What is Our Best XI, If Everyone is Fit?

What is Our Best XI, If Everyone is Fit?
November 14, 2014 Chris Rowland

By Chris Rowland.

It’s Symposium time again. We asked our panel of chin-stroking ponderers the above question, and got the following answers.

Of course, being TTT, we know that Best XIs only exist as a hypothetical concept, that a team selection depends on factors such as the type of opposition, the competition the match is being played in, what games have just gone and are coming up next, etc.

But apart from that, what’s our Best XI eh? 😉

Dan Kennett: Default approach to be a 442 diamond, despite its known weaknesses:



Manquillo or Flanagan



Moreno or Flanagan

Base of Diamond

Emre or Lucas

Middle of Diamond

Henderson or Allen

Gerrard* or Emre or Coutinho

Tip of Diamond

Coutinho or Lallana or Sterling

Up Front


Balotelli or Sterling

6 outfield subs:

Manquillo or Flanagan


Lucas or Gerrard

Henderson or Allen

Balotelli or Coutinho


Not involved ever:

Johnson, Lovren, Enrique, Lambert

*But only if Lucas not already playing

Joe Pepper: Mignolet in goal

Right back Moreno. Yes right back. He would be able to use all his strengths but this would cut out the incessant going wide and crossing.

Left back Flanno – See above. He also has great positional awareness and reading of the game that our other defenders lack

Right CB Gerrard – Good in the air, allows him to still pick up the ball from the keeper, better than Lovren and Skrtel. This would also allow Can to come into the team

Left CB Sakho – He’s a good player funnily enough.

DM – Can

Two runners ahead of Can – Hendo and Coutinho – playing high pressing game basically the same as last season

Three up top interchanging – Sterling Balotelli and Sturridge.

In January raise as much money as possible selling some combo of Lovren, Lambert, Borini. Add in whatever money we have left over and buy the most expensive striker we can find.

Chris Rowland: For the purposes of this exercise, I have confined myself to the current squad rather than include players out on loan and those positions where I might think the real answer doesn’t lie within the current squad.

Speaking of which:

Mignolet (a shot stopper, which is a good quality for a keeper to have and not to be under-estimated. The lack of competition (ie Jones) means there is no choice.)

Flanagan Skrtel Sakho Moreno

Base of midfield: Lucas (like goalkeeper, another position where I don’t feel the answer truly lies within our current squad).

Rest of midfield: Henderson Can Coutinho

Sterling (as a striker) Sturridge

Subs (from): Jones Toure Manquillo Borini Allen Lallana Markovic Gerrard (yes) Suso

Not in my picture: Johnson Enrique Balotelli Lovren Lambert

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