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Wednesday, 04 September 2013

Squarefootball's Team of the Week: Week Three


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SqfWaddon
Arsenal regained local bragging rights with a 1-0 victory over North London rivals Spurs on Sunday while Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge was on target for the third game in a row as Liverpool moved to the top of the table with victory over their old foes Manchester United.

In a weekend that only produced a paltry 13 goals from nine games, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Crystal Palace and Swansea City all picked up their first wins of the season. Manchester City bounced back from their shock defeat at Cardiff, although Hull City made it tough for them, while Stoke City made it two wins in two to rise to the dizzy heights of fifth.

So who has made it into our Team of the Week this time round? 

Sqf team of the week 2013 wk3

Goalkeeper: David Stockdale (Fulham)

Although Fulham lost 1-0 at Newcastle, Stockdale did a fantastic job of covering for regular number one Stekelenburg, producing a number of decent saves before Ben Arfa’s fabulous winner.

Right Back: Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City)

Zabaleta was the outstanding player at the Eithad Stadium in City’s 2-0 win over Hull, providing an assist and an attacking alternative for the Blues.

Centre Back: Danny Gabbidon (Crystal Palace)

The Welsh defender gave Palace a half time lead over Sunderland before putting in a fantastic shift at the heart of defence to help the Premier League new boys to a 3-1 victory.

Centre Back: Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)

Koscielny was the rock for Arsenal in their 1-0 win over local rivals Tottenham, keeping Soldado and co at bay at the Emirates.

Left Back: Leighton Baines (Everton)

Everton will be glad to have kept hold of Baines, especially after another top-notch performance at Cardiff. He should have been awarded a penalty.

Right Midfield: Hatem Ben Arfa (Newcastle)

A wonderful goal from Ben Arfa was the difference between Newcastle and Fulham this weekend. The Frenchman cut inside onto his left foot before unleashing a curler which Stockdale had no chance against.

Centre Midfield: Steven N’Zonzi (Stoke City)

No-one gave Stoke a chance at West Ham, but N’Zonzi marshaled the Potters midfield perfectly against a lacklustre Hammers team. His side ran out 1-0 winners, inflicting West Ham’s first home loss since February.

Centre Midfield: Nathan Redmond (Norwich)

Yes, I know he’s not a central midfielder but Redmond was outstanding in Norwich’s victory over Southampton. The young winger scored a low drive to open his account for the Canaries.

Left Midfield: Pablo Hernandez (Swansea)

An excellent performance from Hernandez was the catalyst for Swansea’s 2-0 victory at West Brom. The Spaniard provided a goal and an assist for the Swans.

Centre Forward: Sone Aluko (Hull City)

Although on the losing team, Aluko put in a strong shift for the visitors at Manchester City and, with a bit more composure, could have netted for the Tigers.

Centre Forward: Oliver Giroud (Arsenal)

Giroud fired Arsenal to a derby day win over Tottenham, scoring a wonderfully worked goal for the home team. 

Weekend Wonders

Manager of the Week: Arsene Wenger

Skint flint Arsene Wenger took on big spending Spurs at the Emirates and proved that money just can't buy you success. While Arsenal had only brought in two free signings at the time, Spurs had splashed out more than £100 million on talent to replace Gareth Bale. Arsenal though came out on top thanks to a well taken goal by Olivier Giroud. 

Goal of the Week: Ben Arfa

Despite a lack of goals in the Premier League there was no drop in the quality of the finishing. Jermaine Pennant's winning free-kick at West Ham was sublime, as was Norwich City's Nathan Redmond, but I have to give it to Ben Arfa. When the going gets tough he always manages to pull a rabbit out of the hat. The Frenchman never scores simple goals does he?

Game of the Week: Liverpool 1 Manchester United 0

This may not have been the greatest game between the two fierce foes, but what a result it was for Brendan Rodgers side. Their third 1-0 win in a row ensured they topped the table going into the international weekend. Great teams are built on the strength of their defence and Mignolet and co have now gone 270 minutes without conceding a goal. The great man Shankly would have had a big smile on his face looking down on his 100th birthday on Monday. 

Clown of the Week: Paolo Di Canio for his player rant

There are two camps when it comes to Paolo Di Canio. The ones who think Di Canio was within his rights to publicly slate Ji and O'Shea, and others who think he risks losing the dressing room with his outburst. Sure Ji was a disgrace for ducking out of the chance to score - you wouldn't even see that on the playground - and O'Shea cost his team dear with a lapse in concentration, but these pampered professionals will not take to being hung out to dry by their manager. Whether it will work for the controversial Italian remains to be seen, but he should have kept it indoors.

So there you have it, my team of the week and Weekend Wonders. Do you agree? We'd love to hear from you.

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