The Premier League is back! My how it was missed since a domestic ball was last kicked two weeks ago. That means the return of Team of the Weekend, where we collate the best and worst of the weekend performers. With 18 teams in action there was no shortage of incident, so let’s get to it.
Hugo Lloris – Another high profile error from the World Cup winning captain. Salah’s header should have been easy to deal with but pushing the ball straight into your own defender is as stupid as it is unfortunate. Hugo is not the boss.
Luke Shaw – Good to see his international injury cleared up. Shaw supplied a fine pass for Marcus Rashford to give Man Utd the lead against Watford. His overall performance was very impressive and if Jose Mourinho ever takes his picture off the dart board in his garage he might admit he was wrong one day. Or he made him the player he now is. I’ll let you decide what Jose probably thinks…
Patrick Van Aanholt – Crystal Palace’s frontline had a nightmare for most of their clash with Huddersfield. Chance after chance went begging but after Milivojevic converted yet another penalty, it was left to full back Van Aanholt to seal the points. It was a fine finish as well, doing what Zaha and Townsend had failed to do on several occasions.
Wes Morgan – Did he mean that? I want to say yes, but fundamentally it is Wes Morgan. I don’t think he has back heel flick finishes in him so I’m putting it down as a fluke. Either way, it’s two in two for the big man as the Rodgers revolution gathers pace.
Cesar Azpilicueta – Well, that goal was a bit offside. Chelsea’s Mr Reliable had looked a bit rattled after picking up a yellow card but used his cloak of invisibility to equalise and cause Neil Warnock to explode. Not literally, he was just a very angry man.
Bernardo Silva – I can’t say enough positive things about Bernardo Silva. He has become the most vital cog in the Man City engine room in my opinion, particularly as De Bruyne has struggled for fitness. It was from the right where he caused the damage this week, getting a goal and an assist as City eased past Fulham.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – I learned so much about Southampton’s captain this weekend. Firstly, he’s Danish. I’ve been calling him Norwegian for months. Secondly, he was the youngest player to ever play for Bayern Munich’s first team. Thirdly, he played for Bayern Munich!? Every day is a school day. Anyway, captain marvel scored the only goal as Southampton edged out Brighton on Saturday. He declared in an interview a few months ago that he wouldn’t let Southampton be relegated and he is sticking to his promise.
Dwight McNeil – At just 19, McNeil already looks a good Premier League player. If you look good in an attacking sense playing for Burnley you are obviously up to something. He took his goal well, it must be satisfying as a young player to leave a goalkeeper of Rui Patricio’s quality rooted to the spot as you rifle a shot into the corner. Burnley will probably stay up now thanks to this much-needed win.
Lucas Moura – Remember when Lucas Moura was good? September, I think it was. But as the clocks spring forward Moura came back to life, having a generally good game anyway and slamming in the equaliser that Tottenham deserved at the time.
Jamie Vardy – The hot streak continues. Vardy looks like a player re-born since Brendan Rodgers came in and it’ll be interesting to see if Leicester can build on this next season. Many said Vardy’s decision to retire from international duty was premature but he proved the benefit of it here as he headed Leicester to a deserved win.
Marko Arnautovic – That China move that was never on the cards honest it was all just a horrible rumour from his brother has really ruined Arnautovic’s West Ham form. Mind you the entire team were terrible on Saturday evening as Everton could have racked up double figures. Arnautovic was particularly ineffective and he was replaced to ironic cheers with 25 minutes left. I will be amazed if he is still at West Ham at the beginning of next season.
Marco Silva – Everton had been under pressure but back to back wins have put them back in contention for a European spot. They were utterly dominant against West Ham and it could have been many more than 2-0. Perhaps that surrender at Newcastle from 2-0 up has had a galvanising effect as they have looked a different side ever since.
That’s all for this week but I’ll be back next Monday to pick through the Premier League and FA Cup ties. Toodles for now.