There has been a lot of talk recently about the balance between youth and experience in the Liverpool squad. The general feeling appears to be that we need more of the latter next season, something which has already brought about the signing of 29-year-old midfielder James Milner and the new deal for veteran defender Kolo Toure.
However, it appears that our owners are risking alienating our older players by consigning them to unevenly-weighted contracts. The specific example here, of course, is Martin Skrtel, whose potential new deal would require him to play in a minimum of 80% of our games in order for him to earn his full wage (via the Daily Mail).
For players such as Toure, who are unlikely to feature in many games, this is a sensible and cost-effective policy. However, Skrtel is still an integral member of our team and to reduce him to such terms could be seen as insulting.
In our Premier League XI below, we prove that age is just a number, and that a player should be judged by what he brings to our team rather than how old he is. This whole team of thirty-somethings that did the business for us.
GK) Bruce Grobbelaar (Age for final appearance, 36)
The South African goalkeeper was one of our best, making more than 400 league appearances and winning 19 major honours, including six first division titles and the European Cup – a match Jerzy Dudek remembers well.
RB) Steve Finnan (Age, 32)
What would we give to have someone of Finnan’s quality back at Liverpool right now? We’ve been short on a good right-back for quite a while and we’re arguably still trying to replace the Irishman, who was always reliable.
LB) Fabio Aurelio (Age, 32)
Injuries prevented the Brazilian from shining as he might have done at Anfield. He was certainly capable of moments of magic, including more than one thunderous free-kick from distance. A story of what could have been.
CB) Sami Hyypia (Age, 35)
The giant Finn was a legendary figure at Anfield and rightly so. The popular defender was the inspiration behind our treble win in 2001 and played an important role in our successful Champions League run four years later.
CB) Jamie Carragher (Age, 35)
One of the most iconic players in the history if Liverpool Football Club. He made more than 700 appearances, winning every major trophy excepts the Premier League title, before eventually calling it a day in 2013.