FULHAM boss Martin Jol admits he has having a hard job getting rid of the oldies in his squad.
And in the week the Whites signed 30-year-old Mahamadou Diarra – the average age shot up just that bit more contrary to the manager’s avowed intention at the beginning of the season.
Jol hoped by now the likes of Kerim Frei, Pajtim Kasami and Orlando Sa would have forced their way into the team heralding a youth culture rather than a club for thirtysomethings.
Instead, the signing of former Real Madrid star Diarra along with 28-year-old Pavel Pogrebnyak in January has made nonsense of the young ones, at least for the time being.
Seven of those who featured in the rare away-day joy at QPR on Saturday have already blown out a score and 10 candles on their cake – not that Jol is complaining.
The young players are for the future,” he said. “But the likes of Kerim Frei have to push for their future and be better than the other players when they are in the team.”
Diarra reckons whatever he does for the next 12 matches, hopefully starting with Wolves on Sunday, will earn the former Galactico a longer stay at Craven Cottage.
“I consider the 12 remaining matches as 12 finals for me,” he said. “It’s up to me now to prove that I can do well and satisfy the team with good performances on the pitch.”