Welcome to Team of the Weekend! In a week where defenders went goal crazy and everything except the title was decided, we’re on the look out for the best and worst performers. Could anybody deft aching limbs and catch the eye on the penultimate week of the season?
Jonas Lossl – I was all set to include Mark Travers after a clean sheet on his debut for Bournemouth. However, Lossl got an assist for Huddersfield’s equaliser and that is worth everything. A goalkeeper assist is an automatic entry – I don’t think that’s always been a rule but it is now. Send help if one ever scores again.
Seamus Coleman – I will admit I thought Coleman’s best days were behind him. That horrific injury might have taken years off his career but he looked back to his very best on Friday night. Quite why he was in the middle of the 6 yard box to head home Everton’s second is anybody’s guess but he was and for that, welcome to the team.
Ryan Fredericks – First Premier League goal klaxon! That’s reason enough to be included in my opinion, just about every defender scored this weekend so I guess it was meant to be for Fredericks.
Martin Kelly – Yes! There’s not enough comedy own goals these days. We need more like this where all the sport scientists in the world can’t account for good old fashioned boobery. Martin Kelly is always liable to supply it but he’s a Roy favourite so he’ll probably start up front next week.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – There’s a theory that there’s no way Trent Alexander-Arnold will spend his whole career at fullback. Based on Saturday night, he may well have a future as a goalkeeper. His two assists and a punch off the line summarised an eventful evening. By the way, it really irks me that he wears 66.
Son Heung-Min – Well that was silly now wasn’t it? Professional wind-up merchant Jefferson Lerma was at it again and Son, of all people, hit him in the face. We’ve all wanted to do it I just didn’t expect it to be him. The three match ban ensures he won’t start next week or next season. Clever.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek – A ninth goal of the season for Loftus-Cheek helped Chelsea ease past Watford. He’s made a big difference to Chelsea since Sarri snapped out of his Barkley/Kovacic bind. They had looked very vulnerable for a top four finish but they’re now third and have secured a top four finish. A Europa League final may yet follow.
Isaac Mbenza – I know relatively little about Isaac Mbenza. His equaliser for Huddersfield was hilarious though, not only in the context of the season but for the celebration. He showed that corner flag what for – kicking it to an early death as it shattered under the might of his right foot. I, for one, feel corner flags have been getting away with it for too long and it’s about time somebody sent a message.
Granit Xhaka – It’s been a while since I’ve had to call out Granit Xhaka but he gave away a penalty so here we are. It’s ultimately cost Arsenal a top four position but let’s talk about the actual foul. The BBC have called it “an absurd foul.” I can’t really better that for a description but it was so needless it’s almost funny. Not a good weekend for top four sides.
Marko Arnautovic – There he is! I can only assume some sort of scout was in attendance on Saturday as Arnautovic put in his first full shift for several months. Two goals won the game for West Ham against an abject Southampton. Quite where he’ll be next season, I have no idea.
Divock Origi – If you’d told me at the start of the season Divock Origi would score a late winner in game week 37 to take Liverpool back to the top of the table, I’d have slapped you right in the face. I won’t tolerate such nonsense. Alas, it has happened and I have kept my slapping to a minimum. All eyes turn to the blue side of Manchester once again where they will try and better their record of keeping themselves ahead by less than 27mm.
Unai Emery – How have Arsenal messed this up? Thursday’s second leg with Valencia looks absolute huge in the context of Emery’s Arsenal career even at this stage. He’s had an entire season to find a system that suits the players he has and to my untrained eye, he hasn’t yet found one. They look like a team without a plan – they look no different to they did in the final weeks of Arsene Wenger’s tenure.
That’s all for this week but I’ll be back next week with the final team of the weekend not just of the season but my final edition. We’ll go out in satirical style. Toodles for now.