Manchester City v Everton Greatest Xls: And The Winner Is...

Tagged by some as the bridesmaid's derby, what would happen if two generation-spanning sides made up of the greatest players to appear for these two teams locked horns? We asked two fans to investigate...
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Manchester City v Everton Greatest Xls: And The Winner Is...

I’ve been going to watch Manchester City since 1984 and it will come as no surprise to learn that the current crop of players is the best I have ever had the pleasure of watching. So much so, that for my ‘best’ 11 I could not unreasonably put down this season’s most frequent starting 11 and leave it at that.  But this is football, things don’t work like that.  So the following players, although framed as the ‘best’ have been selected after considering a variety of other factors on top of actual ability. So here they are…..

Manchester City Greatest Xl by Macca

GK: Tony Coton

Criminally underrated and very unlucky to play in an era where there was an abundance of high quality English goalkeepers. If Alan Ball had played TC instead of Eike bleedin’ Immel I’m convinced we wouldn’t have got relegated in the 1995-1996 season. Should count himself lucky to be on this list as the scoundrel joined United soon after. 8

RB: Paul Lake

I’ve put him at right back but I could have put him in any outfield position and he would not be out of place. Lakey’s story is well known after the recent publication of his excellent autobiography but I could talk about how good he was for a very long time.  Made the game look easy. Very very easy. 9

LB:Andy Hinchcliffe

Hinchy had his faults as a player (as one-footed as Wayne Bridge – no mean feat) but ask any Manchester City fan over the age of 30 to recall a piece of famous commentary and many will recite Clive Tyldesley’s, “…and he’s the left back remember. BANG!!” after he scored the magnificent 5th goal in our 5-1 win against United in 1989.  If you’ve never seen that goal, have a look on You Tube. There’s not been many better in derbies. Obviously then running past the away fans with 5 fingers up helped cement his place in City folklore. 7

CB: Vincent Kompany

A classier centre half you will struggle to find. Good in the air, strong, quick, reads the game well and comfortable on the ball.  We’re lucky to have him. 9

CB: Keith Curle

In his prime he used to take the p*ss out of centre forwards on a regular basis. He’d purposely give them a yard start and then turn on the after-burners, nip in front of them and come away with the ball smirking.  He was rapid.  In addition to that, he also plays an integral role in one of my greatest derby memories from Old Trafford.  Early 90s midweek game and United are going for the Title. Giggs scores, Neil Pointon gets sent off for maiming Giggs and all looks lost.  David White wins a penalty from a clumsy Elephant Man lunge and up steps Curley. Curley bags (check out the away end celebrations on You Tube) and a lad runs the length of the pitch from the Stretford End, jumps into Curle’s arms, then jumps in with us. I was a very happy 16 year old that night. 8

RM: David White

Ran dead fast and tw*tted it, but we loved him for it. A Salford Blue so extra Kudos from me. 7

CM: David Silva

What can I say?  I love him.  I love his little goofy face. I love his shiny floppy hair. Yet most of all I love the way he takes the p*ss out of other club’s players but still manages to earn their respect.  That’s how good Spanish Dave is. 10

CM: Andy May

A controversial choice but he was my very first ‘favourite’ back in 1984.  I’m not even sure why he appealed to an 8 year old me but he was local, overweight and had streaks in his hair. I was a strange child. 6

LM: Gio Kinkladze

There was a time when Gio was the only thing about City that kept me sane. Looking back, his presence may have hindered the other players but at the time it certainly didn’t feel like that. A right foot that was only for standing on but a left foot that he could paint pictures with.  There was a game against Swindon Town in 1997-98 where we won 6-0 and Gio got 10/10 in one of the tabloids. He was on another planet that day. Perhaps tellingly though, we still went down to the 3rd tier of the league that season and watching a sobbing Gio being helped off the pitch that dark day in Stoke was almost too much for me to take.  Went to Ajax and was sh*t. 9

CF: Sergio Aguero

I know it’s early days but he’s bloody good. As strong as an ox, quick, two footed and an unbelievably natural finisher. He really is better than Tevez, and I was skeptical when I was first told that.  10

CF:  Mark Lillis

A staunch Wythenshawe Blue who I still see at the match now and again.  Cracking bloke and although he had only one season at the club, he genuinely played like a fan for that season.  As opposed to a lot of players I’ve seen since 1984, who played like fannies. 7

Gaffer: Mancini

Winning the club’s first trophy in my lifetime affords oneself a certain level of invincibility. He’s won me over and long may it continue. 10

Total: 103

There’s no better sight than Beardsley shaking his hips, sending the defender the wrong way and then stroking the ball past a baffled keeper.

Everton Greatest Xl by Biff Bifferson

GK: Neville Southall

First up these are only players I’ve seen but even so the magnificent, contrary, scruffbag, maestro would be in any all time ace Everton list. Has there ever been a player so good yet so completely at odds with his status? Considered by many to be the best in the world in the mid to late 1980s – I can’t say as I never saw all the others – he was at times unbeatable. Ask John Barnes. Football Writers’ Player of the Year in 1984/5. 9

RB: Ian Snodin

This is a controversial choice but I’m still mad at Gary Stevens for the pass that let Ronnie Whelan in at the 1986 cup final. Snodin came from Leeds United as a midfielder and he was alright there, but when he filled in at right back for a spell he was superb. Fast, aggressive and smart, he made the position his own and was called up for England but had to withdraw when injury knackered him. 7

CB: Dave Watson

Wretched at first – a Guardian match report on one of his early games (probably by Ian Ross) reckoned he and Kevin Ratcliffe weren’t on first-name terms yet – he became one of Everton’s most important post-war players. Rock solid, rock hard and fond of unorthodox refuelling methods, Watson was superb. Lifted the FA Cup as captain in 1995 and once ruffled Michael Owen’s hair when the little swine was whining. 8

CB: Joleon Lescott

Most people my age would go for Kevin Ratcliffe here, and he was a good player and our most successful skipper, but Lescott was simply brilliant for us. His defection basically finished football for me. Good on the floor, good in the air, fast and with an incredible knack for scoring (big) goals, him leaving left a massive hole in my betting strategy. 8

LB: Pat Van den Hauwe

An absolute beast but a brilliant player. Once put Vince Hilaire over the advertising hoardings at Goodison with a spirited tackle. As Hilaire’s twitching torso was stretchered off people were whispering ‘I think he’s dead’. Also smashed through Jimmy ‘sh**house’ Case after he’d fouled Adrian Heath or Trevor Steven (can’t remember which) when playing for Southampton. Scored the goal which clinched the 1987 championship at Norwich City. 8

RM: Andrei Kanchelskis

My god what a player. Twenty goals in 52 league appearances in just under two seasons, including a cracking brace at Anfield in a 2-1 win in November 1995. He was fast as f**k with a great shot and a fine head too. At times Kancheskis was unstoppable – then he got the hump over a move to Fiorentina and that was that. 9

CM: Peter Reid

Described by Howard Kendall as Everton’s most important post-war signing. Paul Bracewell was arguably a better player but not as important. Reid wasn’t the quickest but he had everything else – he’d be priceless in today’s game. Although he’d get sent off a lot. Along with Kim Gordon and Jonny Marr, the only famous person I’d like to meet. Although we’d make an odd crowd. Marr would probably sneak off early having left his share of the bill but ‘forgetting’ the tip. 9

CM: Mikel Arteta

I was slow to warm to Arteta as I feel midfielders should be able to tackle, and it annoyedme off that he needed Lee Carsley in there to hold his hand at times. But the best little Spaniard was brilliant for Everton before he joined the sinking ship in London. Fit wife too. 9

LM: Kevin Sheedy

Sheer brilliance. I don’t know who Liverpool had on the left in 1982 when Sheedy joined us but he must have been brilliant. Sheedy wasn’t quick but he didn’t need to be because his touch, passing, crossing and shooting were so good. But it’s the free-kicks people remember, with many pointing to an FA Cup tie with Ipswich where he smashed it top corner, was told to retake, and smashed it in the other corner. Magic. 9

CF: Peter Beardsley

Along with Sheedy the most skilful Everton player I’ve ever seen. John Motson on Match of the Day when we played (I think) Coventry said: “You could take this first 30 minutes from Beardsley and put out a video called ‘how to play football’”. There’s no better sight than Beardsley shaking his hips, sending the defender the wrong way and then stroking the ball past a baffled keeper. 9

CF: Graeme Sharp

Everton’s post-war record goalscorer, Sharp scored some of the most important goals in the club’s most successful period, including the winner at Anfield in 1984/5, the first in the 1984 FA Cup final, and the equaliser in the home leg of the 1985European Cup Winners’ Cup semi final against Bayern Munich. The Toffees went on to win 3-1 in a game regarded by many as Everton’s greatest ever. If you weren’t there you missed out because it was ace. 9

Gaffer: Howard Kendall.

Managed the best team of my lifetime, and won things to boot. 9

Total: 103

Final score 103 - 103

A draw after some fair scoring from both fans, but what with Everton being City's bogey team, we reckon it would be 0-0 until the ghost of Tim Cahill swooped and headed one in from his position, 14 feet off the floor.

Everton v Manchester City: The Death Of The Bridesmaids Derby

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