Armchair Gaffer: Which Players Make Up The Spine Of Your Dream XI?

Ollie Irish

7th, April 2010

30 Comments

By Ollie Irish

Pundits – Alan Hansen, mostly – love to go on about the importance of a team’s ‘spine’. This usually means having a good keeper, centre-back, central midfielder and striker; four key players you can build a winning team around. So, armchair gaffers, read on…

Scenario: You are hired as the manager of a brand new superclub, with resources that make Man City look like a non-league minnow. Let’s call it Pies United.

Question: Which four players do you sign first, to make up the spine of your new team? Remember, money is no object.

I’ll kick things off with my quartet:

That’s Hugo Lloris (Lyon) in goal, Gerard Pique (Barcelona) at the back, Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal) in midfield and – who else? – Lionel Messi (Barcelona) up front. Bags of youth and potential there. Pies United FTW.

Let’s be having you…

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30 Comments

  1. Alex Mellows says:

    Buffon (still the best in the world)

    Lucio (not passed it yet!)

    Essien (the complete midfielder)

    Messi (the best player in the world)

  2. Kipp says:

    Hugo Lloris (There for years)

    Walter Samuel (Master of the dark arts)

    Xabi Alonso (Tick tock the team to victory)

    Nando Torres (The best out-n-out striker in the world)

    Messi’s a winger lads.

  3. Mick says:

    An alternative, as those four are very hard to argue with;

    De Gea or Asenjo (Atleti are amazingly spoiled for choice in goals at the moment), Lucio, Gourcouff or Hamsik (maybe Pjanic or Marchisio but they still seem like they need someone to direct them) and either Aguero or Pato up front. Balotelli would be a shoe-in up front but you’d be better off slamming your dick in a car door repeatedly than rely on him.

  4. mizman says:

    Iker Casillias

    Nemanja Vidic

    Cesc Fabregas

    Leo Messi

    Ps. Kipp: messi aint a winger, he is a forward

  5. Dunk says:

    Igor Akinfeev between the sticks. 24 tomorrow. Potentially ~15 years is a great investment.

    John Terry. He’s a dick but he’s about as solid at they come at back.
    Xavi in midfield. What was that fact? 240/255 passes complete from last night.
    Messi…No explination necessary

    3 potential captians in their aswell.

  6. Pablo says:

    Valdez

    Pique

    Xavi

    Messi

    They won 6 trophies for a reason 6 Yard Box

  7. Mathers says:

    Asenjo

    Vidic

    Xavi

    Rooney

    PS. Messi is a winger, couldnt put him as a spine player

  8. Jamie says:

    Buffon
    Lucio
    Xavi
    Messi

  9. Omar says:

    Buffon
    Pique
    Cesc
    Torres

  10. Ringo says:

    Igor Akinfeev a great long term investment guarding the old onion bag

    Vermalen, young, physical and a dominant air threat on all set pieces, eventually could take captain’s band

    Essien a healthy one and he would be automatic captain

    Wanted to say Messi but going for Aguero just to change up the obvious, still can’t argue with the talent

  11. Ruperto says:

    Luis Ernesto Michel
    Gerard Pique or Puyol or Old Real Roberto Carlos
    Cristiano Ronaldo or Old Barce Ronaldinho or Zidane
    Messi or Rooney or Javier”El Chicharito”Hernández or Old Real Ronaldo

  12. casillas
    terry
    essien
    villa

  13. Ollie says:

    Essien is a great shout. Xavi too, though I’d be inclined to pick players in their twenties

  14. Mtab says:

    Reina
    Lucio
    Gerrard
    Rooney
    Please no one else do one this is the ultimate team it cant get any better.
    Every single person is a winner, champion with spirit and the unquestionable hunger to win

  15. Ringo says:

    Sorry Ollie but Essien is 27, I know it’s late twenties but if he stays healthy he still has 9 years left of the “Bison” we are used to watching.

  16. Bogdan says:

    PYATOV (SHAKHTAR)
    PIQUE (BARCELONA)
    JOAO MOUTINHO (SPORTING)
    HIGUAIN (REAL) OR NEYMAR (SANTOS) BUT NEYMAR IS YOUNG

  17. punterino says:

    He’s talking about Xavi, dumbfuck.

  18. Conan says:

    Buffon
    Terry
    Essien
    Rooney

    In my opinion the spine of a team is about controlling the ball and the pace of the game, these players i think do that well.
    For flair and technique i would have

    Castillas
    Ferdinand
    Iniesta
    Messi

    Or for a bit of both

    Cech
    Pique
    Fabregas
    Torres

  19. Ringo says:

    Really!!! My bad, I wasn’t trying to be a jackass. I read it incorrectly, sorry Ollie.

  20. bigdutch says:

    Casillas
    Vermalen
    Essien
    Messi

  21. Mustafa says:

    Jens Lehman
    Titus Bramble
    Joey Barton
    Craig Bellamy

  22. What the heart says:

    Reina
    Sami Hyypia
    Gerrard
    Torres

    And the head:

    Reina
    Allesandro Nesta
    Kaka
    Messi

  23. Simon says:

    You absolutely cannot build a team around Messi. He’s a selfish player. Doubtless talented but never passes the ball (see build up to 4th goal against Arsenal).

    Rooney is a much better team player who inspires those around him rather than putting them in the shadow and ignoring them.

  24. Sherif Radwan says:

    Petr Cech

    John Terry

    Michael Essien

    Didier Drogba

  25. Fredmeister says:

    Akinfeev (Bought him for 10mil on FM06, best investment ever)

    Pique (Why did united let him go?)

    Milner (Win)

    Rooney (Win)

  26. Solihull United says:

    GK-Iker Casillias(may be the best keeper for this world cup)
    DF-Ricardo Carvalho (Strongest defender on Chelsea)
    MF-Frank Lampard (Quick, knows what he’s doing)
    FW-Wayne Roooooooney (think he’ll score the most in the world cup, that is if he doesn’t get hurt!)

  27. Vote me For President says:

    The combination:
    GK-Victor Valdez [Barca]
    ***
    LB-Patrice Evra (Brilliant, especially for his age)
    CB-Pique (Solid, header clearing) [Barca]
    CB-John Terry (Solid and strong, even though not the best role model-1 of the best CBs in the world) [Chelsea]
    RB-Dani Alves (Unnoticed ‘real’ PLAYMAKER in Barca, and the PACE :P ) [Barca]
    ***
    RAM-Cristiano Ronaldo (What can I say ? Except freekick taker, or 1 of them :D ) [Real Madrid]
    CM-Guti (Thee best midfielder) [Real Madrid]
    LWM-Nani (Pocession, skill and accuracy) [Manchester United, for now]
    ***
    CF-David Villa (For the forward balls and offside traps) [Valencia, for now]
    ST-Fernando Torres (Way better headers than Rooney) [Liverpool. Yeah I know.]

    >>> Bench:
    Johnsson (Liverpool)
    Robben (Bayern Munich)
    Van Persie (Arsenal)
    Aqualani (Liverpool)
    Lucio/Schneider/Zanetti [You can choose] (Inter)

    Oh look there is no Messi. Probably because he is nothing without the Barca midfield. (As shown in Argentina Team)

  28. Luke says:

    Lloris

    Pique

    Gerrard

    Torres

    Attaaaaack!

  29. Anonymous says:

    Goalie: dont care
    defenders: dont care (maybe Pique)
    midfield: XAVI.
    forward: dont care

  30. chris allen says:

    Goalie: dont care
    defenders: dont care (maybe Pique)
    midfield: XAVI.
    forward: dont care

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