This week, Dan Davison selects six British players at random from the Premier League and assesses their performances from the weekend.
#1 Marc Albrighton (Leicester City)
Everyone’s favourite Brummie-who-can-cross-a-ball-quite-well found himself on the end of one on Friday night to give Leicester the lead at the expense of West Ham. With world-class manager David Moyes earning a much-deserved third chance at the Premier League and in charge of his first game as Hammers manager at the London Stadium, Albrighton timed his run to perfection to slot home a well-placed cross from everyone’s favourite Yorkshireman-who-reminds-me-of-a-slightly-nutty-kid-at-school Jamie Vardy. Albrighton continued to put some superb crosses in himself throughout the match, in what was otherwise yet another dreary, dull match in East London.
#2 Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Crystal Palace)
Sent on-loan to London neighbours Palace from Chelsea at the start of the season, promising young midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek was set the task of scoring 55 goals, 38 assists and a Nobel Peace Prize nomination by his parent club to possibly earn a place on the Blues bench upon his return. The recent England international has looked assured so far under former Three Lions manager Roy Hodgson and put in a stellar performance for The Eagles against Stoke on Saturday – scoring the equaliser immediately after Xherdan Shaqiri had put the Potters ahead. Two months shy of his 22nd birthday, this is a big season for the man from Lewisham.
#3 Adam Smith (Bournemouth)
A key player in a thrilling 0-0 draw between Bournemouth and fellow strugglers Swansea. In all seriousness, Smith had a great game and has been a shining light in Bournemouth’s fairly unimpressive start to the season. Bournemouth showed some signs of improvement, Swansea continued to be very disappointing. Smith looked assured at the back, with ex-Man City man Wilfried Bony remaining firmly in his pocket. Smith’s eighteenth-century namesake was a key figure in the Scottish Enlightenment era; we were left enlightened after this match as to how dull and doomed Paul Clement’s Swans look.
#4 Danny Drinkwater (Chelsea)
Perhaps the signing that caused Ruben Loftus-Cheek to seek first-team opportunities elsewhere, many may have been surprised to see Danny Drinkwater in the starting line-up for Chelsea in the ‘game of the weekend’ at Anfield on Saturday. Although Drinkwater couldn’t quench his thirst for a rare goal, he was utilised in a much more advanced role than we were used to seeing him play at previous club Leicester City and made some great runs into the box. With Liverpool more threatening in the second half, the England international began to have far less of an impact and was replaced by Cesc Fabregas in the 74thminute.
#5 Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion)
Only those with no knowledge of the Premier League or drunk enough to have forgotten it all were tipping managerless Albion to come away from Wembley with anything other than a humiliating defeat on Saturday. But in a 2003 tribute that nobody else had been told about, Gary Megson was placed in temporary charge and they produced a fantastic defensive display to almost come away with all three points after Salomon Rondon gave them an early opener. At the heart of this was Northern Ireland’s star man Jonny Evans, who marshalled the defence brilliantly and looked assured on the ball as he has done on so many occasions since his move from Manchester Utd. Although Albion eventually conceded, Evans will surely be the first name on the teamsheet for the incoming manager, believed to be everyone’s favourite arrogant wan.. sorry, dancer – Alan Pardew.
#6 Ashley Williams (Everton)
Terrible, just terrible. Oh, you need more than three words? Okay, I’ll try my best. Ashley Williams’ deterioration since he signed for Everton has been bizarre and drastic. As captain of Swansea and Wales, Ashley Williams was sought after by some of the league’s top teams transfer window after transfer window before finally opting to move to the Toffees after the sacking of his friend Gary Monk as Swansea manager. The move across the border appears to have coincided with a complete loss of the ability to defend however, he was genuinely dreadful on Sunday in yet another heavy defeat – this time against Southampton. Drawn towards the ball like an Under-12 player for one of Charlie Austin’s two headed goals, Williams resembled a player being controlled by your dad when you’ve let him have a go at FIFA. “Which button do I press, son?” David Unsworth needs to press the eject button on Williams if this continues much longer.