What I am going to show you today be the base from which we work from. It's all about age. I have gone back over the past 5 seasons of Premier league data - any further back and the data gets weird - and counted every striker who played over 100 minutes or who scored a single goal in any given season. I recorded their age, their shots profile, their goals assists and minutes played.
All these events will be examined and dissected over the coming days or weeks here at Bitter and Blue and one other site (more on that tomorrow). I hope that it will be the most comprehensive study of striker data that we have yet seen. The crucial key stone to all those numbers is age. Once we have the players performance data and the age at which they recorded it we can do many cool things.
Today I want to merely set the scene and show how you the data on age and how many players have played at that age over the 5 seasons.
Age is determined by age on the 1st of January of the relevant season.
This chart shows the number of seasons played in the Premier League by each age bucket.
- It's pretty hard to play in the Premier league under the age of 23
- It's even harder if you are a teenage striker. This is not a development league
- The opposite end of the age spectrum shows how hard it is to stay in the Premier League
- Over 32 years of age? Your PL career is likely over.
- Age 31 appears to be the death rattle, the last burst of desperate performance before the curtain is brutally drawn on a players top flight career.
27 years old appears to be the 'true' peak for the volume of players playing in the Premier League, thereafter the numbers decline steadily until we get to the great talented survivors, the death rattles of the journeymen and the promoted old pro's at age 31.
It is mighty hard for a young player to break into this league. It can be just as hard to stay in the show once a players age is advancing.
There will be lots more to come from the numbers I have collected but I will leave you with a final observation:
The chart above shows us that Premier league clubs employ and play more players at the age of 31 than any other age. Maybe clubs value experience, maybe these players are cheaper to employ? Whatever the reason is, I believe this trend of playing 31 year old players to be inefficient (save for Drogba, K. Davies).
The peak in season by age bucket as seen in the chart above does not, in any way shape or form, match up with the peak performance of age for Shots, Shots on Target or Goals.