Iain Macintosh squandered both his youth and his adult life thus far playing every single incarnation of Football Manager, and he's now revved up for the 2016 version which hits the shelves this week. Now he wants to legitimise that time by telling you his all-time, all-version, best XI. And we thought it was safer just to let him get on with it.
GK: Nigel Martyn (CM1): Every great team needs a great goalkeeper and there’s never been one quite as great as the big Cornishman. Marooned in the second flight with Crystal Palace, you could always snap him up for £900,000 and build a title-winning side with his freakishly large hands.
DR: Mike Duff (CM01/02): You could buy him for £20,000 from Cheltenham and drop him in any team in the world and he’d make you better. So quick, so brave, so eager. I will never love a human being like I loved Mike Duff.
DC: Paul Warhurst (CM1): The ultimate in DMA C utility men, you could put Warhurst in defence and simply push him up or down the line-up according to your needs. At £2m, he’d empty your bank account, but what price do you put on peace of mind?
DC: Darren Moore (CM01/02): Less of a defender and more of a knight in shining armour, galloping across the database to save you from defeat. Big Dave was so strong, so determined and so indomitable that he just, well, he made you feel so safe.
DL: Alex Sandro (FM14): If you need a rampaging left-back, they didn’t come much better than Alex Sandro. It wasn’t just that he was quick and could run all day, it was his consistency. The man just never played badly. And when you converted him to a wing-back…oh, what a time to be alive.
MR: Ryan Williams (CM01/02): A rather pricey £500,000 from basement division Hull City, but he’d always prove his worth. He could play anywhere across the midfield and, with a pace of 20, you’d just set him to run with the ball and take long shots, then sit back and watch the fireworks.
MC: Anthony Vanden Borre (FM07): It only took £1.1m to lure this boy away from Anderlecht and you could play him anywhere across midfield and defence. With minimal handling, he’d be a star. With clever coaching, he’d be an absolute world beater.
MC: Danny Murphy (CM2): A steal from Crewe Alexandra, this classy young blade would transform any midfield from mediocre to magnificent, and he would only ever get better. Put Murphy behind Ibrahim Bakayoko and then clear a space in the trophy cabinet.
ML: Nii Lamptey (CM1): At an eye-watering £2.5m, only the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers could ever hope to afford him, but he was worth every penny. A versatile MA RLC with incredible pace and passing, he was the player you needed to step up in Europe.
ST: Cherno Samba (CM01/02): So good, that signing him was considered a form of cheating. Once you lured him away from Millwall, you were destined to wipe the floor with everyone. He’d start slowly, but then intensify towards the end of the third season. After that, he was better than Pele.
ST: Antoine Sibierski (FM07): Sam Allardyce would have loved Sibierski. All you had to do was play deep and direct, make the Frenchman your target man, pair him with someone quick, loft everything at his head and get the champagne on ice. He’d lead you to victory.
Read Iain's New Book, The Football Manager's Gude To Football Management