You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but you can certainly milk him for all he's worth as West Ham are currently proving. With his 38th birthday a little over a month away, Nigel Winterburn is currently carrying on the tradition of the ageing Hammers left-back started by Stuart Pearce, but this weekend he will be up against a man keen to show experience has no place without youth - Rufus Brevett.
Not that Brevett himself falls into the 'spring chicken' category - at 32 years old he has certainly seen his fair share of league football at Doncaster Rovers, QPR and now with the Cottagers. His own fair share of experience is therefore proving crucial to Fulham's bid for Premiership honours, which at the minute seem to be restricted to the honour of staying up.
Anyone who thought Winterburn was finished when he left the Arsenal has been proven severely wrong. He has gone in for 24 challenges so far this term, and despite his advancing years he has still managed to dispossess 17 marauding opponents.
Brevett has beaten Winterburn in this respect, having won the ball an extra seven times. He has featured in all but the opening fixture of the season for Fulham - a game in which the side let in three goals - and he has been present and correct at all three of the Cottagers clean sheets.
One game that will live long in the mind of West ham fans is their 7-1 spanking at the hands of Blackburn Rovers. While it may be a little churlish to suggest the absence of Winterburn from the game - the only match he has failed to start for the club in the Premiership this term - may have been the reason for the extraordinary defeat, it is hardly likely to have helped that his qualities were unavailable.
One area in which the youthful Winterburn may have been more adventurous is in his advances into the opposition half. He has attempted just a handful of crosses so far this term, but his 70% pass completion rate in the opposition half is equal to the average for the division, and Glenn Roeder can hardly ask for more from his dependable defender.
Can the same be said of Brevett? Certainly, and more so, as the Fulham man has recorded the third-highest number of successful passes over the halfway line of any of Jean Tigana's players.
They may both have seen their better years go by, but there can be little doubt that these two still have what it takes to cut the mustard in the Premiership.