Author Topic: Age profile of the team  (Read 8209 times)

Online Dave McCoy

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #40 on: March 5, 2021, 09:45:33 pm »
You have said this before but are you saying we are in the position to do that?

Sell someone for £100m or get by without?  I'm pretty sure the club will do whatever is possible within the money they have just like every other club regardless of what some broken record posters keep regurgitating.


Offline Circa1892

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #41 on: March 5, 2021, 09:51:49 pm »
A lot of comparisons to 1991. We'd just won the title. Started 90/91 well, were clear at the top at Christmas (number 19 looked a formality) and then fell off a cliff. Kenny was struggling and the team had got old and stale.

Kenny left and Souness came in and made a big mess of the rebuild. It's a big summer for us.

So the mistake we made was replacing a legendary manager with our greatest ever midfielder, who's management experience was romping his way to a league title at Rangers. Interesting.

Offline killer-heels

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #42 on: March 5, 2021, 10:00:52 pm »
So the mistake we made was replacing a legendary manager with our greatest ever midfielder, who's management experience was romping his way to a league title at Rangers. Interesting.

Ha, thatís fucking spooky.

Offline Circa1892

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #43 on: March 5, 2021, 10:03:13 pm »
Going back to the opening post - a few observations.

Firstly - Hendo's injury profile is interesting. Played a good 70 games less than Bobby and 50 less than Milner - which means he misses a dozen games a season.

I think VVD - assuming his knee recovers will be allright for a while. He had a slow start to his career. Considering Ramos has only just started to properly decline at 34, Cannavaro played to a high level until his mid-30s, he's in good company for elite defenders. Again, assuming Gomez recovers he has a young, quality, mobile defender alongside him with two mobile full backs. Not a problem.

The midfield rings alarm bells to me. James Milner is finished for me at this level. The only midfielders older than him who I can think of of playing at a good standard still in the PL are Scholes and Gary Mac? Both of their games were much more about use of the ball than movement. Ox isn't a good footballer anymore. Fabinho is obviously the kingpin of our midfield for the next 4-5 years (which is great), Jones alongside him and a-another. If Naby gets a magic fix we're fine. The age profile of everyone is another reason Thiago was a weird signing.

Miles on the clock is clearly a problem for Bobby. Not sure I buy that with Mo or Sadio really. Mo is still performing at a top level and scoring goals, maybe his game will change and be less explosive (Ronaldo barely moves these days but is still elite), and whether it's covid, confidence or shit form - Sadio showed no sign of decline before going from 100 to shite.

Ultimately, in terms of players who are "future-proof" for the next few years (recovery from injuries allowing) we have:

Alisson
TAA Gomez Van Dijk Robbo
Fabinho
Jones Hendo
Salah Jota Mane

The big issue I think we have is the lack of any saleable assets. Nobody is paying the sort of money for Wilson, Grujic etc we've managed to get for Brewster and co with the impact of covid on the game. Feels like there's one man we'd get the sort of money we could finance a mini-rebuild for.

Offline Circa1892

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #44 on: March 5, 2021, 10:04:06 pm »
Ha, thatís fucking spooky.

In a positive in that scenario, we win another 2 CLs (and reach 4 finals) in the following 27 years? Which is a good result for any club not called Real Madrid.

Offline killer-heels

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #45 on: March 5, 2021, 10:13:17 pm »
In a positive in that scenario, we win another 2 CLs (and reach 4 finals) in the following 27 years? Which is a good result for any club not called Real Madrid.

Yeah and at least we are the lucky bastards that got to see the title, like those in 90.

That said, this isnít over yet, we have the best setup possible to refresh the team and be successful again and to be honest a big part of me is more excited to see that then just continuous domination, which was never happening anyway.

Offline John C

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #46 on: March 5, 2021, 10:18:08 pm »
So the mistake we made was replacing a legendary manager with our greatest ever midfielder, who's management experience was romping his way to a league title at Rangers. Interesting.
:)
Boss post mate.
Fucking great.

Offline John C

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #47 on: March 5, 2021, 10:22:26 pm »
Harvey Elliot says hello and can't wait to be top of the league with yus on chrimbo day 2021.

Offline kasperoff

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #48 on: March 5, 2021, 10:31:37 pm »
There are plenty of them past 31 who are playing at a high level still.

Despite our front 3 genuinely looking like they've gone off a cliff and past-it, I think they'll bounce back. They clearly need a good rest and a mental reset. Out of the 3, I think Firmino is the closest to looking like he's properly peaked. Salah still looks very capable to be fair. Mane seems somewhere in between. Hoping it's just some Long-Covid effects he can shake off over the summer.

Very hopeful for Virgil to come back strong.

Milly looks well worth keeping hold of for a bit longer for cup games and the odd fill in, provided he doesn't expect massive wages to fill that role.

Hendo will be fine. Actually getting better with age.

Gini is off. I'd keep him if he wanted to stay. Never injured and great natural fitness.

Matip is great, but we need to replace him or Gomez due to their injury prone-ness. It's most likely going to me Matip.
I think the same, can't stand him, but if you could have a £1million pound cheque or steve bruces head hollowed out and filled with pound coins which would you have?

Offline kasperoff

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #49 on: March 5, 2021, 10:33:00 pm »
Harvey Elliot says hello and can't wait to be top of the league with yus on chrimbo day 2021.

Looks a great talent. Looks like his loan move has worked out really well. Hopeful for the future of this lad.
I think the same, can't stand him, but if you could have a £1million pound cheque or steve bruces head hollowed out and filled with pound coins which would you have?

Online Careca9

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #50 on: March 5, 2021, 10:42:55 pm »
Very unlikely that would make its way to team investment.
I thought the same I must say but thinking more re this the new investors are
Not going to be happy with a sudden drop in value of their investment by the club likely missing champions league this year and possibly following year without appropriately beefing up the squad. I can now fully understand why our club would push for proposed
Champions league that always will involve legacy establishment clubs as itís a great selling point to investors, ie we will always be in this comp etc etc
But until that new format kicks itís imperative the club qualified by league placing so investment in my opininin will be needed. There is a big drawback to this investment though and that is that new 10 per cent investment will always look for top 4 placing no exceptions they wonít have understanding of what kloppo has done for the club or had to manage through this year, they will just see no top 4 letís change things up. I appreciate that sounds melodramatic and it probably will be but I have worked for us multinationals where hedge funds have only 2.5 per cent ownership of a company but still got a ceo sacked because if things donít go as they want they keep pushing until they get what they want. Investment always comes with a price and it worries me this potential investor group expectations re returns

Offline Chris~

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #51 on: March 5, 2021, 11:14:02 pm »
Going back to the opening post - a few observations.

Firstly - Hendo's injury profile is interesting. Played a good 70 games less than Bobby and 50 less than Milner - which means he misses a dozen games a season.


Think it's a bigger issue/worry is that Fabinho hasn't managed much better since he's been here. He doesn't have the same level of career minutes or age as Henderson either and hasn't really shown himself to be robust enough to last a full season under Klopp. Obviously theres bigger injury worries (Keita,Ox, Matip,.etc.) but think it's not that reassuring to know that the player you'd be expecting to trust going forward to play a lot hasn't been able to really do that yet.
« Last Edit: March 5, 2021, 11:15:40 pm by Chris~ »

Online Dave McCoy

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #52 on: March 5, 2021, 11:20:46 pm »
Harvey Elliot says hello and can't wait to be top of the league with yus on chrimbo day 2021.

He'll also be 18 next year?  I think he definitely looks the real deal but taking Origi or Shaqiri's minutes is probably the best we can ask for at this point.  With that said with him, Trent and Jones we have some really good players that will be here another 10 years or more.

Offline Circa1892

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #53 on: March 5, 2021, 11:23:05 pm »
Think it's a bigger issue/worry is that Fabinho hasn't managed much better since he's been here. He doesn't have the same level of career minutes or age as Henderson either and hasn't really shown himself to be robust enough to last a full season under Klopp. Obviously theres bigger injury worries (Keita,Ox, Matip,.etc.) but think it's not that reassuring to know that the player you'd be expecting to trust going forward to play a lot hasn't been able to really do that yet.

This year's been muscle injuries - caused by a mixture of unfamiliar movements in a different position and lack of rest/pre-season.

Last year he missed 13 games with an ankle injury (which he's had no repeat of) - so I think I'd give him the benefit of the doubt.

Injury wise - the problem for allsorts of players from this year (not just ours) is going to be the impact of some of these muscle injuries.

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #54 on: March 5, 2021, 11:31:13 pm »
I am not a physio but surely even non injury prone players need protecting unless they are built of iron like Suarez or Wijnaldum? Fabinho has a muscle injury and was then played virtually every game.

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #55 on: March 5, 2021, 11:32:07 pm »
This year's been muscle injuries - caused by a mixture of unfamiliar movements in a different position and lack of rest/pre-season.

Last year he missed 13 games with an ankle injury (which he's had no repeat of) - so I think I'd give him the benefit of the doubt.

Injury wise - the problem for allsorts of players from this year (not just ours) is going to be the impact of some of these muscle injuries.
I get it's not one thing, but Henderson starting to not be able to play/be available all.the time is kind of expected at this point. He's getting out of his prime for his position and has played a really intense few years under Klopp. With Fabinho it'd be nice to have some evidence of him holding up through a season if we're expecting to rely on him as we rebuild other parts of the squad, like we have with 6/7 others. And from that group one is very likely leaving, one is coming back of a serious injury and fans want to phase out at least another.
« Last Edit: March 5, 2021, 11:35:32 pm by Chris~ »

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #56 on: March 6, 2021, 01:47:14 am »
There are plenty of them past 31 who are playing at a high level still.

The problem is that, the majority don't play with 2 OTHER 30+ year olds in attack, and an aging midfield - so they can afford to take it easy, stroll around a bit, in order to conserve their energy (see Messi at Barca, Ronaldo at Juve), and/or are more old fashioned strikers who don't get involved in as much build up play, just waiting for the chances to be created for them (Lewa, Vardy, Auba).

And even then, in a lot of chances, the teams themselves have struggled - Juventus have had their worst results in a decade (largely due to Ronaldo having the team built around him); if Bayern had competent opposition (I am mainly thinking here of Dortmund not employing 2 jokers as managers, but also RB Leipzig) they'd be struggling to be top (despite Lewa being practically their only 30+ year old up front); Arsenal are as hit and miss as ever; Barca have recovered to 2nd recently, but Messi had a few weeks off the boil and the team fell out of the top 4 entirely.

Equally, if we look at the top teams in Europe - almost none of them have more than 1 attacking player regularly invovled who is 30+ - Inter have 1 out of 3 (Sanchez, with Lukaku & Lutaro being young); PSG have none; Bayern (as above) have 2 - Muller &  Lewa (with Gnabry, Coman and Sane as well, and Muller doesn't play week in week out); Atletico do have Suarez, but also  have Felix and Llorente; City have 1 (just Aguero, with Jesus, Mahrez, B Silva, Foden and Sterling being younger); etc


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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #57 on: March 6, 2021, 01:50:06 am »
How much have they lost due to COVID ?

A drop in the bucket if we lose out on CL 2 seasons in a  row, say as you'd expect not just a drop in income from tv, match day fixtures, CL prize money etc - but also (similar to the Adidas deal at Utd) for our existing (and prospective) sponsors to not want to spend as much on us.   

Equally, it's irrelevant - as long as the owners are ok with taking that hit as a one-off (due to them making half a billion through selling a small % of FSG) - as any losses due to loss of matchday and tv revenue won't need to be included in FPP (equally - who are we kidding - it's clear UEFA don't give a rats arse given their lack of punishments for PSG and especially City)

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #58 on: March 6, 2021, 01:56:42 am »
Thing is, we have talked about getting our starting 11 on the field and our best one has Van Dijk, Thiago/Gini, Henderson, Mane, Salah and Firmino so thatís 6 players who are in that 28 - 30 age range.
 
Plus you are forgetting that we sell to buy. How do you buy new players without income of selling some?

you spend the record setting profits you made the previous year?  Let's not forget just how much money the club did make as profit - it was a world record for a football club, close to 100m - and also that any money you spend on new players, for the purpose of accountancy, only actually needs to come out across the 3-5 years of a players contract - so spend 100-20m, say, on 2 new starters (more than we've spent on any non VVD/Allison player basically, so a properly WC player) - if you give them both 4 year contracts, that's actually only 25-30m you need to find this year (well under half the revenue we'd get if we made sure we qualified for the CL).

That's why getting top 4 was so important this season - we'd literally be out 70m+ if we didn't - and that then *would* massively impact our ability to spend

Offline Coolie High

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #59 on: March 6, 2021, 03:23:20 am »
The problem is that, the majority don't play with 2 OTHER 30+ year olds in attack, and an aging midfield - so they can afford to take it easy, stroll around a bit, in order to conserve their energy (see Messi at Barca, Ronaldo at Juve), and/or are more old fashioned strikers who don't get involved in as much build up play, just waiting for the chances to be created for them (Lewa, Vardy, Auba).

And even then, in a lot of chances, the teams themselves have struggled - Juventus have had their worst results in a decade (largely due to Ronaldo having the team built around him); if Bayern had competent opposition (I am mainly thinking here of Dortmund not employing 2 jokers as managers, but also RB Leipzig) they'd be struggling to be top (despite Lewa being practically their only 30+ year old up front); Arsenal are as hit and miss as ever; Barca have recovered to 2nd recently, but Messi had a few weeks off the boil and the team fell out of the top 4 entirely.

Equally, if we look at the top teams in Europe - almost none of them have more than 1 attacking player regularly invovled who is 30+ - Inter have 1 out of 3 (Sanchez, with Lukaku & Lutaro being young); PSG have none; Bayern (as above) have 2 - Muller &  Lewa (with Gnabry, Coman and Sane as well, and Muller doesn't play week in week out); Atletico do have Suarez, but also  have Felix and Llorente; City have 1 (just Aguero, with Jesus, Mahrez, B Silva, Foden and Sterling being younger); etc

We donít have any attackers who are 30+ either?

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #60 on: March 6, 2021, 03:51:22 am »
We donít have any attackers who are 30+ either?

Yes and we signed 24 year old Jota as part of the succession plan already. Hopefully Elliott will become part of the picture and we sign another in the next season or two.  It's not a problem area unless Klopp has his head in the sand for the next few years.

Offline decosabute

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #61 on: March 6, 2021, 07:58:41 am »
I'm only talking in relation to the age of the players and how I think there's more life in this team than they're getting credit for. Its pointless playing FM. We don't have cash and outside Abu Dhabi and PSG neither does anyone else.

All I'd put money on now is that we won't have any major rebuild and fantasies of selling our star players for huge money and replacing them with the Haalands of this world won't happen.

But this isn't a transfer thread so ill stop there.

Agree with this. No doubt the problems run deep as we look at it now, but I think the squad only needs incremental evolution rather than massive rebuild. Even if we don't make top 4 (which looks likely), I still don't see us selling one of our huge names. Think it's much more likely we get rid of squad players to free up wages (even if we have to sell them for very little) and sign one or two good young players, especially a midfielder to replace Gini and a forward/winger. With say Gini, Shaqiri and Milner out and a couple of younger players plus Elliott in, the age profile wouldn't look as worrying as it does now. And that kind of recruitment work might not mean we're challenging for the league again immediately (though if we only had the league to focus on, who knows), but I'd be quite certain it would be comfortably enough for top 4 in anything approaching a normal season. Once we're back in that, we'd be a bit stabilised and could then continue to evolve the squad the next year.

In short, I'd back this to be a 2-3 year process of evolution, not a sudden, painful rebuild.

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #62 on: March 6, 2021, 10:16:55 am »
Agree with this. No doubt the problems run deep as we look at it now, but I think the squad only needs incremental evolution rather than massive rebuild. Even if we don't make top 4 (which looks likely), I still don't see us selling one of our huge names. Think it's much more likely we get rid of squad players to free up wages (even if we have to sell them for very little) and sign one or two good young players, especially a midfielder to replace Gini and a forward/winger. With say Gini, Shaqiri and Milner out and a couple of younger players plus Elliott in, the age profile wouldn't look as worrying as it does now. And that kind of recruitment work might not mean we're challenging for the league again immediately (though if we only had the league to focus on, who knows), but I'd be quite certain it would be comfortably enough for top 4 in anything approaching a normal season. Once we're back in that, we'd be a bit stabilised and could then continue to evolve the squad the next year.

In short, I'd back this to be a 2-3 year process of evolution, not a sudden, painful rebuild.

I agree, it will very much be an ongoing work of replacing and renewing this team over the next 3 seasons. Seeing makeshift players like Wilson, Grujic, Origi, Shaq, Ox, Adrian, Woodburn, Awoniyi, Ojo and Karius all being likely sold or released. Yeah a bit harsh on Ox but from a business point of view it makes sense to get his wages spent on someone else.

And then we have older players like Gini and Milner which are in doubt for next season. And in return, we can invest in a new CB, one or two midfielders and a new forward this season. After that, depending on the front three and what happens there another forward might be brought in.

During this time Jones has established his place in and around the starting eleven, Elliott surely similar.

Right now it all seems to be coming down at us heavy at the same time. The results, the injuries, the age of the squad, the misfiring of the front three (or two). So like SOS wrote in another thread, it feels a lot worse than it probably is. Each of these issues on its own can be fixed.

The doubts are how well we will be able to replace the front three when the time comes. And how much money we will be able to generate from the sales during covid times.

Offline redmark

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #63 on: March 6, 2021, 11:20:11 am »
The doubts are how well we will be able to replace the front three when the time comes. And how much money we will be able to generate from the sales during covid times.
Those two points are connected, too. If we'd already been able to ease in their challengers, or had one lined up for this summer, it seems possible (even likely) that one of Mane or Salah would have been a candidate for 'fulfilling a boyhood dream' of playing in Spain, last summer or this. Beyond those two (and their value must surely have fallen in COVID times, and on less outstanding form), assuming we're not selling Allisson or VVD, there's not a lot to generate significant income elsewhere in the squad.

This will be an important summer for FSG, because I can't see how they can avoid bending the model, to invest some net spend against predicted future earnings, at least. Needs to be spent entirely on younger players, though.
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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #64 on: March 6, 2021, 11:40:48 am »
Those two points are connected, too. If we'd already been able to ease in their challengers, or had one lined up for this summer, it seems possible (even likely) that one of Mane or Salah would have been a candidate for 'fulfilling a boyhood dream' of playing in Spain, last summer or this. Beyond those two (and their value must surely have fallen in COVID times, and on less outstanding form), assuming we're not selling Allisson or VVD, there's not a lot to generate significant income elsewhere in the squad.

This will be an important summer for FSG, because I can't see how they can avoid bending the model, to invest some net spend against predicted future earnings, at least. Needs to be spent entirely on younger players, though.


Yep. I love Thiago and was desperate to sign him but now in hindsight and the way the squad is now, that doesnt look the wisest of signings. We definitely need to front load the investment but it definitely needs to be on nothing but young players full of energy.

If the model is not adjusted then we have to sell at least one of Mane or Salah. I dont think we can put off the signing of some young players for another season of the same squad.

On the flip side the club could say go again with the same squad as its good enough for top four but then drastically rip it up and start again, with CL income behind you.
« Last Edit: March 6, 2021, 11:43:01 am by a treeless whopper »

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #65 on: March 6, 2021, 12:34:42 pm »
Yep. I love Thiago and was desperate to sign him but now in hindsight and the way the squad is now, that doesnt look the wisest of signings. We definitely need to front load the investment but it definitely needs to be on nothing but young players full of energy.
I think Thiago was crucial to our development as a team which is why we broke our rules to get him. Jurgen knew we would face even more defensive lineups and we needed someone like him to evolve our play. There was not much chance you could find a similar younger player with the ability and authority (at the right price) to come into this team.

Of course, we didn't think that Thiago would be playing all of his games without either Fab or Hendo beside him and also VVD behind.

This now all comes down to the willingness of the board to back Edwards and Jurgen to do their work within reasonable limitations befitting the reigning champions or do we just give up on what is otherwise the best squad we've had in generations?
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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #66 on: March 6, 2021, 01:11:54 pm »
I think Thiago was crucial to our development as a team which is why we broke our rules to get him. Jurgen knew we would face even more defensive lineups and we needed someone like him to evolve our play. There was not much chance you could find a similar younger player with the ability and authority (at the right price) to come into this team.

Of course, we didn't think that Thiago would be playing all of his games without either Fab or Hendo beside him and also VVD behind.

This now all comes down to the willingness of the board to back Edwards and Jurgen to do their work within reasonable limitations befitting the reigning champions or do we just give up on what is otherwise the best squad we've had in generations?

So was the issue the price - that FSG weren't wanting to re-invest the massive profits we had made because they were worried about this season and Covid having a longer and deeper hit to our finances than the other clubs in the league?  Because the way Thiago has played so far (sits deep, plays the ball backwards and sideways) it doesn't seem like it is impacting our ability to create chances against packed midfields without relying on our FBs - and I don't think you can blame Fab and then Hendo moving back to CBs for that.  Also the total package Thiago cost us *more* than a lot of alternatives given his age and therefore lack of future selling ability - and for FFP the immediate spend is almost irrelevant given how these things are accounted for

For me, there are a number of players who could have upgraded our play from the center - Thiago "evolves" us 1 way, into playing more pass-oriented football instead of counters and playing out wide - basically Tiki-Take mk2.  But  someone of the ilk of Grealish, Maddison, heck Bruno - they could have been available for, say, 50m-60m for a top quality version, less for a "decent" version, and then would have given us the ability instead of passing the ball to bring the ball forward - and that usually works equally well against low block teams.  And they'd all have been able to be sold in 3-4 years, say, if Jones/Elliot really come good, or we find another talent, and for more money.

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #67 on: March 6, 2021, 01:16:48 pm »
We donít have any attackers who are 30+ either?

Apologies - I read the initial posts that you were responding to as talking about the situation not today, but looking at it over the next 2-3 season - at the end of next season ALL 3 of our current attackers WILL be 30+, and they've all played ridiculous minutes, and you seemed to be commenting about that not being a problem.  I was trying to make the point that YES it will become a problem in a year or so to go into a season (2021/22) with THREE 30+ year olds, and we should be looking to future plan today so that if we do want to sign, e.g. someone like a Reyna, a Kluivert, a Wamanga - someone 21 or under, it makes sense to try and sign them earlier when we can continue to play Mane/Salah/Bobby next season and slowly break them in.

One thing to note - AFCON is next Jan/Feb - so we could be missing Mane and Salah for 6+ games at a busy point in the schedule, so not doing this seems like suicide.

Offline DonkeyWan

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #68 on: March 6, 2021, 01:37:45 pm »
Agree with this. No doubt the problems run deep as we look at it now, but I think the squad only needs incremental evolution rather than massive rebuild. Even if we don't make top 4 (which looks likely), I still don't see us selling one of our huge names. Think it's much more likely we get rid of squad players to free up wages (even if we have to sell them for very little) and sign one or two good young players, especially a midfielder to replace Gini and a forward/winger. With say Gini, Shaqiri and Milner out and a couple of younger players plus Elliott in, the age profile wouldn't look as worrying as it does now. And that kind of recruitment work might not mean we're challenging for the league again immediately (though if we only had the league to focus on, who knows), but I'd be quite certain it would be comfortably enough for top 4 in anything approaching a normal season. Once we're back in that, we'd be a bit stabilised and could then continue to evolve the squad the next year.

In short, I'd back this to be a 2-3 year process of evolution, not a sudden, painful rebuild.
Yeah, that is what I reckon as well.
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Offline Red1976

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #69 on: March 6, 2021, 09:48:11 pm »
So the mistake we made was replacing a legendary manager with our greatest ever midfielder, who's management experience was romping his way to a league title at Rangers. Interesting.

I think it is called hindsight - a marvellous invention if you have it prior to an event!

Offline RedForeverTT

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #70 on: March 6, 2021, 10:32:15 pm »
Apologies - I read the initial posts that you were responding to as talking about the situation not today, but looking at it over the next 2-3 season - at the end of next season ALL 3 of our current attackers WILL be 30+, and they've all played ridiculous minutes, and you seemed to be commenting about that not being a problem.  I was trying to make the point that YES it will become a problem in a year or so to go into a season (2021/22) with THREE 30+ year olds, and we should be looking to future plan today so that if we do want to sign, e.g. someone like a Reyna, a Kluivert, a Wamanga - someone 21 or under, it makes sense to try and sign them earlier when we can continue to play Mane/Salah/Bobby next season and slowly break them in.

One thing to note - AFCON is next Jan/Feb - so we could be missing Mane and Salah for 6+ games at a busy point in the schedule, so not doing this seems like suicide.

I thought Jota was signed for that purpose and if not for his injury, having him would have helped but maybe not by much after seeing the collective drop in form of all the front 3.

The injuries in our squad is worrying me. Henderson, Milner, Matip, Gomes, and Keita proneness to injury will only get worse as they age. We couldn't cope with losing them this season and it would be the same if we do not have a succession plan by the start of next season. Curtis Jones is not the answer.

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #71 on: March 6, 2021, 10:42:34 pm »
I think it is called hindsight - a marvellous invention if you have it prior to an event!

No we had a clear strategy which was to promote people from within the boot room. Ironically after Souness we went back to the boot room.
One thing does need to be said: in the post-Benitez era, there was media-led clamour (but also some politicking going on at the club) to make the club more English; the idea being that the club had lost the very essence of what it means to be ĎLiverpoolí. Guillem Ballague 18/11/10

Offline redmark

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #72 on: March 7, 2021, 09:21:14 am »
No we had a clear strategy which was to promote people from within the boot room. Ironically after Souness we went back to the boot room.
I think it's stretching it to call it a 'clear strategy'. We had a group of exceptionally gifted coaches, which provided three of the five managers after Shankly (who, obviously, wasn't from the boot room), including our most successful ever. Fagan didn't particularly want the job and retired after two years; Dalglish leant heavily on the boot room, but wasn't from it; Evans didn't produce much success - and the club appointed from outside, again.

We took advantage of the abilities we had within the club - but they were identified and gathered by Shankly. It never really became a 'tradition' which would evolve to include new generations of ex-players - it might have done, but Dalglish used it for the wisdom of the previous generation rather than bringing in the next.

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #73 on: March 7, 2021, 10:08:34 am »
I don't think this season has exposed the need for renewal. It's just shown what happens when 10 years worth of injuries happen in 6 months.

Virgil is a colossus of a player in the Paolo Maldini mould (who played for Milan until he was 41). If he wasn't taken out by Pickford trying one of the Cobra Kai moves he'd watched on Netflix, then Virgil continues his form and durability this season and for many years to come. He is not past his peak at 29 - far from it.

Similarly with Henderson - he's got better with age, not worse. He runs more, covers more, and presses more than probably most players in the league. His desire and dedication could see him in our midfield until he's 35, perhaps dropping deeper in a 'quarterback' role as Gerrard did.

Wijnaldum is almost never injured, is consistent, and does the hard yards week in, week out. If he stays, he could easily play until he's 35.

Salah is the league's top scorer, has lost none of his pace, and scores outrageous goals for fun.

Mane is indestructible and a force of nature. He's lost none of his pace or strength, and this is his first drop in form since that dazzling goal on his debut.

So whilst I'd agree we need to be mindful of not letting too many players grow old together without renewal, I don't think it's fair to say players are past their peak when there's no indication they can't stay at the top level for several years yet. Any perceived drop in form or physicality must be viewed in context of the wider injuries and other factors this season - not as a sign players are past it. Without Jota we've not been able to rest the front 3 often. Without Fabinho and Henderson in midfeld (and Thiago out for 3 months), we had to ask Gini to play every game to hold it all together. Without Virgil and Gomez, we play Trent and Robertson every week so we have some stability either side of our CB's. It's no wonder they're all a little tired.

Fabinho, Keita and Ox were intended as the successors to Henderson and Wijnaldum, but two are inconsistent and injury prone, and one is our emergency centre back.

As for Milner, Matip, Adrian, etc - they're obviously in a different bracket and none of them will likely be here in 2-3 years, unless we can rebuild Matip's body.

Without the injuries I think we retain the league this season, sign a few players in the summer, sell off some fringe players like Origi and Shaqiri, and we go again.

As it stands, a large truck has run over our squad, and whilst there's no doubt the team are tired after the last few seasons, I don't think that would be as big a factor with everyone fit and a full stadium. It's not just the big injuries that have hurt us - it's the inability to get players like Keita and Ox on the pitch for more than a few games, and Origi and Shaqiri's inability to step up consistently.

It will be interesting to see what Klopp and Edwards have lined up this summer, but we mustn't forget that we have younger players in Trent, Robertson, Gomez, Jones, and Jota who are not at their peak years yet, and I don't think as many of the others are as past it as the OP suggests.
« Last Edit: March 7, 2021, 10:12:47 am by keyop »
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Offline mrantarctica

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #74 on: March 7, 2021, 10:59:09 am »
I don't think this season has exposed the need for renewal. It's just shown what happens when 10 years worth of injuries happen in 6 months.

Virgil is a colossus of a player in the Paolo Maldini mould (who played for Milan until he was 41). If he wasn't taken out by Pickford trying one of the Cobra Kai moves he'd watched on Netflix, then Virgil continues his form and durability this season and for many years to come. He is not past his peak at 29 - far from it.

Similarly with Henderson - he's got better with age, not worse. He runs more, covers more, and presses more than probably most players in the league. His desire and dedication could see him in our midfield until he's 35, perhaps dropping deeper in a 'quarterback' role as Gerrard did.

Wijnaldum is almost never injured, is consistent, and does the hard yards week in, week out. If he stays, he could easily play until he's 35.

Salah is the league's top scorer, has lost none of his pace, and scores outrageous goals for fun.

Mane is indestructible and a force of nature. He's lost none of his pace or strength, and this is his first drop in form since that dazzling goal on his debut.

So whilst I'd agree we need to be mindful of not letting too many players grow old together without renewal, I don't think it's fair to say players are past their peak when there's no indication they can't stay at the top level for several years yet. Any perceived drop in form or physicality must be viewed in context of the wider injuries and other factors this season - not as a sign players are past it. Without Jota we've not been able to rest the front 3 often. Without Fabinho and Henderson in midfeld (and Thiago out for 3 months), we had to ask Gini to play every game to hold it all together. Without Virgil and Gomez, we play Trent and Robertson every week so we have some stability either side of our CB's. It's no wonder they're all a little tired.

Fabinho, Keita and Ox were intended as the successors to Henderson and Wijnaldum, but two are inconsistent and injury prone, and one is our emergency centre back.

As for Milner, Matip, Adrian, etc - they're obviously in a different bracket and none of them will likely be here in 2-3 years, unless we can rebuild Matip's body.

Without the injuries I think we retain the league this season, sign a few players in the summer, sell off some fringe players like Origi and Shaqiri, and we go again.

As it stands, a large truck has run over our squad, and whilst there's no doubt the team are tired after the last few seasons, I don't think that would be as big a factor with everyone fit and a full stadium. It's not just the big injuries that have hurt us - it's the inability to get players like Keita and Ox on the pitch for more than a few games, and Origi and Shaqiri's inability to step up consistently.

It will be interesting to see what Klopp and Edwards have lined up this summer, but we mustn't forget that we have younger players in Trent, Robertson, Gomez, Jones, and Jota who are not at their peak years yet, and I don't think as many of the others are as past it as the OP suggests.

This.

I think there's a few on here that look at real life football like it is Football Manager or something. There aren't algorithms for when players decline and I think age is a very poor one to use. Yes, certain attributes change with age. Some get worse, but some also get better.

In terms of our squad, well we've just had major injury issues that have completely unbalanced the team. I don't think we can distinguish between a season somewhat derailed by the occurrence of numerous crucial injuries and a heavily unbalanced team vs. a season derailed by fading players, and in this case I'd definitely go with the former as a far more likely explanation of our woes.

We have a very good squad, and when fit a core playing group that is good enough to win the Champions League and win the premier league as well. We have some work to do, naturally, over finding the right balance of depth without having too big a squad or quality players becoming unhappy because they are missing games by sitting on the bench. But none of that has anything to do with the age of the players or the need for us to suddenly invest in a handful of much younger players. We will see younger players come in only because that is just part and parcel of football that players get older and eventually get replaced by younger ones.

Offline Gnurglan

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #75 on: March 7, 2021, 11:54:01 am »
VDV - Turns 30 in July
Firmino - Turns 30 in October
Matip - Turns 30 in August
Wijnaldum - Turns 31 in November
Henderson - Turns 31 in June
Shaquiri - Turns 30 in October
Milner - just turned 35 in January
Mane - turns 29 in April
Salah - Turns 29 in June

We can see there's a need to add some younger talent. VVD, Henderson, Thiago, Wijnaldum, Mane, Salah, Firmino are all aged around 30. No real panic, but over the next couple of seasons we need to add high quality options in those roles. Like we did with Jota last summer.

I'm less worried about for example Adrian, Matip, Shaqiri and Milner. They are all backup players. Kelleher, Kabak(?), Elliott and Jones could replace them in the near future.

The slight concern is how for example Keita, AOC, Origi and Minamino have failed to take up bigger roles.

If we look ahead we need to sign players for the first team (not just the squad) and weare likely to need a defender, midfielder and attacker this summer AND the next.


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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #76 on: March 9, 2021, 06:07:36 am »

VDV - Turns 30 in July, is coming back from a year long injury, has played 95 times for Klopp
Firmino - Turns 30 in October, has played 274 times for Klopp > Jota (24)
Matip - Turns 30 in August, has played 123 times for Klopp
Wijnaldum - Turns 31 in November, has played 182 times for Klopp = Thiago (29)
Henderson - Turns 31 in June, has played 198 times for Klopp
Shaquiri - Turns 30 in October, has played 58 times for Klopp > Elliot (18)
Milner - just turned 35 in January, has played 231 times for Klopp > Jones (20)


Firmino - Turns 30 > Jota (24)
Wijnaldum - Turns 31 >\= Thiago (29)
Shaquiri - Turns 30 > Elliot (18)
Milner - just turned 35 > Jones (20)

We also probably have Minamino coming back @26

I actually think half the rebuild has been done this season. Jones, Thiago, Jota & Elliot weíre not part of the CL/league team.

The two major worries are Mane falling off a cliff and our three senior CBís all coming back from major injuries. If we have two major signings, a CB and a forward, in the prime age group weíre looking good.
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Offline Jookie

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #77 on: March 9, 2021, 09:42:46 am »
We can see there's a need to add some younger talent. VVD, Henderson, Thiago, Wijnaldum, Mane, Salah, Firmino are all aged around 30. No real panic, but over the next couple of seasons we need to add high quality options in those roles. Like we did with Jota last summer.

I'm less worried about for example Adrian, Matip, Shaqiri and Milner. They are all backup players. Kelleher, Kabak(?), Elliott and Jones could replace them in the near future.

The slight concern is how for example Keita, AOC, Origi and Minamino have failed to take up bigger roles.

If we look ahead we need to sign players for the first team (not just the squad) and weare likely to need a defender, midfielder and attacker this summer AND the next.


I completely agree with this and was about to post something similar.

Whilst I have concerns about the group of players getting close to or above 30, there is some discussion about the players in that age bracket below (25-28). These are the players that would have been thought of as the cornerstones and experienced players in any next iteration of the team. In this group I think we've got some definite mainstays and others who have not kicked on. Fabinho, Alisson and Robertson should be key players in any rebuild. But players like AOC, Keita, Origi are players who've faded over the last 18 months rather than become more prominent as they reach their peak years. Maybe Keita can fill some of that void but it would need a marked improvement in his availability. He's the one player out of those 3 where quality isn't the key concern.

I think the age bracket below (20-24) that we are fine. Trent, Jota, Jones, Gomez should be key cornerstones of any remodelled team. Along with a sprinkling of the players from the 29+ bracket and Fabinho, Alisson and Robertson we should still have a good core of players to rely on for a number of seasons. In addition, there could be young players who kick on also - Harvey Elliott being the obvious one.

What I would say is that the age range of our squad dictates that we need to refresh. On the flip side the squad isn't that old. That refresh can still happen over a number of summers and we can still stay competitive whilst evolving the team and squad. The difficulty is deciding what players in that older age range you decide to let go (either through a sale or non-renewal of contract) and which ones you keep as experienced heads. I think the likes of VvD and Henderson seem obvious keepers. The likes of Wijnaldum, Adrian and Shaqiri look like players you'd move on. The decision then comes down to the front 3 and Thiago. Who do you keep and who do you sell? It's a really difficult one to judge based on this season since some players form has dropped off a cliff. Is that indicative of a decline or is it due to other factors (mental fatigue, tiredness, covid etc..)? I'd be inclined to give them another season and run the risk of them getting down to 1 year left on their contracts before making a call.

If I had the choice and there were buying clubs out there for these players then this summer I'd look to move on Adrian (free), Phillips, AOC, Wijnaldum (free), Shaqiri, Origi this summer. I think the others I would consider selling are Tsimikas and Davies dependent on how they are viewed in training. If we need to raise additional funds then I'd consider Firmino, and potentially Thiago, as expendable. Ideally we'd keep both for another season though.

In terms of signings, I'd be looking at a back-up right back, centre back (if Kabak is not bought) and a centre mid as the priority acquisitions for next summer. We'd probably need a back up front 3 player if the likes of Origi and Shaqiri were sold and we had Europa League football to play. In that scenario you'd only really be losing 2 players in that +29 age bracket and relying on others to return to a better standard in 2021/22. But you would be refilling that age bracket below by selling AOC and Origi and bringing in 3 or 4 players in that age bracket or younger. In this scenario the summer 2022 would be an absolute key decision point for the front 3 though.

EDIT -  I forgot about Minamino. No idea what we do with him and what his potential level is. He's almost in that same bucket as Tsimikas and Davies.
« Last Edit: March 9, 2021, 09:47:18 am by Jookie »
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Offline DonkeyWan

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Re: Age profile of the team
« Reply #78 on: March 9, 2021, 01:01:06 pm »
We can see there's a need to add some younger talent. VVD, Henderson, Thiago, Wijnaldum, Mane, Salah, Firmino are all aged around 30. No real panic, but over the next couple of seasons we need to add high quality options in those roles. Like we did with Jota last summer.

I'm less worried about for example Adrian, Matip, Shaqiri and Milner. They are all backup players. Kelleher, Kabak(?), Elliott and Jones could replace them in the near future.

The slight concern is how for example Keita, AOC, Origi and Minamino have failed to take up bigger roles.

If we look ahead we need to sign players for the first team (not just the squad) and weare likely to need a defender, midfielder and attacker this summer AND the next.


I agree with that, but only as long as people are willing to revise their expectations of what the current team can achieve next year. There is no way they can get back to 90+ points territory.
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Offline TheMan

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Age Profile of Squad
« Reply #79 on: May 23, 2022, 03:11:23 pm »
Klopp has won everything but this squad of players deserved more than 1 league title especially when up against the financial muscle of an oil state. I am worried however that with City's sportwashing set to continue unabated that we simply won't be able to go back to the well again and get the points total in the late 90's that it may require to win.

A lot of key players turn 30 before the start of next season and the age profile of key players in the squad is going in the wrong direction. Yes, we have Carvalho, Elliot and Jones in the middle, Konate and Trent at the back and Diaz and Gordon up front and maybe a few others but I am concerned. In terms of the spine of the team and in terms of proven world class players and leadership we simply don't have those players available to us under the age of 29/30 and we need to work harder to get the age profile down.

To sum up I feel we are potentially facing uncertain times, yes we may get another season or two at the top level from the warriors who have won everything but then there is a big gap to a pool of promising but unproven players that I have mentioned already.

I feel we are short in the category of top-level players in the 23 - 28 age bracket that will help us bridge the gap between the kids with potential and the aging stars. In that middle bracket we really only have Trent, Konate, Diaz and Jota and it's not enough. We need to urgently set about fixing it in next 18 months.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2022, 03:19:21 pm by TheMan »