Hello and welcome to Team of the Weekend. Our weekly review of the best and worst incidents of the week all rolled into one neat team alongside a manager to keep them all in order. With 18 of the 20 Premier League clubs in action there was plenty to get our teeth into so let’s crack on.
Kasper Schmeichel – It’s been an emotional week for everyone at Leicester City and I think you would struggle to find a neutral in the world who would begrudge them winning on Saturday. Kasper Schmeichel was particularly emotional (and understandably so) and for that reason I am giving him our goalkeeper’s jersey this week. Football pales into insignificance really but the emotional strength shown to even play in a game after what he has been through is incredible. To keep a clean sheet in those circumstances is even more impressive but frankly they could have lost 8-0 and it wouldn’t alter my opinion.
Seamus Coleman – It’s always noticeable when a player celebrates a goal with more vigour than normal and it’s hardly surprising in this case. Seamus Coleman’s horrific leg break will have taken some recovering from but not only is he back in the Everton lineup he’s now looking like his old self, scoring from the edge of the box to put Everton 2-1 ahead. You could say that Coleman is mustard.
Lewis Dunk – In the same game it’s fair to say Lewis Dunk endured a mixed afternoon. After equalising in the first half, he went on to cheaply give the ball away to Richarlison and the rest is history. If you’re going to give the ball away, give it to Theo Walcott or somebody equally nonthreatening.
Juan Foyth – A Premier League debut and you’re 3-0 up. Being Juan Foyth is good. Fast forward 20 minutes and you’ve given away two penalties and all is not well with the world. Granted he was left hopelessly exposed on at least one occasion by some moronic decisions around him but I did laugh at Pochettino saying his performance was good. TWO penalties, Poch. Goodness me.
Kenedy – This lad is one of the strangest footballers I have ever witnessed in my life. I’ve never seen somebody go from the utterly sublime to comically ridiculous in such a short space of time on several occasions in the same match. Obviously we all remember the “worst performance in the history of the Premier League” away at Cardiff but it was a good day for Kenedy on Saturday. It wasn’t for a goal or a wonderful turn though, his inclusion is for a lung busting run to get back and deny Watford a certain goal, something he’s not often associated with but fair play. A massive result for Newcastle.
Felipe Anderson – The second of two Brazilian’s in our lineup today had an absolute stormer for West Ham against Burnley. A surprisingly entertaining game saw 6 goals and Anderson was unlucky not to add to the two he did score. A particular highlight was the volley from the edge of the box when it was all hands to the pump to try and get him a hat trick, but West Ham’s slow and steady resurgence continues.
Richarlison – Our third and final Brazilian is Richarlison, picked as a midfielder despite shining for Everton in a centre forward position. If that’s the biggest plot hole you find in this column, we’re in business. Anyway, we’ve already mentioned him being presented with the ball for his second goal but how good was Everton’s first? A Brighton corner leading to an Everton goal, wonders never cease. A beautiful finish though and that price tag looks more sensible by the day.
Raheem Sterling – Two assists and two goals and involvement in pretty much everything good that City did on Sunday was always going to be enough to secure a spot in our team. There was a question mark on whether Sterling could match his performances or at least his output of last season but the answer to that so far has been an emphatic yes. He’s in the form of his life and Southampton were lucky to get away with just 6 conceded.
Marcus Rashford – JUST SHOOT. You’d be forgiven for thinking Rashford didn’t want to score the winner on Saturday as he just stood 6 yards out waiting to put the ball beyond Begovic for an eternity before eventually deciding to put it home. One of the stranger Man Utd performances of the season but I guess it got the job done in the end. Big fan of Mourinho celebrating then suddenly stopping as though he was caught in the wrong end of a stadium.
Alexandre Lacazette – The composure! The power! I’ll be honest, I thought the chance had gone but Lacazette held it together and showed us all why it’s him on the pitch rather than me as he found a non-existent gap to equalise. What an enjoyable game this was though and a draw was probably fair. Probably.
Alvaro Morata – Who saw this coming? 4 in 4 now for the Spaniard who still showed he isn’t cured from Conte by missing a late chance for a hat-trick. His second goal though was excellent, a low strike across the goalkeeper from a tight angle that showed his confidence is back and that can only be good news for Chelsea. On a day where it didn’t really click until Hazard came on the Blues still found a way in the end.
Rafael Benitez – The manager with the stupidest owner in football has had to put up with a lot this season. Certain pockets of the crowd were starting to question whether he was still the right man for the job and whether the squad were even playing for him – well, Saturday answered that with an emphatic yes. Three players lost to injury and no wins all season, it wasn’t the best win you’ll ever see but if it’s a turning point, Newcastle won’t care. Just need a contract agreed now…
That’s all from me this week but I’d like it to be noticed that I didn’t include Wesley Hoedt for scoring yet another own goal. See you next week for more!