Southampton Greatest Xl v West Ham Greatest Xl: Who Wins?

Ahead of tonight's Premier League clash, two writers ask: who would be victorious out of Southampton and West Ham's greatest XIs?
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Ahead of tonight's Premier League clash, two writers ask: who would be victorious out of Southampton and West Ham's greatest XIs?

Southampton's Greatest XI:

GK: Peter Shilton

How can you put anyone ahead of the man who won 49 of his record-breaking 125 England caps at Southampton? The legendary shot-stopper's international career spanned over 20 years and he helped Saints to a club record second place in the old First Division in 1984. 10

RB: Peter Rodrigues

Former Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff full back Peter Rodrigues was best known for an incredible end to his playing career with Southampton - captaining the club to their only major trophy and lifting the FA Cup after a shock win over Manchester United at Wembley. 8

CB: Claus Lundekvam

Composed on the ball, solid at the back and a loyal servant to Southampton with 350 appearances, Claus was influential in many relegation escapes in the Premier League and maintained his place in the side that reached the 2003 FA Cup Final and qualified for the UEFA Cup as a result. He even makes the side despite taking around 300 appearances to score his first goal for the club. 7

CB: Jim Steele

The surname fits his nature on the pitch, as the Scotsman's steely determination helped Saints survive an onslaught against the much-fancied Manchester United in the 1976 FA Cup Final. He made 177 appearances for Saints and featured in Dundee's remarkable UEFA Cup run in 1971/72. 7

LB: Wayne Bridge

A hugely talented attacking full back who made his name on the South Coast, earning England recognition and battling with Ashley Cole to be England's first choice left back. Bridgey was a key figure in the club's success in the early noughties under Glenn Hoddle and Gordan Strachan, helping the club to a Premier League best position of 8th in 2003. Chelsea made a big money move for him that summer. He was hard done by to not get much first team football from then on after a great start at Stamford Bridge. 7

"Le God" is one of the most naturally gifted players to grace the Premier League - so much so that Barcelona captain Xavi idolised him as a youngster.

RM: Terry Paine

Terry Paine is the club's record appearance holder, with an incredible career spanning over 18 years, where he notched 160 goals from right wing and allowed prolific strikers Ron Davies, Derek Reeves and Mick Channon to shine. Paine's pace, flair and fantastic natural fitness shone through as he helped Saints from the Third Division to the fringes of top flight football and featured in England's 1966 World Cup squad. 9

CM: Matt Le Tissier

"Le God" is one of the most naturally gifted players to grace the Premier League - so much so that Barcelona captain Xavi idolised him as a youngster. His ability to almost single handedly win games and help Southampton avoid relegation was great, but his ability to score wondergoals on a regular basis was incredible. A one-club man, he scored 101 Premier League goals and fittingly scored a brilliant left-footed volley in the last game at Southampton's 103-year-old stadium, the Dell, in 2001. 9

CM: Kevin Keegan

Kevin Keegan was voted the European Footballer of the Year in 1978 and 1979, so it was a shock to world football when First Division minnows Southampton called a press conference to announce his signing. He won 66 caps for England and scored 37 goals in 68 games for Saints. World class. 10

LM: Alan Ball

World Cup winner Alan Ball spent two successful spells on the South Coast, making nearly 200 appearances and helping the club to the 1979 League Cup Final. Ball also had great success at the likes of Blackpool, Everton and Arsenal throughout his career, and he earned 72 caps for England. 8

ST: Mick Channon

Channon is Southampton's all-time leading goalscorer and was arguably the most high profile player in Southampton's FA Cup winning side and promotion to the to flight twice in the same decade. He banged in 227 goals for Saints and scored 21 goals in 46 England internationals. 10

ST: Ted Bates

"Mr Southampton", Ted Bates was a manager, director and player at Southampton and deservedly earned legendary status during his long association with the club, and a statue in honour of the man stands proud outside the club's current stadium, St. Mary's. He scored 63 goals and was a hugely influential player between 1937 and 1953, and pips the likes of Alan Shearer, Steve Moran and Derek Reeves because of his iconic association with Southampton. 9

Manager: Lawrie MacMenemy

He inspired Southampton to promotion to the top flight of English Football, the only major trophy in the club's history so far and guided the club to a record-breaking second place behind a powerful Liverpool side in 1984, so he has to be the man who manages this team of Southampton all-stars. Ted Bates is a player/assistant manager for this one.

Total: 94

West Ham Greatest XI

Doing a greatest ever West Ham X1 is a strange task. The first names on the list are obvious: Moore, Hurst and Peters, World Cup winners all. While representing the best that West Ham produced they also reflected a time when players could win things at West Ham, with all three winning the FA Cup and the Cup Winners Cup in the years proceeding '66.

Other great players like Rio Ferdinand - though produced by the Academy of Football - went on to make their names at other clubs although their contributions while they were at the West Ham warrant inclusion.

Coming full circle from the clean-cut era of Moore and Hurst are Di Canio and Carlos Tevez. Fascist politics, strike actions and ugly mugs aside they were fantastic for West Ham in their time.

GK: Phil Parkes

With over 300 appearances for West Ham as well as an FA Cup winners medal it has to be Parkes. In his day he was the world's most expensive goalkeeper and he repaid that faith with years and years of service. Our Kahn. 8

CB: Booby Moore

No explanation required. 10

CB: Rio Ferdinand

A great player who promised a lot for West Ham. It's a shame we sold him when he was really establishing himself at the club (thanks again Harry). Represents the frustration of producing but never keeping these talents in recent years. 8

LB: Frank Lampard Senior

A one club man, Lampard Senior stuck around and prospered winning two FA Cups and the hearts of West Ham fans. Shame these things don't run in the family. 7

RB: Ray Stewart

Another great servant of the club with over 300 caps. Stewart's physical reliability coupled with a dead eye penalty ability make him a must include. 7

The heir of the Moore generation, Brooking carried what's special about the club forward for almost 20 years.  A classy player and a classier individual.

MF: Billy Bonds.

A club legend who filled the captaincy after Moore departed; Bonds lifted 2 FA Cups with West Ham. He might have been a little on the big side but he remains a legend for his contributions as a player and manager. 8

MF: Sir Trevor Brooking

The heir of the Moore generation, Brooking carried what's special about the club forward for almost 20 years.  A classy player and a classier individual. 9

MF: Martin Peters

Scorer of the 'other goal' in the World Cup final, Peters was an integral part of both West Ham and England's success. He managed to couple industry with a technical passing ability that has been lacking by successive generations of England midfielders. 10

FW: Paolo Di Canio

Insane both on and off the field. A wonderful goal scorer, but just don't ask him about his political beliefs. 9

FW: Carlos Tevez

West Ham fans are pretty much the only people who still harbour good memories of Tevez. I mean he single-handedly kept West Ham up, beat Man United at Old Trafford and gave us all the entertainment value of seeing Neil Warnock being relegated. What's not to like? 8

FW: Geoff Hurst

This one is pretty straightforward again. Other fans might have got board by the constant references to '66 by now. Be assured we're not. 10

Manager: John Lyall

The club's most successful manager Lyall brought trophies to the club as well as our best top-flight finish. For 34 years he lived and breathed the club, is there a better existence?

Total: 94

Final scores: Southampton 94 - West Ham 94.

Let's imagine this as a charity shield match. Two teams devoted to passing the ball, Di Canio and Le Tissier trying to outdo each other, Bobby Moore striding about and Bates kicking him just because he can. Both teams hit the bar, post and the stands 16 times in the first half by trying all manner of backheels and volleys. Then, on 75 minutes a rocket from both managers adds some urgency. Di Canio surges down the right, twists Wayne Bridge inside and out and crosses for Hurst, who nearly breaks the net with a header. The game swings back and forth and, just when it seems all is lost, Le Tiss volleys one from 44 yards, it hits the bar, Phil Parkes' head and rolls to a gleeful Keegan who belts it home from three yards...

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