The Greatest XI

Mild panic this morning when I actually thought I would struggle to come up with eleven Premier League players that had a name beginning with E in common. And then I thought of Old Big ‘Ed himself and wondered whether he would have come up with a solution. Well, you’ll be delighted to know my solution wasn’t to pour myself a brandy and leave it to the lap of the Gods a la the later version of Brian Clough. No, I got creative, found square pegs that might fit into my round holes and, voilá!

Here we go, the finest team of Ed’s you’ll ever find.

#1 Ed de Goey (Chelsea)

OK, I have an early admission. I was so pleased to have found an Ed that played in goal that I told Mr de Goey he was my first choice before I scrolled down the list and saw a certain Edwin van der Sar loitering, hiding in the shadows. But being the loyal bugger I am, the Walrus remains my number one. 123 games in the Premier League for Chelsea pre-Roman’s rebuild, he was never in a team good enough to win the title but did pick up an FA Cup winners medal, the UEFA Cup Winners Cup and the UEFA Super Cup. None of this really meant that he should have been sold to Stoke City, but hey.

#2 Christian Edwards (Nottingham Forest)

To have a really good chance of making these XI’s, it helps if you have played for Dave Bassett at some point. Christian Edwards cost Harry £3m when he moved from Swansea City to Nottingham Forest. He played 12 times for Forest in the top flight before being moved out on loan five times. £3m well spent then!

#3 David Edgar (Newcastle United and Burnley)

One of the best things about the former Newcastle United defender is that his father is called Eddie Edgar. That is superb. Admittedly, it is no Neville Neville, but it’s up there. David Edgar moved from Canada to join Newcastle’s youth team before making his professional debut in 2006. He made a mere 19 starts before moving to Burnley where he amassed a total for 4 starts. It would seem that Premier League football wasn’t really for David after all.

#4 Eddie Youds (Ipswich Town and Charlton Athletic)

One of the things I love about this ridiculous column is that I learn a few things about some random players. I thought Youds was another Canadian, but no – the guys is a Scouser. He played for Everton pre-Premier League and by the time football was reinvented and frilled up Youds was the mainstay of the back four at Ipswich Town. Before the turn of the millennium Youds had played 71 times in the top flight, his last season being at Charlton Athletic.

#5 Eddie Howe (Portsmouth)

I’ve broken a rule with this selection – Eddie Howe never actually got a game in the Premier League because he was always injured. He missed out of Portsmouth’s entire promotion campaign and wasn’t fit ever really. But, he is now a decent Premier League manager so I think I’m OK to slip him in, no? I mean, I have very few options really.

#6 Edu (Arsenal)

Edu, Edu. We have an Invincible in our team! OK, he wasn’t a regular starter, but he was at the club. Edu was a cracking player for Arsenal, I recall him and Ray Parlour being paired in a game away in Italy and being brilliant together. I’m also pretty sure there were a few passport problems as well, which was quite fashionable when trying to import Brazilians back in the late 90’s early 2000’s. He’s a very welcome addition to this side with a couple of titles and 79 matches to his name.

#7 Eddie McGoldrick (Crystal Palace and Arsenal)

I don’t really understand why Eddie McGoldrick isn’t more fondly remembered. I like players like Eddie, he worked damn hard to get into the Premier League. He started out in non-league, broke into the league with Northampton and did well enough for Crystal Palace to take yet another punt on a lower level player. It worked very well for him, well enough to get a move to George Graham’s Arsenal. He was the perfect GG midfielder, no flash, versatile with an engine. He can sit on the right for me here.

#8 Eddie Newton (Chelsea)

Back in the days when Chelsea didn’t need someone purely to keep in touch with the 50 players they have out on loan, Eddie Newton was a very talented midfielder for them. Newton played 164 Premier League matches in the 1990’s having come through their youth system. Sadly for Eddie, injuries and then Chelsea’s penchant for famous foreign midfield talent stunted his development and he faded away fast, with a move to Birmingham. With some experience as an Assistant Manager, he will be Eddie Howe’s number two.

#9 Eder (Swansea City)

Now, it’s not every day I get to select the guy who scored the winning goal in the European Championships. Sadly for us, and probably Eder, this is about the only thing Swansea City fans will remember him for! He cost the Swans £5m, and 13 games later was sent out on loan to Ligue 1. Yeah, any Swansea fan that saw Eder’s goal in 2016 will know it’s the only time they saw him score.

#10 Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Let’s just Eden likes the tactics I select, right? Otherwise I might have a dressing room mutiny on my hands. Hazard gets a free role in this side as I don’t want to upset him. He’s about to enter his sixth season with the current champions, having racked up 174 appearances, 57 goals and 35 assists to date. That’s not bad, is it? Especially when you consider the fact he has two Premier League titles to his name.

#11 Edgar Davids (Tottenham Hotspur)

Every team needs a pitbull, and Edgar Davids is mine. Seriously, I’m not messing with him. We only saw him in full Premier League flow for one season at Tottenham Hotspur, but the lad was class. When Inter controversially released him in 2005, Tottenham picked him up on a free transfer. He played over 30 times in his first season, less than 10 in his second and was soon back home to Ajax. What a player though, he’ll keep Hazard in line.