Hello and welcome back to our very own Premier League Team of the Weekend. It’s been a long two weeks since we last did this but as a reminder, I’m on the lookout for the best and worst from our beloved league. Not only do we mash our 11 heroes and zeroes together but we then stick a manager in charge of them all. Without further introductions, let’s get to it.
David De Gea – It was a very quiet week for goalkeepers with very few standout performances. I’ve therefore plumped for David De Gea as it’s the only way I can talk about Man Utd this weekend. Their latest shambles saw them hold out for a 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace. Rumours of De Gea departing for Paris next summer are intensifying and the realisation that his teammates aren’t up to much is certainly dawning.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – It may have been a while but the rules don’t change. Alexander-Arnold curled in a wonderful free kick to wrap up the points for Liverpool at Vicarage Road and round off an excellent few weeks for the young man having scored his first England goal during the International break.
David Luiz – I’ve missed the chaos that used to be David Luiz. He and his colleagues were all over the shop on Saturday night, the highlight being Luiz actively getting out of the way of Harry Kane’s shot. It really should be a three-man centre-half partnership given the credentials of those involved but who am I to disagree with Sarri.
Jefferson Lerma – He’s not a defender but I ran out of places in midfield and there was no way I was going through this without including Lerma for one of the greatest own goals of our time. A sliding volleyed effort from 16 yards that flew past Begovic, delightful. He did try to atone by hitting the post at the other end but he also got booked and kept giving the ball away. Not his best day.
James Maddison – Time to bring back an award I briefly introduced then possibly forgot about. Yes, James is the recipient of our diver of the week award. Thankfully he was caught in the act, given a second yellow card and dismissed which highlights the dive far more than if he had got away with it. To be fair to Maddison he has apologised via social media and as long as it doesn’t happen again, this is the last we’ll say on it.
Leroy Sane – We’ve joked about Pep roulette a lot as his team selections continue to be randomised, but I think we’ve cracked this. With Mendy out, Sane seems to get the nod on the left and his two goals and an assist on Saturday were a reminder of how devastating he can be. Man City won 4-0 without having to get out of 2nd gear. It’s terrifying.
Stuart Armstrong – Two goals for Southampton’s latest goal machine but it was still in vain for Mark Hughes. The second goal, in particular, was excellent, a lovely curling effort from the edge of the box that whistled past Rico. Southampton have lacked goals and if Armstrong can produce regularly from midfield it will help a great deal.
Philip Billing – It’s good job Billing is 6 foot 10 or else Wolves would have been celebrating an equaliser at Molineux. Instead, Billing stretched every inch of his frame to hook Raul Jimenez’s header out from under the crossbar and save a goal by 1.8cm. That’s less than an inch. Anyway, it set Huddersfield up for a win which was secured by our next entrant
Aaron Mooy – Scoring two goals was always going to put him in with a chance of securing a spot in the team but the second was a direct free kick which made him a direct entrant into today’s team. The Wolves wall was hilarious but nevertheless, a perfectly executed curling free kick which lifted Huddersfield off the bottom all the way up to 14th.
Aleksandar Mitrovic – After somewhat of a drought, Mitrovic returned to form in the nick of time for new manager Claudio Ranieri. The big Serbian scored twice to help his side to victory and the Cottagers will hope it is the start of a new dawn on a season that had somewhat stalled.
Heung-Min Son – What a goal this was. Son had been nothing short of a pest to the already flustered David Luiz by the time he picked the ball up wide on the right, slalomed into the penalty area and slotted past the keeper (or Kepa I guess?) to put Spurs 3-0 up. Pochettino’s men are set for a huge week with Inter Milan the next visitors to the Wembley cabbage patch but they really can’t go under the radar forever, they’re now 3rd ahead of next weekend’s North London derby.
Claudio Ranieri – Welcome back, dilly ding dilly dong. We’ve missed the sometimes eccentric Italian and his ways but his team gave him the perfect start with a hard-fought win over Southampton. No doubt some are already backing Fulham to win next season’s Premier League but Claudio will just be happy to keep them up. If he can help Fulham keep a clean sheet at some point this season that will definitely help.
That’s all for this week’s team but I’ll be back next week with a double-header – twice the games, twice the fun. Bye for now.