Sam Johnstone: My Favourite England XI
The England men's senior goalkeeper sits down to pick his favourite all-time Three Lions line-up, made up of players he's both watched and played with
ENGLAND FOOTBALL PROFILE: SAM JOHNSTONE
But when asked to put together his all-time favourite England XI, the Crystal Palace goalkeeper had to dig deep into his memory bank to get a perfect eleven onto paper.
“It's a tough choice,” he admitted.
“You could argue some of the lads who got to the EURO 2020 Final like Saka, Rice and the rest and obviously I've seen them all up close.
“But looking back at the likes of Sol Campbell, Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole, we've had some really good players over the years so it’s not been easy.
“Paul Scholes was close too, he was a great player and I was lucky enough to train with him at United when I was younger, but you could argue he perhaps didn't perform at the same level for England.”
So, without further ado, Sam narrowed down his favourite XI and an attacking 3-4-3 system that would certainly pack a punch.
Growing up and watching football, he was the goalkeeper from my first memories of watching England and the Premier League when I was younger. He was a great 'keeper so that was an easy one.
Left-back: Luke Shaw
He’d be like a left-sided central defender here! I was actually at United when he moved there from Southampton quite young so to have played at that level for as long as he has is incredible. He’s also played for England many times and scoring that goal in the EURO Final was a special moment for everyone.
Centre-back: Harry Maguire
He's been brilliant for England and near enough every tournament he's played in, he's been in the team of the tournament.
Centre-back: John Terry
I was fortunate enough to play with him when I was at Aston Villa on loan when I was younger. For me, to play behind someone like that was great at the time. Those sort of players, growing up you usually only see them playing for England and Chelsea so to play a season with him at Villa was a great experience for me.
Right wing: David Beckham
When I was younger and watching the national team, he was always the captain and our main player and I can just remember some of his goals like his famous free-kick against Greece at Old Trafford.
Central midfield: Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard
I'd put these two in the middle together, just great players for club and country. I also considered putting Paul Gascoigne in there. What a great player and character, his celebration with the dentist’s chair is so famous. Even though I didn't see that much of Gazza, just going off clips and hearing things, I'd want him in there but it's just too tight!
Left-wing: Jack Grealish
I'd have to put Jack in there. I played with him at Villa a few years ago and could see the ability he had then before he was involved with England. And also away at Andorra, I threw him the ball and he got his first goal for England so that was a good moment for both of us. He's just a good player, but imagine him and Gazza in the same team!
Centre-forwards: Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane and Alan Shearer
Up front, I'd have Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane and Alan Shearer. Just three great goalscorers, they probably wouldn't pass to each other as they'd be looking for goals, but any goalkeeper or defence would be worried about facing them.