Nottingham Forest Greatest Xl v Leeds United Greatest Xl: Who Wins?

As Nottingham Forest and Leeds United prepare to lock horns at the City ground, two fans have penned the greatest Xl players they have seen in the flesh...
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As Nottingham Forest and Leeds United prepare to lock horns at the City ground, two fans have penned the greatest Xl players they have seen in the flesh...

Nottingham Forest Greatest XI by David Hart

GK: Peter Shilton

The foundation of any great side is a rock between the sticks, and Shilton is undoubtedly Forest’s Number 1. Over a 5 year spell and 202 apps at the City Ground Shilton amassed a wealth of trophies including a league title alongside well-documented back-to-back European cup wins. He also won PFA player of the year in 1978 after conceding only 18 goals in 37 league games. 10/10

LB: Stuart Pearce

The most commanding captain and absolute animal of a defender I’ve ever had the opportunity to witness. Stuart Pearce affectionately nicknamed ‘psycho’ was signed from Coventry for £300,000 – he set the standard of what it was to be a leader taking hold of the armband for the majority of his 12 year stay on Trent side. Racking up a total of 401 appearances and scoring an impressive total of 63 goals.9/10

CB: Des Walker

Arguably one of the most talented English defenders ever, Des Walker started his career at Nottingham Forest playing his first game at the tender age of 18. He went onto fix his place as a rock in the Forest back four and helped to win back-to-back league cups in 1989 and 1990 as well as earning a call up to the national side from Bobby Robson, all in his first seven-year spell at the club. After spells at Sampdoria and Sheffield Wednesday, Walker returned to the City Ground under manager Paul Hart, finally leaving the club at the age of 38 after an additional 57 appearances took his total to 354 for the club. A loyal servent to the club, he will forever be remembered under the chant “you’ll never beat Des Walker.” 8/10

CB: Wes Morgan

A controversial choice sure, but the want to include a player from our current crop meant Big Wes was the only rational choice if not purely for his untameable passion alone. Nottingham born and bred, Wes is our current longest serving player with more than 340 appearances to his name. Although having a shaky start to his first team career, under the initial guidance of Des Walker – Wes has gone on to cement partnerships with Michael Dawson, Kelvin Wilson and Luke Chambers, providing a solid base to our defence over the last few years. 6/10

RB: Viv Anderson

Another Nottingham born player to makes the list is Viv Anderson, who broke into the Forest team in 1974 and went onto to become a staple in Brian Clough’s European cup winning side. His form for Forest earned him a call up to the national squad, where he became the first black player to represent England. After a 10-year stay at Forest and 6 trophies to his name, Anderson moved onto Arsenal and then Manchester United. 8/10

LW: John Robertson

Another of Cloughs famous European cup winning side (there’s obviously going to be a lot.) Scottish born Robertson was instantly written in Forest folklore after scoring the only goal in a 1-0 European cup winning victory over Hamburg in 1980. He also provided the golden cross for million pound Trevor Francis to head home in the same competition the year before. Over a stunning total of 396 apps in Garibaldi, Robertson also managed to net 61 goals. 10/10

CM: John McGovern

On the list of players to appear for both Forest and Derby, John McGovern rates highly among the best. A pupil at the school of Clough, McGovern spent most of his career under playing under old big ‘ead. Lining up as a solid contender for greatest captain alongside Pearce for his leadership during the most decorated years of Forest’s history. 10/10

CM:  Roy Keane

Better known for bossing the midfield at Manchester United, one of the greatest players in Premier League history originally cut his teeth at Forest under the watchful eye of Clough. Joining the side in 1990 and working his way up through the reserves, Keane became a key fixture in the first team a year later. Known for his battling performances, Keane gained a lot of attention in a struggling Forest side. He went onto negotiate a relegation release cause in his contract that would eventually see him leave in 1993 for The Theatre of Dreams. 8/10

RW: Steve Stone

Possibly the unluckiest player ever, Steve Stone suffered 3 leg breaks throughout his career – however this didn’t stop him being a cracking winger and helping Forest to a 3rd place finish in the 94/95 Premier League season. One of my favourite players from my early years watching Forest, Stone was a creative wide player, something that we lack dearly these days. After a total of 229 apps, with 23 goals and an England call up under his belt, he broke the hearts of the Forest faithful and moved to Aston Villa after our relegation in 1999. 8/10

ST: Stan Collymore

Without a doubt, one of the greatest naturally gifted strikers that I’ve ever seen -Newly appointed Frank Clarke signed Stan Collymore in 1993 and he hit the ground running. His superb form in front of goal helped take us back up to the Premier League following relegation at the sad end of Clough’s 18-year tenure. Collymore went on to flourish in his first Premier league season, scoring 22 goals most notably his opener in a 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford. He went onto to score 41 goals in 68 games at the City Ground before leaving for Liverpool in 1995.9/10

ST: Nigel Clough

Although ironically now the manager of our main rivals -Nigel Clough is one of the most successful Forest strikers ever, scoring a staggering 101 goals over a total of 311 appearances. Controversially brought into the side under the management of his father, Clough took the pressure well, winning two league cups on the trot. He scored two goals in the 1989 final helping us overturn Luton Town 3-2.  8/10

Manager: Brian Clough

The gaffer could be no other than the greatest manager England never had – the late great Cloughie. Undeniably the one of the greatest managers football has ever seen, Old big ‘ead revolutionised the club and took us from nobodies to European champions. His and Peter Taylor’s rock solid work ethic will never be forgotten, tributes at the ground and around the city will always remind us just how great he was. 10/10

Nottingham Forest Total: 104

Leeds United Greatest XI – Compiled by Dead Bloke.

GK: Nigel Martyn – Absolutely top drawer. Best keeper I’ve seen. 10

RCB: Lucas Radebe -  The Chief. Great man-to-man marker. Athletic and quicker than he looked. 10

CB: Jack Charlton – Won a world cup in his spare time. Football writers’ player of the year.  Not bad for a clogger. 10

LCB: John Charles –  Il Gigante Buono. Voted by Juventus fans as the best ever foreign player to play for their team (beat Michel Platini). Nuff said. 10

RM: Gordon Strachan – Bananas, seaweed and championships. The best signing Leeds United made in my lifetime. 10

CM: Johnny Giles - The silent assassin who when let off the leash with Bremner was at the heart of Europe’s best club side in the early 70’s. 10

CM: Billy Bremner - Leader. ”You can’t put into words what Billy Bremner meant to football.” So said another irascible, preternaturally aged Scot, Sir Alex Ferguson. 10

LM: Eddie Gray - “When he walks on snow he doesn’t leave footprints”. 10

AMC: Tony Currie – Scored curlers and found time to sit on the ball and blow kisses to the crowd. 9

CF: Allan Clarke – Sniffer was simply the best finisher ever seen in a Leeds United shirt and who turned Matt Busby down. 10

CF: Tony Yeboah – Only played  66 games for Leeds United, scored 32 goals but what goals they were. From a hat trick in Monaco, to a goal of the season v Liverpool, via a world class brace against Wimbledon. Might not have paid his poll tax but when he was on fire he was unplayable. 9

Manager: Don Revie – who else? 10

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Leeds United Total: 108

Nottingham Forest: 104 v Leeds 108

So Leeds shade it by four points, not sure what Cloughie would have had to say about that but with a few of the players he called cheats in the side it was always on the cards. Bremner dominated a young Keane in midfield, and with Wes Morgan having a mare at the back, Yeboah and sniffer ran wild, bagging a brace each. A late Collymore 30 yard screamer was all Forest had to celebrate.

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