As the old saying goes: just because it's a big game, doesn't mean you can't play Nicky Shorey. OK that's not a saying but, despite the importance attached to England vs Germany (especially this side of the channel), the fixture tends to throw up some relatively odd starting selections. Here's eight of the worst players from the last ten years to have played in the classic clash once graced by the likes of Bobby Charlton, Franz Beckenbauer, David Beckham and Michael Ballack.. Be...
Be honest...you've never heard of him, have you?
Marvin Compper definitely exists, look him up. He made his one senior international appearance against the Three Lions in 2008 as a promising defender but has since faded away into Bundesliga obscurity. While unlikely to ever trouble Joachim Loew's squad any time soon, he is threatening to be relevant once again as squad filler in RB Leipzg's Bundesliga upstarts.
An awkward bounce resulting in a Niko Kranjcar goal in the 2-3 home defeat to Croatia ruled England out of Euro 2008, and pretty much sealed poor Scott Carson's fate as an England international on his competitive debut.
The Derby keeper earned four caps in total, despite his high-profile error that was only bested by Steve McClaren's brolly based antics during one of many England nadirs. He played the second half as England beat Germany 2-1 in a 2008 friendly.
Not necessarily a truly terrible player but rather odd considering he now sports the colours of the good ol' US of A.
Jermaine Jones made three non-competitive appearances for Germany in 2008, including in the 1-2 defeat to England, before crossing the Atlantic to follow his American dream, where he has won 69 caps. Fortunately for Germany, they have just about managed to plug the gap left by Jones' departure with Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira.
Bizarrely Nicky Shorey's only two England caps came against serial tournaments dominators Germany and Brazil.
The industrious(?) full back earned his international run outs largely thanks to being left footed and presumably promising not to bother anyone on the coach. After earning some recognition with Reading, Shorey embarked on something of a nomadic career, most recently turning up in footballing hot beds such as Pune City and Hungerford Town.
Despite winning far more caps than most on the list, Heiko Westermann was still pretty darn rubbish.
HW4, as he is affectionately known in his homeland, is something of a cult figure despite not having much discernible talent and occasionally delights social media with his (very) rare goals. The gangly centre back is currently winding down his career at Austria Wien, after spells with Betis, Schalke, Hamburg and Ajax.
In contrast to Gabby's derby debut, Tom Cleverley made the
last of his 13 appearances against the Germans in a 2013 friendly.
Back then, T-Clevz still had a chance to be the 'next big thing', and had even set a record for the most touches in an England game...albeit against San Marino. These days the Watford loan signing is about as likely to get a call up as Jake Livermore...oh wait.
The largely forgettable left back briefly caught the headlines with an absolute thunderbastard of a strike on his Germany debut in 2007.
Pander's side won the tie 2-1 but the man himself slipped away into abject obscurity, and is now better known as a DJ than a footballer.
Gabby Agbonlahor's made the first of three England caps against Germany in a 2008 friendly, and even had a goal disallowed, back when he was a terrifying unknown quantity, as they say.
The 30-year-old now decidedly un-terrifying and widely-known resides in the Championship with Aston Villa, and ran out of chances faster than he used to run the ball out of play, when Fabio Capello left as Three Lions boss.