Our team, selected in a 4-4-2 formation, finds no space for Gary Neville or Frank Lampard but includes no fewer than seven British players
Eagle-eyed readers who have been following this series of all-time Premier League selections will shortly notice that the player we have declared the finest of the past 25 years is, curiously, not good enough for our combined best XI. What follows will not chime with everyone’s opinion, or even, clearly, our own. Eric Cantona was a marvellous player, the kind of maverick genius man for the big occasion who gets singled out for individual awards, but two other forwards exist whose claims for a first-team place are in my opinion indisputable, which leaves no room for Cantona, Luis Suárez, Wayne Rooney, Sergio Agüero or any number of strikers who have thrilled and bewitched this past quarter-century.
Besides, something had to be done to stop Manchester United’s dominance of the past 25 years turning this into a best-of-the-Sir-Alex-Ferguson-years selection. In all 27 of the 30 people to have won the league four or more times in the Premier League era played at Old Trafford under the Scot, but only two of them – plus two players who won three titles there – are in our XI. There could certainly have been a couple more, or a fabulous team could be compiled containing none at all. There is certainly no shortage of candidates for selection.