Golden Oldies: The Ultimate Premier League Over-30s XI

Those approaching 30 might tell you that life starts with this milestone birthday. For this distinguished XI, there’s already been plenty of trophies, international caps and top-flight achievements. Showing no signs of slowing down, the good times look set to continue!
?Here’s 90min’s best over-30 Premier League XI, in a 4-3-3 formation:

Rui Patricio (Wolves)

Rui Patricio

Age: 30

Everyone knew that ?Wolves were ambitious and ready to tap into their Portuguese connections, but landing Rui Patricio was still a massive coup. The goalkeeper was named in the team of the tournament as Portugal bludgeoned their way to Euro 2016 victory, keeping a clean sheet in the final. 

Since joining Wolves he has proven to be a steady pair of hands, keeping ten Premier League clean sheets and only being involved in two errors leading to goals.

César Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

Cesar Azpilicueta

Age: 30

The man affectionately known as Dave by the west London locals has been crucial to Chelsea’s success in recent years. Over the past four Premier League seasons, there are just two Blues’ matches that he hasn’t featured in and he’s been an ever present in 2019/20 thus far. 

A Champions League medal aside, Azpilicueta has won everything at Chelsea and will go down as a club legend long after he departs. 

Jonny Evans (Leicester)

Jonny Evans

Age: 31

The longer Manchester United struggle defensively and Leicester continue to be unaffected by Harry Maguire’s departure, the higher Jonny Evans’ stock rises. There were a few eyebrow’s raised when he was allowed to leave Old Trafford, while Chris Smalling and Phil Jones remained and continued to make little improvement. 

Leicester have only kept two clean sheets in eight matches so far, yet Evans and Caglar Soyuncu’s understanding appears to be growing – it could be the bedrock for Leicester’s top-six gatecrash.

Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham)

Jan Vertonghen

Age: 32

Ignore the current Tottenham meltdown for a second, Jan Vertonghen is still a very good defender. It wasn’t that long ago that he was helping them on their way to a Champions League final! While his legs may be slowing a little he’s still a classy operator who reads the game well and can ping a delicious cross-field ball over to Spurs’ right flank on command. 

What he could benefit from is a fresher pair of legs alongside him. Toby Alderweireld is now 30 and Serge Gnabry’s pace exposed the two Belgian’s pretty easily in that recent demolition. Davinson Sanchez, it’s time to step up.

Ben Mee (Burnley)

Ben Mee

Age: 30

The Burnley captain must be wondering what more he has to do to finally earn an England cap. In his 29 appearances in 2017/18 he played a part in nine clean sheets as the Clarets finished seventh and qualified for the Europa League. 

Last season he was an ever present and, despite ?Burnley‘s struggles, guided them to eight further shutouts across the season. Not to mention the fact that his defensive partners of James Tarkowski and Michael Keane have featured in numerous Southgate squads. Adding insult to injury, we’ve even shunted him across to left back in this XI – sorry Ben!

Mark Noble (West Ham)

Mark Noble

Age: 32

Even at the ripe of age of 32, Mr. West Ham is still snapping into tackles, covering every blade of grass and making the Hammers better than the sum of their parts. 

His legs have been accused of ‘going’ way before he hit 30, so any criticism will be water off a duck’s back at this point and he looks to be enjoying his football just as much as ever before. The model ?Premier League captain, West Ham look leaderless, rudderless and often end up pointless when he’s not in the team. 

David Silva (Manchester City)

David Silva

Age: 33

Approaching a decade at the club, David Silva has been the heart, brain and a key part of the ?Citizens spine in their trophy-winning era. As City tried to build a squad that could compete, they lacked that little bit of magic – so it’s fitting that Silva earned the nickname Merlin as he quickly became the team’s creative force. 

The Premier League is still under his spell and, at time of writing, his record reads 55 goals, 87 assists and 200 wins from his 290 Premier League appearances – sorcery of the highest order. 

James Milner (Liverpool)

James Milner,Jordan Henderson,Divock Origi

Age: 33

Like a fine wine, James Milner appears to be getting better with age. For a while, he had been somewhat of a joke figure who boasted numerous parody Twitter accounts, but his longevity and Indian summer at Liverpool have enabled him to ride it out. 

There were question marks of what would come after his Etihad exit, answered emphatically by Milner with versatility in covering the left-back position, distance covered in crucial fixtures as the Reds reached two Champions League finals and featuring 30-plus times in three Premier League seasons since his milestone birthday.  

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

Sergio Aguero

Age: 31

What’s worrying about all three strikers in this XI is that age appears to be having no effect on either their legs or their ability to find the back of the net.

Nobody embodies that more than Sergio Aguero, who would be remembered as one of the Premier League’s finest strikers if he were to retire today. The rumoured £35m Manchester City paid for him in 2011 is an absolute snip, with the Argentinian scoring 20-plus league goals in six of his eight full seasons with the club. Frighteningly he has eight in eight so far this season! Plenty of miles left in the tank. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Age: 30

Even if every player were to magically lose a yard of pace when the clock struck 12 on their 30th birthday, it probably wouldn’t matter to the lightning-quick Aubamayeng. During a 2013 fixture he clocked a speed over 30 metres that bettered Usain Bolt’s start to his record-breaking Berlin 100 metres and, shortly after joining Arsenal in 2018, he posted a top speed of 21.74 mph. 

His goalscoring rate has kept similar pace, after scoring 98 goals in 144 Borussia Dortmund appearances he now has 39 from 57 for ?Arsenal at time of writing. 

Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)

Jamie Vardy

Age: 32

Those advancing in years will know that sometimes somebody walks into your life, adds a spring to your step and put a smile on your face. For Jamie Vardy, Brendan Rodgers was that person. After Claude Puel had marginalised the striker, Brendan breezed in and proclaimed he would build the ?Leicester team around Vardy – to brilliant effect.

Since Rodgers’ revival began Vardy has scored 14 goals in 18 appearances, including some of the trademark counter-attacking moves that culminate with defender’s busting a gut to keep up. They fail miserably, but it’s nice to see them try. 


Petr Cech to Make Ice Hockey Debut After Agreeing Terms on 1-Year Deal With Guildford Phoenix

?Petr Cech has made the natural transition from Premier League record-holder to ice hockey player after signing a one-year deal with British side Guildford Phoenix.

Hailing from Czech Republic, a country with a noted love for ice hockey, the 37-year-old hung up his boots at the end of last season but hasn’t taken long to return to the sporting world, with Cech to make his debut this Sunday.

The former ?Chelsea stopper has been training with the club ever since his footballing swansong in the Europa League final in Baku last season – in which he turned out for the eventual losers ?Arsenal – and spoke of his excitement at beginning a new challenge.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to play with the Phoenix to get the match experience,” he said, via the club’s ?official website. “After 20 years of professional football this is going to be a wonderful experience for me to play the game I loved to watch and play as a kid.”

“I hope I can help this young team to achieve their goals for the season and try to win as many games as possible when I have the chance to play.

His new side ply their trade in the National Ice Hockey League Division 2 – a far cry from his new role as a technical and performance advisor at Stamford Bridge. While his position hasn’t been clarified, it’s fair to assume he’ll likely be in net.

The ?Premier League legend kept 202 clean sheets during a 15-year top-flight career, 11 of which came in west London with the other four with the Gunners. During his time in England he amassed four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, the Europa League and the pinnacle of the Champions League.

Cech’s excitement was echoed by his new manager Andy Hemmings, who claimed securing the Czech’s signature was massive for the club. 

He said: “The signing of Petr is massive for the Phoenix. He is a great guy who trains hard and I cannot wait to see him make his debut.”


Details of Frank Lampard’s Rousing Team Talk That Inspired Chelsea Win Streak are Revealed

?Frank Lampard and Jody Morris are claimed to have demanded the senior players at Chelsea step up in the wake of back-to-back defeat to Valencia and Liverpool, a move which appears to have paid dividends.

A stuttering start to life in the Blues’ hotseat for Lampard saw his side register only five points from their opening four league matches, before the club then dispatched a beleaguered Wolves side but remained without a win at home. Following that victory, the club slumped to successive defeats at Stamford Bridge to the aforementioned duo.

According the to ?Daily Mail, in the aftermath of those ?Champions League and ?Premier League defeats, Lampard and his assistant Morris called on the more experienced members of the squad – including Jorginho and Willian – to step up and aid the young side he had inherited.

Those discussions have since had the desired effect, with ?Chelsea winning their four matches in all competitions since, netting 15 times and conceding just three goals.

Currently under a transfer embargo and unable to sign any players in the most recent – and upcoming – transfer window, Lampard’s side struggled at the start of the season, with the senior members of the squad losing their places in the side to the exciting academy youngsters.

The likes of Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham have hit the ground running, but the return to form of older stars Willian and Jorginho in particular has seen the Blues claim scalps over Lille in the Champions League, as well as convincing wins over Southampton and Brighton. 


Pedro, Michy Batshuayi and Ross Barkley have also netted their first goals of the season since the 2-1 defeat to the Reds, with Lampard’s dressing down having the intended reaction from his players in his first season as a top-flight manager. 

The senior players’ improved form, along with the youngsters, has seen Chelsea currently sit fifth in the Premier League table, just two points shy of Manchester City in second.

For more from Ross Kennerley, follow him on Twitter!


FT: Chelsea 7 Sunderland 2 (4:0)

A tap in for Bent salvages another consolation for Sunderland as he steers in from a goal mouth scramble, a crazy game at Stamford today as the final whistle sounds.

Goal90+2 GOAL BENT!!

90+1 Two extra minutes of misery for Sunderland.

An assist for Anelka as he does brilliant to pick Lampard out with a drilled cross and the midfielder adjusts well to steer a downward header into the corner leaving Fulop no chance. What a performance Chelsea have put in today.


88 Zenden almost puts the ball in the back of his own net this time after a delicious cross from Joe Cole. He gets away with a corner though.

87 Lack of communication between Jones and Bent sees a chance go begging and Chelsea stream forward in search of a seventh.

86 Zenden skips past Carvalho before threading a ball through to Bent who had strayed offside.

85 Indeed, Alex does hit it and his deflected effort finds Balletti who keeps it in play before Joe Cole hits the post with a header from 4 yards out when he really should score.

84 Chelsea have a free-kick in a dangerous area with Alex eyeing it up.

83 Great wing play from Anelka ends with a disappointing cross with Lampard in yards of space at the back post.

82 A touch from McCartney stops the ball from reaching the path of Alex, who may have been in an offside position anyhow.

81 Lampard’s effort deflects for yet another Chelsea corner, I lost count of how many they’ve had long ago.

79 Anelka threats Lampard through but he can’t control it, Malouda keeps it in play and pulls back for Lampard again at the back post but it’s just to high for the England midfielder.

78 Anelka tries to place a pass but Da Silva intercepts.

77 Joe Cole tries to bend an effort on goal with the outside of his right foot but it bends wide.

76 What a chance for the hat-tick for Anelka as Malouda digs out a fine cross and the striker finds himself in space 6 yards out but he directs his volley straight at Fulop who parries to safety.

75 Anelka does ever so well to hold up play in the centre before being bundled over by Henderson.

74 Fulop punches Malouda’s corner and Ballack is penalised after the ball is floated back into the area.

73 Henderson looks for a foul against Balletti but the referee waves play on and Chelsea earn another corner from the break.

Substitution72 Campbell comes on for Murphy for Sunderland.

71 Confusion between Cech and Alex almost allows Jones to nip in, Chelsea get away with conceding another.

70 Chelsea are really enjoying their football and Zhirkov has been impressive since coming on. He’s linking up well with Anelka with the Frenchman eager for a hat-trick.

69 Malouda’s corner is nodded wide and Chelsea have another chance but this time Cana heads clear in the right direction.

68 Malouda looks for an opening and finds Zhirkov who wins a corner.

67 Fulop has made some fine saves in this game despite the scoreline, but he made a right hash of that cross.

Yellow Card66 Bardsley goes into the book for a late one on Malouda.

Fulop makes a meal of Zhirkov’s cross as he comes and palms straight into the path of Anelka who keeps his cool to chest and slot into an empty net.


64 Joe Cole takes on McCartney and gets a cross in on the byline, but Fulop reads it well and is off his line to make the save.

63 Fulop easily claims Lampard’s corner amid a sea of outspread bodies.

62 Ballack almost sneaks in for a second after Malouda picked him out at the back post, but he doesn’t control well with his chest and the Black Cats survive.

61 Henderson’s free-kick delivery is cleared by the Chelsea defence but Sunderland have upped their game after that goal.

60 Bardsley lines up a shot and his long range effort isn’t too far off with Cech back-peddling onto his line as it just evades the crossbar.

59 Incidentally, Ashley Cole’s withdrawal is believed to be a precaution while Terry has earned a rest.

Sunderland have restored some pride with a fine goal. McCartney’s long ball is knocked down by Jones for Zenden and the substitute controls and steers into the bottom corner.


54 The Stamford Bridge atmosphere is electric as Chelsea continue to enhance their goal difference, and they want more it seems.

Too easy for Chelsea. Joe Cole has time and space to place his cross right onto the head of Ballack and the German does not miss with his head when unmarked 7 yards out.


52 Malouda’s corner is cleared by Cana but the Blues are back on the ball once more.

51 Anelka pesters Da Silva and earns his side another corner.

50 Anelka unleashes a thunderous effort which is tipped onto the bar brilliantly by Fulop and again off the post.

49 Bent clears Joe Cole’s corner which failed to beat the first man.

48 Chelsea aren’t taking things lightly despite the score and change in personnel, they have another corner now.

Substitution47 A few changes at the break to tell you of. Alex and Zhirkov have come on for the Blues in place of Terry and Ashley Cole. Meanwhile, Zenden has entered the pitch for the away side for Malbranque.

46 The home side get the game under-way once again.

45+2 Half-time at Stamford Bridge.

45+1 Balletti’s chipped through-ball for Lampard is clever but just too strong and Cana comes away with possession.

45 Ivanovic does well to win back possession for his side and ignite a counter which is broken down but Ballack wins a throw-in.

44 Anelka pulls the ball back for Joe Cole on the edge of the area but the midfielder doesn’t really get hold of his shot and Fulop gets down to make the save.

42 A little uncertainty at the back for Chelsea as Jones causes an aerial threat before the ball is cleared off the toes of Murphy.

41 A neat one-two between Anelka and Lampard sees the former shoot from a tight angle but he drags his effort wide across the face of goal.

40 Balletti tries his luck from range once again. With the scoreline at 4-0, he seems eager to get in on the act with a trademark scorcher today.

39 Cana clears from Balletti’s cross after he twists and turns Bardsley out wide.

38 Bent’s header is wayward and Murphy can’t keep it in play, goal-kick to Chelsea after a rare Sunderland attack.

37 Balletti gifts Sunderland some breathing space as his 35-yard effort finds the stands.

36 Half-time can’t come soon enough for the away side, it’s all one way traffic to say the least.

35 Sunderland are all over the place and a fifth almost goes in on two occasions in the same phase of play as first Ashley Cole miscues before Ballack’s cross almost sneaks in.

Ashley Cole is running the show and it is his perfect cross which Lampard gets his foot on to steer past Fulop who can do little once again as Chelsea threaten to humiliate Sunderland today.


33 Fulop denies Anelka a second after a long through ball once again caused problems for Cana, the keeper did well to make the foot-block.

32 Anelka pulls off a neat lay-off for Lampard who shoots from around 30 yards but his low effort is scuffed slightly and misses the target.

31 Ivanovic tries his luck from range but it’s way off target.

30 Jones tries to hold the ball up as he waits for support but is eventually dispossessed with little options in front of him.

29 Anelka controls a long ball from Carvalho but Cana does well to dispossess the Frenchman.

27 Chelsea are beginning to slow the pace of the game now, happy to wait for an opening as they stroke the ball about with ease.

26 Ashley Cole is up for it today and he wants another as he attempted a volley from range but Bardsley makes the block and the blues have a corner which is claimed by Fulop.

24 Sunderland are stunned and look completely deflated, they’ve taken a battering so far.

Chelsea are rampant. An angled cross-field ball from Terry is inch-perfect for Cole who controls well and sells Cana a dummy as he cuts inside before scooping the ball over a hapless Fulop. Breathtaking stuff.


22 McCartney finds space as he streams forward and with little on he opts to shoot from range, not a bad effort but it sails wide.

21 Malbranque skips past a handful of tackles before playing Bent in out wide, the striker’s cross is easily dealt with though.

20 Bent is flagged offside after Jones plays him in.

Malouda strides forward after winning a challenge, a handful of step-overs fools Cana before he unleashes a drilled right-foot effort into the bottom corner from just inside the area, a fine goal.


16 Malouda’s corner is headed clear by Malbranque and Sunderland look to break before Bent loses possession.

15 Meyler trips up Malouda gifting Chelsea a free-kick fairly central in midfield.

14 Bent finds an opening after Jones won a challenge from Terry but he places his shot straight down Cech’s throat causing the keeper no problems.

13 Cole pulls a cross back across the face of goal but Cana is there to clear the danger.

12 Cech punts a goal-kick up field.

11 Ballack hurries a cross and inadvertently skies his effort, gifting Sunderland possession from the throw.

10 Appeals for handball against Cana are turned down, looked like the wrong decision though.

9 Sunderland look to hit back as Murphy finds an opening, Cech looks unconvincing in dealing with it but he does all the same.

Ballack feeds a delightful ball through to Anelka who coolly rounds Fulop and steers into an empty net, simple stuff.


6 Bright start from the hosts here and Sunderland are somewhat fortunate they haven’t quite found their range just yet.

4 Sunderland get away with another great chance for the Blues to open the scoring, this time it’s Ashley Cole who pops up at the back post only to direct his header wide across the face of goal.

3 Lampard loses out to Malbranque and a long ball towards Jones is well dealt with by Carvalho.

2 An early chance for Joe Cole as he races onto a flick-on by Malouda but he fails to get the ball out from under his feet and the chance goes begging.

1 The away side get the ball rolling at Stamford Bridge and earn a throw almost immediately.

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Carvalho, Terry, Ashley Cole, Ballack, Belletti, Lampard, Joe Cole, Anelka, Malouda. Subs: Hilario, Zhirkov, Paulo Ferreira, Sturridge, Matic, Alex, Borini.

Sunderland: Fulop, Bardsley, Cana, Da Silva, McCartney, Malbranque, Henderson, Meyler, Murphy, Bent, Jones. Subs: Carson, Zenden, Campbell, Liam Noble, Healy, Ryan Noble, Liddle

Najava:Chelsae vs Sunderland

Nakon odgodeni utakmica zbog vremenski uvjeta Premier liga se nastavlja.

Chelsea FC u Nedjelju u 3 h igra utakmicu 23.kola na Stamford Bridgeu dolazi Sunderland koji se nalazi na 10.mjestu lige.

U Chelsea FC nece biti Afrikanaca koji igraju Kup Nacija u Angoli. A u tim Sunderland vraca ju se Kenwyne Jones, Kieran Richardson i Bolo Zenden a u odbrani ce im nedostajati Michael Turner, Anton Ferdinand i Lee Cattermole,Chelsea FC koji na Stamford Bridgeu ima devet pobjeda i jedan remi ove sezone.

Moguca prva postava Chelsea:(4-4-2) Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Carvalho, A Cole, Ballack, Lampard, Malouda, J Cole, Anelka, Sturridge.

Moguca prva postava Sunderlanda:(4-4-2) Fulop, Bardsley, Da Silva, McCartney, Richardson, Henderson, Cana, Meyler, Murphy, Bent, Jones.