Right wing and left wing I would go with Shane Tudor and Omer Riza. Both very quick. A defenders nightmare!!! Both a good eye for goal. Shane being right footed loved to check back for his crosses, but enjoyed playing with them. Could give the ball in right situations to them, to feet, or if in trouble behind. For their sizes very strong upper body strength with good centre of gravity making it extremely difficult for defenders.
Central midfield. Leaving myself out, I was lucky to play with some excellent partners. Ash was excellent, and went on to achieve great success with Hull, however ability wise I would go with first Alex Russell. I formed a great understanding with Alex, a great right foot, that delivered fantastic set plays. Scored a few also, but his strength was his distribution. He wasn’t the bravest in the tackle, but that’s what his partners were for. Could split a defence with excellent vision. I wouldn’t in truth play them together, but I will also mention Micah Hyde. Another player who went on to the premier league. So much ability with the ball. Glided across the pitch making everything look simple. Tougher than looked, although not his strength would get stuck in. Again like Alex great vision. A all round excellent midfielder.
The article below is from March 2018
With the Hall of Fame meal taking place last week. I thought it would be nice to ask another United great and inductee Paul Wanless who would be in his top side.
A BIG thank you to Paul for providing the following -
Playing a 4-4-2 system and leaving myself out
Goalkeeper Lionel Perez. Everyone knows of him. Flamboyant Frenchman. Locks flowing. But what a professional. Was he crazy , hell yes, in the gym would throw weights around, and work his socks off. Great attitude and will to win. Was no accident he graced the highest level.
Right back. Ben Chenery. Tough one here as when I joined we had Matty Joseph, sometimes Marc Joseph played there and had all the attributes. But Ben I played with lots, and a unsung hero. Solid as they come, tall athletic, a no frills player but one you always knew what you’d get.
Center backs. Jody Craddock. Loved playing with Jody. We had our pre game ritual of 100 headers back and forth to each other. A proper defender. Quick, brave good in the air. Ticked the defensive boxes. On the ball I believe he would be the first to admit, not his main strength. However he was paid to defend and boy could he do that.
Andy Duncan. Duncs became a good friend as played many years with him. A solid professional and will forever be remembered in Cambridge colours. Again like Jody, solid. Went about his business quietly but effectively. Quicker than he looked, although not overly tall for a central defender, was solid in the air and very strong.
Left back. Danny Granville. Excellent player with ability to play further forward. More like a modern day full back (so ahead of his time) great engine, good dribbler, and scored goals! Extremely comfortable with the ball. Quiet lad, but could see why Chelsea paid the money! Very quick also.
Paul Wanless was an inducted into the Cambridge United Hall of Fame in March 2017.
Up top. Really enjoyed the 4-3-3 formation that Roy started. The famous 3 of Butler. Benjamin and Taylor. But as can only select two forwards I will start with Martin Butler. What a team player. Arguably the player I most admire in my spell at the club. Always looking to run in behind. Would often make a bad pass from you look good. Quick, busy player that scored at will. A likeable character in the dressing room, and the player you would love in your side in all situations. His partner I would say Dave Kitson. (John Taylor would likely got the vote had I played with him in his prime). Many people said Kits and John had similar traits. Both gangly and would cause defenders problems. Kits was extremely quick, probably never looked it with his long legs. Although plucked from non league by John Beck, extremely raw talent, but his goals were vital. Often scoring when no one else would with his long reach. Lovely lad who had a will to learn.
Now in my time I saw some great players come in and go. And am extremely lucky to play with some great sides. Many lads I can’t believe I’ve left out!!! And in truth not the most balanced side there (I think the 4 across the middle may get over run lol) however all excellent players.
The promotion side we had I feel was our most balanced. 4-3-3. Strong defence with Campbell Joseph Duncan Chenery. The 3 of myself Alex and either Ash or Mustoe had a good blend of vision legs and strength. Up top the famous three of as I mentioned earlier Butler, Benjamin and Taylor again like the midfield had excellent variety in power pace strength and experience.
The lovely thing with football it’s about opinions. I could easily named 3 teams using different players! So I guess I was very fortunate to wear the Cambridge colours for many years with great players.