My favourite Ipswich Town XI: Andy Warren
- Credit: Archant
In a feature we are bringing you this summer MIKE BACON will be chatting to Ipswich Town fans to ask them who their favourite Town XI of all time is. This week, Mike's fellow sports journalist, ANDY WARREN, tells us who his favourite-ever Town XI would consist of.
Goalkeeper: RICHARD WRIGHT
Richard is the first goalkeeper I really loved watching.
He was so dependable. Who can forget that penalty save in 2000 at Wembley? He was a brilliant goalkeeper. I was so sad when he left, he was always going to leave I suppose. But I think if he had stayed, Ipswich might have stayed up. I felt Ipswich mucked themselves about with goalkeepers after he left.
Right defence: JANOI DONACIEN
If this was a best Town XI, he wouldn't be anywhere close to it, but this is my favourite XI.
Janoi is the most fascinating football player, journey-wise at Ipswich Town I can think of. Four years after signing he's finally a permanent fixture in the team. All things being equal he should have gone three times during that time. He was signed from Accrington, but went on loan. Eventually Ipswich pay £750k for him, then loaned him back to the team they bought him from. Then he returns, ends up in and out of the Town team, gets loaned to Fleetwood, back to Ipswich and this season he's runner-up in the player-of-the-year voting. He's a great guy and extremely reliable.
- 1 Unclaimed £83k winning EuroMillions lottery ticket was bought in Suffolk
- 2 'I just don't operate that way' - Town owner Steed tells it straight on first visit
- 3 'Abandoned' cottage and studio up for sale after huge renovation
- 4 Suffolk cinema to allow dog owners to bring their pets to watch films
- 5 Emergency services attending incident in Suffolk town
- 6 Police concerned for welfare of missing Suffolk man last seen two weeks ago
- 7 Former Town striker Chopra out of retirement to join non-league club
- 8 'It's going great' - New pizzeria proving a hit in east Suffolk town
- 9 The Range secures huge logistics hub at new A14 business park
- 10 Rail services disrupted after Needham Market bridge struck
Centre defence: TONY MOWBRAY
As solid a man as you will ever find.
A brilliant defender and everything you want in a football player. I was very young when Ipswich signed him. I really remember him coming back into the Town team that play-off year in 1999. George Burley pretty much brought him back out of retirement to play for Town. He was 36. I thought that was old then, but I'm 36 this year, it's not old is it!? Mogga changed that team that season. To score in his last professional game at Wembley for Town and such an important goal... superb.
Left defence: HERMANN HREIDARSSON
I loved Hermann.
I was in the year below his step-son at school, so I sort of gravitated towards him and played football with him (his son, not Hermann), at lunchtime. But Hermann was great. I loved how high his knees would go up as he ran up and down the left side. They would go up to his chest. He could cross a ball, brilliant in the air. Hurled himself into the North Stand when Town scored against Bradford. An iconic photo.
Centre midfield: MATT HOLLAND
I just had to pick Matt Holland in my team.
Captain fantastic. All-round good midfield player. Was obviously massive in George Burley's team that got promotion and finished fifth and he was superb. He was everything you would want a captain to be, both in terms of his play on the pitch, and his image and standing off it. He's still involved in the club now, which is nice. He is indeed the bloke you hope he appears to be, a real good guy.
Centre midfield: TOMMY MILLER
Tommy was my kind of midfielder, box to box, engine, arriving late to slam the ball home.
He would work all over the pitch, had a great penalty record and was almost perfect from the spot. He's my partner to Matt Holland in the centre of the pitch. I loved all about Tommy Miller and the way he played.
Right midfield: MICK STOCKWELL
I think I've seen Mick Stockwell play almost every position on the pitch, right back, right midfield, up front... everywhere.
He's one of my earlier Ipswich Town memories. I used to love him scuttling and shuffling up and down the right side, working as hard as anyone. He was a proper workhorse. But another reason he's in my team is an encounter I had with him when I was at Primary School. Me, Micky and Neil Thompson opened a bottle bank together, after I got the opportunity at school to do so because my piece of artwork about re-cycling bottles was the winner! And I won the chance to open this new bottle bank, with Mick and Neil. I would like to say however, Mick is in here on football ability, not just because he opened a bottle bank with me.
Left midfield: SIXTO PERALTA
Now we are talking a proper 'street' footballer, a baller, a brawler.
I loved watching Sixto. Did you know, at the end of the season Town were relegated, he went back to Inter Milan (he was on loan), and actually left his car in the car park at Ipswich because he was hoping to return? But sadly they couldn't get a deal done, so I think he sent his dad over to pick it up and drive it back to Italy. Ended up playing in Romania for a while and also in the Champions League for CFR Cluj.
Striker: PABLO COUNAGO
Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole! Pablo, Pablo.
What a player. A unique footballer. I've never seen anyone else play the game the way Pablo did. Back to goal, he was so strong. He was easy to read in some ways, but so hard to play against. Every opportunity he would twist defenders and try and cause trouble. I want this team I've selected here, to get the ball into Pablo's feet and get him to lay it back to Tommy Miller to lash home.
Striker: SHEFKI KUQI
Again I've never seen a player play the game like he does. Another unique footballer.
Shefki may not have been the most gifted, but he made up for it with heart and desire and the incredible finish now and then. Part of a team that was so entertaining under Joe Royle. A showman, but the most unlikely of showman. He had a great combination with Darren Bent, what an unusual combination in theory that was, but it worked. At the end of the 2005 season, both Bent and Kuqi left. That was a killer for Ipswich Town.
Striker: MARCUS STEWART
I don't really need to say much more.
The gloves, the goals, the moments. I had to have Marcus in my favourite XI. How he didn't get an England call up, I'll never know. When you think of some of the players who have been called up to the England squad in the last 20 years. Outrageous he never did. He was only at Town about two-and-a-half years but made a huge impact. His movement was clever. He was ahead of the game in his head.
Subs: Kelvin Davis, Thomas Gaardsøe, Chris Makin, Jim Magilton, Darren Currie, Danny Haynes and James Scowcroft.
Manager: GEORGE BURLEY
Had it not been George Burley building the team the way he did I don't think Ipswich Town would have meant what it does to me now.
George simply built it in front of our eyes and produced a team of legends in my time period of watching Town, anyway. He achieved something brilliant. The only other manager I gave consideration to was Joe Royle, because his team's were so entertaining. But George was an amazing manager with what he achieved at Town.