Age Of Squads Study Puts Newcastle In Strong Position
It is well publicised that under Mike Ashley, Newcastle United have adopted a policy of recruiting players with a resale value, or getting away from a word including ‘sale’ – a more positive slant would maybe be ‘players who would be still young enough to get another contract when their current one ran out’ – whether for Newcastle or moving on elsewhere.
The study by the excellent sporting intelligence website analyses the players in action in the first few matches of the Premier League season and the findings are most illuminating.
As you can see from their table, Newcastle look in a very healthy position and while the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal just shade it in terms of average age, they both have a good number of much younger players alongside a decent number in and around 30. (in fact apart from Steve Harper who is 37, we only have Shola and Colo who are both 30, they have made a slight mistake in their table as before the Everton match, NUFC had only had Colo on the pitch who was 30 or over).
In contrast most of Newcastle’s first choice eleven are in their very peak years of 25-27 – Tiote (26), Steven Taylor (26), Cabaye (26), Simpson (25), Cisse (27), Ben Arfa (25), Ba (27), with Krul (24) and Santon (21) (plus Anita is only 23) at one end of the spectrum, with Jonas (29) and Colo (30) at the other end, though not exactly close to being pensioned off.
This is basically a team that could stay together for the next 3 or 4 years and even beyond that, I would say Newcastle are almost in a unique position if they can build on this talented group of players.
Looking at the table I thought I’d look in more detail at our opponents on Monday night gone and to be honest, they are facing a serious rebuilding job in the near future.
The bulk of their first eleven is the wrong side of 30; Howard (33), Hibbert (31), Jagielka (30), Distin (34), Neville (35), Osman (31) and Pienaar (30).
Fulham are also seriously overloaded with older players while the biggest joke of all is QPR, I knew they were trying to buy ready made Premier League players but have a look at this lot; Green (32), Derry (34), Hill (33), Park (31), Johnson (31), Cisse (31), Wright-Phillips (31), Nelsen (34), Dyer (33), Bisingwa (30), Cerny (38) and Zamora (31).
A very good first eleven with their best years ahead of them, how far can this Newcastle team go?
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