The games from the Emirates and at Villa Park caught the imagination this week as Arsenal seemingly find new ways to choke and the red team from Manchester sit atop the Premier League. Same old cake in a freshly designed package eh? Not so much really, especially if you were sensible enough to not switch off your TV sets minutes after the Villa faithfuls went up in raptures, having taken a two goal lead against the the mighty devils who didn’t look so RED. The rest as they say is CHICHA!
3 great displays from people in the same position meant a change from the normal 4-4-2 we are accustomed but we still managed to separate the cream from the rest of the “fat free” content. It’s 3-4-3 this week and let’s have a look who made it in.
Ali Al Habsi (Wigan)
The Latics’ custodian was on hand to produce yet another superb performance between the sticks to keep the match being compared to unilateral paralysis. Probably the most under-rated keeper in the division pulled out one stop after another, the highlight of them being a reflex save with his right hand from a bullet coming off the boots of Lukaku.
Honurable Mention: Peter Cech (Chelsea)
Michael Turner (Norwich)
Clean sheet?–?CHECKEDTowering performance at the back? –?CHECKEDGoes a long way to be in the side for the week. Another vital away point for the Canaries and it all came about from a solid display at the backline, headed by Michael Turner.
Winston Reid (West Ham)
Reid’s emergence as the stalwart at the heart of the defense has come as a big surprise as it was Tomkins who was destined be “this good”. The Kiwi has allayed all fears of his competency at this level and his new found belief was on full show at St. James’ this Sunday as he helped the Hammers to a crucial away victory as the Magpies drew a blank.
Jose Enrique (Liverpool)
The Spanish left-back nicknamed “the bull” put on a bullish display at the Bridge to help Liverpool come away from Chelsea’s turf with a point. A gritty display of defense coupled with occasional forays into Chelsea’s half to provide great width to the Liverpool’s attack. Good low shot at the end to test Cech.
Honourable Mentions: Matthew Lowton(Aston Villa), Jonas Olson(West Brom)
Marouane Fellaini (Everton)
Dragging your team back in to the game single-handedly by scoring a goal and then setting up another should be good enough to get you into the team of the week most of the times. So, it’s no surprise that the talented Belgian makes yet another appearance. Fellaini found himself heavily marked but was still effective and the main glue-guy that kept the Everton attack running at a smooth pace.
Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
When you want to be paid big bucks, you better walk the talk. In football’s case it may be rephrased to “run the talk”. We had heard the talk from Theo and then came the hat-tick against Reading. It was still the League Cup they said. Pinpoint crosses into the box consistently. When was the last time we could say that of the lad? Way more comfortable on the ball than I’ve seen him and played with an ever-present “let me grind you to the ground” attitude. Wanted it badly and wanted it more.
Ki Sung-Yueng (Swansea)
A grand box-to box display from a box-to-box midfielder. The performance goes to show how the Korean has settled into his role at the Liberty. The Korean provided the steel and a creative spark in the midfield as the Swans came away from St. Mary’s with their first away point in five tries.
It’s really hard to get a mention in the team of the week when it comes in a losing effort. Sandro has been much better than most people give him credit for. Filling in the “Parker role”, the Brazilian was again outstanding at Eastlands on Sunday as he broke up play time and again and was astute with his positional play. He covered up for many positional mistakes from Huddlestone and Dempsey.
Honourable Mentions: Mohamed Diamé (West Ham), Juan Mata (Chelsea)
Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham)
“Berba” still has IT!! If you had any doubts, his show against Arsenal should take care of your doubts. The Bulgarian just oozed of class whenever he was on the ball. Scoring from a header, setting up a goal or coolly slotting in from the spot, he did it all. All this while looking utterly nonchalant.
Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa)
When the clock struck the hour mark in the game at Villa Park, the game ball was supposed to be his, he was supposed to be the man. Well, the rest, as they say, will be completed by the next player on the list.
Take nothing away from the Austrian’s performance that brought such such joy to the Midlands, albeit for an hour. His name was aloud not only on the lips of Villa fans but was prominent on the lips of most Chelsea, Manchester City or Liverpool fans. Sadly his two goals were overshadowed by the brilliance of a certain Mexican but it’s enough to get his name on this week’s team.
Chicharito (Manchester Utd.)
Player of the week, sub of the week, magician of the week – whatever title you want to bestow upon the diminutive Mexican for his whirlwind of a 30 minute spell, he deserves it.
If “never write off Manchester United” is the oldest lesson in English football, Hernandez was its latest teacher. It’s quite a task taking in all he did in that spell and describe it in words. It was like Alexander where he turned Bucephalus around to ride it, only this time the game was a big bull and a raging one at that.
Honourable Mentions : Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)
Where does Mane rank in Paul Merson's 5 greatest Liverpool signings of the Klopp era? Click here