Team of the Weekend

Greetings to you all. It might have been FA Cup weekend but that doesn’t spare you from my drivel. The TOTW scouts have still been taking in the cup action and we’ve cobbled together a side featuring the best and worst of the weekend just gone. We had 18 Premier League teams in action and 13 have survived so who has been making headlines? Remember we only consider Premier League players in the picking process!

Goalkeeper

Alex Smithies – Most of the penalty heroes came from sides outside of the top flight. Not to worry though, we had a classic case of a goalkeeper diving out of the way of a shot. If Alex Smithies had hoped to dislodge Neil Etheridge anytime soon those hopes were severely hit by a fairly woeful error of judgement that ultimately saw Cardiff knocked out. Neil Warnock blamed Nathaniel Clyne, for some reason.

Defenders

Serge Aurier – Tottenham went somewhat ballistic at Tranmere on Friday night but it was 0-0 for 39 minutes. Aurier opened the floodgates and netted again before the night was out. It can’t be easy being behind Kieran Trippier in the pecking order and when Kyle Walker-Peters is also knocking on the door, you have to make these matters count. Spurs won 7-0 and Sergey boy isn’t the only Tottenham man on the teamsheet.

Florian Lejeune – Lejeune got a serious knee injury in July and it was expected he’d be out for the season. It was therefore wonderful to see him start the game against Blackburn on Saturday and come through it with seemingly no complications. Newcastle have missed the ball playing centre-half and he’s bound to feature in the second half of the season.

Denis Odoi – Who knew Denis Odoi was this acrobatic? I certainly didn’t. His goal was ultimately pointless though as Fulham managed to lose at home to Oldham. Denis will be backflipping out of the cup tonight.

Midfielders

Nathan Redmond – With Southampton under new management there were a lot of question marks over how a number of players would adapt. So far it looks like excellent news for Nathan Redmond, who has been brilliant and scored twice in the draw at Derby. The first one is a borderline own goal but his second…oh my. Cutting inside and shooting with a bit of dip, a brilliant goal.

Cesc Fabregas – Goodbye Cesc. We’ll always remember your terrible penalty. The fairytale ending was there for him but he did the stupid stutter run up and it was saved. Didn’t Cesc once score a penalty with a fractured leg? Just hit it.

Joe Willock – A day to remember for Joe Willock in a weird game at Blackpool. With home fans boycotting this was like a very small home game for Arsenal. Willock scored twice to show that the old Arsenal youth system still has plenty to offer. Whether they get the chance to show it or not remains to be seen.

Phil Foden – The Stockport Iniesta had another week to remember as he netted his first home goal for the club. Man City destroyed Rotherham and Pep laughed off the notion of loaning out Foden after the game. Rightly so, too. Those homegrown players don’t grow on trees you know.

Forwards

Fernando Llorente – The highest paid fan in Britain. Llorente has had to watch on as Harry Kane plays practically every minute there is to play. It’s like that Simpsons episode where Daryl Strawberry is the only ringer to avoid a disaster. In this example, Homer is Llorente. Homie had his day though on Friday, putting Tranmere to the sword with a hat-trick before retiring to the bench where he will remain for the next three weeks. D’oh!

Aleksandar Mitrovic – Subbed on, takes pen, has penalty saved, get knocked out of cup. A substitution that didn’t really work out. One man enjoyed it – rumours that Aboubakar Kamara lent over to Ranieri and said “told you so” when the penalty was saved are as yet unfounded.

Isaac Success – You. Got. Booked. For. Diving. Against. A. Non. League. Team. You. Ass. Clown. Diver of the week is thoroughly deserved for taking a tumble in an attempt to con poor old Woking.

Manager

Eddie Howe – With Bournemouth nowhere near relegation this should really have been a good chance for a cup run. However, as usual, Eddie Howe showed not a single care for the FA Cup and made a host of changes. His patched up side lost at home to Brighton so it’s back to the battle for mid-table for the Cherries. How dull.

That’s all for this week but it’s back to the Premier League next weekend. Bye for now.