Monday, August 6, 2007

Farewell Dad's Army, hello Young Guns

The average age of the team looks set to tumble this season.

Sven's eight signings have an average age of exactly 24, making them more than three years younger than Pearce's average signing.

The most dramatic change will be seen in midfield. In the first game of last season City started with Sinclair (then 33yrs 11months), Reyna (33y 1m), Barton (23y 11m) and Dabo (29y 6m), making an average age of 29yrs 11mths. A likely midfield for our first game this season is Petrov (28y 6m), Elano (26y 1m), Fernandes (20yr 10m) and Geovanni (27y 6m), which would be an average age of 25yrs 3mths - more than four years younger than last season. Add to that Ireland (20y 11m) and Johnson (19y 6m) and we might end up fielding one of the youngest midfields in the Premiership for some games.

Below are the signings made by Pearce and their average age. Loan deals are excluded.

And here are Sven's signings:

The final table probably gives the best indication of our new-found purchasing power. It shows that only two of Pearce's 13 signings were between the ages of 21 and 26, compared to five of Sven's eight signings so far.

The next signings look likely to follow the pattern of investing in youth. This weekend's speculation has linked us to 21-year-old holding midfielder Manuel Fernandes (for £10m) and Scott Carson, also 21, while Claudio Ranieri yesterday said 22-year-old left back Giorgio Chiellini is available for the right price.

One area of concern might be the inexperience of the defence. While 27-year-olds Dunne and Ball have the necessary experience, Richards (19), Onuoha (20), Corluka (21), and Garrido (22) have only 86 Premiership games between them. Hopefully we'll see an experienced centre-half come in this week to partner Dunne, but I suspect that the loss of Distin will result in an error-prone few months for us in defence.

Later this week I'll be looking at the predictions for where we'll finish this season, but as both the manager and the majority of the team will be new to the Premiership I fear the first half of the season might be something of a write-off.

No doubt the press will have a field day should City struggle early on (according to The Telegraph there is already an 'overwhelming feeling' of chaos at the club) but personally I wouldn't be too concerned even if we were near the bottom six around Christmas.

Unlike previous seasons, time is now on our side.

Images of the weekend's events

I'm going to be writing more about this weekend's events in the next few days, but for now here are a few links I've found:

~ Pictures from the game; photos from Albert Square (including pics of Pinthongta).

~ YouTube highlights v Valencia; more highlights; Thaksin sings; Sven on stage; City fans in Albert Square.


Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

I agree...don't panic.

Let's look at the relative positions of City 2007-8 and United 1986-7.

Gavin Cooper said...

Check your D.O.B of Ireland against MCFC official - a lot of affiliate sites have always had Ireland as younger than he is.

Andrew said...

Hi Simon,

Yeah, I really hope fans show some patience this season.

I guessing we'll have to wait until the second half of the season before we get a good idea of the type of team Sven is building.

Andrew said...

Thanks Gavin,

I had 22-08-1988 for his D.O.B but after checking the official site it says 22/08/1986.

I have now reversed the good work of Stephen's wigmaker and added a couple of years to his age.

Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

Don't you contribute to MCVITA? Your the financial breakdown wizard chap?

I have been wondering about the structure of MUFCs debt and the Glazers transferring corporate debt onto Uniteds books.

Can you enlighten in simple "corporate accounting and legal tax avoidance for dummies" style?

Andrew said...


No, that's a guy called Colin Savage:

I do have a finance section over at the main Purelymancity site though:

Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...


Okay, well for some reason at the man site the header bleeds down the page (using IE), but it works just fine when I use Firefox.

Well, I have another question. I cannot find a source on the internet for week by week attendance figures, per team, for league games during the 1980s.

Anu ideas?

Phil Shakespeare said...

This is an excellent site as some of the information on here is absolutely first class. I had a great day Saturday and the evening in Albert Square was brill. Keep producing the articles as you have on avid reader.

James Jackson said...

I agree paitience is the key. It is increasingly looking like there will be 10 new players on the books for the start of the season. To have a good season (top half) we will need at least 5 of these to perform as we have been led to believe they can, with the others taking longer to settle/completely flopping. Keep the faith.

An excellent site that doesn't lose sight of what is really going on within City. Keep up the good work.


Andrew said...

Hi Phil and James,

Thanks for the comments and welcome to the site.

Simon, you can find City's complete stats at Don't know where you'd get the stats for other clubs though.