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Our Unemployed XI

Today was the day the footballers had been dreading. 123 Premier League players soon became 123 unemployed ex-Premier League players as clubs gave the FA back their player registrations.

Whilst the Rooneys and Andy Carroll's of this world are off sunning themselves, some players are having a fairly miserable time of it, having been released by their clubs at the end of the season. They can no longer bank on having enough money left over each month to buy a small mansion in the North-East, though that doesn't mean that they'll be hitting Wetherspoons for a pint with their mates rather than the local swanky bar in Alderly Edge!

The shocking thing is that there are actually a few diamonds amongst the rough - enough to put together what could feasibly be a very good team! Here's our pick of the bunch, but feel free to pick your own from the list here.

The biggest problem the team his is between the sticks - you have to pick either Maik Taylor (old), Marcus Hahnemann (old) or Adriano Basso (eccentric Brazilian). We're going for the one with the most international caps, so Taylor wins it. Plus experience is a good thing in goalkeepers!

The centre of defence is obvious when you consider that both Jonathan Woodgate and Matthew Upson have played (and excelled) for England. Whilst Gary Neville makes it on to the list, given that he has retired you can't include him at right-back! Instead we're going for a Nigerian that was getting rave reviews at Fulham a season or so ago - John Pantsil. Liverpool's Steven Irwin gets the nod on the left - an attacking full-back with ability on the ball to get forward and start attacks.

Owen Hargreaves and Patrick Vieira are obvious choices for the centre of midfield, and their defensive nature allows you to pick two attacking wingers. Andy Reid is hardly renowned for tracking back and running the length of the pitch, but could be valuable on the left. Giles Barnes, the former Derby County wunderkind, makes it on to the right.

Up-front we're spoilt for choice with Bolton's record signing Johan Elmander available for selection, alongside any one of Diomansy Kamara, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Kevin Phillips (admittedly a bit old) and Benjani.

Our XI: Taylor; Pantsil, Woodgate, Upson, Irwin; Barnes, Hargreaves, Vieira, Reid; Elmander, Benjani.

Can you do any better?

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