Well it’s that time again; Monday morning means another team of the week. As the season moves on it is becoming evidently clear that many players are improving greatly, thus making my job harder!
With such fantastic attacking displays from teams this weekend I have opted to go with the 4-3-3 formation to accommodate the best players of this weekend’s action. Some positions were very tight hence the ‘Unlucky to miss out’ players. Let me know if you agree or disagree with my choices.
GK: Brad Friedel – Friedel could have put in a below par performance for Spurs at the weekend following the demoralising realisation that he will be replaced by the French national team keeper and captain, Hugo Lloris, this season. Instead he pulled out one of his best games since joining the club and could do nothing to stop the goal from Snodgrass.
Unlucky to miss out: Brad Guzan
RB: Emerson Boyce – A very underrated player, Boyce has been a regular in the Wigan side at right wing back and his performance against Stoke showed why. His play going forward was strong and troubled Stoke’s defence whilst his defensive capabilities were never called into question as he nullified the threat of Michael Kightly.
Unlucky to miss out: Russell Martin
CB: Ciaran Clark – Red carded against Everton during a horror show performance, Clark had something to prove to the Villa faithful against Newcastle and he did just that. Tasked with keeping Demba Ba and Papiss Demba Cisse quiet, the Irishman did just that and could not be faulted for Hatem Ben Arfa’s strike. His goal to open the scoring will have given the defender great confidence and alongside Vlaar could form a good partnership for the season ahead.
Unlucky to miss out: Jonas Olsson
CB: Gareth McAuley – With Marouane Fellaini in such red hot form so far this season, you had to pity the man given the unforgiving task of marking the Belgian. That man was McAuley, and the West Brom man managed what Vidic and Clark were unable to do in previous matches; keep the afro-man quiet for 90 minutes. His goal was just reward for his fantastic dominating display.
Unlucky to miss out: Per Mertesacker
LB: Javier Garrido – Garrido had a mixed bag of success during his first Premier League spell at Man City but has hit the ground running second time around at Norwich. Didn’t offer too much attacking threat but limited Aaron Lennon’s opportunities effectively and helped to shore up a Norwich back line that defended resolutely.
Unlucky to miss out: Daniel Fox
MF: Abou Diaby – Alex who? Diaby showed Arsenal fans that they needn’t worry about the departure of Song with a dominating and influential performance, reminiscent of former Arsenal favourite Patrick Vieira. When on his game Diaby can be one of the most devastating box-to-box midfielders in the game. Arsenal fans will hope to finally see some continued consistency and fitness from the Frenchman to help form a key part of Arsenal’s improving midfield.
Unlucky to miss out: Claudio Yacob
MF: Robert Snodgrass – Left footed players on the right wing can be a recipe for disaster, just ask Spurs fans about Gareth Bale. Bale was given a master class in how to do so at White Hart Lane on Saturday, albeit with the help of the poor defending Benoit Assou-Ekotto, as Snodgrass posed Spurs with a constant threat going forward. Mixed up his delivery well and always looked likely to score, even before he popped up for his 85th minute goal.
Unlucky to miss out: Mikel Arteta
MF: Santi Cazorla – Yet another appearance in the team of the week for the Spaniard who just seems to get better and better with every game. Once again the main creative hub of the Arsenal side, the Spaniard dictated the play and played a part in making Liverpool’s midfield, and defence, look distinctly average. An assist and his first Premier League goal could kick-start a beautiful relationship between club and player.
Unlucky to miss out: Morgan Schneiderlin
ST: Steven Fletcher – Unfairly burdened by a price tag arguably higher than his market value, Fletcher could have buckled under the pressure as many players of greater quality have done following big money transfers. But no, Fletcher pulled up his socks and showed his worth with a great curling finish to the bottom right corner for his first goal and great instincts to reach the back post before Swansea’s Chico from a Seb Larsson free-kick. With good service, Fletcher could prove a great buy.
Unlucky to miss out: Hatem Ben Arfa
ST: Andy Carroll – Following his move to Liverpool, Carroll’s time had proved fairly unsuccessful at Anfield bar the last few games of the season. Nevertheless West Ham took a punt on the striker and his debut will have excited the Upton Park faithful. Caused panic amongst Fulham’s defence with his power time and time again and linked up well with his teammates. A promising reboot to his career begins.
Unlucky to miss out: Arouna Kone
ST: Robin Van Persie – One journalist posted on Twitter that Van Persie wouldn’t reach double figures for this season as injuries return. Well if his first two starts are anything to go by, Robin can head on his injury break before November and still hit ten goals. As he did so regularly at Arsenal, Van Persie popped up with two late goals which added to his earlier strike were enough to sink unfortunate Southampton.
Unlucky to miss out: Carlos Tevez
Anybody I’ve missed that should be involved? I look forward to hearing your views.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald