THIS week I’ve decided to dive into my all-time Premier League XI, which I’m sure many of you at home have been contemplating while football has been put on pause.

I’m going with a 4-3-3 formation, as I want three attackers in there, given the star-studded names we’ve had in this league down the years! You may guess a few names who will be in there but without further ado, here is my all-time best Premier League XI…


Daily Echo: Ex-goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel Ex-goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel

I mentioned in recent weeks that Schmeichel was my footballing hero growing up, so he had to be the first name in this team. Five Premier League titles during his time at United during the 1990s says it all really.


Daily Echo: Gary Neville spent his entire career at Manchester UnitedGary Neville spent his entire career at Manchester United

Part of that incredible Manchester United team throughout the 90s and the 00s, Neville was the benchmark of how right-backs completely changed in the English game. He had such a special relationship with David Beckham too, making it one of the most formidable combinations in Premier League history.


Daily Echo: Rio Ferdinand formed an excellent partnership with Nemanja VidicRio Ferdinand formed an excellent partnership with Nemanja Vidic

Rio was straight into my best XI that I’ve played with, and there’s no doubt that he has to be in this team too. He was just so composed on the ball and really developed the modern-day centre-back from being able to play out from back, under pressure. 


Daily Echo: John Terry captained Chelsea to multiple Premier League titlesJohn Terry captained Chelsea to multiple Premier League titles

Like Ferdinand, Terry is another colossus at the back, making my centre-back partnership very, very strong. He’s worshipped by Chelsea fans for a reason, leading them through the most successful era of their history. Five league titles and throw in a Champions League winner’s medal in there too – he will be a legend forever.


Daily Echo: Ashley Cole established himself as one of the world's best left-backsAshley Cole established himself as one of the world's best left-backs

It’s an all-English back four! Very much like Neville, Cole evolved the left-back role in English football and in Europe. His timing when making an overlapping run was faultless, putting the ball on a plate for the likes of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Didier Drogba time after time. 


Daily Echo: Former Gunner Patrick VieiraFormer Gunner Patrick Vieira

Another powerhouse and leader in this team. Vieira led that Arsenal invincible team to probably the greatest achievement in Premier League history. He would win every dual in the middle of the park – not only that, he was a very intelligent player, being able to make tricky passes look so effortless.


Daily Echo: Ex-Manchester United captain Roy KeaneEx-Manchester United captain Roy Keane

In my piece the other week, I gave the ‘Leadership’ trait for my ultimate footballer to Keane, so again he’s going straight into this team. Keane could hold a team together, no matter the pressure or circumstance – he was a born winner, making him Manchester United’s most decorated captain for a reason. 


Daily Echo: Frank Lampard has scored more goals for Chelsea than any other playerFrank Lampard has scored more goals for Chelsea than any other player

Whilst Keane and Vieira are midfield powerhouses, Lampard is the final piece of my midfield puzzle who will chip in with lots of goals. It still astonishes me how many goals Lampard registered from midfield each season, during his years at Chelsea. He would be hitting 20+ year after year, which goes under the radar. 


Daily Echo: Football icon Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Manchester UnitedFootball icon Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Manchester United

I remember when Ronaldo first arrived in the Premier League and lots of people thought he wouldn’t make it and not be equipped for the league. Oh, how he proved so many people wrong. I don’t need to run through all his traits as you all know just how special of a player he really is – one of the best ever. 


Daily Echo: Arsenal legend Thierry HenryArsenal legend Thierry Henry

Henry had to be in this team. He just had so much talent, that at the time the Premier League had never seen before. You’d get excited watching him as he would entertain you and make something happen from absolutely nothing. During the season where Arsenal went invincible, I’ve struggled to recall many better individual performances from a player during the Premier League era.


Daily Echo: Alan Shearer celebrates a goal for NewcastleAlan Shearer celebrates a goal for Newcastle

My final member of my all-time Premier League XI and it has to be the leading all-time goal scorer in the league. Shearer’s 260 goals are still yet to be topped, just indicating how much of an incredible feat it was. A strong and physical striker, who would relish any battle against any defender, and nine times out of ten would come out on top!

I hope you agree with some of my choices here - not a bad team on paper – there’s goals, flair, leadership and some serial winners in the mix!


With contact training back under way and the provisional restart of the Premier League from June 17 onwards, this seems like the most appropriate juncture to call time on Macca’s Notebook. I’m no journalist but I’ve really enjoyed penning my thoughts on a variety of topics over the past 10 weeks or so and I hope they have offered some respite from everything else that is going on. It’s been really positive to share my feelings and maintain that relationship with you guys over this testing period and hopefully you’ve got to know me a little better. 

With the strict procedures and testing that the docs and medical advisors have put in place, it feels great to be back in contact training and potentially have matches back on the horizon. At the end of the day, I’m a football fan just like all you guys and I’m glad that (fingers crossed) we will have the Premier League back to enjoy. 

A big thank you to you all for reading my columns and for all the messages that I’ve had on social media saying you have enjoyed them. My thanks must also go to Dan Sheldon at the Daily Echo who I created the idea with and has been so easy to deal with in submitting my pieces. 

We will be giving it our all to try and finish the season as strong as we can and although you won’t be able to watch us in person, keep the support coming online as it really is such a big boost. 

Stay safe, keep positive and enjoy the footie!