The Premier League is losing a number of top players and managers this summer. The likes of Michael Owen, Jamie Carragher, Paul Scholes and Sir Alex Ferguson have all called time on their glittering careers, leading GMF to create an all-star line-up of Premier League veterans. Take a look and see if you can better this XI.
Goalkeeper: Mark Schwarzer | Fulham
The 40-year-old Fulham stopper just edges out Jussi Jaaskelainen and Brad Friedel, who lost his Tottenham starting place to Hugo Lloris early in the season. He has missed just two games in the Premier League all season and has been reliable as ever between the posts, notably saving a last-minute penalty from Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta to ensure a 3-3 draw between the sides back in January.
Right-back: Jamie Carragher | Liverpool (retiring)
The versatility of Liverpool’s retiring hero sees him slot in at right-back for the team, after a season in which he played far more than most people would have expected in the summer. Indeed, he has regularly kept previous starter Martin Skrtel out of the side and formed a formidable partnership with Daniel Agger. His 37 appearances in all competitions have pushed his total to 734, second on Liverpool’s all time-list.
Centre-back: Sylvain Distin | Everton
Despite being 35, Distin has remained the mainstay of the Everton defence alongside Phil Jagielka - a pairing that have conceded just 38 goals and remains one of the toughest to breach in the league. Distin made his 400th Premier League appearance in February, and is set to remain at Goodison Park for at least another year after recently signing a one-year contract extension.
Centre-back: Rio Ferdinand | Manchester United
The former England defender has played a vital role in United’s title triumph this season, emerging as a mark of consistency at the heart of a defence that has been riddled by injuries and poor form. Strong in the air and hard in the tackle, the 34-year-old’s form was enough to see him rightly named in the PFA Team of the Year.
Left-back: Ian Harte | Reading
Whilst the ageing defender has become less of a key figure for the Royals this season, he is set to leave this summer having been named in the PFA Championship Team of the Year last season. He has still contributed three assists in the Premier League and posed a threat with his famous left-foot set-piece delivery.
Centre-midfield: Paul Scholes | Manchester United (retiring)
A fellow retiree in the team comes in the shape of United legend Paul Scholes, having decided to once again hang up his boots at the age of 38. Whilst a knee injury early in 2013 effectively ended his season, the first half saw him reach 700 club appearances and score for the 19th consecutive season in the Premier League, a feat only surpassed by team-mate Ryan Giggs.
Centre-midfield: Frank Lampard | Chelsea
Commendably accepting of his new-role as a more deep-lying midfielder and squad player this season, Lampard has continued to bang in the goals, becoming Chelsea’s all-time leading goalscorer in the process with 203 strikes. His recent double in the club’s 2-1 victory over Aston Villa, cementing their place in the Champions League next season, was vintage Lampard, and reminiscent of his double against Bolton to wrap up the title for the Blues in 2005.
Centre-midfield: Giorgos Karagounis | Fulham
The 36-year-old Greece international has enjoyed a fine season at Craven Cottage, having joined on a free transfer last summer. Whilst only starting just over half of Fulham’s league games, his determination and ball-playing ability have made him a fans’ favourite at the club, earning him second-place behind Dimitar Berbatov in Fulham’s Player of the Season award. Elsewhere, his stunning 25-yard effort against Blackpool in the FA Cup will no doubt go down as one of the competition’s top goals this season.
Right-wing: Damien Duff | Fulham
The third Fulham representative in the team, 34-year-old Duff, has made 30 league appearances for the side this season, contributing a useful three goals and seven assists. The winger no doubt has benefitted from his decision to retire from international duty last summer, with his pace, ability to take on players and deliver an accurate ball into the box cementing his value to the squad.
Left-wing: Ryan Giggs | Manchester United
Making the idea that outfield players rarely play beyond their mid-thirties seem ridiculous, 39 year-old Welshman remained an important member of the United title-winning squad this season, and looks set to become the only active player remaining from the 1992 squad next season. Often playing more centrally than out wide, Giggs’ experience has been crucial to the team’s ability to see out games from winning positions, whilst he has chipped in with a handful of goals and assists.
Striker: Rickie Lambert | Southampton
Due to a lack of strikers over the age of 30 in the Premier League this season, 31-year-old Lambert comes into the side off the back of a fine first season. His 15 goals and in 38 games have led many to question why he has frequently been overlooked for recent England squads by boss Roy Hodgson.
Do you agree with the selection of players in this elderly XI? Have you say and leave a comment in the box provided below.
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