Age isn’t necessarily a bad thing for Manchester City
Despite being criticised by Gary Neville for being too old to win anything, Man City are still 10/3 with Coral to win the title this season. Up until the start of this term, they were the only club in the Premier League that had what has been deemed a necessary factor to sustain a challenge.
It is what all champions have; a spine, or to throw a topical quote in: “the skewer through the shish kebab”. This term was coined by Brian Clough, whose 10-year anniversary since his death has just passed.
Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, and Edin Dzeko were crucial to City’s success last term. However, they have been matched, and even trumped so far this campaign by Chelsea, who have added Diego Costa, recalled Thiabaut Courtois to challenge Petr Cech in goal and added to a core that included captain John Terry, plus Serbian hard-man Nemanja Matic.
Chelsea’s equivalent of aesthetic City architects for the final third include Eden Hazard, Oscar, and new signing Cesc Fabregas, who has undoubtedly raised the Blues’ status.
In David Silva and Samir Nasri, however, the Sky Blues have the creative talent to rival Fabregas and Hazard, though it was all about pragmatism in their recent 1-1 draw at the Eithad.
To say City’s squad is too old to win anything, is absurd. With an average age of 28.9, it might be the oldest in the league, though it is one littered with quality that is at its peak. Many have said it is now or never for Manuel Pellegrini’s side to win the Champions League, though AC Milan won the competition in 2007, with a starting XI that had an average age of 30.6 as they went on to record a 2-1 win over Liverpool.
Although the club are operating on a reduced budget for the foreseeable future, due to breaching Financial Fair Play regulations, with such talent as Sergio Aguero, Toure and Silva in their team and a centre back of Kompany’s ilk, they have every chance of success.