England 1990 v England 2018: Who makes the combined XI?

Gareth Southgate’s England team are the first to make it to a World Cup semi-final since Bobby Robson led the Three Lions there in 1990.

But how many of the team from Italia 90 would make it into today’s side? Here’s a combined line-up put together from the starting XI that played against West Germany in Turin and Southgate’s likely team against Croatia.

A combined England 1990 and 2018 XI

Here’s a closer look at the players who made the cut.

1. Jordan Pickford

England's Jordan Pickford saves a penalty against COlombia
(Aaron Chown/PA)

While Peter Shilton was one of England’s best ever between the sticks, at 40 he was past his peak at Italia 90. He also failed to save any of West Germany’s penalties in the shoot-out, so the ever-improving Pickford, named man of the match against Sweden, gets the nod.

2. Kieran Trippier

Kieran Trippier playing for England
(Adam Davy/PA)

Trippier has been England’s breakout performer of the tournament – a constantly threatening outlet on the right and a revelation on set-pieces. Harry Kane’s corners of Euro 2016 have been well and truly consigned to history.

3. Stuart Pearce

Stuart Pearce playing for England against Belgium
(Ross Kinnaird/EMPICS)

The chest-thumping heartbeat of many an England side, Pearce edges out Ashley Young in part because he wouldn’t need to keep cutting inside to cross with his right foot. And, despite what happened in Turin, he was actually pretty good at penalties too.

4. John Stones

John Stones scores for England against Panama
(Tim Goode/PA)

Stones was recently described as one of the best defenders in the world by none other than Lothar Matthaus, who of course was captain of the West Germany team that beat England in 1990. That’s more than enough to justify his place.

5. Terry Butcher

Terry Butcher playing for England against Cameroon
(Ross Kinnaird/EMPICS)

Every defence needs the brawn to go with the brains and Butcher, while more than just a lion-hearted bruiser, would certainly provide that. The captain of the 1990 team just sneaks ahead of Harry Maguire.

6. Kyle Walker

Kyle Walker playing for England against Panama
(Tim Goode/PA)

Eyes were raised when Gareth Southgate converted Walker from a right-back to a centre-half. But Tripper’s form on the right means he hasn’t been missed there, while Walker’s pace has been a hugely reassuring asset for England in the middle – not unlike his namesake Des in 1990.

7. Jordan Henderson

England's Jordan Henderson battles against Panama
(Tim Goode/PA)

The 1990 team is somewhat lacking in more defensive-minded midfielders, so Henderson is a shoo-in. His calm authority and combative spirit would be invaluable, but he’d also be able to set the table nicely for the two flair men in front of him.

8. Paul Gascoigne

Paul Gascoigne playing for England against Cameroon
(Ross Kinnaird/EMPICS)

If there’s one thing the 2018 team lacks it is the sheer creative magic of a player like Gazza. He provided the X factor in 1990 and would likely be the first name on the team sheet for the combined XI.

9. Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker scores against West Germany
(Ross Kinnaird/EMPICS)

Not even Harry Kane can dislodge Lineker from the number nine position (even though he wore the number 10 shirt). One of the nation’s greatest ever goalscorers and a real leader on the pitch, he would walk into most England XIs.

10. Harry Kane

Harry Kane scores against Tunisia
(Owen Humphreys/PA)

It has been said more than once that the best number 10 in the current England team is Harry Kane – in this XI he gets the chance to prove it behind Lineker. It’s a different role than he’s used to, but he has looked very comfortable dropping deep and forcing play himself in Russia.

11. Chris Waddle

England's Chris Waddle playing against Cameroon
(Ross Kinnaird/EMPICS)

Like Raheem Sterling, Waddle struggled to get the goals he probably should have done at international level, but he possessed the sort of skills rarely seen in England players. Just don’t ask him to take a penalty.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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