Chris O (follow on Twitter: @COakleyFtbl)
Sat 19 September 2009

The best team in London

Come the revolution, the Premier League will be no more – of that you can be certain. As clubs attempt to regain control of their upwardly spiralling finances, the top flight will break up into smaller regionalised leagues, thereby reinforcing the weakening notion of local derbies and local rivalries. Well at least that's the vision I saw before the medication wore off.

But imagine if someone decided to scrap the Premier League and start all over again, redistributing its top stars into regionalised zones based on their place of birth. Imagine a London Premier League, if you will, featuring four teams representing North, South, East and West London. Which team would win?

We have the answer. It'd be the team from East London, and we can assure you of that based on the fact that none of the other London teams would be able to field enough players to form a decent starting XI.

Using a map of London roughly divided into four geographic quarters, we've ascertained that East London has provided more current top-flight players (and top-quality ones at that) than all the other three areas put together.

So who would be in this champion team from East London? Well in goal, you'd have Manchester City's Stuart Taylor. He was born in Romford. In defence, there'd be Nicky Shorey (also from Romford), Glen Johnson (born in Greenwich), Ashley Cole (Stepney), John Terry (from my home town, Barking) and Ledley King (born in Bow). The midfield would boast Frank Lampard (another talent from Romford), Shaun Wright-Philips (Greenwich), and Lee Bowyer (from Canning Town). Up front, there'd be Jermain Defoe (Beckton) and Bobby Zamora (from Barking).

There'd even be surplus talent available on the bench including Paul Konchesky (Barking again), Liam Ridgewell (Bexley), Mark Noble (Canning Town), Kieran Richardson (Greenwich) and Jimmy Bullard (Newham).

Yes, in the event of a barely conceivable restructuring of Premier League football in the capital, East London would win out easily. South London would be able to put out a seven-a-side team (albeit one without a goalkeeper). It'd feature, amongst others, the defensive brothers Ferdinand from Peckham, Carlton Cole from Croydon up front and Scott Parker (Lambeth) and Nigel Reo-Coker (Croydon) in midfield.

West London has even fewer notable talents in its 'team' although Darren Bent (Wandsworth) and Marcus Bent (Hammersmith) partnering Theo Walcott (Stanmore) would be an impressive attacking triumvirate. And the phrase 'it's grim up North' wasn't created by accident. It must be a reference to the dearth of talent from that part of London. All we could find was Marlon Harewood (Hampstead) and Joe Cole (Islington). Perhaps one could play in goal and one up front. We'll leave you to work out which one should do which.

So there it is – extensive proof that East London practically owns most of the top footballing talent in the capital while the other regions trail woefully in their wake.

Some People Are On The Pitch – philosophising on the irrelevant issues of world football so you don't have to.

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