Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

TeleBest: The best Premier League veterans

Paul Scholes, 34
Manchester United's quiet man proved he's still worth a shout in the centre of midfield for United with his crucial winner in the Champions League match against Besiktas earlier this month. Another player who's struggled with injuries as the years have gone on but Scholes still has much of the ability that marked him out as England's most gifted midfielder for many years.
Paul Scholes, 34 Manchester United's quiet man proved he's still worth a shout in the centre of midfield for United with his crucial winner in the Champions League match against Besiktas earlier this month. Another player who's struggled with injuries as the years have gone on but Scholes still has much of the ability that marked him out as England's most gifted midfielder for many years.
David James, 39 The Portsmouth stopper edges out worthy contenders Brad Friedel and Edwin van der Sar simply due to the fact he was born a few months earlier. At the age of 39, and with a career worthy of having a roller coaster named after him, he's currently Fabio Capello's number one choice between the pegs for England and is one of the few glimmers of hope that Pompey fans can cling on to in their bid to avoid relegation.
Jamie Carragher, 31 Having made over 500 appearances for Liverpool, Carragher has cemented his place in the Anfield hall of fame and at 31 shows little sign of letting up. He's one of the younger players to make it on to our list, but the defender's prominence in English football over the past decade earns him a place.
Graham Alexander, 37 Burnley defender Graham Alexander is the oldest out-field player currently playing in the Premier League. The Scotland international has been integral to Burnley's good start to the season after gaining promotion last year, including his efforts in the 1-0 victory over Manchester United, in which he received a standing ovation when he was substituted in the second half.
Gary Neville, 34 Mr Manchester United is now 34, and although he's been plagued by injuries the last couple of seasons, when fit he's still giving younger contenders Wes Brown and Rafael Da Silva a run for their money. Should he stay free from injury and enjoy an extended run in the side, Fabio Capello may be left with a quandary over whether to recall the Manchester United captain.
Stephen Carr, 33 The former Republic of Ireland international announced his retirement in 2008 after his failure to find a new club after his contract was cancelled by Newcastle. Yet the former Tottenham youth player began training with Birmingham earlier this year and was rewarded with a two-year-contract. He's been a regular in The Blues side this term as the club look to consolidate their place in the Premier League.
Nick Barmby, 35 Used ever more sparingly at Hull, the former England man still shows the odd glimpse of his former quality. Barmby is now 35 and during his time has taken in Liverpool's cup treble in 2001 as well as being a part of England's 5-1 drubbing of Germany in the same year. That he continues to achieve top flight action is a testament to his abilities.
Ryan Giggs, 35 Talk of retirement when connected with Ryan Giggs has become a dirty word. Last season, the Welshman was awarded the player of the season award in a gesture that seemed to mark his contribution to the game over his career rather than his performances, albeit very good, during the campaign. At the time, it seemed as though last season was something of a swansong, but his contribution this season is beginning to eclipse last year's stand out displays.
Danny Murphy, 32 Danny Murphy is now 32, although it feels he's been around much longer. Enjoying his best years at Liverpool, where he made a habit of scoring the deciding goal in 1-0 winners over arch rivals Manchester United, it appeared at one stage as if his career was slipping into obscurity. Yet, signed up by Fulham from Tottenham on deadline day of the 2007 transfer window, the Liverpudlian has been revitalised, helping push Fulham to Europa League qualification last season.
Nwankwo Kanu, 33 Limited to substitute appearances so far this season, and still to find the net this campaign, at the ripe old age of 33 the Nigerian still shows the touches of class that have made him one of the most watchable players in Premier League history.
Kevin Phillips, 36 Kevin Phillips is now 36 and has seen his Premier League career go up and down more times than a yo-yo. His first season in the top flight came with Sunderland and it finished with the golden boot award after he netted 30 goals. Ever since, he's struggled to hit those heights and has been a part of a numerous promotions and relegations. This season Phillips is back once more. After helping Birmingham gain promotion he's been given another crack at top-flight football.Kevin Phillips, 36 Kevin Phillips is now 36 and has seen his Premier League career go up and down more times than a yo-yo. His first season in the top flight came with Sunderland and it finished with the golden boot award after he netted 30 goals. Ever since, he's struggled to hit those heights and has been a part of a numerous promotions and relegations. This season Phillips is back once more. After helping Birmingham gain promotion he's been given another crack at top-flight football.

With Ryan Giggs ageing better than a bottle of fine wine, it could be argued that the advantages of age and experience outstrip youth and enthusiasm.



>>Click the image to see the list

With this in mind, we raise a glass to the veterans still plying their trade in the top flight by picking our best XI, who (if you're interested) have a combined age of 379.





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