team would beat the 1966 team easily as they are 10 times fitter and frankly more skilful. But the best England team is difficult to choose.

If you pick players who played the highest level of football it would be the modern players, but if you choose players who dominated their own era of football it would be a lot of the older players.
Rodric Jenkin, England

Open Quote
Hoddle never performed when it mattered for England
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Chris, England

On balance, I think that David Brooks has got the team right. I would not have Gascoigne in an all-time England 11 as he was too injury prone. The strike force of Greaves and Lineker would be one to savour.

One possible change I would make would be Peter Shilton or Ray Clemence in goal. Just like the England managers before me I simply cannot decide between the two of them.
Billy, Ireland

Roger Byrne and Billy Wright are better than Jimmy Armfield and Jack Charlton. Michael Owen is a better choice to Gary Lineker, as would be Dixie Dean, Tommy Lawton or Alan Shearer
David, England

It is difficult to consider any of the current England crop for England's all-time best team simply because they deserve to be judged on their final career analysis.

Even so, I suspect that only Michael Owen of the current team is in with a chance of getting in the all-time team. He already has 15 goals in 34 games, and should challenge Bobby Charlton's record of 49 goals.

Gazza wasn't consistent enough to make the final team. David Beckham has had a purple patch in the last year, but overall, his impact for England hasn't matched his impact at club level.

Open Quote
The strike force of Greaves and Lineker would be one to savour
Close Quote
Billy, Ireland

I don't think anybody can criticise the selections of Matthews and Finney on the wing, or Edwards in the centre. Hoddle? I think he was as overrated as a player as he is as a manager.
Mike Wells, England

Kevin Keegan should be one of the first choices. The same applies to Hoddle. Their talents would make them good enough to make the French starting line up today. Jack Charlton would not even be considered. England has had hundreds of stoppers who could not play the ball.
B. Pétursson,Iceland

I don't think Glenn Hoddle or Gazza should be in there as they did not produce sustained quality for England. I think Lineker's selection in this team is spot on as he was fantastic.

Michael Owen, David Beckham and Steven Gerrard all have time to place themselves in English soccer history and I expect one or two of the current players to make this XI in years to come.

The problem is that you cannot argue with a team that won the World Cup. However, I do ask myself how many of the old players could stand up to the pace and power of the modern game. It is tough to compare.
Steve Speroni, England

Hoddle shouldn't be anywhere near the team, he never performed when it mattered for England and doesn't compared to Gascoigne. But even Gazza struggles for a place. When he played, England had a chance, but how often did that happen?

As for Owen, it's just too early. It's easy to say that he'll continue his form and break all the records, but six years ago we said the same about Shearer, but no one's making a case for Alan now.
Chris , England


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