Aug 15, 2015
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Five 30+ Players That Still Have Key Roles To Play feat. Manchester United & Chelsea

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Everyone loves a young player breaking through the ranks and in light of the outstanding Reece Oxford performance for West Ham as well as Adama Traore’s move to Aston Villa, the older generation seem to have been forgotten about.

Holding a key feature within the game, experience, many older players have key roles at their respected clubs. While they may lose the speed and reaction time they once possessed, the know-how of the ‘been there done that’ player can prove vital. TBR takes a look at the top 5 key golden oldies about this season.

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John Terry

One of the most outstanding players in the league last season, ‘JT’ has proved that he doesn’t need to head to America just yet.

The Londoner looks more reassured than ever next to compatriot Gary Cahill and under Mourinho. Terry reads the game perfectly at the ripe old age of 34 and many have called for an extremely unlikely England recall.

In a star-spangled Chelsea team, Terry is still a key figure with the captains armband and a leader’s voice in the dressing room.

His maintained class has impressed the likes of MOTD pundit Alan Shearer already and the Premier League’s record scorer has called on John Stones to move to Chelsea to learn and compete against his name-sake.

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Shearer may underestimate the challenge Stones would face in removing Terry for the starting line up but the Chelsea captain would only improve his younger compatriot.

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Michael Carrick

As United’s ever-growing midfield collection increases in numbers, one mainstay is former Spurs man Micheal Carrick.

The composed holding midfielder started the first fixture against his former side and looked much more stable then new signing Morgan Schneiderlin.

As vice captain to Wayne Rooney, Carrick has Van Gaal’s blessing which is tough to gain while also having a key role in the dressing room.

Portrayed as a calm figure, that’s exactly what Van Gaal will want him to convey to all others in the team, especially towards the new men that have yet to settle in.

Adorned by United fans with the chant ‘It’s carrick you know, hard to believe it’s not Scholes’, the United faithful have warmed to the £18m signing season by season as, like wine, he grew better with age.

Now, at 34 years old, the passing maestro is one of two holding midfielder’s Van Gaal is using this season and is likely to have a key influence in changing defense into attack.

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Phil Jagielka

Reminding many of the talent he has with a historic strike in the Merseyside Derby last year, Jagielka already has a key role to play at the heart of Everton’s back four alongside John Stones, never-mind without him.

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A leader for both club and country leaves Jagielka relied upon by fans to ensure a defensively secure unit.

The Evertonian has not only nurtured the talent of Stones, but has also has rallied the team in the face of defeat, most notably his previously mentioned Anfield wonder goal.

With Baines out injured, Jagielka is the key figure alongside Tim Howard and communication between these two could be vital in ensuring Everton improve on their dismal showing last season.

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Jermain Defoe

Consistent strikers are hard to find these days and poachers like Jermain Defoe are almost extinct. However, Jermain Defoe does still exist and he finds himself struggling for goals in rigid Sunderland side – however, he’s still a potent threat.

He showed it with his deception of Kasper Schmeichel sending him the wrong way with a penalty box strike in their 4-2 defeat to Leicester.

Sunderland will need his experience and talent throughout the whole season, especially in the so called ‘6 pointers’ with other sides around the relegation zone.

Defoe is the main man for Sunderland and is capable of firing them to safety, however he requires help.

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He needs the players around him on his wavelength to be given the service to score. His vast experience will prove key to Advocaat as the Dutchman looks to prove his decision to stay was the right one.

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Wes Morgan

Having made 144 appearances for the Foxes since 2012, his worth speaks for himself.

Morgan is the vocal cord of Leicester’s harmony under Claudio Ranieri. The way he leads the back line, it’s clear to see how valuable the manager feels he is.

The Foxes and Jamaican captain will have a key role in making the new signings welcome and since the departure of Esteban Cambiasso, his age and experience will be necessary for survival.

To stay up, the Foxes need to be tight at the back and Morgan’s organisational skills will be at the forefront this season.

At the other end, Morgan and Huth could prove vital as they look to profit from set pieces.

The former Forest man has the experience to make up for his decreasing pace and ability and will prove a key man for a structured Ranieri side this season.

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Journalism student at the University of Sheffield. Freelance for TheBootRoom.

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