Danny Murphy—a lot to ask of a 34 year-old
Fulham claims to be the oldest club in London.
On Sunday, they fielded one of the oldest teams in the history of the Premier League.
The average age of the players in their starting line-up to play Blackburn Rovers was a little over 30. They gave the Blackburn team an average of four years per player.
Just three of Fulham’s team members were below 30 years of age.
Compare that with their opponents, and the reverse is true. Just three of the Blackburn Rovers team were over 30.
Successful sides manage to blend a mixture of youth and experience, but Fulham boss Martin Jol may need to re-balance his team, especially in view of the way they have faded in the later stages of games this season.
The 1-1 draw against Blackburn was a case in point. They just failed to show enough zip and sparkle to make the most of their possession.
The poor second-half performance at Wolves, ending in a 2-0 defeat, was another.
Lack of youth is a particular problem for Fulham, in view of the number of competitive matches they have played so far this season. Twice as many as some of their opponents.
The Europa League started on the last day of June for the Cottagers. Not much of a summer’s break for 34-year-old captain Danny Murphy and his veteran colleagues.
The Blackburn fixture was Fulham’s 12th of the season. It was Blackburn's fifth.
In between weekend Premier League games, Fulham has to play Dutch side Twente in the Europa League this week, followed by a Carling Cup fixture against Chelsea the following week.
The international break should have given some club players a bit of a rest in September. Not so for Fulham. They have six competitive fixtures to fulfil this month.
Martin Jol will be relieved that the Carling Cup game against Chelsea must be decided on the night. The very thought of a replay might be too much for some of his senior players.