As we continue with Stiliyan Petrov’s Icons feature series, our former skipper selects his ultimate XI.
It’s a powerhouse team made up of star names he played alongside in the famous claret and blue.
Goalkeeper: Brad Friedel
His experience was second to none – such an important part of our team.
He was a father figure in many ways. He was very calm and very good in the dressing room too.
His ability to keep us in some games with spectacular saves was amazing.
He controlled the game from the back too – that was second to none.
Right-back: Alan Hutton
I will pick Hutts who still plays in claret and blue today.
He’s a modern-day full-back. He is aggressive and responsible.
It was great to have played with him.
Centre-backs: Olof Mellberg and Martin Laursen
They were a good pair.
They helped each other. They managed to play well together.
One of them was very aggressive while the other accommodated that by playing a different style of football.
Left-back: Wilfred Bouma
In my eyes, he was an incredible left-back.
He was a fantastic professional – in fact, the best professional I have ever seen.
He was so unlucky with the serious injury but before then, he was one of the very best.
He gave us a different dimension.
Wingers: Stewart Downing and Ashley Young
I am playing Ashley on the left and Stewie on the right.
They were so exciting going forward – quick and creative.
They were also goalscorers, too.
Centre midfielders: James Milner and Gareth Barry
James played through the middle exceptionally well after spending time out wide. He gave us tremendous energy.
Gareth was the brain of the team. He dictated and controlled the game. He was a wonderful passer, too.
Centre forwards: John Carew and Gabby Agbonlahor
They knew how to play together. They knew each other’s games perfectly.
They just worked. They had a great relationship and there weren’t many defences they didn’t terrorise.
We called them ‘The Big and ‘The Small’ or ‘The Slow’ and ‘The Fast’.
I think they made an incredible tandem and it was great to play behind them.