Here we are again, Monday comes around and it’s time to review the weekend gone by. It’s an FA Cup weekend but we had 14 Premier League sides in action, which means I still had plenty of choices to fill an 11 with. Who made the cut?
Alex McCarthy – There was a lack of goalkeeping incidents this weekend, so I’m going to rehash what I wanted to say about Alex McCarthy a few weeks ago. Remember when he was in England squads before he gave all that up to sit on the bench indefinitely? Well, now he’s back! Finally replacing Fraser Forster who gave up catching sometime last year. A clean sheet against Watford will help him no end.
Arthur Masuaku – I was singing the praises of this guy a few weeks ago but all of that has gone up in smoke after Saturday’s events. You can be the best footballer in the world but if you spit at an opponent you are pathetic in my eyes and the 6 game ban coming his way is the least of his worries. Moyes’ bulging eyes were seeking vengeance and he can expect a hefty fine as well as some community work coming his way. Masuaku has apologised but West Ham are out of the cup, which actually is probably worth a bonus such is the mindset of some clubs now.
Jack Stephens – He scored on his birthday! Always a joyous coincidence, especially when you don’t get many, but Stephens has found himself in and out of the Southampton so maybe this can help cement his place. The Saints into round 5.
Scott Malone – It was obvious from David Wagner’s team selection that he wasn’t that bothered about progressing to the next round, and he was duly awarded a draw and a replay. Scott Malone did his best for his gaffer, a hilarious air kick towards the end of the tie nearly signalled the end but he got away with it. Interesting to hear boos from the home fans at the end.
Marcos Alonso – Chelsea made a stroll of Sunday’s clash with Newcastle and Alonso provided the icing on their next round cake with a lovely left-footed free kick in the second half. You know the rules, score a free kick and you’re in this team.
Fousseni Diabate – I must be honest, I didn’t even know who this lad was until I saw him on the Leicester team sheet, but it looks like another win for Leicester’s scouting department. Full of running, he even has the old toe poke in his locker which he exhibited in opening the scoring, before adding a second from a rebound and providing a late assist with another lung-busting run. It was against League One opposition, but he looks a real talent.
Jay Rodriguez – I’m having to pick JRod in midfield but ironically he spent most of his evening there as injuries and backs to the wall mentality from West Brom in the second half called for needs must measures. He took his two goals well though, including an arrowed first, which is great to see from a guy who 4 years ago was on the brink of the World Cup squad before his serious injury.
Kevin de Bruyne – Securing your place in the team with a direct free kick is all well and good, but putting one under the wall is worthy of a knighthood or something. It’s what we’ve come to expect from the brilliant Belgian though and Man City remain on for the quadruple.
Kelechi Iheanacho – I wrote in the preview piece that Leicester have all the groundwork in place to have a good cup run, and that theory is further backed up by them having a £25m man in reserve to bring in whenever they fancy resting Jamie Vardy. Iheanacho must love the FA Cup as he now has 9 in 9 in the competition, though 3 of those came against Aston Villa the year Remi Garde sacked off defending. The Foxes strolled into the last 16, if Foxes can stroll, and there’s not many teams would relish a trip the King Power in Round 5.
Glenn Murray – Allegedly arrested on suspicion of tax fraud in the week, many were surprised to see Murray involved on Saturday at all. The goal itself was awful, a clearance smashed into Murray flew into the top corner with one of Brighton’s last atTAX. Sorry. Make your own HMRC jokes as you will.
Roberto Firmino – Amidst all the VARnage (if cupset is allowed, this will be soon) it’s easy to forget that Firmino opened the scoring with a delicious chip and then missed a penalty awarded by VAR. Liverpool can’t score penalties without Coutinho taking them, with a winner stays on policy proving less than fruitful so far. Liverpool exit at the 4th Round for the second consecutive year to complete a miserable week for Klopp
That’s all for now but there’ll be a midweek team for your viewing pleasure on Thursday. Toodles for now!