Imagine if it was possible to amalgamate the squads of the 16 "other" clubs in the Premier League. Who would make the starting XI for "Best Of The Rest" FC?
Obviously, this is a completely subjective exercise. For example, depending on your point of view Andy Johnson is either a fleet footed goal-god or over hyped dive merchant. No doubt I will have made a glaring omission, but here, in my humble opinion, is the best team outside the top four...
Goalkeeper - Brad Friedel
After a mixed spell at Liverpool, Friedel spent eight years at Blackburn churning out performance after performance and proved him self one of the most consistent keepers in the Premiership. Has continued his form for Villa since signing this summer.
Right Back - Micah Richards
The debate rages over his natural position, but the talent is clearly there. Hugely athletic with pace to burn. Needs to knuckle down over the next couple of years to fulfill his massive potential.
Centre Backs - Ledley King & Matthew Upson
When fit, King is the probably only behind Ferdinand and Terry in terms of English centre halves. Spurs are a shadow of themselves without him. Upson, now firmly established in Capello's England set up, is as solid and dependable as they come.
Left Back - Gareth Bale
Still incredibly young, Bale obviously has a big future. Caught up in Spurs' current plight but still shows moments of class. Free kick demon.
Right Midfield - David Bentley
Shocking start to the season, but surely will come good—he was a roaring success at Blackburn. Not quite in Beckham's class, but the closest to a like for like replacement to have come through.
Centre Midfield - Lassana Diarra & Tim Cahill
Plenty to choose from here. Diarra just looks a cut above his team mates and most of his opponents since he moved down to the south coast. He's got bundles of energy and a deft touch to match A move back to the big time will inevitably come. Cahill scores goals—lots of them. Gives Everton attacking bite, especially useful with his head.
Left Midfield - Ashley Young
Just edges it over Mikel Arteta. Great delivery, pace and trickery. Part of O'Neill's exciting new Villa future.
Strikers - Robinho & Michael Owen
The Brazilian hardly needs justification, City really pulled off a coup getting him to Eastlands. Owen, in my opinion, is still a class act. No raw pace anymore, but a goalscoring touch that comes along once in a generation Massive competition up front though—Santa Cruz, Jo, Crouch, Defoe, Zaki, Yakubu, Ashton etc.
Subs - David James, Joseph Yobo, Jimmy Bullard, Antonio Valencia, Shaun Wright-Philips, Santa Cruz, Amr Zaki.
Oh and to manage this rag-tag bunch, who better than Martin O'Neill? Tactical nous, shrewd transfer marketeer, good man manager and a gent to boot.
Not a lot of height up front I'll admit, especially with two big-crossing wingers but oh well...
So there we go. Sure many of you disagree entirely...who makes your XI?