Hello! It’s not really fair that we get just three weeks of football before the FIFA schedule leads to a two-week intermission, but that’s where we are. Let’s make the most of it and round-up the best and worst of the weekend. I’m channeling my inner 2005 and going 4-3-3 this week.
Kasper Schmeichel – The penalty save that ruined the weekend…from a fantasy football point of view. A penalty save is always going to propel you towards team of the weekend status but the fact Kasper did it on a ground where his Dad was so iconic only sweetens the deal. Besides, I’m pretty sure I made a rule last season that if you saved a pen, you were in the team, and I’m not going against my own rules.
Charlie Daniels – I barely need to justify this. What a goal! It ticked so many boxes: hit hard, bit of swerve, underside of the bar, stupid angle. Goal of the month sewn up at the very least but the type of goal you could watch on a loop for several hours.
Miguel Britos – It’s been a while since we’ve seen such a blatant disregard for an opponents safety, but this two footed lunge was something special. Nowhere near the ball, two sets of studs and a month off. Well played.
Ciaran Clark – If you’ve been part of one of the worst Premier League teams in recent memory, you’ll probably be quite surprised to be back in the top flight two seasons later, let alone be first choice. Clark was outstanding on Saturday, clearing one off the line before scoring at the other end. I’d put the whole 11 in if I could, but I am biased.
James Tomkins – Is there anything more embarrassing than shooting about 30 yards over the bar? Yes, it turns out injuring yourself in the process and needing to be subbed off immediately comes pretty close. It never rains but it pours for Palace and Frank De Boer.
Raheem Sterling – Raheem is a big fan of Tales (probably) so on the back of Hal Robson-Kanu scoring and being sent off last week, the diminutive winger wanted to impress me. Well Raheem, scoring and being sent off in the 7th minute of injury time will certainly do that, but next time you score try not to nearly start a riot please
Sadio Mane – I could have put any of the three Liverpool lads in here but I’m going with Mane as I think he is Liverpool’s best and most influential player, and he was excellent again on Sunday in tandem with Firmino and Salah. Barcelona should probably stop wasting their time trying to sign Coutinho when they could waste their time trying to sign Mane instead.
Alexis Sanchez – Poor Alexis. You’ve signed up for another year of this. Unless you can find a move in the next 4 days of course. The clock is ticking on that front, but at least Sunday proved that Sanchez can’t do it all on his own. After all, Wenger spent over £40m on Lacazette to improve matters. Turns out subbing him on for Sanchez when 3-0 down won’t help.
Peter Crouch – There’s something beautiful about Stoke signing fancier and fancier players but all it does is make Crouchy’s drastic interventions more surprising. He’s been bringing the chaos factor to the Premier League for 15 years now, and even a team filled with giants couldn’t suppress him. His very appearance forced Hegazy into a mistake when the Egyptian had been completely unruffled so far during his time in England. Long live Crouchy, there’s life in those long legs yet.
Alvaro Morata – Diego who? Morata seems to fit the Conte system perfectly, and if we ignore the sitter he missed last weekend, he’s really taken to the Premier League like a duck to water. A goal and an assist this week and if Chelsea can sign a few this week, we can safely say reports of Chelsea’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Harry Kane – How is this even possible? I had dismissed the Kane August curse and the Tottenham Wembley curse as just hilarious coincidences, but now here we are reflecting on Tottenham drawing 1-1 with Burnley. Kane has now played 13 Premier League matches in August and scored 0 goals, which is ludicrous really. Spurs fans know he will score a hatful for England later in the week, as soon as the clock strikes midnight on August 31st he returns to being the usual Harry Kane.
Arsene Wenger – This might not be the first or last time Arsene gets this gig. A 4-0 humbling at the hands of one of your supposed rivals is never good news, but when you’ve left your new multi million pound forward on the bench for Danny Welbeck, you’re making a rod for your own back. Giroud must have been pleased with that too. Last time this sort of thing happened and Arsenal lost 8-2 to Man Utd they spent £8m on Mikel Arteta, so lock up your slightly above average midfielders this week, Arsene is on the prowl. Arsenal were all over the place, and Wenger has two weeks to think of the best way to take this team forward. Resigning is an option.
That’s it from me this week but Team of the Weekend will return in two weeks after the International Break. Stay strong.