2006-2016: English Stoke City XI
With the European Championships just around the corner I thought I would have a bit of fun.
So, here is my Stoke City XI of English players from the last decade.
There is only one contender for the goalkeeper position in this team and Butland is arguably England’s current number two, fitness permitting. A fine choice between the sticks.
With more than 50 caps to his name Johnson adds a wealth of experience to this side. Before last season Andy Wilkinson would probably have taken this role, but there is no way Johnson can be usurped.
Many column inches have been written regarding Shawcross’ England credentials and one cap does not give the great man justice. A rock in the centre of Stoke’s defence for the past decade, Shawcross would also be this team’s captain.
Whilst he may have played international football for Gibraltar ultimately, Higginbotham’s allegiance remained towards England whilst a Stoke player. The perfect complement to Shawcross, Higgy’s versatility could also be key.
In truth there were very few options for the left back role, although if you were to choose one man with any more passion than Dicko I would like to see him. He would put his life on the line for his country, of that there is no doubt.
A man who was often on the cusp of full international recognition during his career, Pennant would be the man to swing in delicious deliveries for the forward men to hopefully profit from. A man for the big occasion, too.
There was a time when I actually thought that Whitehead deserved an England call-up. He was a terrific man to have in the team, mopping up when others made mistakes and turned into a tremendous signing by Tony Pulis. Who ya gonna call? Dean Whitehead!
It’s fair to say that the number of English central midfielders Stoke have had in the last decade can be counted on one hand. There was one man who arguably kick started our revival though. Hendrie was only a loan signing but stood head and shoulders above other players in the Championship and gets the nod in my English Stoke City XI.
Surely this man should have worn the Three Lions at some point during his career. He was the catalyst for Stoke staying in the top flight and became a key member of the side for the coming years. A great player to have running down the wing.
A former England international, Beattie’s goals were huge as Stoke avoided relation in 2008-09. He formed a great on-pitch relationship with Etherington and to rekindle that could be very special indeed.
Two metre Peter is an obvious choice. His goal scoring record at international speaks for itself- 22 goals in 42 appearances- and his unique style would be a handful for any defender.
Who would you have in your English Stoke City XI? Let us know in the comment box.
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