Dan Davison selects six British players at random from the Premier League and assesses their performance from the weekend.
#1 Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United)
All hail David Moyes! After his incredibly negative tactic of parking the bus and clinging on to the lead for dear life failed to pay dividends against league leaders Manchester City, West Ham’s saviour was not to be deterred from doing the same against champions Chelsea. And this time, remarkably, it worked! Moyes, who moves up to a win percentage of 2% with the win, has clearly picked out England international Aaron Creswell as one of his star men, and the full-back put in a mature performance for the Hammers at the London Stadium. With the wannabe football freestyler Arthur Masuaku in front of him, Cresswell does not have the same license to go forward as he did under previous manager Slaven Bilic but showed how solid the defensive side of his game is alongside the even-more-impressive Angelo Ogbonna. Also, it appears Cresswell can cross well. But can Winston read? Sorry, Winston.
#2 Izzy Brown (Brighton and Hove Albion)
One of Chelsea’s 9507 players out on loan, Izzy Brown struggled against his old team Huddersfield for Brighton on Saturday. A real star in Huddersfield’s promotion push from the Championship last season, Brown chose Chris Hughton’s Seagulls in the summer over another season with David Wagner’s Terriers. Perhaps more of a fish and chips guy than a John Smith’s man, Brown certainly appeared to have consumed a few pints of something if his performance at left-back on Saturday was anything to go by. Struggling to make an impact against other of the South Yorkshire club’s full-backs, Brown was hauled off in the 73rd minute with Tomer Hemed replacing him. Having also had loan spells at Rotherham United and Chelsea’s feeder club Vitesse, our sources tell us that Brown will be loaned out for another 21 seasons before parent club Chelsea finally conclude he isn’t good enough aged 41.
#3 Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur)
Not in the best of form going into Saturday’s game at Wembley, Spurs were fortunate to have full-back Kieran Trippier on top form to avoid Tripp… to avoid a potential stumbling block against a (insert tired, false cliché about Stoke here) Stoke City side. It’s another England international Harry Kane who will once again get the plaudits for his two goals, but Trippier was instrumental in providing pace down the right flank and delivered some fantastic crosses. It was a return to form for Spurs, but Stoke look in genuine trouble. With Trippier criticised by ex-Spurs player Jermaine Jenas on Football Focus mere hours before kick-off for supposedly being unable to do most of the attributes he showed himself to be completely excellent at, it’s further proof that pundits have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. Whereas us football writers absolutely do. Give me a call BBC.
#4 Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United)
In a pulsating end-to-end match at St James’ Park in Saturday’s late kick-off that encapsulated all that is good and bad about the Premier League, there were as many players from both Newcastle and Leicester City who stood out for their poor performances as there were those who looked impressive. With Dwight Gayle belonging to the latter group of standout performers, Newcastle teammate Isaac Hayden was very much part of the former. Lacking any form of control in the middle of the park or composure on the ball, it is a mystery as to why Rafael Benitez prefers Hayden to England international Jonjo Shelvey. Raised in the selfies and Louis Vuitton washbag culture of the Arsenal Academy as opposed to the School of Hard Knocks teammate Gayle received in non-league, Hayden will need to put in a far better performance next time out if he is to justify a place in the Magpies’ starting line-up.
#5 Tom Davies (Everton)
In the Merseyside derby on #DerbyDay or #TheGreatestDayIntheHistoryofSport if you’re to believe Sky Sports’ tiresome overhyping of yesterday’s ‘Super Sunday’ fixtures, Everton’s young midfielder Tom Davies was most certainly not one of the stars of the show. Davies, who is just 19-years-old and therefore has only been eligible to drink in the local Liverpool pubs for the last 12 years, looked to have no control in the centre of the park as Everton were completely overrun by their Red counterparts. Big Sam Allardyce hasn’t spent all these years as a manager for nothing however, and was smart enough to change things and haul the youngster off at half-time – altering the Blues’ formation. Besides, he had £50 with Ladbrokes on Aaron Lennon coming on in the 46th minute. You can’t take chances with that sort of money on the line.
#6 Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
Manchester City were once again excellent to beat their city rivals United on Sunday and set a new Premier League record. City find themselves around 47 points clear at the top of the table already, and manager Pep Guardiola can now afford to take the rest of the season off and focus on his passion for fashion. If that’s what you can call that horrendously oversized scarf you were wearing. I call it a crime. Back to the match, and one City player was less impressive than his world-class peers on Sunday however and, predictably, it was an Englishman. Kyle Walker picked up a silly early booking that forced him to walk on eggshells for the remainder of the match against a pacy United forward line. With fellow England international Fabian Delph bizarrely filling City’s other full-back position, there is room for improvement for both. It is hard to find fault in this imperious Manchester City side, but I will strive to continue to do so. Because who likes a winner, really?