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Ageing team

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I was bored of my head, so started going through the player profiles on here for something to do. I obviously knew that we had some players who were getting on, but when put side-by-side, I couldn't believe how many we had, especially with these being players considered first team regulars.

Arteta 29, Osman 30, Hibbert 30, Howard 32, Cahill 32, Saha 33, Neville 34 Distin 34.

I couldn't believe that Jags will be 29 at the start of the season also.

It make you realise how important it is that the young lads coming through make the grade.

Brian Waring, Wokingham     Posted 30/05/2011 at 12:33:12

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Dick Anderson
1   Posted 30/05/2011 at 15:40:55

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Personally I think the squad has a nice mix of ages.

30s:
Saha, Cahill, Distin, Neville

Late 20s:
Jagielka, Osman, Hibbert, Arteta

Middle 20s:
Baines, Beckford, Heitinga

Early 20s:
Fellaini, Rodwell, Anichebe, Coleman

Kids:
Baxter, Vellios, Gueye, Wallace
Tom Bowers
2   Posted 30/05/2011 at 16:04:06

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Usually you need a good mix of youth and experience. The problem comes when older players get injured and they take much longer to recover or, when younger players get injured, the older (maybe slower players) have to struggle to compensate. Sadly all our squad get injured so it doesn't really matter.

However, speed is a big plus. Just look at how slow Manure were made to look against Barca. They were chasing shadows.

We need to give our younger players like Coleman, Vellios, Rodwell, Gueye and the speedy Beckford more game time together. Anichebe and Osman have no speed. Fellaini and Arteta are one-paced but have redeeming qualities. Hibbert has speed but is woeful in other areas.

Overall, however, our squad is not too old yet.

Tony Graham
3   Posted 30/05/2011 at 17:15:39

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Stop mentioning Anichebe... he isn't and never will be a footballer!
Matthew Lovekin
4   Posted 30/05/2011 at 17:22:29

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In other words, Moyes's 'golden generation' for Everton has run out of time. Time to rebuild.
Roberto Birquet
5   Posted 30/05/2011 at 17:35:08

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A 32-year-old keeper is not old.

Cahill is 31 not 32, best be accurate.

Surprised to see Osman turned 30 last month.

But we have young midfielders, too: Fellaini (hopefully still), Rodwell, Coleman.

And we also have youth, some of whom we don't really know: Garbutt, Barkley, Mustafi; others we do: Gueye, Vellios.

Then a few quality mid-20s: Baines, Heitinga.

Of the "golden generation", Neville has maybe one or two years left; Cahill three or four; Arteta 4 or 5. No sell-on fees for those. But I'm not too concerned about that, it's football.

As long as there's a mix...
Chris Bannantyne
6   Posted 30/05/2011 at 17:46:35

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The amount of older players we have is probably about average for a prem team, I suppose the problem/question is do we have enough younger players coming through to replace the older guys as they go? Again, not a problem if you are man u or chelsea. Don't have any young talent coming through? No problem! Let's buy some!

We at everton aren't in such a luxurious position, with not a spare penny to be found. I don't know how we could ever "build" a proper squad, because it seems we would have to sell players while they are still near their prime, in order to replace the same players because we know that if they get past it, there will be no money to get a decent replacement.

This is not another "moyes can't do any better when we don't have money" speech, but it still isn't the nicest position to be in.
Gavin Ramejkis
7   Posted 30/05/2011 at 18:19:11

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I'm not worried about Howard's age but he could do with being challenged for the role after some bloopers this season. The two that do worry me personally are Arteta and Cahill who seem to have taken an eternity to get over their last injuries and age has slowed them down too. I think Roberto is optimistic to think Arteta has five years left in him at this level.
Tony J Williams
8   Posted 30/05/2011 at 18:33:51

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The problem with Everton players are that they are apparently aging rapidly, that is why Yakubu looks like he does even though he is supposed to be only 27/28.
Trevor Lynes
9   Posted 30/05/2011 at 20:13:48

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The article is food for thought; the biggest problem of age is not just injuries taking longer to heal but the fact that the younger players are the ones who are wanted by the 'money' clubs... it's not a coincidence that transfer interest has been shown in the likes of Rodwell and Baines. If either of these players are sold, it will increase the age of the squad unless we sign young players or bring one or two of our own kids through.

DM is supposedly dedicated to lowering the squad age and signing older players is just a short-term fix. We should be keeping our best players and also the youngsters with Premier League experience. e should be selling the Yak, Vaughan (already gone), Yobo, Anichebe (if anyone wants him), Bily and any younger players who will not make the grade.

I reckon we only have another season or two out of the likes of Saha, Arteta, Cahill, Hibbert, Neville, Distin and very probably Osman. All these first team players have to be replaced sooner rather than later.

Joseph Fong
10   Posted 30/05/2011 at 20:21:01

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Tony Graham #3, as long as Anichebe is an Everton player, he is worth mentioning. It is fans like you that demotivate and destroy the players. Every player that puts on the royal blue jersey is worth every support from us even if he plays below par.

It is NOT you who decides if he plays well or not but the manager. We as fans could at least get behind the players and show them the support needed. We are Evertonians and we get behind our players and team through thick and thin.

Brian Waring
11   Posted 30/05/2011 at 20:18:56

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The problem for us though, is how many of them are getting on in years? We're as skint as fuck, so it's not as if we can go out and buy to replace them. Even the freebies we have been linked with, eg Klose 33, Boothroyd 29, aren't spring chickens in footballing terms.

The Mancs, Spurs, the Shite etc can spend, even the mid-table teams can splash the cash.

I actually think it's quite worrying, and hopefully now we'll start seeing more of the young lads coming through, to see if they can make the grade.
Eric Myles
12   Posted 31/05/2011 at 04:11:16

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So that's 8 players that are going to need replacing in the next few years, and they're not just squad players, they're the heart of our team.

Maybe time to let a couple of the bigger earners go while we can still get some money for them and save on wages.

Problem is, we'll need quality to replace them and it won't come cheap.

KENWRIGHT OUT!!!
Sam Hoare
13   Posted 31/05/2011 at 08:11:11

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Most footballers are believed to be in their prime between the ages of 28-30 perhaps even 29-32 for defenders and goalkeepers, no? In which case 4 or 5 of the players you mentioned are in their prime.

Also of all those players the only ones who have ever had any pace to rely on are Distin (who's in unbelievably good shape) and perhaps Saha and Arteta.

I would imagine that Beckford gets more starts than Saha this season, that Cahill is best used from the bench anyway, that Neville may be getting replaced by Coleman at RB in the next year or two and that Ossie and Arteta have another 3 or 4 seasons in them both.

The only one who worries me is Distin. He can't continue for ever and is part of our first choice CB pairing without an obvious replacement except for Heitinga, whose form was patchy at best last season.

Maybe Duffy, Mustafi or Dier can step up. Or maybe we'll sign this lad Sol Bamba, he's 6'3 and a man mountain.
Richard Parker
14   Posted 31/05/2011 at 09:01:19

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The problem is the value of these players is dropping rapidly. Cahill probably could have been moved on for a fair chunk a year or 2 ago, he's now worth more on the bench than in the bank.

If we're going to cash in on Arteta or Jags, it's now. I don't want either to leave, but the reality is that if Moyes tries to keep this squad together any longer, it will be virtually worthless. With no money to buy replacements, there is no other option than to sell on our most valuable assets to replace with up-and-coming youngsters who will hopefully make the grade and be sold on in a similar way, to fund the next generation.

I'd rather Moyes went for it, sold a couple of our best players to fund several new signings, no matter the outcome, than he let this squad age and gradually dwindle into relegation fodder.
Sam Hoare
15   Posted 31/05/2011 at 09:27:33

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Fair point Richard, though you wouldn't want to lose the lot, maybe just one or two. Who would you sell?

If we could get good wedge for Arteta (upwards of £15m) i could live with that.

Jags i think we have less replacement for but again more than £15m i think would represent good business.

I'd let timmy go for upwards of £7m and i reckon the £8m we supposedly turned down for King Louis was probably a missed opportunity if true.
Eric Myles
16   Posted 31/05/2011 at 09:51:39

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^Arteta for one as he's our biggest earner.

Keep Jags and sell Heitinga as it seems Moyes will never play him as CB and he's another earner and may still have some cred from the WC.

Then maybe Rodewell / Fellaini.
Richard Parker
17   Posted 31/05/2011 at 11:15:11

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I think realistically we've only got 5 or 6 players who would fetch much of a price: Fellaini, Baines, Rodwell, Arteta, Jags and Heitinga... Less so Bily and Yak. I'd be surprised if anyone would part with more than 4 or 5 mil for Cahill, at his age with his recent injury problems.

I guess that if I had to choose I'd keep Fellaini and Rodwell above all, due to their age they could be Everton's central pairing for the next 10 years. Arteta (when on form), Baines and Jags are too important to sell IMHO.

So that leaves Heitinga, Bily and Yak - add the sales of Yobo and Vaughan into the mix and I think, realistically, we'd be looking at 20M or so. That should get us 3 or 4 decent young players and hopefully a couple of frees and we'd be a player or 2 better off. Obviously if we receive daft offers for anyone, then that would change things. If anyone offered £20M for any of our lads, I'd drive them there myself.

On a side note, I was wondering whether we'd look at taking Elmander on a free. Thought he could work quite well in behind Beckford.... Maybe not quite the right character for Moyesey.
Gavin Ramejkis
18   Posted 31/05/2011 at 13:00:49

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Richard #17 I'm sure Dave Wilson has already posted that Elmander has gone to Galatasaray already

Sam #15 very optimistic prices for Arteta and Cahill, I think they would be closer to £6m or £7m for Arteta and maybe £3m or £4m for Cahill the trouble being everyone knows we are potless and unless it's a really big side wanting one of our younger players they will take the piss price wise.

Anyone heard if Yakubu is coming back or not after his wage demands?
Sam Hoare
19   Posted 31/05/2011 at 13:13:59

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Elmander already gone to galatsaray...or one of the turkish clubs anyway.

Think Boothroyd is the freebie whose wages we can afford. Not ecstatic about it but he's 6'3 and pacy and scored a bucket load last season even if he is 29.
Duncan McDine
20   Posted 31/05/2011 at 13:33:40

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I have no optimism whatsoever for our 2011/12 campaign. Lets hope that is a good sign though, cos I thought we'd win the league this time last year, and as we all know, we were shit!

COYB!
Richard Dodd
21   Posted 31/05/2011 at 16:44:36

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May be appropriate to sell some of those you list whilst they still have some value.Holding on to the Yak for an extra year has seen his value depreciate by about £4M but if DM did sell anybody in the first team squad it would no doubt get blamed on BB insisting he did so!
Steve Brown
22   Posted 31/05/2011 at 19:55:37

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Brightened my day... Osman and Hibbert are closer to retirement than I thought!
Gavin Ramejkis
23   Posted 31/05/2011 at 23:58:34

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Doddy, Billy Bullshitter has always bought and sold players it's his job, DM comes up with lists of players he is interested in, BK laughs then laughs again, then after he pulls himself up off the floor he shows DM his empty wallet and points him in the direction of Lidl.

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