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Chris Sutton's Perfect XI: "Shearer and I weren’t best friends, but we didn’t dislike each other"

Chris Sutton
(Image credit: Getty)

Chris Sutton racked up five league titles either side of Hadrian's Wall, bagging a Premier League winners' medal with Blackburn in 1994/95 before claiming four more with Celtic. He also enjoyed spells at boyhood club Norwich City and Chelsea, among others. 

The former England international has since gone on to become one of the most recognisable pundits in the game. FourFourTwo sat down with him to ask what a team of his best ever team-mates would look like. 

Chris Sutton Perfect XI

(Image credit: Future)

Chris Sutton's Perfect XI – Goalkeeper: Tim Flowers

“A phenomenal shot-stopper and one of the main reasons why Blackburn won the league in 1994/95. Tim was a ferocious trainer who looked after himself and deserved everything he got throughout his career. He was so agile – making extraordinary saves – and superbly consistent, too. He hardly made a mistake.”

Centre-back: Johan Mjallby

“Johan was a great defender at Celtic – very steady and a good decision-maker. He wasn’t rash in his thought processes, but strong and composed on the ball. Always totally reliable as a centre-back.”

Centre-back: Marcel Desailly

“The rock. Marcel was a brilliant athlete and so powerful in the air. He won the World Cup, European Championship and two Champions Leagues, and you could see it in his presence at Chelsea. He could play as well, so I’ve got to include him in this team.”

Centre-back: Joos Valgaren

“I roomed with Joos at Celtic until he asked to change – I wore him down! I used to wake up on the morning of a game and say, ‘I’ve got a bad feeling about this one’. He’d shout, ‘Shut up, Sutton’. He’s never called me Chris to this day! Quick, strong in the tackle, and he could play.”

Right-wing Ruel Fox

“One of the big reasons why I really had a career at Norwich. I had a good relationship with Ruel on and off the pitch – we went clubbing together! A clever footballer who could beat opponents for fun, but he also taught me plenty
about movement.”

Centre-midfield: Ian Crook

“If you looked at him, you wouldn’t think he was a player because he smoked 40 cigarettes a day and couldn’t run, tackle or head the ball. However, he was one of the best technicians I ever played with. Ian had a pinpoint pass on him, and we had a free-kick routine at Norwich where I’d score and then take the credit!”

Centre-midfield: Tim Sherwood

“I used to clean Tim’s boots at Norwich. He was still a young pro there and I had a lot of respect for him – everyone looked up to him. An underrated and intelligent footballer who could see the game very well.”

Centre-midfield: Stiliyan Petrov

“He was quite a chubby little right-back when I first went to Celtic, but soon developed into a fantastic attacking midfielder. Stan played as more of a sitter at Aston Villa, but could do that with his eyes closed. He would bomb on and we felt like we could take on anybody.”

Left-wing: Lubo Moravcik

“I’d had a bad year at Chelsea before joining Celtic in 2000, then saw this guy in training. He was so good for someone in his mid-30s. Left foot or right foot, Lubo had a great shot and weight of pass – I had no idea which side was strongest. Some of the goals he scored for Celtic were incredible. He was a maverick, but a tremendous player.”

Centre-forward: Henrik Larsson

“The best all-round footballer I ever played with. Henrik [left] could simply do everything  a ruthless goalscorer, outstanding in the air, unselfish, naturally athletic and able to play anywhere. One of my favourite periods in football was playing alongside him at Celtic.”

Centre-forward: Alan Shearer

“In that season Blackburn won the Premier League, I can’t actually remember Alan missing. His hold-up and link play were very good, and he had pace back then as well. We weren’t best friends, but we didn’t dislike each other, either.”

Manager: Martin O'Neill

“I embraced being a player at Celtic and really enjoyed my career from then. A lot of that was down to Martin – we had a strong team, and I would have run through a brick wall for him.”

Substitutes

Neil Lennon

Gianfranco Zola

George Weah

Read more Perfect XIs here

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Sam Blitz is a football writer based in London. Having lived in England, Scotland and Italy throughout his life, he specialises in both British and European football. He has experience writing and producing content for Sky Sports, The Times, MailOnline along with his work for the FourFourTwo magazine and website.