Norwich City Greatest XI vs QPR Greatest XI - Who Wins?

We asked two fans to collate the greatest Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers XI's they've seen play in the flesh...
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We asked two fans to collate the greatest Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers XI's they've seen play in the flesh...

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Always a looker was our Brucey..

We asked two fans to collate the greatest Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers XI's ahead of their clash this weekend, these are the sides they came up with...

Norwich City Greatest XI

Kevin Keelan - From the days when keepers used their bare hands to stifle shots, the dextrous Kevin ‘The Cat’ Keelan moved like a fish mid-air. The first man to save a penalty in a Wembley Cup Final in 1975 (against Villa), the Israeli-born Keelan – who was unsuccessfully targeted by Man Utd in the late 70s – would just nudge Bryan Gunn onto the virtual bench. Just. - 8

Mark Bowen - “You’ll never beat Mark Bowen,” sang the Barclay terrace of the Welsh left back. Of course, people did beat Mark Bowen – part of a team that featured three fellow Spurs rejects – but that wasn’t the point. A player in City’s most successful side, Bowen could roll up the shirtsleeves as well as dart forward and cross. Faith No More paid tribute to him by naming a song in his honour on their first album.* - 8

*(not sure if it’s the same Mark Bowen, but still…)

Steve Bruce (c) - OK, so Bruce said he would happily drive to Manchester in a tractor if it meant he could leave Norwich, but when a man scores a last gasp winner against Ipswich in a League Cup semi-final, second leg, he could pretty much post s**t through your letter box and you’d still pat his arse. One of the best centre halves never to pull on an England shirt. - 9

Dave Watson: Dave Watson is a rare beast. A Norwich player who has lifted a trophy (Milk Cup in 1985) and a City player who pulled on an England shirt. Of course, like all our best players he was lured away by a bigger fish (Everton) but for 212 appearances Watson was a fucken rock at the centre of defence. Watson and Bruce would dish out some stick. 9

- 8

Ian Culverhouse - We’ve got Bowen in here so colleague Ian Culverhouse can have a run out too. A Norwich legend, this right back can also act as a sweeper. Currently Assistant Manager at Norwich and still a bona fide ledge.  - 7

Darren Huckerby - The man with hedgehog hair was given a contract at Carrow Road halfway through their 2003/2004 promotion season. Scooping up anything on the left and able to cut in from either flank and down the channels, Hucks was often given a floating role. If Huckerby didn’t make this eleven the East Anglian Twitter would go into meltdown.- 9

Andy Townsend - A man so dull he could bore turtles into suicide, people often forget what an exciting player Andy Townsend was. A man who could shoot from range, as he did at Old Trafford one evening, Townsend didn’t stay long enough for our liking when Chelsea came sniffing Still... a better all-rounder than Ian ‘Chippy’ Crook. - 9

Michael Phelan - A combative, big-hearted general, Phelan had an eye for goal too. Able to drop back into defence if required, he went on to win a few trinkets for a Salford-based outfit. Jeremy Goss isn’t happy with this selection no doubt, but over the course of a season Phelan maybe shades it in terms of consistency. - 8

Ruel Fox - On his day Ipswich-born Fox was lethal. Formed a great partnership with his old mucker Chris Sutton and once the ball was played in front of him it was off-to-the-races stuff. Again, he left Carrow Road too early – but then chairman Robert Chase would have sold his mother’s kidney if there was a dangling carrot – and the expectation at St James’s Park and White Hart Lane seemed to knock Foxy off his game. - 9

Chris Sutton - A striker who was no mean centre half, Sutton had the height and the touch to dominate defences. A great strike rate at City Sutton also bagged a shed-load and won a Premiership winner’s medal at Blackburn, only just losing out on top scorer to penalty taker Alan Shearer, whom Sutton gave ample assists. Shame that he will always be remembered for one poor season at Chelsea, as Sutton was a genuine talent, and Stamford Bridge has gone on to break many bigger names under its weight of expectation. - 8

Craig Bellamy - Craig Bellamy. You either hate him or hate him. Bellamy had incredible pace and nonchalance even back in the late 90s and when he left second flight City for Premiership Coventry he later remarked that it was actually a step down, which endeared him further to Norwich fans. Playing alongside a player like Sutton would give most defenders a mare. He was a little ****, yes, but he was our little ****. - 9

Queen's Park Rangers Greatest XI

Paddy Kenny – Very tough position to fill, especially when we have had some tremendous custodians in the last 20 years, including safe hands himself, David Seaman.  But Paddy gets the shirt for bringing stability to what in recent years has been a very shaky defence. 25 clean sheets out of 44 starts in our Championship season tells its story and I don’t think he has put a foot wrong yet in this campaign. Plus, the bloke is mad  - exhibit A: Completely unapologetically calling El Hadj Diouff a ‘C’ on Twitter (when he mocked Jamie Mackie’s broken leg)…and repeating it when told to delete it! – 8/10

David Bardsley – Graham Taylor made some very strange decisions as England manager. For example, he only awarded David Bardsley two England caps when he was at the peak of his career. An excellent defender whose goal return (four in ten years) belies just how effective he was in creating attacking play. 8/10

Paul Parker – Yes, that’s right, Centre Back. It was only Bobby Robson at Italia ’90 and Alex Ferguson who turned PP into a full back (and what do they know?!?!),  before which he was equally effective in the centre of defence for us. And he was pretty tiny n’all. 9/10

Alan McDonald – A footballer who played 400 games over 15 years in the top division must be pretty good at what they do. And this chap was – ‘Macca’ was ‘Mr QPR’, a sort-of likeable Tony Adams and it’s only a shame that the fairytale conclusion – that he would one day manage the club he gave so much to – has not come to pass – 9/10

Kenny Sansom – As a Semite, I fought the urge not to put David Pizanti, QPR’s first and only Israeli player, in this position. Alas his positives (Jew-ness) were outweighed by his negatives (he was rubbish). So Kenny Sansom, at the time England’s most-capped full-back, gets into the team, run pretty close by Clive Wilson. – 8/10

Andy Sinton – My first and only ever hero.  Before him, I really liked QPR, but he is the reason I love them (it? Her?) . A £350k steal from Brentford, he was winger and goal-provider extraordinaire. Without Andy Sinton and his crosses, you would never have heard of Les Ferdinand. To this day, he is my security question for my internet bank (please don’t rob me. Or tell the wife I told you that) and I’d like to think maybe one day Andy and I could be friends. 10/10

Roy Wegerle – No words necessary. Watch THIS -8/10

Ray Wilkins – On the telly, Wilkins struggles to offer analysis that rivals a Redknapp, a Townsend or a Neville. On the pitch, he would wipe the floor with any one of them. How many midfielders these days can take free kicks and corners with either foot? Wilkins could, effortlessly. The crab was still playing Premier League football at 36 years old, in an era when his peers tended to retire by 32. Majestic. – 9.5/10

Adel Taraabt – It’s all going a bit sour for Adel these days as he struggles to adapt to not having the most expensive car at the training ground. I suspect he will be sold in January and that Warnock has lost patience with him – toys have been thrown out of prams one too many times. Simply, the guy has a personality disorder that may well prevent him fulfilling his potential. But if it weren’t for him, QPR would not be in the Premier League now. 8.9/10(0.1 deducted for being mental)

Les Ferdinand – Come on, you didn’t think there was any chance Sir Les was not going to be centre forward in this team, did you? 10/10

Kevin Gallen – The pragmatist in me would have gone for Garry Bannister here. Not only did he score a healthy 1 goal every  3 games in the 1980s, he also got a legendary hat trick against Chelsea. But you can’t not go for Gallen. More important than his near-400 appearances for the club (a goal every four games), Gallen played a bigger role: as a fan, he was that player every proper football club needs – a conduit for all supporters to channel their energies through, to provide them with their link with their team. He was one of us. A true servant and legend. 8/10

SCORE:

Norwich City 93 - 94.4 Queens Park Rangers

The Super Hoops shade it in the end. Les Ferdinand leading the charge and slotting a hat-trick. As expected Huckerby and Bellamy impressed for The Canaries, the Welshman grabbing a late consolation goal. A typically consumate performance from Paddy Kenny managed to keep any late surges at bay thouh, and a series of brilliant saves ensured that Rangers came away victors.

Neil Warnock and Steve Bruce clashed after the final whistle, ugly scenes.

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