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Tom Becket: my all-time England football 11 (in funds)

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by Tom Becket on Jun 12, 2014 at 12:53

With the World Cup upon us, Psigma's chief investment officer reveals his top England starting 11, and the funds which best represent those players.  

Manager: Tom Becket

Here we go with my all-time England 11 from watching the Three Lions over 20 years.

My managerial prowess could easily be questioned, but the glorious Psigma football team won three cups and a league under my tutelage, before I retired fat and old, mostly because my wife told me I wasn't allowed out in the evening anymore. My favoured formation is the classic 4-4-2, with a midfield diamond allowing a central midfielder to act as a third striker arriving late in the box.

I now focus solely on managing Psigma's Investment Process, so in the aim of keeping this investment related have selected 11 funds from our Model Portfolio Service to create a balanced 11 to make money in the next five years.

There's more chance of that than England winning the World Cup, fortunately.

Manager: Glenn Hoddle

The best football I have seen England play in the last twenty years was undoubtedly under Glenn 'dubious views' Hoddle.

The 3-5-2 formation he adopted for the World Cup in France 1998 played to our strengths and were it not for the petulance of one David Beckham, we could have gone on to win that tournament.

No current players would get anywhere near that team of '98, nor probably that which flew to the East in '02. Cases could be made for Gerrard and Lampard, but whilst they have impressed in the respective red and blues of their clubs, they have failed repeatedly in the white of England. Likewise Rooney; stunning for his club, mostly missing for England.

Goalkeeper: David Seaman

Rubbish hair, outdated moustache, great hands. Lacking competition for his place, although Paul Robinson had the potential to deliver before confidence became an issue. Seaman gave his back four huge confidence, although he was at fault for the Brazilian goal in Sapporo in ‘02.

Fund Pick: Legg Mason Global Credit Absolute Return

Solid, dependable and rarely loses money. A fund that the attacking options can rely on in many market conditions. It will not be very exciting, but who wants that in a safety first situation?

Right Back: Gary Neville

The best right back in the last twenty years has to be 'Red' Nev, who has taken his skill from the flank on to the TV. Solid, dependable and widely respected. Never one to refuse to admit his mistakes. He also knew how to defend, so I hope he is imparting his wisdom on to Glen Johnson, who has looked totally lost in the last few games.

Fund Pick: AXA EM Short Duration Bond

The safe way to play EM debt and has the potential to deliver a decisive pass. A 5% coupon from less than 2.5 years of duration is a more attractive option than most bond funds and less risky than straight EM debt. The solidity was shown with last year’s 2%+ return when EM bonds were under real pressure.

Centre Back: Sol Campbell

This one will wind up the Spurs loving, Citywire editing Dylan Lobo, but 'Big' Sol has to be at the heart of the defence. Amongst the very best centre backs in the world and his header against the Argentines in '98 should have been a winner.

Fund Pick: Twentyfour Focus Fund

Refined European credit exposure with a limited duration to the end of 2018. A mixture of high yield and investment grade credits and a yield in excess of 6%. Rock-like performances with the potential for a headed goal; what’s not to like.

Centre Back: Tony Adams (Captain)

Another Arsenal legend at the back, with Tony Adams captaining the team and sending fear in to the hearts of opposing teams. How England could now do with a giant of this ilk.

Fund Pick: Artemis Income

A fearsome reputation and the flexibility to adapt to the conditions of each game. The managers have shown an ability to move with market conditions and maximise their potential.

Left Back: Stuart Pearce

Fear again is the word with 'Psycho' Pearce on the left side of defence. My early days watching England in the early '90s saw me wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with 'Psycho Pearce - The Nightmare Returns to Wembley'. Pearce banished his own nightmares of that tragic night in Turin in Italia '90 with a stunning penalty against the Spanish at Euro '96. England beating Spain, those were the days. Guts, determination and genius summed up Mr Pearce.

Fund Pick: Schroder Income Maximiser

A 7% defensive yield hides the recovery bias of the underlying equity strategy. Solid in defence and great going forward. Sensible balance between defensive large cap and offensive recovery names.

Right Midfield: David Beckham

Step forward Becks, that sad night in St Etienne is now forgotten. Beckham carried the not-so Golden Generation through many barren years and seeing his impact upon the team was eye-opening, particularly when he returned to the fold in Estonia in ‘09. Deserved better in Germany '06,where he was let down by the shameful Rooney.

In Frankfurt at the opening England match of the '06 World Cup, I sat behind his wife and, much to the amusement (bemusement?) of all around me, I offered his wife my business card and suggested she called me. She didn't. She must have been put off by the Psigma logo.

Fund Pick: Jupiter Japan Income Hedged

Always a 7 out of 10. High quality delivery and won’t let you down. They love Becks in Japan and we love Jupiter Japan Income at Psigma, as part of our aggressive Japanese equity overweight.

Defensive Midfield: David Batty

My favourite player, the under-rated David Batty has to be in there, as the work-horse, water-carrying defensive midfielder to allow the attacking players to get forward. Hard as nails, hugely destructive and achieved above his own ability. I heard he modelled his game on me, but that is yet to be confirmed. Always about the team, rather than himself. Great bloke.

Fund Pick: Lazard Global Equity Income

A solid 5% yield and value proposition. Not going to grab the headlines but with overweights in Emerging Markets and Europe the fund has the potential to pleasantly surprise on the upside. A mainstay in portfolios and a pillar of support for more offensive options.

Attacking Midfield: Paul Scholes

Batty's selection allows Scholes to be included, giving him the free rein to concentrate on his late runs in to the box and allowing him licence to focus on delivering killer balls to the strikers. The best England player since Gazza undoubtedly, not least for those two play-off headers against Scotland.

Fund Pick: Twenty Four Asset Backed Income

Mercurial talent, high performance and still excellent potential. Deceptively attractive despite being European credit and with a yield in excess of 7%. Lower quality European asset backed securities should be hugely in favour from a continent starved of yield by the actions of Super Mario Draghi and this fund should deliver the goals we need to outperform.

Left Midfield: Joe Cole

Stop laughing, Joe Cole is the best of a decidedly dodgy bunch on the left. You could make a case for Darren Anderton cutting in from the left, but I saw him at the England matches in Miami last week and he was humourless. Cole was the one that got away for England, messed around by Jose Mourinho and never fulfilled his wonderful potential, most evident by his spectacular goal against Sweden in the lovely city of Cologne '06.

Fund Pick: Neptune European Opportunities

The ability to surprise everyone with aggressive positioning in European banks and peripheral European markets. Always willing to back his own talent, Rob Burnett might be too aggressive for some, but every portfolio needs conviction players.

Striker: Michael Owen

Another that never fulfilled his early potential is Michael Owen, but he has done enough to make the team. As a youngster he terrified with his pace and he was coolness personified in difficult situations. His punditry is poor now, but his arrival on the scene bought a nation hope.

Fund Pick: River & Mercantile World Recovery

This fund has delivered excellent performance at great pace since we seeded it last year. But like Mr Owen, it has the ability to continue performing for some years to come. Deep value and terrifying potential.

Striker: Alan Shearer

Rivalling Adams for the captain’s armband is 'Super' Alan Shearer. The only player to do himself justice at the Euros in 2000. His header against the Germans in Charleroi in the worst match I have ever seen was a moment of pure joy. Led the line with pride, wore the shirt with pride and despite his boring appearances on Match of the Day will always be respected.

Fund Pick: Blackrock Asian Growth Leaders

Asia could be the Shearer of the rest of this decade and you need to go for growth companies and the winners of tomorrow. This fund will do exactly that and has the potential of being the consistent performer that Mr Shearer was.

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