My Best Town XI: Jason Dozzell
Sunday, 19th Apr 2020 09:50
In the ninth part of the series, Kieron Dyer catches up with Jason Dozzell, who selects the best XI from his time playing for the Blues before Dyer runs the rule over the side.
Goalkeeper Paul Cooper - Brilliant shot stopper and remembered for all his spot-kick saves.
Right-back George Burley - I only had a short time playing with George but he has to be in my team. A great attacking defender with a great range of passing.
Left-back Steve McCall - Great left foot and could play and mix it as well.
Centre-half Russell Osman - Tough as nails and a great passer of the ball with both feet.
Centre-half Terry Butcher - He was a monster in terms of courage and a brilliant skipper. Helped me loads when I was a kid coming through.
Midfield Kieron Dyer - Played right-back when I came back from Tottenham on loan but has to be in my midfield for his endurance and talent. Should have won 100 caps if he’d have stayed fit.
Midfield John Wark - The best finisher in all my time at Ipswich. His heading was something you had to witness. An incredible goalscorer.
Midfield Geraint Williams - My best years at Town were when George was playing beside me. Very underrated as he could play as well as protect the back four.
Striker Paul Mariner - Again I only had a little while with him but loved watching him. Watching him close up you realised how good he was at holding the ball up and bringing other players into the game. Was great in the air as well.
Striker Dalian Atkinson - Got people off their seats as he was explosive with his pace and control. Scored the best hat-trick I have ever seen against Middlesbrough.
Striker Chris Kiwomya - For obvious reasons, we had a lot of success playing together. Made runs where I could find him running in behind and he could finish.
I think Jason is in an almost unique position, a bit like Warky, where he has played through different eras. Warky started in the seventies at Ipswich and went all the way through to the mid-nineties.
Jason started at 16 in the mid-eighties and then he came all the way to the late nineties when he came back on loan. He’s seen three or four different eras of players and I was fortunate enough to play with him.
He’s picked a very strong team. He’s gone for Paul Cooper in goal, an iconic goalkeeper but I know that when he came back in the 1990s he got the chance to play with Richard Wright.
If I was to pick my greatest ever Ipswich team, not just players I played with but the greatest Ipswich team overall, I think Richard Wright is the only player since the 1970s and 1980s who could get into it.
I don’t want to disrespect Paul Cooper but I think Wright was probably a better goalkeeper, but Jason’s obviously gone for Cooper and you can’t really argue too much with that given the success that he had.
George Burley would probably get in the greatest Ipswich team of all time, so of course he’s going to be the right-back.
Russell Osman finally makes a team. I feel sorry for Russell because in any other era he’d be in everyone’s team but when you’re competing with Butcher, Beattie and Hunter, it is a tough ask.
But Russell was a fantastic player, a ball-playing centre-half. Even these days when I’ve played in charity games with him for Ipswich Legends XIs he’s still unbelievable on the ball and still fit as a fiddle.
Terry Butcher, I’ve commented on him when he’s been included in other teams. A world class player and an England player, he won 77 caps for England. You can’t argue with his centre-halves.
It’s good to see Steve McCall make his first appearance in one of these XIs. George Burley said that if he didn’t pick himself in his team he would have had had Mick Mills at right-back and Steve McCall at left-back, which just goes to show the calibre of player Steve McCall is.
And Jason’s midfield, he’s gone for George Williams, which might surprise a few people but I’m glad he’s picked him in a way because when I pick the greatest XI that I played with anywhere I’d pick Nobby Solano on the right in front of David Beckham.
That’s not to say that Nobby Solano is better than David Beckham but I had such chemistry with Nobby Solano, we knew each other’s game. I knew what he was going to do and he knew what I was going to do. George Burley said the same about the understanding that he and Frans Thijssen had.
Similarly, Jason says he played his best football at Ipswich when George was alongside him. Sometimes you just have that connection and that player just brings out the best in you. It’s good that he’s recognised that and put George in the team.
I’m quite humbled that he’s included me because we only played together for a short period of time, or maybe it was because he saw I put him in my team, so he felt he had to return the favour!
And John Wark, I wish we could go back to that era and I could have played in midfield with him at his prime because what a player he was.
If you talk about a modern-day player like John Wark it would be Frank Lampard but I still think Warky had more than Frank, and Frank scored more than 200 goals for Chelsea. That just goes to show how great Warky was.
That midfield has got a bit of everything and the front three, wow, what a front three that is. Chris Kiwomya was a massive mate of Jason’s but I don’t think he’s in the team just because he’s a mate.
He’s in the Hall of Fame at Ipswich, he was in the 1991/92 promotion team, scored numerous goals for Ipswich, had lightning pace, and went on to Arsenal when Bruce Rioch signed him and played with Dennis Bergkamp, Ian Wright and people like that, he went on to have a great career.
I’m glad that Dalian Atkinson is in the team, God rest his soul. I’d only just started watching Ipswich when Dalian was the main striker. He was the main man and some of the goals he scored were fantastic.
I’ve seen people put up clips of his hat-trick against Middlesbrough. That just showed that on his day he was unplayable. This is the first team he’s been in and he definitely deserves it.
He also had a great career after leaving Town. I remember the goal he scored for Aston Villa when Dean Saunders jumped on his back as they celebrated and then a fan came and put an umbrella over them. That was an iconic Premier League goal, he took on about six or seven players and chipped the goalkeeper. Only a few players can score goals like that.
And Paul Mariner, there’s not much more I can say that I haven't already said when talking about George Burley and Charlie Woods’s teams, a world class player.
A great team, I think some people will question George Williams but I think it’s clear why Jason had him in the team, because Jason played his best football with him, they complemented each other’s games so well.
And maybe Richard Wright could have forced his way into the team but Paul Cooper is a legend at the club, so you can’t really argue. A fantastic team.
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