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Fergie: Chelsea Squad Is Too Old


abramovich

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The red nosed c.nt is at it earlier than usual.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/foo...icle4380513.ece

Sir Alex Ferguson has lit the blue touchpaper four weeks before the new season by claiming that Chelsea's squad may have already peaked and that Luiz Felipe Scolari will struggle to exorcise the ghost of José Mourinho.

Although Ferguson believes that Chelsea represent the biggest threat to his team's chances of retaining their Barclays Premier League crown, the Manchester United manager suggested that Scolari, newly installed at Stamford Bridge, will be hard pressed to match, let alone surpass, Mourinho's achievements as he wrestles with an ageing squad. Scolari is less than a month into the job, but already the mind games have begun.

Speaking during United's pre-season tour to South Africa, Ferguson said: “I'm not concerned about Chelsea. Mourinho won the title two years in a row and beat us in the FA Cup Final [in 2007, as well as winning two League Cups], so there's no one who can improve on his record really.

“It would have to go beyond Mourinho's performance to really worry us. It will be a challenge with the players they've got and the players they've added - they've got a lot of experience and that was the one thing I was a bit concerned about - but I don't know how far that team has got to go.â€

Ferguson believes the wealth of experience in Chelsea's squad will stand them in good stead in the short term, but he is convinced that, in contrast to his own players, they have already fulfilled their potential.

Although the average age of the Chelsea team sent out by Avram Grant, Scolari's predecessor, in the Champions League final in Moscow in May was only marginally higher than that of the United side fielded by Ferguson - 28.45 compared to 27.45 - United have a noticeably more youthful set-up. The average age of United's recognised first-team squad is 25.43 compared with Chelsea's 27.32. In addition, Chelsea possess nine players aged 30 or over, including Deco, who joined from Barcelona last month, while United have only five players in that category.

“Scolari is fortunate,†Ferguson said. “He is joining a big club and a team of internationals, so in that respect it's not an issue at all, but it's hard to see where there's going to be a big improvement with a team that's really very experienced. Maybe [they've] plateaued in a way. How can they accelerate beyond what they've done up to now when you see the ages they've got?â€

Other than John Obi Mikel, 21, and Salomon Kalou, 22, Chelsea have no established first-team players under 25, while United boast Anderson, Nani, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tévez and Darren Fletcher, a factor that Ferguson believes could tell in the coming seasons.

“They've got Kalou and Obi Mikel who are young and Petr Cech [at 26] is a fantastic goalkeeper,†Ferguson said. “I'm not saying necessarily they're [an] old [team] because with the modern-day training methods, you should be playing in your thirties, but I don't see outstanding progress in a team that's in their thirties.â€

Ferguson's comments drew an immediate response from Chelsea. Michael Essien, the midfield player who signed a new five-year contract yesterday, said: “For me, only Chelsea will be up there in May. Chelsea will win the title this year. I think we've got a lot of the best players in the world and the boss is going to help us.â€

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Well it is old, look at us in the 04/05 season, fresh, young, hungry players.

Like I've said manier times, I'd rather risk younger/unknown players than these superstars. Who had heard of Arjen Robben, Petr Cech, Tiago etc before they signed for us? I'd rather us not purchase 30 year olds. I know its narrow minded, as it's not like once you hit 30 you're useless, I'd just like a younger squad.

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I know its narrow minded, as it's not like once you hit 30 you're useless

Believe me, you are, all the coordination goes, some things go too fast and other things just don't happen :wub:

But like you I prefer them young B)

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Who had heard of Arjen Robben, Petr Cech, Tiago etc before they signed for us?

I had not heard of Tiago, but Robben was one of most hyped about young players in Europe at the moment. Cech was one of the best young keepers in the World, even before he joined Rennes. I mean, you're bound to notice it when someone doesn't let in a single goal in the Champions League in over four matches and does that while playing for a club like Sparta Praha. They weren't the biggest names out there, but they weren't exactly unknown either. They were young when we signed them, though, I'll give you that.

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"Ageing Squad" eh Fergie?

Man United First Team of - Van de Saar (37), Neville (33), Vidic (26), Ferdinand (29), Evra (27), Carrick (26), Scholes (33), Giggs (34), Ronaldo (23), Rooney (22), Tevez (24)

Average Age - 28.55

Chelsea First Team of - Cech (26), Boswinga (25), Carvalho (30), Terry (27), A Cole (27), Ballack (31), Lampard (30), Essien (25), Kalou (22), Joe Cole (26), Drogba (30)

Average Age - 27.18

Don't belive a word of his mind games.

(P.S. couldn't have been bothered working it out for the entire squads).

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Its not just the age but how much footie you have under the belt. Giggs and Scholes are clearly at the end of their careers, we just moved Maka on.

Ballack and Lampard are our main risks and we have a ton of midfield cover. Ballack had a good half season off last year, and Lampard has also started to show wear and tear.

Where we do need the right age is with whoever is up there with Drogs this season.

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He is not talking complete nonsence, he has some fair points I think.

What really wound me up about his interview this week is suggesting that Man Utd were a better option to Ronaldo than Real, talking as a father figure etc... what a load of old sh*te that was. How can moving to Real be a bad move ? and why exactly are Manure better ???

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Huge compliment that he's talking about us already, but on this he's wrong, we have some good experienced players but our average age will rarely be over 28 if ever. You need a mixture of youth and experience to win things and that's what we've got. He's running scared already.

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It's very early for him to start all this crap, but then Jose would of had no problem putting in a dig just as early.

To say that they have more talented youngsters is a fair point; Rooney, Ronaldo, Tevez, Nani, and Anderson compared to Mikel, and Kalou for example?...but i think he's obviously making a bigger deal out of this than necessary. Trying to throw doubts into our minds.

After all, this is a squad that after some lengthy injuries, and a change in management, only finished 4 points behind? AND outplayed them for most of the European Final? - And now we've strengthened. (Without our final signing being made).

Typical Fergie tactics really, and to be honest, Scolari wont be fooled. He's seen it all before.

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It's very early for him to start all this crap, but then Jose would of had no problem putting in a dig just as early.

To say that they have more talented youngsters is a fair point; Rooney, Ronaldo, Tevez, Nani, and Anderson compared to Mikel, and Kalou for example?...but i think he's obviously making a bigger deal out of this than necessary. Trying to throw doubts into our minds.

After all, this is a squad that after some lengthy injuries, and a change in management, only finished 4 points behind? AND outplayed them for most of the European Final? - And now we've strengthened. (Without our final signing being made).

Typical Fergie tactics really, and to be honest, Scolari wont be fooled. He's seen it all before.

this is all great news. the season hasnt even started and already big red nose is paying us massive attention. good work phil.

by my reckoning the average age of the two squads has united younger by around 6 months, making red nose look a idiot.

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I agree for Fergie to be talking about us already is a clear sign of who he is worried about next season. He could have said the Gunners a too young to pose a threat of Liverpool are to sh*t.

He knows they were out played for much of the game in the CL final and were lucky to win. He also knows we played them of the park at the Bridge in the Prem and just run out of games to take the title.

The momentem was certainly with us in the run in(dont remember our tired old legs feeling the strain then).

A bit of luck with injuries and at certain times in games(the ball coming of Woodgates head, Lampard, Drogba and Terry hitting the woodwork) and it could have been a treble for us last season.

We have a better manager this season, and are improving the squad so it's understandable he is worried, if i was Scolari i'd be reminding the players about Fergies coments all season.

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Average ages

Manchester United

Edwin van der Sar 37

Gary Neville 33

Rio Ferdinand 29

Nemanja Vidic 26

Patrice Evra 27

Michael Carrick 26

Owen Hargreaves 27

Paul Scholes 33

Cristiano Ronaldo 23

Wayne Rooney 22

Carlos Tevez 24

Average age 28

Chelsea

Petr Cech 26

Jose Bosingwa 25

John Terry 27

Ricardo Carvalho 30

Ashley Cole 27

Michael Essien 25

Frank Lampard 30

Michael Ballack 31

Deco 30

Didier Drogba 30

Joe Cole 26

Average age 28

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we havent even kicked a ball yet and fergie is crapping himself about us

lets just hope the chelsea pensioners make him eat his words come the end of may next year

He does that alot don't you think? He has soiled :D himself many times already with this whole Ronaldo saga. He is like a small dog who attacks even before it is threatened.

He doesn't see Rafa pulling a miracle or Arsene winning it with the kids.. If Fergie looses Ronaldo this year who clearly is irreplaceable in their team I see no other way than us being in the top of the table the entire season.

:D

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He does that alot don't you think? He has soiled :D himself many times already with this whole Ronaldo saga. He is like a small dog who attacks even before it is threatened.

He doesn't see Rafa pulling a miracle or Arsene winning it with the kids.. If Fergie looses Ronaldo this year who clearly is irreplaceable in their team I see no other way than us being in the top of the table the entire season.

:D

i await scolari's reply with anticipation, i reckon it will be brilliant

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SSn did this graphic thing comparing today's sides (us vs the pharmactists & mancs vs pirates) they're average age was 26, ours 28.5 but I didn't see it as true. The manc side had 3 youth players in it, if his first team played in it, ity would've been the same as us, probably more. But the fact is, he's saying that we have an old squad when the average age of his team is only minorly less than ours when he's got 3 20 year old's playing? Take them out, it shoots up. Hypocrite.

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