Here at the Football Manc Cave, we set Wigan Athletic fan Dan the task of selecting his Premier League 5-a-side team.
This was difficult. I’ve gone with players that I think would suit 5 a-side football. Quick, can score goals and work hard.
Ali Al-Habsi in goal, probably the easiest choice of the lot. Brilliant at saving penalties, class shot stopper and a great character. If your playing ‘goalie-rush’ rules and you’ve got Ali in net, I think you’ve won. He’s one of my favourite players ever, just excelled in big moments. The penalty saves vs Bolton Wanderers and Liverpool the standouts.
The sole defender was tough. Do you go with an Emmerson Boyce or Arjan De Zeeuw type who you would back 9 times out of 10 to defend a 1vs1. Maybe Leighton Baines who could shoot from anywhere on the pitch and score. I was watching ‘Premier League years’ while writing this and John Arne Riise was on, what a left foot he had, one of the cleanest strikers of a ball I’ve ever seen. That tipped it, Baines vs Preston North End, strike. A good defender all the same, but if you needed a goal in 5 a-side, just give it Baines and let him shoot.
Mohamed Diame was an obvious choice for me. He can do everything. Runs all day, wins the ball back, beats players, scores screamers. He’s a bit of everything, like having an extra player almost. He’s currently a free agent, I’d do some crazy things to see him back at Wigan – exactly what we need to replace Reece James and he’s such a good player.
Alongside him, I went with James McArthur. A close call between him or James McCarthy. I edged towards McArthur simply because he scores more goals. Another workhorse. The Scotsman would just run and run, before making late runs to latch onto Baines’ long through-balls. Dream partnership alongside Diame in 5 a-side. We need to see it happen in real life. It’s basically a cheat code.
Lastly, Shaun Maloney, an actual wizard. Never scored a massive amount of goals, but absolutely brilliant to watch with the ball at his feet. Made defenders look daft with his footwork. Brilliant on set-pieces too. I’d just give the ball to Maloney and let him do the rest.
Anyway, leave your team suggestions below. It’ll take longer than you think.