Alan Tate | One to Eleven
In a new website feature we have been challenging Swansea City players past and present to pick a team comprised of those they have played with and against during their careers.
Today, it’s the turn of Swans’ great Alan Tate who has elected to select his XI exclusively from players he has featured alongside during his time in SA1.
GOALKEEPER: DORUS DE VRIES
The year Paulo Sousa was manager, as a back four and keeper we got the clean sheets record for the club. I think it was 24 in the season and that was a brilliant defensive unit.
I missed the back end of the season, but Dorus was there all the way through. He was so good with his feet too.
RIGHT-BACK: ANGEL RANGEL
He is a great lad, he did not speak a word of English when he arrived. We thought he would last six weeks, and then we took him for a night down Wind Street and he was an absolute lunatic!
Now he has married a Welsh girl, had kids, set up home down here and he will probably end up down here when his career is over.
He offered so much to the club, he was so good going forward and in his defending.
He was so consistent, he had that great link with Nathan Dyer and they opened things up down the right.
CENTRE-BACK: GARRY MONK
A great lad and a great captain, he had a great partnership with Asley Williams.
If I was picking on individual ability, Monks might not get in. But the team is the most important thing, and he gets in on that because the team was better with him in it.
I played with him, and I played with Ash, but predominantly it was Monks and Ash during that season we got the clean sheet record and the season we were promoted.
CENTRE-BACK: ASHLEY WILLIAMS
Ash achieved some great things for Swansea, and eventually got his move to Everton.
We had the best of him, he was brilliant. He only cost £400,000 from Stockport and he just got better and better.
He was probably the best and most consistent player we had in the Premier League.
I know he gets a bit of stick when he comes back but, when his career is over and he stops playing, I hope he is appreciated more because he was brilliant for us.
LEFT-BACK: ALAN TATE
It’s my team, so I’ve decided I am going to pick myself. I was probably the most unorthodox left-back in the world.
I don’t really remember how it came about, I think it might have been when Steve O’Halloran got injured when he was on loan.
Roberto put me at right-back and moved Angel Rangel to left-back, and the next time it happened I just said it was best to leave Rangel where he was and let me go at left-back. It snowballed from there.
We were not a conventional back four, and if I was picking on individuals I would probably put Ben Davies in there, but I want to keep our back four together, no matter how unorthodox it was.
So that’s why I’m in!
CENTRAL MIDFIELDER: LEON BRITTON
He has to be in the team, we were better when he was on the field. There might have been players who had different skillsets, like Ferrie Bodde or Kemy Agustien, but if you were ever picking a team you start with Leon.
It’s about what the player does for the team, and Leon was just a brilliant team player.
CENTRAL MIDFIELDER: JOE ALLEN
A brilliant player, he came into the team very young and he could do it all.
Over time you could just see him getting better and better and better in training. It was a matter of time before he got his big move to Liverpool.
He is a real top player, and a top lad.
ATTACKING MIDFIELDER: GYLFI SIGURDSSON
Another brilliant player who gave so much to the club. He was our matchwinner for years.
He was brilliant when he came back full-time, he was excellent in his loan spell but he was even better when he came back permanently.
He was a leader, not in terms of being vocal, but in how he played and trained.
He was a magnificent dead-ball specialist, and that shows what practice does for you because he put in so much work on that part of his game.
RIGHT WING: NATHAN DYER
That link up Nathan had with Angel was really hard for teams to cope with. He was so quick, so direct and he got some really important goals, including two in the League Cup final.
He also popped up with important goals against Cardiff and in other big games, he was so good on and off the ball, so he’s the man I go to there.
LEFT WING: SCOTT SINCLAIR
This is really tricky, because I look at Wayne Routledge and he has got so much ability. He is so good.
I have played with and against him, and he is great player.
But he is up against Scott Sinclair, and the reason I go for Scott is the play-off final and the amount of goals he got for us in that promotion season.
Scott was great, and he is probably the best finisher of any wide player we have had. Once he got in there, you knew he would score.
He was electric on his day, direct, quick but with the composure to finish in open play or from the penalty spot.
STRIKER: WILFRIED BONY
I did not play in a competitive game with him, but I played in friendlies and trained with him and he was a top player.
His first spell here, he was unplayable. He was so strong, he could run in behind and he is the best header of a ball I have seen.
From crosses, I have not seen anyone make that sort of contact, be that with his head or his feet.
He was great in the dressing room too, really loud, very friendly. He is such a nice boy.