Thursday, May 3, 2012

Top 5 players who should have played for England

Footie Dome takes a look at 5 footballers who we think should have played for England, but instead they were either never given the chance to shine or injuries plagued their careers.  

1. Malcolm Christie (Malcom Neil Christie) 

He played for several non-league clubs (Deeping Rangers & Nuneaton Borough) before making his break into top flight football with Derby County, Middlesbrough, and finally Leeds United. He was deemed to be a pacey forward with the ability to beat defenders when he needed to. He did make his mark on the international stage with the England U21 squad, but would never breakthrough to the senior squad due to several of his long term injuries. His football career came to an end with Leeds United due to a spinal injury. After much advise from his doctors, he called it a day on 29th January 2009. He played 11 games for the U21 side and scoring 3 goals. These days, Christie has retired from football and is now a car salesman for Aston Martin.

2. Matt Jansen (Matthew Brooke Jansen)
 
Many would remember Jansen during his Blackburn days, when he earned cult hero status with the club fans. He also played for Carlisle United (where he started his career), Crystal Palace, Coventry City, Bolton Wanderers, Wrexham, Leigh Genesis and Chorley (who he still plays for). His excellent form during the 2001–02 season, saw him called up to the England squad for a friendly against Paraguay. He would go on to miss the match however, due to a stomach bug. It would be his only call-up to the squad. He was expected to join the England team for the 2002 World Cup, but England manager at that time, Sven Goran-Eriksson opted to go with Martin Keown instead. Like Malcolm Christie, Matt Jansen was also in the England U21 squad, appearing for them 6 times but failed to score in all his outings with them. He is currently a player as well as a coach for Chorley.
 
3. Matt Oakley (Matthew Oakley)
 
Known for his time with Southampton, Oakley would go on to make 262 appearances for the club before leaving them for Derby County and later, Leicester City. His strong character led him to be Derby County’s team captain the moment they signed him from Southampton. He is a good passer of the ball and has excellent vision of the whereabouts of his teammates. He showed much promise as a teenager and in 2003 Gordon Strachan tipped him to be called to the England squad for the friendly against Australia. Unfortunately, Oakley did not make the squad. He has also played for the England U21 team with a total of 4 appearances. He is currently without a club after mutually terminating his contract with Leicester City on 20th March 2012.
 
4. Tony Hibbert (Anthony James Hibbert)
 
Currently still playing for Everton, where Tony Hibbert has been his entire career. He has played over 300 games for them but unfortunately has failed to score in any of them – not that he needed to anyway as a defender. He is also Everton’s current longest serving player and the only player who has been at the club throughout current manager David Moyes reign. He has been unfortunate with injuries as well, especially in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 when he suffered a hernia problem and later being infected by cryptosporidium parasite. He would however recover and began to play regularly once again from the 2007-08 season onwards. Though he was rated best England right back by the ACTIM index for the 2004-05 season, Hibbert has never been called up for the England squad. He is still eligible for a call-up and we believe he will do pretty well, but one has to wonder if he ever will be.
 
5. Mike Pollitt (Michael Francis Pollitt)
 
Starting his career with Manchester United, Mike Pollitt would not get a game with them and would move on to a host of clubs. His career has taken him to clubs such as, Lincoln City, Darlington, Notts County, Rotherham United, Chesterfield, Wigan Athletic and many more. He is currently attached with Wigan since 2005 and has played just over 36 games for them. His outstanding performance helped Wigan to a place in the League Cup Final in 2006. However, Pollitt was hit with an injury during the opening minutes of the final and had to be substituted in the 15th minute. Despite his fantastic form for Wigan in the 2005-06 season, he was not considered by England manager Sven Goran-Eriksson for the 2006 England World Cup squad. He is 40 year old this year and is currently still with Wigan Athletic.

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