Hello and welcome to Team of the Weekend. As ever we’re on the lookout for the players who took the headlines for the good and bad from the weekend’s action. For some reason, defenders spent Saturday handling the ball needlessly but thankfully it wasn’t all like that. It wasn’t a thrill a minute weekend but there was still plenty to get stuck into it. With all the enthusiasm of the Goodison Park cat, let’s get into it.
Martin Dubravka – Probably should have saved that, Martin. To be fair, Dubravka has been excellent since he joined Newcastle almost a year ago to the day. The shot from Son was well hit but fundamentally straight at him and it’s a shame for him and Newcastle that it crept in. Spurs were beginning to look short of ideas but this goal came in the nick of time.
Steve Cook – What are you thinking man? Cook momentarily thought he was playing volleyball and nailed a delicious overhead smash. Considering Bournemouth should have come into this full of confidence after thrashing Chelsea in midweek, they were so poor and this ludicrous act from their captain did little to help. Cook wasn’t the only one at it – Cyrus Christie and Jack Stephens both offered up terrible handballs but can fight over silver and bronze respectively.
Matt Doherty – Doherty’s contribution from the right wing back position has been incredible. The Wolves system is built around the two wing backs being able to get forward. The whole team were excellent against Everton but Doherty got the ball rolling, winning an early penalty for Neves to convert. They made Jonny Otto’s move permanent this week for £18m – how much do you think Doherty would cost based on his goals and assists this season?
Fernandinho – For a man who is supposedly irreplaceable in midfield, Pep seemed to have no problem playing him at centre half. This was a very odd selection. With Stones, Danilo and Delph all available it was hard to see the logic. Far be it from Pep to question Guardiola but they won anyway and neither played badly. What will happen at Everton on Wednesday remains to be seen.
Heung-Min Son – Talk about carrying a team. As soon as South Korea were knocked out of the Asia Cup earlier than expected it became almost inevitable he would stand in for Harry Kane and keep the Tottenham plates spinning. His goal was a tad fortunate but if you don’t shoot you don’t score. All the praise being lavished on him is fully deserved.
Andre Gomes – It’s a shame this turned out to be a consolation goal because this was an incredible hit. The power generated was seriously impressive but unfortunately for Gomes, everybody is talking about cats and Wolves. Everton continue to perplex and their home form is a real cause for concern.
Nathan Redmond – A great finish from Nathan Redmond, who has been reborn under Ralph Hassenhuttl. With Danny Ings going off injured again there was an added expectation on Redmond and he so nearly secured the points. There, I got through a whole 20 words without mentioning his inexplicable hairline. Oh, man.
Nemanja Matic – I know Mike Dean was the ref but Matic really went out of his way to try and get sent off on Sunday. Despite being on a booking, Matic continued to sail close to the wind and he was lucky to avoid a second yellow. The biggest surprise to me is that he is only 30. When people talk about “his legs going” I always think they must be near retirement. The former Chelsea man seems to have been in this category for at least two years. Maybe it’s just the Mourinho effect.
Peter Crouch – Burnley won transfer deadline day in the “banter signing” category. Sean Dyche has had a moment of logical thinking by realising that all of his strikers are kind of similar. Rather than going the other way and getting a quicker player in, he’s had some vertical thinking – literally. Crouch is bigger than everyone so as an impact sub, it’s pretty smart. His impact on Saturday was a sign of things to come, causing havoc and winning the penalty which ultimately earned Burnley a point.
Gonzalo Higuain – He’s up and running! It’s almost as if playing a natural centre forward will help. Mind you, Huddersfield at home is the biggest gimme in the game at the moment so we’ll not read too much into it. Defenders of Chelsea will tell you they have finished this week with a +1 goal difference and it doesn’t matter who the opposition are. Let’s see how Higgy does against better opposition.
Sergio Aguero – A hat-trick is a hat-trick regardless of how few yards it is scored from. Helped by some lame Arsenal defending, Aguero scored yet another hat-trick to help Man City to victory. His hair still looks stupid blonde but that’s not the point. It took him twice as long to score this time as it did in midweek but importantly for Aguero, he still seems to be ahead of Gabriel Jesus in the pecking order. There are a lot of games for Man City coming up though so no doubt rotation will continue.
Neil Warnock – After the previous few weeks that he has had to contend with, who could begrudge Cardiff’s win on Saturday? Warnock has handled a tough situation very well in my opinion. He isn’t everybody’s cup of tea but he and Cardiff can hold their heads high for how they have carried themselves these last few weeks.
That’s all from me this week but I’ll be back with more next Monday. Bye for now.
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