A staple of American sports seasons, the ‘All-Star’ game, is an exhibition match, pitting the league’s best against each other. We see in American leagues such as the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL the country is split into east and west to decide on the teams.
The All-Star game is something that English football has never adopted, with many fans not seeing the appeal. However last week, new Chelsea owner, Todd Boehly, has recently questioned this at the SALT thought leaders conference in New York: “Ultimately I hope the Premier League takes a little bit of a lesson from American sports”. Boehly attributed his reasoning to the fact the money raised could be allocated to the football pyramid, estimating an All-Star game could make the FA north of £150 million.
These comments from Boehly have ignited outrage and concern from fans, the media and pundits. Gary Neville took to Twitter to detail his objection, labelling American investment in English football a “clear and present danger to the pyramid and fabric of the game”. This stance by Neville was supported by Jamie Carragher who told CBS, the move from Boehly is “arrogant” and Thierry Henry who stated he “doesn’t like” the All-Star idea. Something which has been backed further by fans who have indicated they would see the All-Star game as nothing more than a glorified friendly, akin to the Community Shield.
Jurgen Klopp went further, mocking the Chelsea owner, saying ““When he finds a date for that he can call me. In American sports these players have four-month breaks. Does he want to bring the Harlem Globetrotters as well?”
Despite the opposition, many fans have already begun predicting their North and South XI’s, showing there is a market for this kind of game. I have decided to make a little change to the proposed game, so as the Midlands aren’t technically North or South. I have instead created a Midlands XI as I couldn’t decide where to put them.
So with that in mind, here is my predicted North, South and Midlands teams, for if this hypothetical idea came to fruition.
- North will include; Everton, Leeds, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd, Newcastle.
- South will include; Arsenal, Bournemouth, Brentford, Brighton, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Southampton, Tottenham, West Ham.
- Midlands will include; Aston Villa, Leicester City, Nottingham Forest, Wolves.
- Maximum two players per club can make the team (three for Midlands club due to there only being four clubs).
All-Star XI – North
- Manager: Pep Guardiola
- Formation: 4-3-3
Everton (1), Leeds (2), Liverpool (2), Man City (2), Man Utd (2), Newcastle (2).
All-Star XI – South
- Manager: Antonio Conte
- Formation: 3-4-3
Arsenal (2), Brighton (1), Chelsea (2), Crystal Palace (2), Southampton (1), Tottenham (2), West Ham (1).
All-Star XI – Midlands
- Manager: Brendan Rodgers
- Formation: 4-3-3
Aston Villa (3), Leicester City (3), Nottingham Forest (2), Wolves (3) .
From looking at these lineups who would win the hypothetical All-Star game? What would you change and do you like the idea of an All-Star game? Let me know below.