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Our Quiet Summer Revamp


gee

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Although its not been too obvious nor hasty, there definately has been a revamp of our aging squad this summer. People were expecting a complete overhaul at some stage but it seems the plan to intergrate youth into the squad slowly whilst realeasing older players. For example: The average age of our squad (according to the programme) last year was around 28 years on average per player. But with only two players signed, and some who have progressed through the ranks, now the average of our squad per player this year is around 26 years. A substantial decrease considering the amount of players in the squad. I, for one think it's a very good plan as a complete overhaul would ruin the team chemistry and we'd not gel as a team, but I believe this strategy is much better, and in my opinion, I think the changes that have occured to our squad this summer have been very positive. ::clap2::

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...and had we signed ***mar or Agu*** that number would've been reduced further still.

However, average age of a squad is a very meaningless statistic, one that is only purported to have some value by media pundits. For example, what if (for argument's sake) Drogba, Essien, Anelka, Malouda, Terry and Lampard were 36 and the rest of our 23-man squad were 21?

It would leave us with an average age of just 25- however our 6 key players are all over 35!

What is more important is to understand the spread of ages in a squad. I think we have a good balance that is slightly skewed to experience, however, the real concern for the club is that we could have a spate of leavings/retirements.

In defense, Cole is the oldest at 30, and given his ability would likely play on for another 3 years, similarly Terry (29) could play on for another 4. Alex, Ivanovic and Bruma would be expected to be maturing into their peak ability at that time, so we are relatively safe there.

In midfield, Lampard has another 2-3 years ahead of him, Ramires, Mikel and Essien would be expected to be hitting their peak, Matic could return, but there will probably be investment in this area.

Attack is where the problem lies and the pursuit of Neymar shows that the club is aware of this. Drogba, Anelka and Malouda look likely to finish at around the same time, leaving a gaping hole because there is no-one in the squad who could immediately fill their shoes.

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...and had we signed ***mar or Agu*** that number would've been reduced further still.

However, average age of a squad is a very meaningless statistic, one that is only purported to have some value by media pundits. For example, what if (for argument's sake) Drogba, Essien, Anelka, Malouda, Terry and Lampard were 36 and the rest of our 23-man squad were 21?

It would leave us with an average age of just 25- however our 6 key players are all over 35!

What is more important is to understand the spread of ages in a squad. I think we have a good balance that is slightly skewed to experience, however, the real concern for the club is that we could have a spate of leavings/retirements.

In defense, Cole is the oldest at 30, and given his ability would likely play on for another 3 years, similarly Terry (29) could play on for another 4. Alex, Ivanovic and Bruma would be expected to be maturing into their peak ability at that time, so we are relatively safe there.

In midfield, Lampard has another 2-3 years ahead of him, Ramires, Mikel and Essien would be expected to be hitting their peak, Matic could return, but there will probably be investment in this area.

Attack is where the problem lies and the pursuit of Neymar shows that the club is aware of this. Drogba, Anelka and Malouda look likely to finish at around the same time, leaving a gaping hole because there is no-one in the squad who could immediately fill their shoes.

that is a good post.

Although I dont think that we have a good balance regarding age in our squad. If you look at the line-up Mikel is the only one that will really improve over the next years...and that is not enough as too many players are already past 30 imo.

Alex is already 28..so only one year younger then JT. Cant see that CB pairing going on for another 4 years to be honest. It has lack of pace and mobility written all over it. And that is already a problem now, let alone in 2-3 years.

Anyways as you say Attack is the real problem. I hope that Kakuta gets a lot of games over the next 2 seasons, he would be the perfect replacement for Malouda. We will have to spend quite a bit of money on new strikers next summer as I doubt that Sturridge has the potential to become a regular starter at Chelsea. And Kalou is just not good enough to replace Anelka or Drogba.

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It was a very positive summer in that sense. I compeltely agree. We kicked out players that were important but older and expensive. Gave us some room to even think about giving chances to younger players. Only move I'm not sure about is Benayoun. I know he is an experienced replacement blah blah blah but I don't see him giving anything more to the team than Belletti for example..

We did the right thing and these moves are a way to justify why we have used so much money on our academy. Are we going to use more young players? Hard to know. There are not many young players breaking into ManU's squad either from their ranks. It is hard to give a youngster some time on the pitch when you have second string of full internationals sitting in the bench.

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A shortage of numbers for centre half is the only thing that concerns me now. Carlo's comments in the Mail as to why JT is absent from the England squad puts things into prospective about how light we are there now.

The loss of Terry and Lampard is a particularly big blow. 'JT has a different problem than Frank,' said Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti. 'He has a dead leg and he had some problems this week because he has a little hamstring problem.

'So he trained individually. He played because I didn't have another centre back. If I'd had the possibility to give him a rest I would have done, because he did not train so well, and it was a risk to put him in (against Stoke).

'But he is a captain. We needed to have him for this game because I did not have a centre back. John played with gritted teeth. Frank has had his problem since the start of the season.'

On Saturday, a Chelsea spokesman said: 'John Terry has been ruled out of England's next two games due to injuries to his hamstrings and gluteal muscles. John has personally spoken to England's management - Chelsea and England medical staff have also been in touch.

'All agree that John's injuries, that he has carried since pre-season, would benefit from a period of rest and rehabilitation.'

Hopefully it will never come to it,though the thoughts of Paulo at centre back fills me with dread.

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