After an FA Cup detour this past weekend, we’re back with mid-week Premier League action and another set of the good, the bad and the stupid. All 20 sides were in action so as you would expect, there’s plenty to talk about. Good old fashioned 4-4-2 this week.
Nick Pope – Nobody was more delighted to see Nick Pope push away Joselu’s terrible penalty than Petr Cech, whose hilarious error will now go unpunished in terms of team of the week selection. Such are the rules of my game, Pope’s penalty save guarantees him selection but take nothing away from Joselu, who had another night to forget.
Nathan Ake – We always talk about Chelsea stockpiling players, so it’s strangely satsifying when one of them escapes and scores against his former employers. Ake is Bournemouth’s best defender by a mile and they’ll need him to be at his best to get more results like this and shoot up the table.
Seamus Coleman – Regardless of who you support, you can’t help but be pleased to see Seamus Coleman back in first team action and completing 90 minutes too. Anybody who saw the grim pictures following the injury will be glad to see he has made a full recovery. Some rare good news.
Phil Jones – It had been a while but the “Phil Jones does stupid things” compilation had a new entry with a fine finish from a Kieran Trippier across. Obviously, that’s an own goal, but we’d been praising Jones too much recently so it’s about time things were back to normal.
Jamaal Lascelles – Newcastle can’t score goals. That’s not a secret, it’s why they’ve loaned Islam Slimani, but plan B should probably be to just play Lascelles up front. He showed Joselu the way to do it on Wednesday night, glancing in a corner whilst his more attack minded colleagues passed up multiple opportunities.
Sam Clucas – It’s funny how some players just have it in for certain opposition. Sam Clucas has scored home and away against Arsenal this season, with the former Hull man helping himself to two goals against Wenger’s men on Tuesday night. Clucas is the answer to a quiz question, do you know what it is? That’s not how quizzes normally work, admittedly, but let’s try it.
Christian Eriksen – The fastest goal of the season is a neat way to make your way into the team, but just why were Man Utd standing watching it all unfold? I don’t know. Eriksen was ill for Spurs’ last league game but he returned with style here as Spurs secured a valuable and important win.
James McClean – Is there a greater indignity than being booked for attempting to hack somebody down, failing and then watching them score? Poor James, he can’t even foul correctly.
Theo Walcott – It’s that time of year again where Theo Walcott, now of Everton, makes a late drive to get in the England squad ahead of the World Cup. He will ultimately fail and be placed on the dreaded standby list, but for now, well done Theo for scoring twice. The second goal in particular was very well taken, thumping a volley beyond Kasper Schmeichel and securing Big Sam a precious 3 points.
Callum Wilson – Bournemouth were surprise victors at Stamford Bridge and part of the reason that result came about was down to the hard work of their top scorer. He took his goal with a neat finish under Thibault Courtois and then laid on the second for Junior Stanislas. Chelsea were a shambles defensively but Wilson’s tireless running was a key factor.
Joselu – Look, he runs around a lot and his work rate is excellent, but the thing about strikers is they need to score goals. This is where Joselu fails. His penalty wasn’t great but the chance he missed in the second half was just woeful. Hit the target lad. His place in the team is very doubtful now.
Carlos Carvalhal – What a result! Eyebrows were raised when the former Sheffield Wednesday manager was appointed at The Liberty but he’s slowly lowering those eyebrows by picking up important wins. After beating Liverpool last time out but they managed to top even that by beating Arsenal 3-1. The Swans were out of the bottom 3 for 24 hours, but the fact they are back in touch with the pack is a testament to Carvalhal’s work.
That’s all from this mid-week edition but I’ll be back on Monday with the weekend’s team. Toodles for now.