The Leeds legend and original Kaizer Chief names a selection of the best he played with and against in the Premier League’s golden era
Nige was a proper goalkeeper, with fine positioning, distribution and awareness. Away from the football pitch, he was humble, a true gentlemen and was always willing to learn and to teach.
Gary had an impressive engine, getting up and down the flank with ease due to his stamina, and a great mind for defending: he knew instinctively when to make a run and when to cover back.
He was strong, vocal, a good organiser and renowned for his strength in the air, and his impressive physique made him one of the best. He prolonged his playing career by taking good care of his body.
I once swapped shirts with him. He was a very confident youngster then, who never backed down from a challenge. He used his vision to close down space and his anticipation remains stellar.
GRAEME LE SAUX
A natural left-back isn’t always easy to find, but he was very confident venturing forward and never neglected his duties in defence. Positioning and spatial awareness – those were his hallmarks.
A grafter who would hustle and bustle in the midfield channel, he was brilliant at screening the back four because he could run across the field and fill space in different positions. A real destroyer.
I have to include Becks purely for the quality of his crosses and dead balls. He was the set-piece master, with phenomenal technical ability, and had a great influence on the team. Plus, he was always willing to contribute.
Even as a player, you could see he had a knack for management, and as a senior player he helped with the coaching in our side. He was very disciplined – always the first to training – and a model pro.
I was always tasked with man-marking him, and it was tough: he was skilful, strong and very good technically. He pulled the strings, was clever on the ball, and his dribbling was unbelievable.
There was nothing fancy about him, but he was highly effective. He didn’t aim to score beautiful goals; he just wanted to convert, be it off his knee, chest or elbow. Difficult to handle in the air, too.
I played against some great strikers but with devastating pace and exceptional technique, always passing the ball into the net, Thierry comes up trumps. You couldn’t man-mark him, as he’d go deep.
He was a leader who commanded the defence and had great anticipation – and he scored goals, too.
He had nerves of steel and bossed his team-mates to get the best out of them.
Bergkamp was a magician with the ball at his feet, and his vision was breathtaking.
Fergie would get my team going. As an old-school tactician, he never had any time for prima donnas and let his players know who was boss. He earned their respect. His man-management was the secret to