Men's Team

My City Nightmare XI: Emile Heskey

As we look ahead to this weekend’s clash with Liverpool, we continue our ‘My City Nightmare XI’ feature with former Reds forward, Emile Heskey.

Heskey follows in the footsteps of Steve Bull (Wolves), Tim Sherwood (Tottenham), Stiliyan Petrov (Aston Villa), his former boss Martin O’Neill (Nottingham Forest), Shola Ameobi (Newcastle) and Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace) in talking us through his most formidable sky blue team – created from the players he came up against.


Emile Heskey joined Liverpool from Leicester for a then club-record fee of £11m in March 2000.

Gerard Houllier wanted to pair the powerful striker with young forward, Michael Owen – and that decision proved inspired as they formed a lethal partnership for the Reds.

The 2000/01 campaign was Heskey's first full season at Anfield and it culminated in Liverpool winning the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup as well as securing a spot in the following season's Champions League.

He started all three of the finals and went on to score 22 goals in all competitions.

Heskey also scored Liverpool's second goal when they beat Bayern Munich 3–2 the following season in the 2001 UEFA Super Cup.

Apart from his career-defining five years at Anfield, Heskey played in the Premier League for Leicester City, Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic and Aston Villa where he reunited with his old Liverpool boss, Houllier, before a move to Australia with Newcastle Jets and a short spell at Bolton Wanderers before hanging up his boots.

Heskey, who starred for England from 1999-2010 winning 62 caps, is also a member of the illustrious 100 Club – players to have scored a century of goals or more in the Premier League.

With 516 Premier League appearances to his name, only Ryan Giggs (632) and Frank Lampard (609) racked up more – scoring 110 goals in the top-flight in the process.

During his illustrious career, he came up against some City greats and here he selects his best sky blue XI.


I played against David – and also with him for England.

He was very athletic, very agile, demanding in his area and had a real presence in the box, which was great.


I played against Kyle Walker but that was when he was playing for Tottenham! So I’ve opted for Micah Richards.

He was a real marauding right-back – he was up and down.

He was very athletic, very strong, difficult to get past because of his strength but also because of his pace, too.


Vincent was a man mountain.

He had real composure at the back. But, when needed, he had the aggression, too.

He had everything you needed as a centre-back – and he was a fine leader too.


Joleon was another man mountain – and the perfect partner for Vinny in the centre of defence.

You could rely on Joleon defensively.

But he also could nick a few goals at the other end too from corners and set-pieces.

LEFT-BACK : Wayne Bridge
LEFT-BACK : Wayne Bridge


Like David James, Wayne was another one I played against and also with for England.

There was a period when he was arguably the second best left-back in the country.

It was only Ashley Cole who was better than him and he was the best in Europe at that moment in time.

When I played with him for England, he always knew how to find you when I was in the box waiting for deliveries.

What I liked about Wayne, he made you defend, not the other way around.

Even though they’re left-backs, they make you try and defend them!


I’ve got some good choices here – Steve McManaman and James Milner to name just two.

But I’m going with Shaun because, at the time, he did brilliantly in terms of coming through the ranks and bursting on to the scene at City.

McManaman was a brilliant player and won the Champions League with Real Madrid but I don’t think he was at his peak at City. But Shaun was.

In terms of qualities, he was electric, rapid and caused all kinds of problems.

He played some fantastic football, scored a host of goals and was a threat every time he got on the ball.

I think a lot of teams doubled up on him and that shows the kind of respect they had for him.


He was brilliant throughout his time at Man City but I remember one particular season, he was simply untouchable.

I don’t think there was anyone in the whole country who was playing to his levels, playing as good as he was.

I still think there were teams trying to find a Yaya Toure – a midfielder who can drive through teams and really upset them.

He could split you by just driving through you.

He was a memorable Premier League great.


I played with Steven at Aston Villa. What a fantastic player.

He had great touch and great vision.

He came through the ranks at the club, I know, and was great for City for a period of time before he moved to Villa Park.

LEFT WING : David Silva
LEFT WING : David Silva


I had to go with David Silva – the wizard!

He was a player who had so much time on the ball in tight spaces – but that was only because he was so clever with his movement and clever with his touch.

I have to choose him.


He’s one of the very best finishers I’ve seen in the game.

Give him half a chance and he will definitely take it. He will score goal upon goal.

He lit up when a chance came.

He was lively all game too so you never got a moment’s rest.

CENTRE FORWARD : Nicolas Anelka
CENTRE FORWARD : Nicolas Anelka

centre forward: Nicolas anelka

What a player!

He was extremely fast, extremely talented and extremely intelligent.

His touch was sublime and he certainly knew how to finish.