Friday, March 27, 2009

UF Losing the Plot: What Is Your Best XI?

Normally a photo would go here, but there's no way I can top the last two.

Seeing as how we are in the middle of the Interlull (tm) and are desperate for any sort of fun and/or interesting content, we here at UF decided to put together a little poll:

Pick your best starting XI. Any player in the world, criteria is who do you want in your team right now. Any formation, but the lineup has to work (i.e. you could put them on the field now). Essentially, if you were playing fantasy football, what would your lineup look like?

Check out our responses after the jump, along with a little bit of commentary thrown in for good measure. And, of course, give us your picks in the ol’ comments box.

Precious Roy

Julio Cesar - Keeper
Gael Clichy - Left Back
EBJT - Center Back
Vidic - Center Back
Sagna - Right Back
Michael Essien - Defensive Mid
Cristiano Ronaldo - Left Winger
Lionel Messi - Right Winger
Kaka - Attacking Mid
David VIlla - Striker
Alexander Pato - Striker

We get a sub? Ibrahimovich.... just to annoy someone I'm sure.


GK: Casillas
LB: Evra
CB: Puyol
CB: Ferdinand
RB: D. Alves
DM: Essien
LM: C. Ronaldo
CM: Kaka
RM: Ribery
#10: Messi
S: Torres

Spectator: I was tempted to leave out C-Ron and include Ibrahimovic instead, but Ronaldo does things that no other player can do and he still has room to improve.
Lingering Bursitis: "Do things no other players can do." You mean suck d*ck for cash?
Spectator: I was thinking make passes and get past defenders, but yeah suck d*ck too.

The Fan’s Attic

Torres - Messi
Gerrard - Xavi - Mascherano - Ronaldo
Lahm - Vidic - Puyol - Alves

Mascherano would be replaced by Essien if he were 100% healthy and had played all season. Alves is the one in Spain not the one in Russia. I almost put Ibra up top with Torres and Messi on the wing and sliding Gerrard to the middle for Mascherano. Just didn't think a Torres - Ibrahimovic partnership would work well.

Revised Squad. I think this squad could survive without a true center mid....

Torres - Messi
Ribery - Gerrard - Mascherano - Ronaldo
Lahm - Vidic - Puyol - Alves

Lingering Bursitis

GK - Casillas
LB - Maicon (normally an RB, he can play both sides well)
CB - Puyol
CB - Ferdinand
RB - Dani Alves
DM - Mascherano
LM - Ribery
RM - Messi
AM - Gerrard
ST - Torres
ST - Fredi Kanoute (the guy is in ridiculous form, so why not?)

The Fan’s Attic: Really, you can justify leaving C Ronaldo off this list?
LB: He's my sub. He's been off the boil for long stretches this year, and honestly, having watched all those "big" games with LFC and the CL games against inter, I wouldn't trust him on that biggest stage. Sorry. Also, I am pleased I managed to restrain myself to just 3 LFC players.

The NY Kid

Here is my vaunted 4-5-2 formation:

GK: Casillas
DEF: Lahm, Puyol, Clichy, Sagna
MID: Essien, Messi, Ribery, Kaka
ST: Torres, Eto'o

Bigus Dickus

Ok people. Here is Bigus’ World 11...

Corluka-------- Vidic------ Ferdinand----Zhirkov
Bench of 7: Villa, Rooney, Silva, Fabregas, Gago, Abidal. Ribery.

Bigus: Ok. I stuck to players in their rightful positions so I get to include my bench. If i'd played middies anywhere across the middle, not in their position then Gago would have trumped Simao. But the above is how teams work, so went that route. Just missed out...Terry, Capdevila, Robben. Buffon..
The NY Kid: My nan could beat Vidic [Ed: You can guess where the discussion went from there.]

The Likely Lad

The Likely Lad: Does it have to be best XI? Or can we do XI we'd like to see. Obviously it'd be a great XI, but let's say I wanted to pick Modric... he's not the best, but with the team I put around him, they could be...
Lingering Bursitis: As Spectator said, pick "Your best XI". Make of that what you will.
The Fan’s Attic: If we're going to go the Likely Lad’s route, I think I'll put myself in at left back. That's a side I would most like to see.

Sergio Ramos -- Rio -- Terry -– Evra
Messi -- Modric -- Ronaldo

The Likely Lad: Solid back 4, beastly def mid, basically four strikers, with Rooney playing deep with Modric. A bit small yea, but we'd score more than we gave up.
The NY Kid: That’s quite EPL-centric.
[Ed: Whereupon the Likely Lad’s decision to include Rooney is mocked, leading to a discussion of Max Bretos and the Setanta puppets that I have chosen to omit.]


Ramos, Ferdinand, Puyol, Evra
De Rossi, Silva, Gerrard, Mascherano
Messi, Torres

Sven: I tried to inject some fresh faces into the discussion via my back four... but I'm more than willing to admit fault on Ramos.
The Fan’s Attic: I'm not sure it matters because wikipedia says Silva can play anywhere.
Sven: If that's the case, I suppose I could have them swap. Or drop one for Sneijder... or Ronaldo. I do value wingers who can play on either flank.


GK - Buffon
D - Lahm, Puyol, Vidic, Sagna
M - Messi, Fabergas, Senna, Ronaldo
F - Villa, Ibrahimovic

This team is probably a little leaky in the back but it would be pretty sweet going forward.


Vidic, Puyol, Sagna, Lahm
Ronaldo, Essien, Kaka, De Rossi

Ian: Given the fancypants nature of everyone's squads here, I wonder if I should resubmit a team of hard men.
The Fan’s Attic: I always wonder if you have that much talent on a team, whether it would be possible to actually succeed, or if you would need two gameballs.
Ian: Ok... the all "world class players who actually tackle" XI (it's a 4-5-1 obviously):

Chielinni, Marquez, Materazzi, Zambrotta
Mascherano, Essien, Gattuso, Sneijder, Gerrard

Bigus: Drogba tackles? He tackles the floor sometimes.
The Likely Lad: Thats my bench! Probably hurt my first XI in training...
[Ed: Which led to a spirited discussion about the French and the 1986 World Cup.]

Precious Roy: Seeing how the Power Poll is basically us rearranging the same 12 teams, pretty surprised by the variety here.
Lingering Bursitis: I'm not as surprised. Here we're all going a lot more on personal preference than the cold, hard fact of "form" and Wins/Losses. That said, everyone but me is loving Ronaldo.
Precious Roy: Next, can we get a 'fro XI? Assou-Ekotto, Fellaini, the other Ferdinand...


Mike Georger said...

GK: Buffon

RCB: Carragher
CB: Mertesaker
LCB: Chielinni

CDM: Mascherano

RM: Gerrard
CM: Alonso
CM: Xavi
LM: Ribery

CAM: Messi

ST: Torres

Magnakai Haaskivi said...

Cool idea.

GK: Casillas
LB: Zhirkov
CB: Vidic
CB: Materazzi
RB: Ramos
LM: Ribery
CM: Gerrard
CM: Xavi
RM: Ronaldo
ST: Torres
ST: Villa

The NY Kid said...

Mags, I'll tell you the same thing that I told u75 - anyone who puts Materazzi in their team gets an automatic headbutt from me.

Sarah said...

Corluka - Alves - Clichy - Sagna
Silva - Fabregas - Ribery - Messi
Aguero - Eto'o

The Likely Lad said...

we should make this a fantasy draft.. if it's keeper then i'll take The Agueradona with my 5th(?) rounder.
@sarah-- Corluka? You're a class lass.

The NY Kid said...

if we're doing a keeper draft, I'm taking Sofiane Feghouli with my 9th round pick

The Fan's Attic said...

commenters not loving Ronaldo? the current Ballon d'Or holder, world player of the year, can't make the squad? second leading scorer in EPL. wow! i dislike him but not enough to keep him out of the world XI.

The Fan's Attic said...

i'm taking sylvie van der vaart with my first round pick. we may lose, but that will give me more time to chill with her.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

torres super sub for dosenna

Mike Georger said...

Ronaldo's form this season has been markedly worse than last year. Dude has no shot at any of the major awards this year for a reason. Fuck him in the face.

verbal97 said...

Srna - Vidic - Puyol - Lahm
Messi - X. Alonso - Xavi - C. Ronaldo

Bench: Reina, D. Alves, Chiellini, Essien, Kaka, Eto'o, Ibrahimovic

Spectator said...

I probably made a mistake by including Rio after his terrible placement on the Scholes handball... Basically Rio was standing in no man's land while Fulham took the two shots on goal.

Anonymous said...

i think ronaldo is a one-season-wonder and not as big and not very progressive with his movements. i also don't recall any of ron's goals being that magnificent this season. they were either penalty kicks, sitters or from a 1 in 1000000006 odds setpiece. plus he'd makes the pitch greasy

Anonymous said...


The Fan's Attic said...

his form is not as good as last year, but shit he still is a leading scorer, incredibly dangerous throughout the pitch.

don't think you could leave him out of the World XI just because he didn't score 42 goals this year as a midfielder.

Spectator said...

I hate to add to the C-Ron love, but he's only 24.... Still has several years before he reaches his prime. My guess is that he won't match last season at least while he's in a Man U uniform, but once he heads off the Spain he'll easily be the leading scorer in La Liga.

But, I agree with c0rrine that he'd make the pitch greasy. Also would push up the bronzed tan quotient of the Best XI to dangerous levels.

Spectator said...

"to" Spain.... Fridays are for typos.

Mike Georger said...

Gerrard can play the right and is having a better year. Or Messi can play there. Ronaldo can sit on the bench.

Andrew said...

Using a 4-2-3-1:

S. Ramos - Metzelder - Van Buyten - Clichy

L. Diarra - Essien

Arshavin - Gerrard - Ribery


Andrew said...

Torres and Gerrard are nearly unanimous picks. Says a lot about their recent form.

Anonymous said...

he does have an impressive tally of goals from last season, but that was when his whole team was at their attacking best. him winning all those individual player awards had to do a lot with with manutd's overall success. even though he contributed a lot in winning all those titles, i think he can only play well when the rest of his team is. i'm not saying he's not good because the stats speak otherwise, but when i watch him play i don't find him consistently making a positive influence like a playmaker should be... and the guy using the computer beside me is looking at porn right now in the library...... help.....

amy said...

Eto'o Torres

Ronaldo Xavi Gerrard Messi

Evra Vidic Puyol Alves


I don't mind a greasy pitch, as long as I get some wins. ;) I had a hard time narrowing my central mids, too many options (Gago, Iniesta, etc.). I did have a hard time coming up with good RB's and LB's. Hmm...

The Fan's Attic said...

ah...i remember those college computer lab always wondered about the greasy haired nerd in the back of the room where nobody could see the screen. i guess they are more brazen today.

Anonymous said...

this one's clever. he has a word document open on the side but i can see clearly what he is doing from the corner of my eye. he also has a granola bar and a juicebox which are they best decoys but he ain't fooling me ahaha

Spectator said...

hahaha... juicebox + porn. Hilarious.

I was going to say something else about Ronaldo but now I've lost my train of thought.

The Fan's Attic said...

so the question remains, what kind of porn is this guy looking at? hardcore, softcore, fetish, vids, pics.

Magnakai Haaskivi said...

NYK-Ha! I didn't like the Materazzi pick, but I don't want Terry, couldn't justify Carragher/Skrtel, and really couldn't think of anyone else who stood out more. I'm not getting the Puyol love, though.

The NY Kid said...

@Andrew - I lurve your team, especially the Diarra pick, but no way Arshavin gets on there.

Andrew said...

@NYK: Thanks. I'm a big proponent of the double holding-middie formations. I was thinking about a 4-2-2-2, but that could quickly become a 4-2-4 and this ain't the 1970s.

Why don't you think Arshavin makes the squad? Due to the positioning, or is there a better winger on the right? C-Ron?

Everyone has logical picks for their squad. Except Georger and his laughable 3-1-4-1-1 formation. Fuck that guy.

The NY Kid said...

Andrew - based on current form (i.e. who would I want right now on the pitch), I would take Ronaldo over Arshavin any day of the week.

Now excuse me while I go puke.

ü75 said...

NY Kid-
Fuck you. I didn't have Materazzi anywhere near my XI. Too old. And he dresses like a fucking dickhead. (Forgive me, but I am enjoying Eastbound & Down).

Andrew said...

@NYK: At least you're intellectually honest. I'd probably choose Ronaldo as well, but I'm too unprincipled to choose him over a Gunner.

Anonymous said...

haha not sure, didn't get a close look... i respected his "privacy"

The NY Kid said...

@u75 - damn, it was Ian, responding to your squad. Fuck me, indeed.

phil said...


S. Ramos--R. Ferdinand--Laursen--Evra


Messi----Gerrard-----Portugese Diving Team



Mike Georger said...

"Except Georger and his laughable 3-1-4-1-1 formation. Fuck that guy."

Pssh. Nobody is scoring on that defense with Masche roaming in front. And everyone else can roam wherever the fuck they want. It works like a damn charm in FM.

Andrew said...

@Georger: Sooooooo, your defense is impregnable, but your offense resembles Under-6 soc-cer?

I kid, I kid. I'd like to see your formation in action. Seems very flexible. (Insert "Mom" joke here.)

Lennon's Eyebrow said...

Maicon Rio Vidic Clichy
Essien Senna
Messi Gerrard Xavi

Sub Carvalho for Rio if he'd played this season.

jjf3 said...

Messi-Gerrard-Le Dive

Given the supporting trio, I need a target man who can play well with others. Nando would definitely be a possibility, but I think I'll go with less of a pure scorer.

Amazingly, no Rovers made the squad...

jjf3 said...

dammit, I forgot Essien. I'd replace Diarra with Essien, and move Diarra to the bench.

jjf3 said...

Also, I probably would have put Xavi in ahead of Gerrard if I watched Liga more than 1 game every month or so. That said, I'm comfortable with either one in that role...

Teeknuts said...


Subs: Reina, Ronaldo, Lahm, Lampard, Ibrahimovic, Puyol, Mascherano

Sadly there is a hint of bias there, but going on current form, who can blame me? (Vidic being the exception, but hey, I have a thing for eastern European center backs)