Premier League Team of the Week : Gameweek 16
This Premier League season has been incredible to say the least, and the latest Gameweek has – like so many prior to this – provided us its share of twists and turns, upsets and emotional breakdowns at the end of matches. The result which undoubtedly sent shockwaves across the globe was Bournemouth – who were stranded with 17 points in League Two( Fouth Division) in 2008 – humbling 20 time Premier League champions Manchester United in front of a cock-a-hoop Dean Court Stadium. Fellow relegation candidates Newcastle too stole a victory at White Hart Lane when Ayoze Perez’s 93rd-minute winner against Spurs took Steve McClaren’s side out of the relegation zone.Leicester continued their remarkable start to the season as they retained their position at the top of the table with a 2-1 victory over Chelsea, who unbelievably find themselves just a solitary point above the relegation zone. A feisty encounter saw Liverpool salvage a point against West Brom at Anfield thanks to a deflected 95th-minute equaliser by substitute Divock Origi in a game where Jurgen Klopp publicly criticised Tony Pulis’ long ball tactics and Albion’s aggression on the pitch which saw Dejan Lovren stretchered off.Other results saw a wasteful Everton managing just a point at Norwich while Watford won their third Premier League game in a row with a 1-0 victory against struggling Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Arsenal eased their way to victory at rock-bottom Villa, whereas Manchester City won the hard way against managerless Swansea, a deflected Toure strike late in the game giving Manuel Pellegrini’s side an undeserved three points at the Etihad Stadium.Amidst all this drama, which eleven players produced individual performances good enough to merit themselves a spot in this edition of the Premier League Team of the Week?
Jack Butland (Stoke City)
This 22-year-old stopper continues to amaze many a football pundit this season following the departure of Asmir Begovic, and Saturday’s impregnable show against West Ham once again epitomized the potential in him to become one of Europe’s most sought after keepers.
With 9 saves in total, the Englishman’s assurance in guarding his goal has definitely provided Mark Hughes the cutting edge over most other Premier League opposition as far as defence is concerned. With less than 6 months to go before Euro 2016 is underway, national manager Roy Hodgson now faces a selection dilemma on whether to prefer Butland as the first-choice goalkeeper over the long-serving Joe Hart.