Welcome back to Dream Team! This week Inverness Caledonian Thistle full-back Kevin McNaughton gives us the lowdown on the best 11 players that he has lined up alongside.
Goalkeeper – David Marshall
The Scotland international started his career at Celtic before moving to Norwich City in 2007 after an impressive loan spell. He played alongside McNaughton for seven years at Cardiff City, before the latter moved north to join Caley Thistle. The reliable shot stopper has made over 250 league appearances for the Bluebirds.
Centre Back – Gary Medel
The versatile Chilean joined Cardiff City ahead of the 2013/14 season and raised a number of eyebrows during his time in South Wales. Medel is a tough tackling powerhouse who can play either at the back or in a central midfield role. His performances in the Premier League for Cardiff earned him a move to Internazionale when the Welsh club were relegated in 2014. He has been a key player for numerous clubs across Europe and South America as well as amassing almost 100 caps for Chile.
Centre Back – Mark Hudson (Captain)
Hudson is a no nonsense centre back as well as a very strong, vocal leader. He played in the Cardiff back line alongside McNaughton for 5 years. His leadership and stellar defensive skills were rewarded when he was handed the captain’s armband by manager Dave Jones, shortly after signing for the club in 2009. He was the captain when Cardiff were promoted to the Premier League in 2013. He currently plays for English Championship side Huddersfield.
Centre Back – Ben Turner
The 6ft 4’ centre half was another rock in the Cardiff defence during their 2012/13 promotion campaign. He signed for the club from Coventry City in 2011, with whom he had played for since academy level. He played over a century of league games for Cardiff before signing for newly promoted Championship outfit, Burton Albion.
Right Midfield – Chris Burke
Burke started his career at boyhood club Rangers and made just shy of 100 league appearances for the Ibrox side between 2002 and 2009. He then moved on to Cardiff City, where he played alongside Kevin McNaughton for two and a half seasons, amassing over 100 appearances for the Bluebirds. Burke’s trickery and crossing have made him a formidable opponent for many full backs over the years as well as earning him 7 international caps for Scotland.
Central Midfield – Aaron Ramsey
When we spoke to Kevin, he told us that, in terms of natural ability, Ramsey was the best player he ever lined up alongside. It’s easy to see why as the Welshman has went on to become a real star for Arsenal as well as for the Welsh national team. He has made almost 200 appearances in eight years with the Gunners.
Central Midfield – Peter Whittingham
Whittingham is a versatile midfielder who can play anywhere across the middle as well as playing in a number 10 role in behind an out and out striker. Deadly from set pieces, Whittingham has been one of Cardiff’s key men for almost a decade now and has previously featured in the Football League Championship Team of the Year. Whittingham has played in almost 400 league games for the Bluebirds, notching just shy of 80 goals in the process.
Left Midfield – Craig Bellamy
Bellamy played alongside McNaughton during the latter stages of his career at Cardiff City. He burst onto the scene as a youth at Norwich City before moving on to Coventry City in 2000. Arguably the most successful period in his career came when playing for Sir Bobby Robson’s Newcastle United side in the early 2000’s, where he formed a formidable attacking partnership with Alan Shearer. Bellamy played over 450 league games at several different clubs, including a short loan at Celtic, scoring over 130 goals in total.
Attacking Midfield – Eidur Gudjohnsen
Once a Champions League winner with Barcelona, Gudjohnsen lined up along side McNaughton at Bolton. The Icelandic hitman made his name while playing under Claudio Ranieri and Jose Mourinho at Chelsea before moving to Barca in 2006. Gudjohnsen is still playing for both club and country and was part of the Iceland squad for their Euro 2016 campaign.
Centre Forward – Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Hasselbaink was, at one point, one of the world’s deadliest centre forwards, with an eye for goal like no other. He began his career in the Netherlands before moving to various clubs across Europe, scoring goals wherever he went. Chelsea paid a club record £15million fee for Hasselbaink back in 2000, where he went on to become a hero at the club, averaging a goal every two games during his 4 year stay. He ended his career alongside McNaughton at Cardiff City, with his last game coming in the 2008 FA Cup Final.
Centre Forward – Robbie Fowler
Nicknamed ‘God’ by Liverpool fans in the 90s, Fowler was one of the great goal scorers of the Premier League era. He is the sixth-highest all-time Premier League goal scorer with an astounding 162 goals. He spent most of his career in England, playing for Liverpool twice as well as Leeds United, Manchester City and, eventually, Blackburn Rovers. He is another player who played alongside McNaughton at Cardiff City, despite only making a handful of appearances for the Welsh club.