Holmes – Banacek – Mason – Petrocelli
Quincy – Columbo
Marple – Morse – Fletcher
GK: Mark Sloan
A tall, athletic and mobile performer, although prone to the occasional embarrassing gaff in his early career (particularly his accent in Mary Poppins). His dancing on the line to put off penalty takers has been criticised, but is undoubtedly effective.
RB: Sherlock Holmes
A cerebral, impulsive player, prone to go missing in big games, and who failed a number of drugs tests during his career, but a massively influential figure who cannot be left off the list.
CB: Banacek (c)
Showed real leadership qualities in his previous team, ‘A’, although looked a little out of his depth in the more challenging formation at Tiffany’s Breakfast (where, to be fair, he was partnered by a cat). A muscular presence.
CB: Perry Mason
The pivot of the defence, although later in his career reliant on team-mates to do some of the work, he was also influential in the opposition box, where he could really make a difference.
A superb defender, who gave up a top-flight career to play for San Remo United, where he was under-rated but impressive, bamboozling opponents with ease and skill.
A solid battler, also interested in the science of the beautiful game. Often in open confrontation with the authorities.
Tenacious, to the point of being annoying, he later was accused of ‘playing himself’ at Himmel Berlin, but is fondly remembered for his dominance of the game in the 1970s.
To be clear, we are talking about the original Brazilian Marple here (or ‘Fat Marple’, as she is sometimes unkindly known), real name Margaret Rutherford, who put in some classic performances throughout the years. Marpleinho (Joan Hicks) later astonished with her skill, leading some to consider her the better player, but for students of the game, the original is best. The later Marple (also known as JM7) is also a popular player, but her plots are often wide of the mark and her game arguably involves much unnecessary embellishment (lesbian affairs, etc).
One of the old-school, perhaps too fond of a drink for the modern game, he would puzzle out defences and always endeavoured to find the goal. Replaced at Oxford by Lewis, on the bench today, who, while solid, did not quite have the character of his predecessor.
LW: Jessica Fletcher
Fletcher’s career has been varied, most lately demonstrating with Murder She Wrote that she was not afraid to take risks, but even at an early stage for Dagenham & Broomsticks showing a good turn of pace, and with Manchurian United, disconcerting movement.
CF: Inspector Barnaby
The striker, who started his career with Bergerac (an amateur team currently in the fourth tier of the French league) but later moved to Midsomer Wanderers where he found great success. An unfortunate race row notwithstanding, he has a great conversion rate.
The former Belgian international takes a very technical approach, preferring analysis to coaching, which he leaves to his assistant, Hastings.
Subs: Jonathan Hart , Jennifer Hart (bit of a passenger), Watson, Nestor Burma (the Frenchman has really struggled to make an impact outside his domestic league), Lewis.