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.