In a moment of tedium at work I've tried to compile my own combination XI from the two sets of players.
GK: Much as Howard has been near faultless for us, there is only one Neville Southall
RB: tougher than it looks, but Stevens had so much of an all round game that he has to squeeze Neville and Hibbert out.
CB: The rat has to be in, but who is his partner? Mountfield complemented him so well and chipped in with a lot of goals, but was he in the same class really as Jags, Lescott and (for that matter) Yobo? I think not, so on current form I'm going to go with the Jag alongside captain Kev.
LB: Another tough call. Baines has the potential to be the best left back we've had in a long, long time, but in my eyes is still way short of reaching his best. Psycho Pat was a club legend, but really he was quite a limited player and (being right footed) struggled to offer too much going forward. I'm going to switch Lescott over to LB for this team.
RM: We've got loads of potential right side midifelders in the current squad, with Victor, Ossie, AVDM and Gosling all playing there recently. But, with Stevens behind him, I think Tricky Trev has to get the nod, not least for his goals, especially in the ECWC.
CM: Bracewell was a class act and Fellaini, Rodwell, Neville et al are all proving their worth this season, but what a combination Reid and Arteta would have been. Any arguments there? Maybe Arteta in a wide role to accommodate Brace?
LM: Got to be honest, but Sheeds is well ahead of Pienaar, Gosling, AVDM and Osman in my eyes.
FW: Now here's a tough one. Inchy? Gray? Sharp? Yakubu? And what about Tiny Tim?! For me Heath was a player who was always one notch below the top level. Much as it pains me to say it he was never an international class footballer, although before his injury he was a quality player for us.
Gray? Cult hero for a time, but his goals to game ratio just wasn't good enough for us, depsite his fantastic contribution. For me, I think Cahill HAS to be in there, as a second striker. And now, I'm going to be really controversial and pick the Yak up front with him.
Sharp was and still is an Everton hero. But pace was never his strongest suit and whilst he offered much more all round play than the Yak I'm going to have to go with the goals and the sharpness of Yakubu. Sorry Sharpy! I know many of you will think I've gone nuts, but I honestly think Yakubu could have scored 35 in the 84-85 season, plus the Cahill / Yak combination last season was so good.
First XI (4-4-1-1):
Southall; Stevens, Jagielka, Ratcliffe*, Lescott; Steven, Reid, Arteta, Sheedy; Cahill; Yakubu.
Subs: Howard, Yobo, Neville, Bracewell, Fellaini, Gray, Sharp.
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