During the enforced break from John’s regular column, English Premier League Predictions For Saturday, it is with great pleasure that we publish the third of the best of 3 series where this week, John looks at three of the best English central defenders Sol Campbell, Rio Ferdinand or John Terry to see who had the most impact on the international stage! John will be back with his regular column previewing the resumption of the premier league games on the 17th June.
First in the series: Lampard vs Gerrard vs Scholes [Best of 3 Series]
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Second in the series: Shearer vs Owen vs Rooney [Best of 3 Series]
If a question was asked as to how much Sol Campbell fetched in Transfer fees over his 20-year career, would many guess that the answer is Zero, Nada, Nothing.
Starting out as a youngster at White Hart Lane, strangely not as a brilliant Centre Back he became famous and feared for but an attacking Midfielder, Sol became one of the best Defenders of his generation.
The then Tottenham manager Terry Venables, gave Big Sol his debut in December 1992, aged just 18, coming on as a substitute for Nick Barmby in a 2-1 defeat against Chelsea.
Who got the goal in the defeat?
Of cause, Sol Campbell.
So after making a goal scoring debut, albeit, in a defeat, Terry surely threw Sol straight into his starting eleven.
Not so, Mr V didn’t pick Sol again that 1992/93 season and BIg Sol was glad to see the great man depart at the end of the campaign to join England as manager.
The next Spurs boss, the legend that is Osvaldo Ardiles (in the cup for Tottingham) started to pick Sol more, however, still as an attacking Midfielder.
Ossie was famous for not only winning the World Cup in 1978, for Argentina but as a great player, along with his fellow countryman Ricardo Villa and joined Tottenham after that ’78 World Cup in Buenos Aires.
As an attacking midfielder himself, he recognised what Sol had to offer the Tottenham team.
Also as an attacking midfielder, what number shirt did Ossie wear for Argentina in ’78, yes that’s correct, Number 2!
The reason for this is the Argentina establishment at the time, gave the shirt numbers out in alphabetical order.
The Number 1, wasn’t given to the goalkeeper but to Nolberto Alonso, Ardiles getting the Number 2 shirt.
All of the Argentina World Cup winners of 1978, played in their home country except, the 2-goal scorer, in the final, Mario Kempes.
As a young 8-year old, this was the first World Cup that was remembered, the ’74 was too early and although revisited many times afterwards, it’s not remembered live.
Argentina ’78 was the first remembered, England being superb, oh hang on, that’s right, England didn’t qualify for the trip to South America.
As a kid living in Barnsley, without a dad, just a mother and 2-sisters, in a house full of females, it’s a wonder this kid came out of it alive, never mind a football fanatic.
Even the dog wore makeup.
The mum, stood ironing, said to the kid,
‘We are supporting Scotland!’
Not what anyone South of the Scottish Pub League wants to hear.
Roberto Duran was famous for saying ‘No Mas’
John Newsome is famous for saying ‘No Ma’
Sorry, Joanie, as much as we love thi, we are not Scottish and despite Archie Gemmill’s wonder goal against Holland, we are not Scottish!
Joanie will appear later.
Mario Kempes, at the time, was the only Argentinian, that played outside of the country, plying his trade with Valencia in Spain.
This may be a tenuous link between Terry Venables, John Newsome and Mario Kempes but here goes.
In 1987 Terry Venables, after 3-seasons at the Nou Camp was sacked by Barcelona.
The decision taken by the Barcelona hierarchy was following a 1-0 defeat against Valencia.
John Newsome was at that game at the Nou Camp, back in September 1987.
Match of the Days Gary Lineker was playing up front for Barcelona that sunny September day.
The day after, Terry was down the concrete.
Following on from that, Gary Lineker, Ian Wright and Alan Shearer recently did a Top 10 Premier League Best Games.
Up to now, there have been close to 21,000 Premier League games, so to pick a Top 10 over the 27-years is difficult.
On May the 30th 2020, BBC 1’s Match Of The Day did just that.
On March the 24th 2020, 2-months before Gary and the boys gave their Top 10, EveryTip and John Newsome was ahead of the game.
Out of the 10, Gary Lineker, Ian Wright and Alan Shearer chose, EveryTips Top 10 had 4 of the same Games.
Not bad that, 21,000 games to choose from and Gary Lineker, Ian Wright, Alan Shearer and John Newsome chose 4 of the same.
It’s like Lineker and the boys read this column.
After Sol had finally established himself as a Tottenham Centre Back and winning numerous trophies at White Hart Lane (numerous meaning just one, the 1998/98 League Cup) Sol decided that with his contract being up, he would leave Spurs for pastures new.
After 9-seasons at White Hart Lane, Sol was available on a Bosman (Evertip’s Liverpool All-Time Best Eleven published April 20th, details the Bosman situation)
Sol had stated that he wanted to broaden his horizons and travel and that’s just what the big Centre Half did, he broadened his horizons and moved to a club far, far away, well a mile away, to Highbury.
As a Tottenham stalwart and icon, what’s the best thing to do to eradicate all that pristine and honour that has been earned on the terraces by the faithful, yes, join the North London rivals Arsenal.
Brilliant Sol, that does take huge cajones.
To upset the fans that have worshipped you for 9-years does take some doing.
However, that said, Sol did make the decision and at the time, he felt that this was the right move for him.
Probably the £100,000 a week helped take away the hurt.
Sol Campbell was part of the Arsenal Invincible’s of 2003/04 and won 2-Premier League titles, 3-FA Cups, (2-with Arsenal and 1-later with Portsmouth) 1-League Cup and scored in the 2006 European Champions League final against Barcelona, at the time giving the Gunners a 1-0 lead.
Unfortunately for the Gooners, they lost 2-1 which the Tottenham faithful were gutted.
One well known Tottenham fan at the time, TalkSports Paul Hawksbee, had a cheeky little fiver on Sol scoring first and Barcelona winning 2-1, at odds of 66/1.
A nice little drink for Mr Hawksbee.
The League Cup trophy was achieved at Tottenham in the 1998/99 final against Leicester with Alan Nielsen getting the winner for Spurs in the final minutes.
Sol Campbell had the honour of being the first black player to lift the trophy at Wembley.
In the previous season at White Hart Lane, Sol and his Tottenham mates nearly had the unfortunate honour of being relegated from the top flight.
With just 4-games to go, Tottenham were languishing in the bottom-5 and had the arduous trip to Oakwell to take on Barnsley FC who desperately needed a victory to overhaul the North London outfit.
Sol played and helped his Lillywhites to a hard-fought 1-1 draw, securing a point to help stave off relegation.
A couple of months previous, Sol’s boys were dumped out of the FA Cup by the Barnsley Boys, who inflicted a 3-1 defeat on Tottenham with the German legend Jurgen Klinsmann making a trip to the famous Barnsley General Hospital, following a challenge from Arjan De Zeeuw.
Sol’s Tottenham did survive that Premier League season but it was touch and go for a little while.
If one reads Sol Campbel’s England stats, it states that the Big Fella only scored once for England.
While that is correct, a perfectly good goal was ruled out in the Last-16 game at France’98 against Argentina when Sol rose above everyone and scored to give England a 3-2 lead.
Unfortunately, Sol’s goal was ruled out when the referee adjudged Alan Shearer to foul the Argentinian goalie.
Whilst celebrating the goal, the Blues went up the other end and nearly scored themselves.
Thanks to a great Gary Neville challenge the game remained level and penalties ensued.
Over this enforced Premier League blackout, a lot of football as been shown on the telly, such as the 50 Great FA Cup Moments.
Included in that was when Sol and the boys visited Oakwell again in 1999 and David Ginola somehow hypnotised the whole of the Reds defence and scored a wonder goal to give Sol’s Tottenham a 1-0 FA Cup victory.
It was great when David took his shirt off and revealed his white vest as a homage to John McClane.
Die Hard Daveeeeeed!
Sol made his full England debut back in May 1996, ironically under Terry Venables who didn’t pick him again for Tottenham after the first game.
Big Sol came on in a Three Lions shirt in place of Paul Ince as it was still undecided as to Sol’s best position but soon established himself as the brilliant Centre Back for both club and country.
Whilst picked for England at Euro’96, Mr Campbell only saw 5-minutes of action, coming on for Jamie Redknapp in the famous 2-0 victory against Scotland where Gazza scored his wonder goal.
It was the World Cup at France’98 that Sol was now the first pick for Glenn Hoddle scoring what looked like a perfectly legitimate goal against Argentina that was ruled out.
Sol had various Centre Back partners over the years including his Gunners mates Tony Adams and Martin Keown plus the current gaffer Gareth Southgate.
It was the stunning 5-1 victory in Munich against Germany in September 2001 that saw Sol partner Rio Ferdinand and the pair went on to form a solid partnership playing all the important games at the World Cup in 2002 and named in the World Cup Best of Team.
Sven Goran-Eriksson picked Sol for the 2006 World Cup in Germany too along with the Euro’s in 2004, however, Campbell only played 34-minutes in Germany.
In total, Sol played in all 6-major tournaments from the Euros in England in 1996, the Euro’2000 in Portugal and 2004 in Portugal, as well as France’98, Japan and South Korea in 2002 and Germany 2006.
Towards the end of his International career, Sol partnered John Terry as the young Chelsea defender started his career with the Three Lions.
Sol Campbell’s last game for England came as a 33-year old playing alongside Joleon Lescott in the ill-fated Wally with the Brolly defeat against Croatia at Wembley in November 2007, where England were defeated by a 3-2 scoreline and subsequently failed to qualify for the 2008 Euros.
After 5-years at Highbury, Big Sol left the Gunners in the summer of 2006 and joined Portsmouth, again on a Bosman.
Whilst at Portugal, Big Sol added another FA Cup winners medal to his trophy cabinet when his Pompey beat Cardiff by a single Kanu goal to win the 2008 final at Wembley.
After another 3-years in the Top Flight, being instrumental in helping avoid relegation in the 2008/09 season, the Big Fella left to join the mighty Notts County in the fourth tier of English football.
Notts County somehow persuaded (remember what that means?) Sol Campbell to drop 3-divisions to what effectively was Division 4.
County were under the guidance of Sven Goran-Eriksson and won promotion to League 1, however, not with any help from Sol as he left after just one appearance.
It appeared that Sol was sold a lie by a fraudulent ownership.
Kasper Schmeichel was the goalkeeper for Notts County that particular season.
There was a great banner, along with a chant that the Notts County faithful unfolded and sang which was a parody of The Killers tune ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’ directed at Big Sol after he had left after just the one game.
‘We had Sol, but he’s not a Soldier
We had Sol, but he’s not a Soldier
We had Sol, but he’s not a Soldier!’
Although Sol has proved himself over the years to be a great player, it was still great satire from the Notts Boys and Girls.
Notts, by the way, is Nottingham, however, the County team don’t like being called Nottingham County and the Forest team don’t like being called Notts Forest, it’s imperative that this is always remembered in the East Midlands.
As there’s not much more important stuff about at the moment is there?
After the 1-game residence at Plough Lane, Sol quickly returned to the Premier League, signing once again for Arsenal and making a number of appearances in his 2nd-spell at the club, however, this time getting the chance to have a look in the Home Dressing Room at the Emirates.
In 2011, having played over 500-times in the Premier League, Sol Campbell, aged just shy of 37, called time on his career, with his last club being Newcastle where he played 7-times.
What’s probably a shame for Sol is that the Big Mans final appearance on a football pitch was in a 4-0 defeat away against Stoke.
That really shouldn’t be the lasting legacy on a great career, as Sol Campbell should be held in the highest esteem as a footballer, who broke down barriers in his career, one being named as a Black England Captain at the youthful age of 23.
Also, not a penny in Transfer fees were paid, to get the services of Sol Campbell.
Black Lives Matter.
Rio is a Rolls Royce of a player, in EveryTip’s Head-to-Head Liverpool 1990 vs 2020 Team Comparison, published on May 9th, it stated that Alan Hansen was a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow and Virgil Van Dijk was a Rolls Royce Cullinan.
Rio Ferdinand is up there with a Silver Shadow and the new Cullinan.
A Phantom if you will.
Making his debut at the back end of the 1995/96 season for West Ham, Rio quickly established himself as the Bubbles Centre Back.
At the start of the 1997/98 Premier League campaign, Mr Ferdinand headed north to Oakwell and played 90-minutes in Barnsley FC’s historic opening game on August 9th.
A young Frank Lampard came on as a 2nd-half substitute and broke the hearts of the Reds faithful, getting a goal soon after entering the hallowed turf, that turned out to be the winner for the Hammers by a 2-1 scoreline.
Happy Birthday, Ian.
A quick story involving Rio Ferdinand and a couple of Barnsley FC legends.
Back in 1979, when Rio Rio was less than a year old, the Reds signed a great player called Ronnie Glavin.
This EveryTip contributor was at Ronnie’s debut at Sincill Bank when Barnsley took on Lincoln City.
Our Joanie, mentioned earlier in this piece, as the same birthday as Big Rio, November 7th, Rio born in 1978 and Joanie in 1943.
Cut to the 1980s and Ronnie Glavin along with his mate Ian Banks were ripping the defenders of the lower league apart dazzling the Oakwell faithful, playing in games like the one against the European Cup holders, Liverpool, at Anfield and getting a great 0-0 draw against Europe’s finest.
Most will be thinking, what as a couple of lower league players, playing in the late 70s and early 80s got to do with Rio Ferdinand?
In January 1998, the FA Cup 3rd Round threw up some interesting games.
Barnsley FC v Bolton Wanderers, Tottenham v Fulham and Chelsea v Manchester United.
Also included in the draw was West Ham v Emley (who?)
Emley were a very Part-Time club, playing their football in the Northern Premier League which is way down the pyramid, being the 6th-tier of English football.
Emley is in West Yorkshire, England and probably most famous for having a TV Transmitting Mast.
The football ground is next to this mast.
In 1997, Ronnie Glavin was the manager of the club and had his old Barnsley teammate, Ian Banks, aged 37-years old in his midfield.
Ian was affectionately known as ‘Banger‘ to the Barnsley fans due to him often scoring sensational 25-yarders for the Reds.
Another of the Emley players was a youth called Mark Wilson, a good drinking buddy of this EveryTip writer.
After surprisingly going through all of the 1997/98 FA Cup qualifiers, Emley reached the 1st Round Proper and were drawn away against Morecambe.
With Barnsley now being a Premier League club and not having a game that day, it was a trip to Morecambe in the old Ford Fiesta to watch his mate in the 1st Round of the FA Cup.
Emley drew 1-1 with Morecambe, drew the replay 3-3 and then won a penalty shootout.
In the 2nd Round, the West Yorkshire minnows were again drawn away against Lincoln City and again a trip in the Fiesta was taken, as the Reds weren’t playing until the Monday.
Losing 2-0 with time virtually up, Emley’s cup run was surely coming to an end.
Not so, not only one but two, ex-Barnsley FC strikers, Glyn Hurst and Deniol Graham scored twice in injury time to take the tie back to the shadow of the mast.
After another 3-3 scoreline, Emley won another penalty shootout and this time had the honour of heading to Upton Park and taking on Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and the rest of the Premier League Bubbles.
After predictions from everyone that the Hammers would hammer little Emley, the West Yorkshire club at one point had Harry Redknapp’s men on the ropes and were drawing 1-1 going into the 2nd-half.
Whilst disappointed not to start Mark ‘Willy’ Wilson came on in just the 7th-minute, so played most of the game at the Boleyn Ground and had numerous chances.
West Ham beat Emley by a 2-1 scoreline and although a defeat, Emley could hold their heads high.
Old Willy swapped shirts with Frank Lampard and Ian ‘Banger‘ Banks with Rio.
An amazing day for the Emley Boys and Girls and both Ronnie Glavin and Ian Banks are legends in Barnsley and a little village in the shadow of a transmitting mast.
That season’s FA Cup threw up a few more surprises with Barnsley FC, beating both Tottenham and Manchester United before eventually losing against Alan Shearer and his Magpies in the Quarter-Final.
Another great day out on the sauce, up in Toonland though.
Rio Ferdinand stayed at West Ham until November 2000, when surprisingly the 5th best known Peckham boy, signed for Leeds United for a record fee of £18 Million.
Surprisingly, because it was thought that Rio would join the Premier League Champions, Manchester United.
In Rio’s first season up North, he played in the Semi-Final of the Champions League where, following a 0-0 draw at Elland Rd, Valencia ran out easy 3-0 winners at the Mestalla in Spain.
Rio did notch in the Quarter-Final.
At the end of the following season, Ferdinand headed to Japan and South Korea to join up with Sven’s England side where he starred in a team that eventually lost against Brazil in the Quarter-Final in Shizuoka.
After the tournament, Sir Alex Ferguson finally came calling and paid another record fee of £25 Million to take the lad down the M62 from Elland Rd to Old Trafford, the Leeds United fans wished him all the best and always gave him a great reception on returning to Leeds.
Rio Ferdinand is one of the most highly decorated footballers of all time and his achievements can be read, in EveryTip’s All-Time Manchester United Best Eleven published April 13th.
Winning the Premier League 6-times in 2002/03, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2010/11 and 2012/13, along with the coveted European Champions League in 2008,(sorry JT!) plus the World Club Cup a few months after the Champions League victory over Chelsea.
Strangely for a player of Rio’s exceptional talent and the number of trophies that United won over the years, Ferdinand never won the FA Cup in his time at Old Trafford.
Rio spent just short of 11-seasons at United, his final season appearing just 14-times in David Moyes’ ill-fated tenure in 2013-14 when Rio’s contract came to an end and he left Old Trafford.
Whilst in Manchester it wasn’t all plain sailing as early into his career for the Red Devil’s, Rio inexplicably failed to turn up for a routine Drugs Test and although was never charged with taking drugs, Ferdinand was banned for 8-months for not giving a sample.
The ban prevented Rio from taking part in Euro 2004 in Portugal for England.
Whilst playing for England over a period of some 14-years and being selected in 4-World Cup Squads, Rio never actually appeared at a Euro Championship, due to the indiscretion in 2004 and the fact England didn’t qualify in 2008.
For about a decade, it was said that England had a Golden Generation of players, of which Rio Ferdinand was a major part of.
However, whilst players such as Rio, Sol, John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Alan Shearer, Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney all were exceptional individual players for their respective clubs, the Golden Generation never produced for England.
In 1989, there was a Pop Group called simply, The-The, who sang a great tune which really does sum-up our boys of a decade wearing the Three Lions.
The Beaten Generation,
The Beaten Generation.
Black Lives Matter.
JT is another of the Beaten Generation, a terrific defender for Chelsea and England but couldn’t inspire the Three Lions to success over the 20-years the big man played.
Starting out at Stamford Bridge in 1998, aged 18, making his debut under Gianluca Vialli, Big JT was initially a bit-part player for the Blues.
Notts Forest, no it’s Nottingham Forest, had the pleasure of John for a couple of months, playing half a dozen games and the then Forest manager David Platt, wanted to sign JT permanently, however, Chelsea knew the importance of John for the future and said no to all admirers.
Terry was in and out of the Blues team in the first couple of seasons mostly playing in the cup competitions.
It really was from November 2000, that Chelsea put their trust in the Senrab lad and the then Blues manager, Claudio Ranieri, having taken over from Gianluca, picked John regularly in the Premier League, partnering him with a couple of World Cup winners in Frank Leboeuf and Marcel Desailly, not a bad pair to learn from.
John earned his first England cap when Sven-Sven-Sven Goran-Eriksonn brought him on as a substitute for the current gaffer Gareth Southgate in a friendly against Serbia and Montenegro at Wembley, England getting a great 2-1 victory.
Terry played alongside Sol Campbell at the Euros in 2004, ultimately losing on penalties against Portugal.
In the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, Sol and Rio were the Centre Back pairing but with Rio’s indiscretion in 2004, Terry stepped in to partner Big Sol.
In the lead up to the World Cup in Germany. John became the main defender and had various Centre Back partners such as Ledley King, Jamie Carragher and Rio but it was Ferdinand that made the position his and JT and Rio were a force to be reckoned with over a few years.
As with all other tournaments, England limped out of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, eventually losing another penalty shootout against CR7s Portugal.
As mentioned John was part of the Senrab Youth set up.
There are few clubs in the world, let alone Britain, that can boast of having such an influence on football as Senrab.
The Sunday League football club, based in the East End of London, has produced a huge number of Premier League stars and continues to provide an invaluable grounding for the footballers of tomorrow.
Some of the names that have started at Senrab include the greats such as, Ashley Cole, Ledley King, Sol Campbell and ex-Aston Villa and Middlesbrough player and legend Ugo Ehiogu.
As well as another Chelsea legend that being Ray Wilkins.
English Football owes a debt of gratitude to Senrab.
Over the years John Terry has divided opinion, Whilst Terry is a bit like Marmite (other Yeast Extract products are available) such as when he dresses up in a full kit for a game he wasn’t playing in, what cannot be in doubt is the brilliant Centre Back JT was throughout his career with Chelsea, Aston Villa, England and a few games on loan at Nottingham ( not Notts!) Forest at the beginning of his career.
Whilst playing for Aston Villa in the latter stages of his career it was noted just how good a Centre Back Terry was when he was on show at Oakwell.
Aston Villa comfortably beat Barnsley FC 3-0 that day in September 2017.
John Terry had a sublime game marshalling the defence and controlling all around.
It was argued whether he had to wash his shirt afterwards as there was limited sweat produced under such a cool performance and definitely no grass stains on his shorts as John didn’t need to go to ground against the Championship team in Red.
Some of the Reds faithful that day saw JT in a different light and found out just how good John Terry was.
Terry has some enemies in the game, notably Wayne Bridge and both Rio and Anton Ferdinand.
Wayne was once Terry’s teammate.
Wayne’s World was supposedly turned upside down with the rumours that JT had an affair with Bridge’s then-girlfriend, Vanessa Perroncel.
Whether true or not is for others to decide, what was true was the famous incident where Chelsea took on Man City, with Bridge now at the Etihad and refused to shake the hand of the Chelsea captain in the pre-game handshake drill.
Whilst supposedly good for the Respect of the game, it’s usually a pointless part of proceedings.
Now when football reconvenes (it’s coming home!) the pre-game preamble won’t be allowed due to the Coronavirus, at least something good as come out of this pandemic!
John then upset both of the Ferdinand’s in a racism row when Terry made an indecent comment towards Anton whilst the younger Ferdinand was playing for QPR.
In another row, that ended up in the courts, Rio decided that John Terry was an idiot in not admitting the words he had used against Anton and that, whilst the words were spoken in the heat of the game, Rio and Anton would have accepted that John wasn’t a racist if he had just admitted the use of the words.
Instead, the incident went to the solicitors and cost a few bob in bills and cost Rio Ferdinand his place in the England team for the Euros in 2012.
John Terry was banned for 4-games and given a hefty fine yet kept his England place.
Roy Hodgson decided that Rio and John could no longer work and play together, so omitted Rio and stated it was purely a footballing decision.
That’s obviously not the case and Roy was keeping the peace, however, there were other defenders available and maybe Roy should have selected both Rio and John or omitted both.
JTs stats, state that he won the European Champions League in 2012, however, despite dressing up in full-kit, John didn’t take part in the final against Bayern Munich, due to being suspended.
Terry did have the opportunity to win the Champions League in 2008 but slipped at the decisive moment and missed his spot-kick.
John Terry, despite the controversy, is up there with one of the best England and English defenders of all time and has in his trophy cabinet, 5-Premier League titles, spanning 12-years, 5-FA Cups (plus 2-losers medals) and 3-League Cups.
A true Chelsea legend.
Black Lives Matter.
Rest in Peace George Floyd.