JONATHAN OBIKA The Brighton striker, on loan from Tottenham, chooses his favourite XI, made up from players he has played with or against in his football career.
Chris Weale – Shrewsbury Town When I was on loan with Yeovil in 2009 we were trying to avoid relegation. He came up for a corner when we were 2-1 down in a vital game against Hereford and scored, which was amazing. But he’s not just in for that, he made plenty of good saves too!
Adam Smith – Bournemouth I grew up with him in the Tottenham youth academy since I was 11. I loved playing with him, he’s good defensively, he gets forward and he can put quality crosses in. Everything you need from a right back.
Jan Vertonghen – Tottenham I know he doesn’t play there often but he’s a class player and does the job so well. He’s one of those defenders who is so good to watch, he’s a great athlete and I definitely want him in my team.
Terry Skiverton – Retired His leadership and his ability to control everyone around him was amazing at Yeovil. He was so good at man-management, he knew how to handle all types of player so his influence on this team will be vital. William Gallas – Perth Glory Again his leadership was incredible. When I was quite young he spoke to me and gave me confidence before a match. How I saw him play was always good motivation for me as well.
Gareth Bale – Real Madrid I was in the academy when he came to Tottenham at 17 and just to see his growth and improvement is pure motivation for any youngster. He always had the ability, but he sometimes lacked the confidence. Look at him now, though: the most expensive player in the world. But he made a big mistake by leaving Spurs – he’s not the same player he was. His career is only going downhill from here – the turncoat!
Andy Welsh – Scunthorpe United He’s another one I played with at Yeovil. He was one of the older players when I went and he led by example. He was a proper professional by the way he conducted himself on and off the pitch and he got on with everybody. He was a good person to look up to.
Tom Huddlestone – Hull City I like how he plays football. He can find you anywhere on the pitch and he made your job easier. I am sure managers have their own vision of how they want things done but he’s been a very good signing for Hull. Paul Wotton – Plymouth Argyle He was our captain at Yeovil and one of the funniest people I have ever met. His banter and some of the facial expressions he used to pull were priceless and he was just a class player. He was a Roy Keane type of character and I enjoyed playing with him.
Yann Kermorgant – Bournemouth I enjoyed playing with Yann at Charlton. He liked being the target man and the lay-offs were always crisp and perfect. He’s very good in the air so we linked up well. I definitely picked up a lot of very good attributes from him. Jermain Defoe – Tottenham (Joining Toronto FC on February 28) Doing the finishing sessions after training with him, he was always spot on. He’s one of the best finishers around and he was someone to look up to. There’s so much quality at Tottenham and the manager obviously knows what he wants to do but I’m sure Jermain will prove his class at Toronto.