Garth Crooks’ Team of the Week: Rashford, Saka, Van Dijk, Nunez, Ward-Prowse

At the close of each individual Premier League spherical of fixtures, BBC football pundit Garth Crooks is on hand to give you his Team of the Week.

But who has he picked this time? Acquire a look and then decide on your have team under. As ever, Garth also has his say on the game’s massive chatting details in the Crooks of the Matter.

Keylor Navas (Nottingham Forest)

With 10 minutes left to engage in, Manchester City must have experienced this game at Forest carried out and dusted. As a substitute they succumbed to a late equaliser and left the City Floor with a single place in what was a lacklustre functionality.

A lot of the credit rating for Forest getting a pretty precious place need to go to Navas. The Costa Rica international goalkeeper applied everything at his disposal to keep City at bay. His fingertip save from Ilkay Gundogan’s free-kick was remarkable although the cease from Aymeric Laporte’s header, at level-blank assortment with his nether-areas, was almost nothing limited of heroic if not really agonizing. Navas has a top-class pedigree and Forest are blessed to have him.

Tim Ream (Fulham)

Centre-back again Ream had a respectable World Cup and, at the age of 35, he was not anticipated to go. Having said that, given that his return to the Premier League, the United States international has been enjoying out of his skin.

Yet another three points and a clean up sheet for Fulham towards Brighton alerts just how much the Cottagers have come under the course of Marco Silva. Fulham now sit sixth in the table – 4 spots above their closest rivals Chelsea and having spent a fraction of the funds in comparison.

Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

He is back and a lot to the relief of manager Jurgen Klopp. Van Dijk has been out with a hamstring injuries for six months and Liverpool desperately felt his absence.

Not only did they conquer Newcastle at St James’ Park on Van Dijk’s return, they also kept a thoroughly clean sheet. The issue now is can Liverpool put a considerable operate with each other that could consider them back again into the top 4? With Van Dijk back in the team they are undoubtedly capable of it.

Jan Bednarek (Southampton)

What a defensive show by Southampton at Stamford Bridge. For a team that has retained one cleanse sheet in 20 online games, they defended in opposition to Chelsea as if their lives depended on it. I could have picked any a single of their back five versus the Blues, they have been that remarkable, but Bednarek was the standout defender for me.

The Poland international has experienced a difficult season, but place his system on the line on far more than a person occasion, organised his defence brilliantly and weathered all the things Chelsea could throw at him. Would I give interim manager Ruben Selles the Southampton work completely? Properly, he are not able to do any worse than Nathan Jones now, can he?

Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal)

Zinchenko was associated in practically every Arsenal transfer that resulted in a possibility – he was basically popping up almost everywhere. Arsenal are having an remarkable season and so is the Ukrainian.

Considering that he arrived at the Emirates his performances have been remarkable. Zinchenko had an chance to use his deadly left foot previously in the game but, for some explanation, selected not to. On the other hand, when he did let fly, the ball arrowed earlier Emiliano Martinez in the Villa goal and set up the Gunners for a well-known victory. It was, without the need of question, Arsenal’s best absent functionality this season.

Emerson Royal (Tottenham)

He has by no means been one particular of my favorite gamers but Royal designed my choice following his overall performance in opposition to Manchester City, having completed an fantastic marking job on Jack Grealish. His game is just one you would simply call gritty and not really.

He is an previous-fashioned enforcer but can perform when pressured to. Royal also knows how to score a goal too. His exertion in opposition to West Ham, who looked a team lacking direction, was a striker’s end and left Lukasz Fabianski grounded. The victory requires Tottenham back again into the top four although their manager Antonio Conte recovers from medical procedures in Italy. I marvel if he will arrive again.

James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

If anyone is heading to pull Southampton out of their current predicament it is really Ward-Prowse. Championship soccer is out of the question for the likes of him, he is considerably much too good for that stage. The Saints confirmed actual grit towards Chelsea and Ward-Prowse his top quality.

So Chelsea have expended over £600m in the transfer window and experienced to change to a 20-year-aged not known in David Datro Fofana to give them with the goals they desperately need. Is this a joke? I said previous week I was not certain if operator Todd Boehly realized what he was executing. I am now asking the similar problem of manager Graham Potter.

The apprehension in the air at Stamford Bridge in opposition to Southampton was penetrating. We all know it can not go on like this.

Jorginho (Arsenal)

I was not totally certain about the merits of his signing. Arsenal’s Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka are possessing a superior season and Jorginho appeared to have misplaced whichever it was he experienced at Chelsea. However, I noticed signs against Manchester City in midweek that he was receiving the taste for the big video games once more.

His functionality towards Aston Villa was biting, whilst his style of participate in enhances the artistry of Martin Odegaard. The Italy international’s 93rd-minute strike may possibly have long gone down as an individual goal, but he won’t give a monkey’s about that.

Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)

Arsenal are not just on the lookout like champions, they are taking part in like champions. Getting lost to City in midweek – a defeat Tottenham and Chelsea admirers liked immensely – and occur back from behind, not once but twice, absent from house is the stuff of champions. The man at the heart of these quite fantastic performances is Saka.

Like Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne, I am running out of superlatives for this participant – his equaliser towards Villa was top course. He then went on to terrorise their defence, even though the whole house team qualified Saka with the rough stuff and Villa followers booed him. But none of it manufactured the slightest variance to what was a superb efficiency by one particular of the best gamers in the place.

Darwin Nunez (Liverpool)

A number of weeks ago I suggested Nunez may possibly be struggling from phase fright primarily when playing at Anfield. Even so, the Uruguayan is hunting more like a actual danger these days and a lot additional comfortable in entrance of goal.

His end against Newcastle was emphatic and I now see a participant rising in assurance. There was a instant from Newcastle when Nunez may possibly have squared the ball to Mo Salah, and would have carried out 6 months ago, but chose to shoot and forced an fantastic help save from Martin Dubravka. These are all explain to-tale signs of a striker commencing to occur of age.

Marcus Rashford (Man Utd)

Rashford is taking part in the very best football of his job. He is scoring goals for enjoyable and using Manchester United sites they have not been for yrs.

Meanwhile, Premier League referee Stuart Attwell should really be relieved of his obligations. He authorized Manchester United’s Marcel Sabitzer to continue to be on the pitch after the worst tackle I have seen in years and with no so substantially as a caution.

What designed matters worse, Attwell then booked Leicester City’s Nampalys Mendy, owning created not a single, but two, beautifully legit tackles. Of course it is the referee’s opinion that ultimately issues, but if a top-class official simply cannot distinguish concerning a ‘career-threatening tackle’ and two properly authentic difficulties, then that referee has no hectic officiating in the top league in the world.

Top skilled players are entitled to referees who know the difference among a superior and a quite lousy tackle.

The Crooks of the Issue

So Mikel Arteta thinks the top teams who enjoy on Wednesday nights should not be forced to engage in on Saturday at midday. Usually, that slot is reserved by the tv schedulers for the a lot more desirable fixture of the working day. Television set businesses are only paying soccer clubs a sizeable fortune for the privilege of looking at gamers execute.

The Arsenal manager calls for the Premier League offers clubs who perform on a Wednesday the exact courtesy as individuals enjoying in European competitions when they have a midweek game and commonly enjoy 24 hours later on on a Sunday. The only difference is Arsenal have unsuccessful to qualify for European football, had been not enjoying in a distinctive time zone, but in north London versus Manchester City who experienced to fulfil a comparable fixture three times later on themselves. City do play in European competitions and not a titter from them.

Probably Arteta’s argument would have far more validity if his team experienced dropped to Aston Villa, a game which also turned out to be a typical. It supplied his team with an chance to bounce back from their midweek defeat versus City and reinstate by themselves at the top of the table. Arteta could keep on with his campaign and return a proportion of the extensive total of cash his club receives for satisfying that fixture back to the television organizations. But I can not see that occurring at any time quickly, can you?

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