Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Age is not on Redknapp’s side

If I was Harry Redknapp, I would think long and hard about taking this England job he is being linked with so heavily.

The positives of staying at Tottenham are obvious.

No longer considered a selling club.

Looking good for a Champions League place for next season.

And perhaps most importantly - a squad that has age on it’s side.

Something you definitely could not say about the current English team.

Harry should look closely at the age profile of England’s best as their golden generation start to dissipate from centre stage.

Only last week Steven Gerard said he would consider his international future after the European Championships this summer.

He was certainly one of the world class players from the golden generation.

He’ll be 34 come the next world cup.

John Terry - England captain and leader, has marshalled the defence for almost a decade now.

He’ll turn 33 for the tournament in Brazil.

His partner in defence may not even make it that far.

With injuries adding up, Rio Ferdinand’s career has been nothing short of stop start over the past few seasons and if he’s still playing will be 35.

It wasn’t so long ago that England could choose between Terry, Ferdinand, Sol Campbell and Jamie Carragher.

They were the main force at the back of the big four clubs as well.

Not any more.

Then there’s Ashley Cole.

He’ll be 33.

Frank Lampard 36.

Paul Scholes 39.

All of these players have gone through World Class stages throughout their career.

But if Harry is thinking beyond the summer in Poland and Ukraine, he won’t be able to think about any of these players playing a central role for him.

He will still be able to pick from numerous great players - just not world class players.

World class players that the future of England look to potentially have.

Those who qualified for the U21 tournament last summer are either at big clubs or have demanded huge transfers to big clubs.

Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Micah Richards, Jordan Henderson, Tom Cleverly, Jack Wilshere and Andy Carroll to name but a few.

Plus at just 24 - Joe Hart can consider himself in the same bracket considering the reality of goalkeepers not hitting their peaks until much later.

They come with huge promise and potential but of course, are players for the future, not the present.

It’s the present that should worry Harry the most.

With the exception of Wayne Rooney, not a single player in his prime in the England set-up can live in the world class bracket.

Not one.

Sure there’s good players.

Great players even.

But Wayne is the only one who can live with the 7 or 8 from the golden generation who are on their way out.

Perhaps in 5 years time some of last summers young stars will have laid claim to being in the same league as Gerard or Lampard.

But not for 5 years will they be performing to such a level.

Performing in their prime.

Harry must be looking at this and thinking to himself - I wish I’d had this opportunity 5 years ago.

Whether he would have made a bigger difference than Fabio Capello is a different debate - but he certainly won’t be starting from as good a platform.

If the golden generation could manage no further than a quarter final - then Harry must be questioning how far he can take this silver crop.

At 65, he doesn’t have many moves left in him.

He no longer has age on his side.

Nor it appears, do this England team...


  1. Golden Generation:

    John Terry (33), Rio Ferdinand (35), Jaime Carragher (36), Sol Campbell (39), Ashley Cole (33), Steven Gerrard (34), Joe Cole (32), Paul Scholes (39), David Beckham (39), Frank Lampard (35), Owen Hargreaves (33), Michael Owen (34).

    Current Generation:

    Wayne Rooney (28), Ashley Young (28), Aaron Lennon (27), James Milner (28), Stewert Downing (29), Darren Bent (30), Gary Cahill (28).

    Next Generation:

    Joe Hart (26), Kyle Walker (24), Chris Smalling (24), Phil Jones (22), Martin Kelly (24), Micah Richards (25), Jack Wilshere (22), Jordan Henderson (24), Tom Cleverly (25), Theo Walcott (25), Danny Welbeck (23), Danny Sturridge (24), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (20), Andy Carroll (25).

  2. Andy Carroll (23),Jordan Henderson (22),Martin Kelly (22),

    1. That's what age they'll be come Brazil 2014.