As we near the end of possibly the most tumultuous decade in our history – qualifying for Europe twice, beating Juventus (albeit in a Friendly), reaching the FA and League Cup Finals, going through ten managers & two owners, getting relegated, buying England legend John Terry, and losing a captain to leukaemia – we are putting down the best squad of players that have graced Villa Park in the last ten years… and giving you the chance to pick yours.
After looking at the four pools, it is clear to see that, with just 28 players to choose from, there has not been a plethora of talent wearing a Villa shirt recently. Despite this, however, we think that a very good team can still be assembled. Here is what I have picked:
I have selected a simple 4-4-2 formation, managed by the Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill. American Brad Friedel takes his unrivalled place between the sticks, while two of the best defenders in our history sit between the Spaniard Carlos Cuellar and the unfortunate Wilfred Bouma – a player who was once full of potential, but lost his way in the game after a horror injury not long into his Villa career. James Milner and Gareth Barry left Villa for Manchester City – but both return to this XI with ease, joining fellow Englishman Ashley Young in midfield. Our Captain, of course, is Bulgarian hero Stiliyan Petrov… no more needs to be said. Up front, I have selected John Carew and Christian Benteke – two goal machines that can be relied on to hit the back of the net on a regular basis. Just missing out is Gabriel Agbonlahor, who despite being our record goalscorer, just has not lived up to his potential. He would have taken the place of Benteke to recreate one of our most potent attacking duos… but he will have to make do with a place on a virtual bench, just like in real life, in fact.
Who makes your team? Comment below, or send a tweet @claretandview!