Squarefootball's Team of the Week - Week One
And we’re back! So hello. How are you? How’s that sunburn? Okay, now the pleasantries are out the way we can get straight back into the important stuff. The Premier League is back. It’s not like we’ve had much sport this summer to keep us sane during the harsh football-free months, so to have 3pm kick offs on Saturdays is just bliss.
Anyhow, enough wittering on for me. Let’s get straight into our Team of the Week and the Weekend Wonders.
Team of the Week
GK: Simon Mignolet (Sunderland) – Minimal to do but was assured and confident when called upon.
CB: Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) – Took his goal well and stood strong against Wigan’s attacking threat in the second half.
CB: James Collins (West Ham) – Dealt with the little Aston Villa attack with ease. West Ham’s star man on their return to the top flight.
CB: Liam Ridgewell (West Bromwich Albion) – Confident against Liverpool’s attack and battled well against Luis Suarez.
RM: Santi Cazorla (Arsenal) – Looked creative and unpredictable in an Arsenal team lacking ideas.
CM: Marouane Fellaini (Everton) – Everyone though RVP would be the story, but Fellaini controlled the game and scored the winner against Manchester United.
CM: Claudio Yacob (West Bromwich Albion) – Pinged passes across the field and caused Liverpool many problems.
LM: Michu (Swansea City) – Two goals on his debut helped Swansea to an unprecedented 5-0 victory at QPR.
RW: Samir Nasri (Manchester City) – Scored the winner for City against a committed Southampton side. Looked assured and settled in the midfield.
CF: Mladen Petrić (Fulham) – Another fantastic debutant, with two goals helping Fulham to a crushing victory over Norwich.
LW: Nathan Dyer (Swansea City) – A brace for the winger made Michael Laudrup hope all games were as easy as this.
Game of the Week: Manchester City 3 – 2 Southampton
If there was an advert about why you should watch the Premier League, then this game would be the first thing you’re shown. Who could predict that last season’s champions would be matched, and nearly beaten at home by a side that has finished second in the division below. The match had everything and both sides will feel like winners after the final whistle.
Manager(s) of the Week: Martin Jol (Fulham) & Michael Laudrup (Swansea City)
It was too difficult to choose between these two. Both led their sides to 5-0 victories on the opening day of the season. Martin Jol had to deal with the lingering Clint Dempsey transfer saga while Laudrup’s side were not given any hope away to QPR. Both managers proved doubters wrong. Special credit goes to Steve Clarke of West Brom who, in his first game as a full manager, beat Liverpool 3-0 and to Nigel Atkins of Southampton, who nearly gave Manchester City an early season scare in their 3-2 loss to the champions.
Goal of the week: Zoltan Gera (West Bromich Albion)
A cracking strike from 25 yards sees Zoltan Gera get our first Goal of the Week accolade of the season. A corner appeared to be well cleared by Liverpool, but fell to the Hungarian who smashed a half volley into the top of the net, with Pepe Reina having no chance of saving it. Other brilliant opening day goals go to Demba Ba of Newcastle and Michu’s second goal for Swansea.
Howler of the Week: Luis Suarez
When we say Luis Suarez, we mean in general. Suarez could’ve scored a hat-trick against West Brom but struggled to even find the target. With Brendan Rodgers trying to offload Andy Carroll, Liverpool fans will be hoping the Uruguayan will be firing soon.
Laugh of the Week: Alan Pardew forgets his manners
A little pointer, Alan. If you wish to make a point to the referee, it is not wise to push a member of his team.
Even though we have been in the close season, FIFA still continued to discuss the essential rules of the game. And one rule has stood out for a number of years. It’s been discussed, then ignored, then argued for, then argued against. But finally, in the first game, we see the rule enforced we all have been pushing for. Sock tape.
Yes, I’m being sarcastic. I really could not believe it when I saw players being sent from the field of play for such a simple little thing. I’m glad FIFA have the essentials of the game sorted. Now about that goal line technology . . .
Do you agree or disagree? Whatever your views we'd love to hear from you.
Follow Mitch on Twitter @MitchWaddon