Step aside, Crooks.

Right. Garth Crooks has become laughable with his attempts at writing a team of the week for BBC (did anybody else see his formation choice of 4-1-5 last week?) so I’ve decided I’m going to try and write a decent one each week.

Goalkeeper:

Tim Howard – Everton:

One of the three teams to hold a clean sheet, there were few contenders this week for best goalkeeper. But the American showed his experience when making a few key saves. Although Everton were completely dominant all game, last season illustrates the importance of goal difference and with the form Everton are showing this season, those saves may take the side into Europe.

Right Back:

Carl Jenkinson – Arsenal:

The young right back often looked out of place last season but against one of the best attacking forces in the world, he didn’t put a foot wrong. Made a fool of Lescott at one point on the wing, out-pacing and out-strengthing the experienced England international. Shame about the haircut.

Centre Back:

Phil Jagielka – Everton:

This has been a big few days for Jagielka. A solid performance featuring a goal line clearance came at an interesting time after the recent retirement of his superior, Terry, from the England team. Starting to look a capable replacement for the ex England captain.

Centre Back:

Per Mertesacker – Arsenal:

Garth was up to his usual immaturity with his choice of Koscielny at centre back this week. He had a decent game, but Mr Crooks clearly chose him simply because he scored. Pre-match nerves set in before the game after Vermaelen’s contraction of flu leading to the selection of the slower Mertesacker against a fast moving City side. However, Mertesacker stayed solid all game proving that defensive experience and anticipation make up for his lack of pace. Man of the match in that game and very much deserving a place in this team.

Left Back:

Danny Rose – Sunderland:

Again, the BBC Team of the Week chose a player based solely on the fact he’s a defender scoring a goal, Ashley Cole. By his standards, he only had a decent game. Far more interesting is the strong performance from young Danny Rose. This lad is one who is unlucky to have come into an English squad spewing out left-backs like they’re going out of fashion. He’s got a lot of pace, talent and a wicked left foot. He proved his Premiership credentials in the game against West Ham.

Central Midfield:

Stephen Gerrard – Liverpool:

My opinion of Gerrard has been falling recently. But this game showed that there’s still life in the old dog. Displaying pin point accuracy in a variety of passing and popped up with what could have been a massive goal if it wasn’t for a few dodgy decisions along the path of the game. If anyone was going to put on an impressive performance on such a massive game after the recent revelations over Hillsborough, it had to be Mr Liverpool himself, Stevie G.

Central Midfield:

Kevin Nolan – West Ham United:

Nolan looks like he’s going to be a massive player for West Ham this season. With 3 goals to his name already (and it would have been more if not for a couple of first class saves from Mignolet), he looks like he’s an inspirational captain who I’d imagine is a manger’s dream to have in the dressing room. Could potentially get an England call up? The team needs a bit of a change.

Nolan, sporting his classic chicken impression celebration.

Nolan, sporting his classic chicken impression celebration.

Winger:

Hatam Ben Arfa – Newcastle United:

What a talent. After a worrying injury, the Frenchman has shown he has not lost any of his ability (and there’s a lot of it). Close control and creativity enough to rival the very best, Ben Arfa’s input meant Newcastle could have won the game by far more if it wasn’t for some wasteful finishing from Cissé.

Winger:

Matt Jarvis –  West Ham United:

This choice was a tricky one for me. Jarvis just scraped it. But still, to gain a position in my team of the week after coming on as a sub is extremely impressive. It shows Jarvis’ determination to go out and do his best. Once arriving on the pitch, nearly all of West Ham’s attacking threat involved him, his work rate and that pinpoint right foot. Still a big fan of his and hope he gets his chance in the starting line up next weekend.

Forward:

Hugo Rodallega – Fulham:

Martin Jol called this one well. In a post match interview he confirmed that he felt Rodallega would up his game when playing his old team and this was a correct call. With a powerful header and a large part to play in Fulham’s second goal, Hugo had a stormer back at the DW Stadium. Nice to see a mark of respect in not celebrating his goal too.

*STAR PLAYER*

Forward:

Ricky Lambert – Southampton:

My player of the weekend. Goalscoring at it’s very very best. If Messi or David Villa had produced a goal from the position he was in for his first, plaudits would be ringing all round the footballing world. The power and placement of his penalty was like a confident, two fingered salute to the recent trend of lofted penalties; illustrating how he’s kept his incredible 100% penalty record in his last 26 attempts. It was not only his goalscoring that was impressive however. I’ve never seen a player of his build have such a deft ability to control the ball with his chest. His work rate was incredible and his passing sublime, on a par with the league’s best. A stella performance from the Saints striker.

Thanks for reading and please leave a comment or Tweet me if you’ve got any thoughts on my team. I hope you enjoy you’re evenings and are enjoying the Capital One Cup games on tonight!

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