Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The perfect age?

The probable starting 11 on Saturday will be as follows:

Robinson Age 26
Neville Age 31
Ferdinand Age 27
Terry Age 25
Cole Age 25
Beckham Age 31
Lampard Age 27
Gerrard Age 26
Cole Age 24
Rooney Age 20 (OK, I know he's not starting but bear with me)
Owen Age 26

Anyway before I start. It's a bloody good team on paper isn't it? I keep stopping myself getting too excited about any of this. After all, a couple of injuries; a setback in Rooney's recovery and we're a shadow of what we could be.

The reason I've added ages, is I was wondering whether this is the perfect age for the team as a whole, or whether 2 years at the Euros would be better for the whole lot, or possibly the World Cup in 4 years time.

Now given that we have a lot of bright talent to fill the boots of those in danger of getting over the hill in the next four years - think Walcott, Defoe, Lennon, Downing, Carrick, King - the only real issue we really have is Right Back, where I don't yet see a natural successor to Gary Neville. However, with his fitness levels it could be argued that at 35 he may still be well able to hold his own, certainly I think he'll play longer than Beckham. Our other issue is if Beckham and Neville both go, we lose the structure on the right hand side that has been there for 8 or 9 years and that will be difficult to recreate.

It all really comes down to whether you think experience is all important, or maturity or raw talent. Could Rooney at 24 raise the team to such a level, (more than possibly he could at this World Cup) that actually 4 years time will be the true vintage, as his increased experience and maturity is more important than those that are just past their true best years.

Personally, I think if we don't at least get to a final in the next 3 tournaments we've wasted a huge opportunity. I'm plumping for our best chance actually being Euro 2008, but I'm not turning my nose up at this World Cup. I apologise I get over-excited about these things.

Your opinions please.

P.S. Ideally your opinions should be ventured after 5 or 6 pints, when your true thoughts can be put forward. I'd like to give this discussion a real pub feel. I think the absurdity posted so far is a good start point.


Span Ows said...

You do realise that we have to meet Germany if we progress...now that will be a match!

...or penalties...Doh!

Paul said...

There was a lot of talk after 2002 that we should forget Euro 2004 and concentrate our efforts on this one - that was before Rooney came along and raised everybody's expectations in Portugal.

There's a great crop of under-23's coming along but how many of those will make it to the full squad?

Six Years Late said...

I watched one of those crappy Sky documentaires last night that you can't help but be glued to. It was called 'Inside Wayne Rooney'.

It crammed all the footage of his assists, his vision and his goal scoring he is an extraordinary player.

They also did a psych profile which found he has absolutely no fear walking on to the pitch against anyone and also pointed out that when he scores the celebrations are very different. It's almost as if his teammates just want to touch him as if he was some sort of lucky charm which I guess he is to an extent.

It finished with me praying that he's fit enough to play a part, I just hope he hasn't lost too much match fitness.

flyingfinn said...

I'm well existed about the WC. I booked my summer holiday so that I wouldn't miss any of the games. I'll be in England for the last two weeks, aswell. Just in time to watch and celebrate England winning the WC with my friends.;-)

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