Petr Cech is right to champion Chelsea squad’s experience
A chart showing the average age of the last dozen title winners
Petr Cech hasn’t dominated the press over the last few days as much as Chelsea team-mate Ashley Cole, who can currently be found on the front and back pages of most newspapers and on the BBC and Sky Sports websites.
However, the Czech goalkeeper has been fairly vocal and has made numerous interesting comments, some about the shortage of quality English shot-stoppers, some about the managerial revolving door at Stamford Bridge and others about the age of the Blues’ squad.
The 29-year-old has laughed off claims that they are too old and our research into the matter – and the graph above – lends credence to his view, as while the average age of Premier League winners used to be around 26, it has noticeably risen of late.
We’ve taken the age (at the start of the season in question) of the 11 players that started the most games for the last 12 champions to establish an average and it is clear that the trend is changing and experience is proving an increasingly huge advantage.
Why the turnaround? A logical explanation is due to the rise in intensity and pressure since attention and exposure given to the division scaled new heights and the ascendancy of Manchester City and Tottenham making the presence of seasoned professionals to fight them off more valuable.
To get an idea of how the five favourites to finish first in 2011-12 are shaping up, The Spoiler took the average age of those sides as they are now (so with Carlos Tevez still at Manchester City and Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri at Arsenal).
The results show Chelsea to be the oldest and Arsenal unsurprisingly the youngest – with a massive gap between the two – while Manchester United’s attempts to rebuild this summer have led to them coming closest to the average title-winning mark over the last dozen years, which is 26.7.