The Premier League gave us a thoroughly entertaining Saturday and a “Cardiff vs Burnley special” Sunday and as ever I’m here to take you through the best and worst of the weekend. With no direct free kick scorers or penalty saves I’ve had to give this legitimate thought. Let’s take a look…
Bernd Leno – The life of a backup goalkeeper is such that you can be thrown in at a moment’s notice. Petr Cech’s unfortunate injury following a clearance gave Leno the opportunity to make his Premier League debut and he responded with a couple of decent saves to keep out a determined Watford. There have been calls for Leno to replace Cech as he can actually pass a ball but it was his shot stopping that was required on Saturday. He may well get a few appearances now depending on Cech’s recovery.
Pablo Zabaleta – Old PabZab rolled back the years on Saturday lunch time, getting the Hammers on their way with an assist for a well taken Felipe Anderson goal. He’s been a real calming influence recently, using his experience to help ease his side away from trouble. As bad as Man Utd were, West Ham did a lot of things right and the Hammers are now flying up the table with 7 points from 3 games.
Harry Maguire – Old slabhead came away from this weekend with a goal and an assist as Leicester were the latest team to turn up at Newcastle and leave with all three points. Let’s face it, if that head gets on a set piece it’s going to go in. What was DeAndre Yedlin up to though when giving away the pen? Volleyball spike?
Jonny – There were two things I like about Jonny’s goal for Wolves. Firstly, I like it when opposite full backs combine for a goal, in this case Matt Doherty assisting Jonny. Secondly, I really enjoyed the commentator shouting JONNY because let’s face it, who calls a left back Jonny anyway? I mean his name is Jonathan Otto who was(is?) the drummer in Limp Bizkit. Take them to the Matthew’s bridge.
Paul Pogba – What a week for Pogba. It was bad enough being “second captain” behind Antonio Valencia in the first place but to have that taken away is not good news. Then came insta-gate and now being subbed after 70 minutes of another awful Man Utd performance. It’s a disaster for Man Utd at the moment and I can’t see how this ends well for Mourinho AND Pogba – one of them has got to go I fear.
Raheem Sterling – I have to admit I’m continuously waiting for the Raheem Sterling bubble to burst but it just never does. He’s scored that same goal for Man City about a dozen times since the start of last season, where the ball is played to the back post and he taps in. All he can do is get in the positions, to be fair. However, we also saw more of Sterling’s general play as he showed excellent composure to reverse a pass to Sergio Aguero who duly scored. No doubt Sterling will play for England next month and achieve very little but it’s a totally different system and team.
Gylfi Sigurdsson – Quite the afternoon for Everton’s Icelandic superstar, missing a penalty but then providing two excellent finishes to help his side to a 3-0 win over Fulham. The penalty would have won the crossbar challenge for certain, but just as the Goodison crowd were starting to get a little bit uppity a beautiful left foot curler settled the nerves.
Ivan Cavaleiro – Scoring a goal with your first touch in the Premier League is probably as ideal as it gets as Wolves continued their excellent start to Premier League life. Cavaleiro’s return from injury meant he was the latest to provide the spark to help Wolves take all three points. There always seems to be somebody capable of stepping up when Wolves need them most and Cavaleiro’s return to fitness gives them yet more options.
John Berg Gudmundsson – I wrote last week about the re-emergence of Aaron Lennon but if Burnley score, you can bet Gudmundsson had something to do with it. On Sunday, he scored a header he seemed embarrassed about and then went back to his day job of supplying Burnley’s giant forwards with an assist for Sam Vokes. 6 points in 8 days for Burnley and that worrying start has been forgotten about.
Harry Kane – My favourite stat from this weekend is that Harry Kane is the top scoring individual at Huddersfield’s stadium since they were promoted. That’s…remarkable. He scored twice on Saturday, including a now trademark penalty, which should finally allay fears that he has lost something from his game. That’s 3 in 2 now and with Cardiff to come next weekend, there’s every chance he’ll add to that total.
Daniel Sturridge – The comeback kid Dan Sturridge has fought back from the indignity of being loaned to West Brom (where was injured) to take a regular place on the Liverpool bench. Two goals against Chelsea in a week – in two different competitions – but his last minute equaliser at Stamford Bridge on Saturday will have given his manager much more joy. It’s difficult to see a way into the Liverpool front 3 but all he can do is be ready when called upon and he answered the call with aplomb this week.
That’s all from me this week but I’ll be back next Monday with more. Bye for now.