Saturday, 19 November 2011

Davie Ferguson's All-Time XI

Poppa Jag has named his All-Time Thistle XI. He reckons that they'll tear the young'uns a new one. What do you think?

Goalkeeper: Alan Rough
Roughie was worth at least 10 points a season to a swashbuckling Thistle who were far from being tight at the back. An instinctive goalkeeper who, at the time, was among the best in the world.

Right Back: Jackie Campbell
A great leader, Campbell shades Craigan as captain of this All-Time XI. A more defensive option at right back adds stability to the side. 406 games for the Jags and a solitary goal.

Left Back: Sandy Brown
In his time, Brown was a flair player, a novelty at fullback. I only saw him for about a season before he moved to Everton and he was really missed by Jags fans, many of whom started looking out for the Toffeemen's results. A top player, who scored one of the best own goals of all time.

Centre Back: Alan Hansen
I'm sure this player would have been in all the JagsCast XIs if the selectors had been old enough to see him. A stylish, skillful defender who read the game beautifully and went on to be one of the best players in Europe.

Centre Back: Stephen Craigan
Reliable, solid defender, great at one of my favourite skills in football: the long throw. He offered a credible threat from the touchline with his throw-ins, an essential feature in our double promotions. Not as good a reader of the game as Hansen, no matter what Manly J. Panda and VBL think.

Defensive Midfield: David Rowson
I'm going to use Rowson in a truncated version of his box-to-box role, with responsibility for winning the ball and driving counter-attacks, as well as filling in for the marauding Brown. Rowser can also strike a ball at goal, as we all know. The best and most consistent Thistle player over the last 10 years.

Centre Midfield: James Callaghan Charnley
I knew about Chic's ability when he was at primary school. In fact, I saw him sent-off for foul and abusive language aged 10 years old in a schools match (I was manager of the opposition, and delighted to see him go on that occasion). While he had excellent skill on the ball and read the game brilliantly, he's in the team for his passing ability: he could land the ball anywhere on the park with a swipe of his left boot.

Right Midfield: Robert "Bobby" Houston
Speed and trickery. An unpredictable player. My mate Joe and I even named a drink after him: a Bobby Houston is tequila and irn-bru.

Left Inside Forward: Neil Duffy
A good goalscoring record (better than 1 in 3), Duffy can still be seen at Firhill nowadays. A clever player with the ball at his feet and set up dozens of goals for his strike partners. He always reminded me of Puskas's mate Ferenc Bene, both physically and in terms of play. A true Maryhill Magyar.

False Nine: Gerry Britton
Good eye for goal, Britton was skillful in his own way, and he did an awful lot for school football in the Glasgow area. A good influence on and off the field who is well-liked by the fans at every team he has turned out for.

Striker: Doug Somner
Somner scored over sixty goals in quite a weak Thistle side - the most of any player other than McParland in the modern era - and with the service he'll get from the three behind him he'll score a hatfull. Good with either foot and with his head.

Substitute Bench: Kenny Arthur to keep Roughie on his toes and under 120 kilos, Brian Whittaker to provide support across the backline, Ronnie Glavin can take on the Rowson role with a nice blend of skill and steel, Dennis McQuade will come on for Houston to terrorise the opposition for the last twenty minutes and Davie McParland can come on for Britton or Somner in case it's not working out up front.

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