Throughout his 19-year footballing career John Barnes made over 600 professional appearances for club and country and with some of English football’s best players. After much careful thinking, Barnes has selected eleven of the best players and manager that he played alongside in his long and illustrious career. This is ‘The Best XI that John Barnes has played with.’
Terry Venables (Manager)
Terry Venables would have been my manager, simply because he would know how to handle the tough players like Gascoigne. He had brilliant player management skills and was someone who was able to handle the more difficult players in the teams he managed.
Bruce Grobbelaar (GK)
Bruce would have been perfect as a modern-day goalkeeper with the way he used to dribble the ball out from the back whilst he was in goal. A brilliant shot stopper and a top professional.
Steve Nicol (RB)
A great defender who was strong in the air and good with the ball at his feet. When crosses were sent into the back post, Steve was always there to clear the ball.
Alan Hansen (CB)
One of my favourite centre-backs of all time. I talk about Alan being able to play alongside Virgil Van-Dijk in this current team and how good he would be in the modern game.
Mark Lawrenson (CB)
Another one of my favourite defenders. Mark was a player who was aggressive when challenging for the ball and was brilliant in the air when jumping for a header.
Kenny Sansom (LB)
Kenny was way ahead of his time when he was playing. At the time, left backs were all about tackling and winning possession without being that good on the ball. He was a good attacking left back but could also defend. You could not get the ball past him as he was so quick and strong.
Bryan Robson (CDM)
A defensively minded midfielder, who is very competent at sitting in front of the defenders. Bryan was a strong tackler and someone who is very good on the ball, whether it was passing the ball backwards or forwards.
Steve McMahon (LCM)
Another brilliant defensive midfielder, who was great with the ball at his feet. He loved a tackle when attackers were running at him with the ball and a player who was great at helping out the defence.
Glenn Hoddle (RCM)
Glenn is the most technical English player there has ever been, including the players playing now. Back when I was playing, I used to enjoy watching what he did on the ball in training. English football in the ‘80s was more about being aggressive and fighting with each other rather than the ability you had. Glenn only got 53 caps for England, If he was playing for Spain, France, Italy, he would have got well over 100 caps. His technical game was more suited to how those countries played their football and he was a fantastic player.
Paul Gascoigne (CAM)
A great attacking midfielder, he had such brilliant creativity whilst on the ball. Paul is widely recognised as the most naturally talented English player with so much ability and skill. Most defenders were actually scared to face him on the pitch.
Peter Beardsley (ST)
One of my favourite players ever to play with. He loved to link up play with the attackers and defence, and he could also drop into midfield to tackle and work hard to allow other midfielders to push forward. A very underrated player for England.
Ian Rush (ST)
My favourite striker whilst I was playing. Not just because he scored a lot of goals, but also because of how hard he worked off the ball defensively. People talk about strikers defending from the front, and Ian epitomised that.
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