Oh, it’s you again! Welcome back to another team of the weekend, hot on the heels of a special midweek edition. Rotation was still rife amongst the Premier League squads but we’ve still found an 11 worthy of print. If that’s not enough we’ve got a manager in the dugout. Shall we?
Joe Hart – It hasn’t been very often this season we’ve been able to give Burnley any praise but after a rare clean sheet I’ve given Joe Hart the gloves this week. There must come a time where Sean Dyche will assess what is different to last season and conclude that it is Joe Hart. Nick Pope is on his way back and it’ll be interesting to see what happens there. After all, West Ham improved when they replaced Hart with Adrian and they had Moyesy in charge. Just saying.
Steve Cook – You sir have had a beast. It’s not easy to deal with a rampant Mo Salah but when you a) can’t even foul him successfully and b) injure yourself in the process it’s probably not going to be your day. Round that off with an own goal that he calls “the reverse Zola” and you’ve had one miserable day. He hasn’t had many since Bournemouth came up but this was a rough one.
Ashley Young – Man Utd’s struggles have been well documented but everything came together on Saturday. A poor Fulham side couldn’t cope with much and it all started with Ashley Young scoring a ripper. He cut on to his favoured right foot like those great wing days of years gone by and a shot that moved in each and every direction found the top corner. Scoring first obviously helps.
Shkodran Mustafi – It’s the return of Diver of the week! You wouldn’t expect it to come from a centre-back but when they play for Arsenal and don’t seem to really excel at defending then those odds are slashed somewhat. It was a truly terrible flop from a corner of all things and he fully deserved his booking. Silver medal goes to his teammate Guendouzi as Arsenal got increasingly desperate in their hunt for that elusive goal and 3rd place is to their teammate Granit Xhaka. A poor day for Arsenal.
David Luiz – What a turnaround! After being ragged all over by Tottenham I was fearing the worst for Chelsea’s defence but they stood up and were counted in style on Saturday evening. David Luiz is a big game player but it turns out there’s just not that many games big enough for him.
Mo Salah – What can you say? A hat-trick for Liverpool’s Egyptian hero sent them top of the table but it was a flashback to a year ago where Salah really kicked into gear. If it’s a sign of things to come then the rest of the Premier League will need to be on notice. A big European night beckons in the week that will either take the gloss off or put more icing on this hefty cake Liverpool are baking.
Felipe Anderson – Talk about a player in form. Anderson was running wild at the London stadium on Saturday, topping off his performance with a beautiful curling effort from the edge of the box. The gamers amongst the viewers speculated that Anderson held down the shoulder button for just the right amount of time in executing the shot but what we do know is that West Ham are on fire and making hay whilst the sun shines.
Dele Alli – Is it just me or did Dele Alli score this exact same goal at Leicester a few years ago? This was Alli’s 50th goal for Tottenham and after a bit of a quiet spell, he’s hitting form again. It’s probably no coincidence that so many of the World Cup players are hitting form now they’ve got themselves back up to speed.
Diego Jota – It’s fair to say Jota had a slow start to Premier League life but two goals in a week have really turned his form upside down. The winner against Chelsea was good but he followed that up with the opener against Newcastle and then saw his 95th-minute shot parried to lead to the winning goal. It’ll be a weight off Nunes’ shoulders if his front three can add more goals ahead of January.
Callum Paterson – In years to come, aliens will watch Premier League Years and ask what a Callum Paterson is. The honest answer is, I don’t know. He’s a full back who plays up front with a ridiculous moustache. He puts in a hell of a shift and two foots the ball when it’s already in the goal. He throws ridiculous dance moves to celebrate a winner against Southampton. He epitomises what Cardiff are about and they should be over the moon to be outside of the bottom 3.
Steve Mounie – Mounie is banned at the moment but he turned up in the Huddersfield away end for their trip to Arsenal. Handing out presents, singing his own chant. Happy Christmas.
Ralph Hasenhuttl – Welcome to the madhouse. Southampton finally peddled Mark Hughes and the former Red Bull Leipzig manager is in the hot seat to try and steer his side to safety. They’re 19th after this weekend’s results but in many ways, the games between now and January are free hits. Can he find a formula to spark survival or will it require mega money in January? The early signs are that a chequebook may be needed. A special mention to Harry Redknapp who might not be wheeling and dealing anymore but he won reality TV and isn’t that what it’s all about?
That’s all for another week. I hope Mike Dean didn’t ruin your weekend like he did mine and I’ll be back next weekend with more. Bye for now.