James McFadden’s XI: Who did the former Scotland player pick? – BBC News

Forward James McFadden played for six clubs in Scotland and England, but it is his two spells at Everton and his Scotland memories that have had the biggest impact on his selection.

“There aren’t many guys on here that weren’t great guys,” said the 48-times capped McFadden, now 37.

Goalkeeper – Nigel Martyn

Nigel signed for Everton the same day as me. He should’ve had more England caps. In training, he was so hard to beat, he always seemed to read what you were going to do, produced brilliant saves daily and he carried it into a game. He was just brilliant. He was just a class goalkeeper.

Right-back – Seamus Coleman

When I had my second spell at Everton, Seamus was just unbelievable. Round about that time, he was probably one of the best right-backs in Europe. I had to put him in; he just made the right-back position his own.

Centre-backs – David Weir & Joleon Lescott

Davie had such a long career. He wasn’t blessed with great pace but I would describe him as a big Rolls Royce, he was just brilliant. He read the game so well. So reliable, so professional. Any problems you’ve got, he’s there for you. His performance levels, especially as he got older, seemed to get better. You noticed when Davie was in the team.

Joleon is a big, strong guy. Good on the ball, quick, aggressive. He had a few seasons where he scored 10 goals. He just loved defending. He wanted to go play against Didier Drogba and players like that. Just a top player. He went on to Manchester City and won league titles and played for England.

Lescott (right) up against McFadden’s former Scotland team-mate Kenny Miller in a friendly at Celtic Park

Left-back – Leighton Baines

When I came back to Everton, he was just at a different level. He would have had more caps for England if it wasn’t for Ashley Cole. A bit like Lescott, he loved defending, loved the horrible side of the game, loved one-on-one defending. He hated when you went by him. He was great going forward, could chip in with goals, was brilliant from penalties, free-kicks, and had great deliveries.

Right midfielder – Mikel Arteta

He played wide quite a lot for Everton so I’ve put him on the right because he could come inside and his delivery was exceptional. He technical ability was frightening. He would play that killer pass and was such an intelligent player. He knew where to be to get the ball and his touch was immaculate.

Barry Ferguson and Darren Fletcher find places in McFadden’s midfield

Central midfield – Darren Fletcher & Barry Ferguson

Everything about Darren is the reason that he’s in the team. He was captain of Scotland at 21 and played for Manchester United. He’s the guy who sets the tempo. He’ll take the ball in any situation. He’s a brilliant team-mate on and off the pitch. He was fantastic. But for his terrible illness, he would’ve gone on to win well over 100 caps for Scotland, but he still got 80. He just had to be in my team.

Barry is in everybody’s team and there’s a reason for that. He’s a top, top player. He demanded the ball, he demanded standards. He came down to Birmingham and I think it gave him a new lease of life. He keeps talking, he organises. He is a moany, moany player to play with but it’s because of the standards he sets. He could do everything. He had so much to his game.

Left midfield – Steven Pienaar

When I went for Baines, it could only be Pienaar with him because the partnership that they had was incredible. In his first training session, we were all like, ‘wow’. He was just brilliant. All of these players, they were all hard, hard workers but Pienaar’s quality was ridiculous at times.

Strikers – Wayne Rooney & Duncan Ferguson

I only played with Wayne for a year but he was such a phenomenal talent. He knew he was the best player, but he wasn’t arrogant. His technique and his strength were devastating and he was just a fan living out his dream.

There was so much more to Duncan’s game than heading and roughing up defenders. He had a brilliant touch, and was a great finisher with both feet. He had loads of injuries but he was still there, training every day. He just did everything to prolong his Everton career. He was brilliant.

Link to Original Story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *