'Top-class': BBC pundit shocked by just how fit one Chelsea player is

Garth Crooks commented on and congratulated the seemingly timeless fitness levels of Thiago Silva.

Silva made the cut for Crooks’ BBC Team of the Week after scoring for Chelsea in the 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur yesterday.

Eternal Thiago

He rolled back the years once again by stifling Spurs at one end, then foiling them at the other.

The 37-year-old used all his experience to prevent Harry Kane from sending Tottenham ahead in the first half, by going to ground after feeling contact from the striker.

After preventing Kane from getting off the mark, Silva rubbed salt into the wounds by doubling Chelsea’s advantage just before the hour mark.

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Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

His header had no comparison to Hakim Ziyech’s jaw-dropping goal in terms of X-factor but created a similar sense of adulation around the majority of Stamford Bridge.

To think the veteran defender has played four times – completing 90 minutes on three occasions – in the last 11 days and continues to shine is a rather stunning achievement.  

Like a fine wine

Other than being a classy customer, Crooks owed the centre-back’s longevity to his routines away from the pitch.    

“A man of Thiago Silva’s age should have retired years ago,” said the former Spurs forward.

“The fact that he’s still playing top-class football at all is a testimony to his fitness and the way he’s looked after himself.

“However, Tottenham defenders should be a little concerned at being out-jumped and out-battled in the penalty area by a player who, in some cases, is more than 10 years their senior.

Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

“Thiago Silva is a great player but when he arrives in the penalty area physical contact should count for something and, until teams like Tottenham and others realise that, Thiago Silva will continue to outmanoeuvre them.”

How not to defend against Silva

Antonio Conte’s men really should have learned their lesson from the previous Premier League meeting, when Silva scored from a set-piece.

They were coached by Nuno Espirito Santo at the time, but this gives them no excuse to concede in an almost identical fashion on Sunday.

It’s not like any of Silva’s game is a surprise; he’s been playing the sport for two decades.

Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

He could easily go on for another few seasons at this rate, or at least until 2023, where his contract expires with Chelsea.

Only then will we allow the Brazilian to hang up his boots!

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.