Vital Football

Latest Arsenal FC News

Wenger and Age Concern

Wenger and Age Concern

The signing of Mikael Silvestre has reopened a frequently misquoted debate about Wenger`s approach towards players over 30. More than one reference to an apparent disparity in the treatment of Pires and Silvestre has been used on different sites with claims of inconsistent approach. It`s a misunderstood policy that would benefit from clarification.

Firstly, the age at which Wenger, supported by other independent research, believes athletic prowess begins to decline at an accelerating rate is 32 not 30. It is when a player reaches 32 that Wenger takes age into consideration in awarding new contracts and not 30 as some will state. In order to meet the physical demands of football at this level the older player has to put more effort into maintaining a level to compete with younger players as natural changes in cardiac rate, running style and muscle fibre all affect performance. With this in mind Wenger offers players contracts that will usually expire at the end of season in which the player reaches his 32nd birthday. Thereafter he will require players to prove their fitness and willingness to work to maintain those levels on an annual basis. Such was his commitment to do this that Dennis Bergkamp was offered and accepted a succession of one year contracts from the age of 32 until he retired at the age of 37.

Thierry Henry`s last contract with Arsenal would have expired in 2010 a few months short of his 33rd birthday had he completed it. Gilberto would have been 5 months short of his 33rd birthday when his contract was due to end. Robert Pires was at exactly the same point as Gilberto would have been when his contract expired and he was offered, but declined, a one year extension.

William Gallas signed a four year contract 2 years ago and so has 2 years left which expires a few months short of his 33rd birthday. He and Silvestre are, but for a few days, exactly the same age which means that Silvestre`s 2 year contract will expire at the same time as Gallas. Both will be just two months older than Pires was when his final contract ended.

This attitude to age is partly dependent on the demands of playing position. While Jens Lehmann was offered his first contract at the age of 33 and stayed for 5 years midfielders and forwards have to work much harder than keepers. Wenger maybe a little more relaxed about the age of centre backs providing they can prove their fitness having said recently It`s not so much about how far you run, but about how many mistakes you make. The intelligent players learn from their mistakes, and cut them out of their game, the older they get. That`s why the best years for a centre back are between 28 and 34.

When Gallas` and Silvestre`s contracts expire Toure will be 29, Senderos 25 and Djourou still only 23.

Rather than demonstrating inconsistency, the signing of Mikael Silvestre is the very model of a consistent approach to player age and their contracts.



Join Vital Arsenal

Want to comment on this article? It's easy to register , simply click the link and enjoy getting involved (you can even win prizes!)

Message Board To visit the message board, click here. Get involved





Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Amos
Date:Thursday August 21 2008
Time: 10:25AM

Comments

0
If we get 2 good years from him, and Djourou continues to develop, they should overlap quite nicely! I think it could mean the end for Big Phil though.
navydave
21/08/2008 10:59:00
0
why? big phil will be approaching 26... is thta too old for a defender? thot the article suggests that this is when they are reaching their prime. If Sendy is patient then i think this is the stop gap signing that takes the pressure off and he can work on his weaknesses while coming of age!
TeamSpirit
21/08/2008 11:39:00
0
Amos thanks for that by the way... I think that did need clearing up cos if there is anything AW can be accused of, it is being consistent to the point of being stubborn!
TeamSpirit
21/08/2008 11:40:00
0
Oh well. The ignorants will still ignore and dismiss.
Tom14
21/08/2008 11:41:00
0
Defintitely a position thing - after all didn't Arsene squeeze more years out of the the Adams/Dixon/Keown backline... average age around 36 or so! My only concern (having seen next to nothing of him), is what this guy is made of. More like sage concern than age concern :-)
Andy-bayor
21/08/2008 12:29:00
0
Everyone will continue to moan "well Pires didn't get a contract extension" conviniently forgetting he was 33 at the time, the same as Silvestre will be. But people will believe only what they want to believe and see only what they want to see, sad, pathetic but true! Silvestre will be a good addition to the team without affecting the long term development of any players in similar positions as the ones he will cover.
LondonGooner
21/08/2008 13:37:00
0
so does this mean no more DM???
gooner_till_i_die
21/08/2008 13:55:00
0
The more I think about this, the more it seems like a good addition. As long as he stays fit, he's a proven, experienced Premiership player that - lets face it - is a winner. That's no bad thing to have in our backline. Him and Gallas would have won 6 PL titles between them. Also, Clichy will definitely need a breather no and again the way he plays the game. We're fine going forward, we just need a top-notch midfielder now and we'll have a squad to challenge.
Gooner_Vin
21/08/2008 14:22:00
0
Alex Song BILLONGS in defensive midfield.
Tom14
21/08/2008 14:44:00
0
..so we get Silvestre and Man City get Kompany - http://www.teletext.co.uk/football/news/8f6206e46591a58ef98e1c9505148b48/City+agree+Kompany+fee.aspx
number14
21/08/2008 15:46:00
Page 1/4
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4

Login to post a comment

Best of Vital Network

Vital Boxing - Adams Turns Professional

Recent Arsenal Articles

Wenger Charged Following Burnley

The Football Association confirmed yesterday evening that manager Arsene Wenger had been charged following his 'push' on fourth official Anthony Taylor.

Arsenal Trio In Team Of The Week (24/1/17)

Arsenal are represented in the latest Premier League team of the week that has been selected by BBC pundit Garth Crooks.

Wenger Reflects On Burnley

Having covered his tunnel escapes previously on the site and the subsequent confirmation of his FA charge, manager Arsene Wenger gives his thoughts on the match itself.

Inter Milan Making Room For Alexis

According to Gazzetta dello Sport Inter Milan can be added to the list of clubs - including Chelsea, Juventus, PSG, Man City & Bayern Munich interested in signing Alexis.

Archived Vital Arsenal Articles

Vital Arsenal articles from

Site Journalists

Rocky7
Editor email
Profile
ClockEnd124
no email
Profile
Amos
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Burnley MotM
Suggested By:
Cech17%
Gabriel0%
Mustafi5%
Koscielny5%
Monreal0%
Ramsey0%
Xhaka11%
Iwobi5%
Ozil5%
Sanchez52%
Giroud0%
Sub - Coquelin0%
Sub - Welbeck0%
Sub - Bellerin0%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Chelsea 22 18 1 3 55 32
2 Arsenal 22 14 5 3 47 27
3 Spurs 22 13 7 2 46 29
4 Liverpool 22 13 6 3 45 24
5 Man City 22 13 4 5 43 15
6 Man Utd 22 11 8 3 41 12
7 Everton 22 10 6 6 36 10
8 WBA 22 9 5 8 32 2
9 Stoke 22 7 7 8 28 -6
10 West Ham 22 8 4 10 28 -7
11 Southampton 22 7 6 9 27 -4
12 AFC Bournemouth 22 7 5 10 26 -7
13 Burnley 22 8 2 12 26 -9
14 Watford 22 6 6 10 24 -13
15 Leicester City 22 5 6 11 21 -13
16 Middlesbrough 22 4 8 10 20 -7
17 Swansea 22 5 3 14 18 -25
18 Crystal Palace 22 4 4 14 16 -11
19 Hull City 22 4 4 14 16 -27
20 Sunderland 22 4 3 15 15 -22
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Arsenal Results (view all)

Arsenal Fixtures (view all)

Jan 31 2017 7:45PM : Watford (H)
Barclays Premier League
Feb 4 2017 12:30PM : Chelsea (a)
Barclays Premier League
Feb 11 2017 12:30PM : Hull City (H)
Barclays Premier League
Feb 25 2017 3:00PM : Southampton (a)
Barclays Premier League
Mar 4 2017 3:00PM : Liverpool (a)
Barclays Premier League
Mar 11 2017 3:00PM : Leicester City (H)
Barclays Premier League

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.Sultan Ibrahim1
2.Adeshina Micheal1
Vital Football Comment