Team of the Week and Weekend Wonders: Week Nine
With wins for Arsenal, Spurs, QPR, Newcastle, West Brom and Sunderland alongside Manchester City's remarkable victory at the home of the champions, just who has made it into our Team of the Week? Here is Mitch Waddon with his starting XI.
Well, that was definitely exciting, wasn’t it? Another spectacular weekend of Premier League football has come and gone and we’re left to pick up the pieces and select our favourite moments. If you, like me, are left in shock at some of the stories arising from the last couple of days, then I recommend you grab yourself a cold drink, sit yourself down, and enjoy this article.
With all 20 teams from England’s top division playing on Saturday and Sunday, we are once again given a full deck to make our selections from. How many Manchester City players do you think will be involved following their demolition of the champions at Old Trafford?
If Ruddy was looking to impress Fabio Capello enough for an England call-up I’m sure he succeeded. Ruddy pulled of a string of fantastic saves to deny Liverpool the victory at Anfield. The pick of the bunch being his stoppage time block from Luis Suarez’s close range volley.
Right Back: Micah Richards (Manchester City)
A second consecutive week in the TOTW for Micah Richards, who looked brilliant in the Manchester derby. He was able to shackle Ashley Young for the majority of the game and his forward runs provided the United defence with all sorts of problems.
Centre Back: John O'Shea (Sunderland)
A first appearance for John O’Shea, who gave a solid performance this weekend away to Bolton. The Ireland international played a part in the first goal for the Black Cats whilst making a crucial defensive header in his own box to deny the Bolton strike force.
Centre Back: Jonas Olsson (West Brom)
Jonas Olsson had a busy week for the Albion away to Aston Villa. The defender won his side a somewhat controversial penalty before heading home to draw his side level. Shows the passion on the pitch that Roy Hodgson will be demanding of his players.
Left Back: Gael Clichy (Manchester City)
Our second City player, Gael Clichy had a fantastic game at Old Trafford. The left back drove down the pitch to be involved in a very strong City attacking line up and also contributed more than his share of defensive duty.
Right Midfield: James Milner (Manchester City)
Number three. James Milner is starting to force his way into Mancini’s starting XI and gave the Italian another reason why he should play each and every week. Milner was committed to the fight at Old Trafford and this showed through his determination in the tackle and his range of passing. Simply fantastic by the Englishman.
Centre Midfield: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United)
Cabaye has been a superb purchase by Alan Pardew. The Frenchman bossed the midfield against Wigan before popping up with a sensational goal to give the Magpies the victory and continue their unbeaten start to the season.
Centre Midfield: Rafael Van Der Vaart (Tottenham Hotspur)
The Netherlands midfielder looked dangerous throughout the game at Blackburn this past weekend, popping up with both of Spurs’ goals to give them the victory. The Tottenham number 11 created chances and was generally superb for the whole game.
Left Midfield: David Silva (Manchester City)
Manchester City’s fourth player in our team of the week, Silva was probably the most lethal of all City’s players in the derby. The Spaniard caused problems for the whole United side and created chance after chance. Scoring the fifth goal for City was the icing on the cake for the midfielder.
Centre Forward: Mario Balotelli (Manchester City)
The boy’s come good for City! The fifth and final City player in our team of the week, Balotelli showed why Mancini has continued to have faith in him by scoring the first two goals in the demolition of United. Demolition of United; I never thought I’d say that . . .
Centre Forward: Robin Van Persie (Arsenal)
Robin Van Persie was once again the man who secured the points for Arsenal; scoring two goals in the 3-1 win over Stoke. The Dutch striker appears to be in the form of his life for the Gunners, meaning the North London club will want to secure his signature on a new contract sooner rather than later.
Manager of the Weekend: Roberto Mancini (Manchester City)
Honestly, would it have gone to anyone else? Not everyone can mastermind a 6-1 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford. The Italian got his tactics spot on for this fixture, choosing to attack United rather than just sitting back, and it paid dividends. Special mentions must also go to Neil Warnock, for overseeing QPR’s 1-0 victory over Chelsea, Steve Bruce, for leading Sunderland to a difficult victory at Bolton, and to Paul Lambert, for his side’s 1-1 draw at Liverpool.
Goal of the Weekend: Darren Fletcher against Manchester City
A small ray of light in the dark tunnel of Manchester United’s weekend. At 3-0 down, Scottish midfielder Darren Fletcher received the lay off to curl a beautifully placed shot into the top right corner and give the Old Trafford faithful something to shot about. Shout out’s must also go to Everton’s Royston Drenthe for his goal against Fulham and Tottenham’s Rafael Van Der Vaart for his two great goals against Blackburn Rovers.
Howler of the Weekend: Fulham’s Bobby Zamora against Everton
The England striker HAD to score this chance. Zamora had done the hard work when he cleverly controlled the ball and walked it past Tim Howard in the Everton goal, but then inexplicably smashed his shot straight over the bar when it was easier to score. With the goal at his mercy, Zamora will not want to remember this one in a hurry.
Controversy of the Weekend: Red Cards
There seemed to be an influx of sending offs this week in the Premier League and not all of them are without question or controversy. Many feel that Phil Dowd sent off the wrong man in the Aston Villa-West Brom game, showing the card to Chris Herd for what appears to be a nothing tackle and failing to send off Alan Hutton for a malicious foul on Shane Long.
Then on Sunday, we were first confronted with the red card for Manchester United’s Johnny Evans, with no complaints. This was quickly followed by red cards for Chelsea players Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba. However, many feel that Bosingwa was unlucky to be sent off against QPR. Maybe the level of safe tackling is reaching a new level.
Mitch’s Moment: Premier League Boo Boys
I enjoyed a chuckle this week during the Wolves-Swansea fixture. At 2-0 down, Wolves manager Mick McCarthy substituted wide-men Matt Jarvis and Adam Hammill off for Nenad Milijas and Adlene Guedioura, provoking chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing!” from his own side’s supporters. These boo boys were proven wrong, however, when the Wolves scored two goals to level the tie.
The point I want to raise here is that managers are paid to make these decisions and fans should have faith in the choices. If I knew better than a Premier League manager, then why am I not working for a Premier League club?
Article by Mitch Waddon
Do you agree with this weekend's wonders? How about our team of the week? We'd love to hear from you!