FanPost

A Statistical look at the Average Age of Chelsea Squad

During the beginning of the last season there was this famous quote by Sir Alex commenting on Chelsea as an aging squad. During the previous season there was this lingering thought whether the so called “aging” team could deliver on the field? Will their aging legs pull through a full year of grind? Though our performance of a sixth position in the league during the last season was disturbing, the team literally redeemed themselves by winning the champions league and the FA cup.

There was a flurry of activity after the end of the last season. There were exits of the likes of the legend Drogba, releasing of Kalou and Bosingwa ,sale of MRLSH and loan moves for Yossi and Essien but what excited the fans were the arrival of “young “ talents like Hazard, Oscar along with Marin, Moses and Cezar Aspilicueta. There was this lingering thought in me as how are we this season on the average age of the squad? Have we shed the tag of an “aging” team? Have we suddenly become a “young” team? Not content with just the past two seasons, I looked at the average age of Chelsea squad over the past 8 seasons and the results are interesting.

Assumptions / Guiding principles

Before we begin with the data representation a quick low down on the assumptions / guiding principles used to arrive at the average age across seasons.

· A simple average of age has been calculated. A weighted average of the age with the minutes played is a better measure but for paucity of time and considering the effort involved, I decided to go ahead with a simple average for age

· Data for the past 8 seasons from 2005-2006 till the current season has been calculated.

· The Age has been calculated as of 1st January of every season. The logic behind this is that few players leave / arrive during the January transfer window and this might skew the average age for the season. So a seemingly middle point has been considered. E.g. For the season 2012-13, the age of the players as on 1st Jan, 2013 is considered and similarly for 2006-07 season the age as on 1st Jan, 2007 has been considered.

· Only players who have actually played for a minimum of 60 minutes in a season in the Premier league have been considered. There have been instances where young players have been given few minutes in the tail end of the season which might skew the average hence this threshold of 60 minutes.

· Players who have played only in the cup competitions like Carling cup / FA cup are not considered.

Current 2012-13 Squad with Age

Note: As mentioned in the assumptions the age has been calculated as of 1st Jan, 2013.

S. No

Player

D.O.B

Age

1

Petr Čech

20/05/1982

30.6411

2

Hilário

21/10/1975

37.22466

3

Ross Turnbull

4/1/1985

28.01096

4

Ryan Bertrand

5/8/1989

23.42466

5

Gary Cahill

19/12/1985

27.05479

6

Ashley Cole

20/12/1980

32.05479

7

David Luiz

22/04/1987

25.71507

8

Victor Moses

12/12/1990

22.07123

9

Branislav Ivanović

22/02/1984

28.87945

10

Paulo Ferreira

18/01/1979

33.97808

11

John Terry

7/12/1980

32.09041

12

Cezar Aspilicueta

28/08/1989

23.36164

13

Eden Hazard

7/1/1991

22

14

Frank Lampard

20/06/1978

34.5589

15

Florent Malouda

13/06/1980

32.57534

16

Marko Marin

13/03/1989

23.82192

17

Mata

28/04/1988

24.69589

18

John Mikel

22/04/1987

25.71507

19

Oriol Romeu

24/09/1991

21.28767

20

Oscar

9/9/1991

21.32877

21

Ramires

24/03/1987

25.79452

22

Fernando Torres

20/03/1984

28.80548

23

Daniel Sturridge

1/9/1989

23.35068

Total Age

628.4411

Average Age

27.3235

Table 1: Current Squad with Age

Chelsea Squad Ages over the 8 seasons

Similar to the table above I have tabulated the players ages for the past 7 seasons (Please read assumptions / guidelines mentioned in the beginning). The table below gives the average age of the squad mentioned in years.

S. No

Season

Avg. Age (yrs)

1

2005-06

25.67

2

2006-07

25.83

3

2007-08

27.69

4

2008-09

27.48

5

2009-10

26.8

6

2010-11

28.23

7

2011-12

27.45

8

2012-13

27.32

Table 2: Average Age of Chelsea squad

Average age of PL Squads for season 2011-12 season

Even with the arrival of the young talents this season the average age is almost the same as the previous season. How do we compare with the rest of the league? I found out readily available information on the internet albeit for the last season. Even though the data is for the last season I think it would give us a good idea of where we stand.

Premier League Average Squad Ages 2011-12

#

Club

Years

1

Norwich City

25.08

2

Manchester United

25.31

3

Arsenal

25.33

4

Liverpool

25.42

5

Sunderland

25.5

6

Newcastle United

25.54

7

Manchester City

25.73

8

Swansea City

25.75

9

Wolverhampton Wanderers

25.76

10

Blackburn Rovers

25.79

11

Everton

26.41

12

Wigan Athletic

26.5

13

Aston Villa

26.54

14

Tottenham Hotspur

26.81

15

West Bromwich Albion

26.84

16

Bolton Wanderers

26.89

17

Chelsea

27.58

18

Queens Park Rangers

27.85

19

Fulham

28.04

20

Stoke City

28.42

Average Squad Age

26.35

Table 3: Average Age of PL Squad for 2011-12 season

Source: www. Myfootballfacts.com

Concluding observations & Thoughts

· The arrival of Hazard, Oscar, Moses, Marin and Cezar Aspilicueta has only marginally reduced the average age of our squad, by 50 days to be precise. The average age stood at 27 years 166 days for season 2011-12 and the current average age is 27 years and 116 days. (Ref: Table 2)

· Hilario aged 37 years is the oldest member of our squad and Oriol Romeu is the youngest member at 21 years 102 days just piping Oscar by 15 days. (Ref: Table 1)

· We have 7 players who are on the wrong side of 30 namely: Cech, Hilario, Cole, Terry, Lampard, Malouda and Ferreira of which four of them are starters and constitute the spine of the team. We have 4 players in the Under 23 category with two first teamers in Oscar and Hazard. The others being Oriol and Moses.

· The average age was the lowest during the Mourinho season 2005-2006 at 25.67 years. There was a gradual rise of the average age over the seasons peaking at 28.23 years for the 2010-11 season. Over the last two seasons we have managed to reduce the average age by a year even with the veterans (Terry, Lampard, Cole & co) around. The sharp reduction in the average age (26.8 yrs) for the season 2009-10 can be attributed for the fact that players like Bruma, Patrick Anholt, Nemanja Matic, Borini, Kakuta and Sturridge played more than 60 minutes of PL during that season. None of them were regulars and so if we are to remove them and re-compute the average age it would be closer to the 2010-11 average of 28 years.

· Last season Chelsea was the fourth oldest team (27+ years) in the PL with only QPR, Fulham and Stoke having an older squad than us. Our main competitors: Man Utd, Arsenal, Man City seem to fare much better with an average age in the 25-26 year range with an average age which is around 2 years lesser than us. Man Utd in fact had the second youngest squad in the league at 25.31 years.

Luckily Emanelo and team seem to be fully aware of this and the purchases made this year will go a long way in addressing the average age of the squad in the future. In the short term we may have some issues on the age front but we can be confident we will be fine in the long run.

The age of all the purchases made this Season: Oscar, Hazard, Cezar, Moses and Marin are less than 24 years with couple of them Oscar and Hazard being in the under 21 category. In short, we have bought quality but at the same time ensured that they were young with at least another contract possible. Also to remember is the fact that we have a very good crop of youngsters who are potential first teamers like Lukaku, KDB, Courtois etc. plying their trade away on loan. We can be confident that when Lampard, Cech, Cole, Terry & Co call it a day we have a younger talented Next Gen waiting in the wings to keep the blue flag flying High!!!!

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any sort of approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions held by the editors of this site.

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