Football is back – Thank God…
The opening weekend of the season may have started off slowly, but it did not disappoint after a stuttering start in the game between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
Chelsea’s shock draw against Swansea a lively affair that threw up more than a couple of contenders for the team of the week, and then the most Arsenal performance ever from the Gunners certainly had us scrambling to not only view the Arsenal fans’ meltdown, but also get a couple of Hammers in the team.
Fantasy Football players everywhere will have been gutted at the performance of Thibaut Courtois, who saw red and will now miss the game against Manchester City. There were also a couple of other shockers as well – and some surprising inclusions in the points, so without further ado, here is our team of the week.
The man responsible for keeping West Ham’s first clean sheet against Arsenal in 13 attempts. He was a rock in goal, unlike his opposite number, making him comfortably the keeper of week.
Simon Mignolet and Sergio Romero can find themselves very unlucky not to have got the nod here – Petr Cech meanwhile was abysmal, and that certainly comes as a surprise, given he was the player most people thought would be the signing of the season, let alone the goalkeeper of the week.
The summer signing led the Aston Villa defence superbly, as he captained Tim Sherwood’s side on his debut for the club, showing why he could well be Villa’s signing of the summer.
After the departure of Ron Vlaar, questions were being placed about the Villa defence, and with the stability that Richards provided, they shouldn’t be overly worried just yet.
If Walker had scored at the right end, like the Spurs Twitter account thought, there may just have been room for him. Sorry, Kyle.
He’s a bit like marmite this fella, isn’t he? You either rate him, or you think he’s as useful as a chocolate teapot – but, his performance at the weekend was outstanding.
In a defence which has provided questions over the past couple of years, Smalling defended excellently, despite a few mistakes early on by the United back line.
Don’t forget he kept Harry Kane very quiet.
Amazingly he managed to repay the faith that has seemingly been kept in him by Brendan Rodgers.
Lovren showed character in the heart of the Liverpool defence that conceded six in the same fixture on the last day of last season, something that Brendan Rodgers loved, and made sure to mention a couple of times in his post match interview.
Lovren might not be the best defender in the league come the end of the season, but this was a vast improvement on anything we have seen before and certainly bodes well for Liverpool.
Despite not keeping a clean sheet for Palace, he was outstanding. He combined excellently with Wilfried Zaha down the left, and even bagged some extra points for your fantasy team with an assist.
Palace are a side many people have their eye on this term. After a strong finish to last season and an excellent summer, the club could well go past the top ten and push for a place in Europe come the end of the season, and with performances like the one from Souare, they deserve to.
Could anyone really miss out the 16 year-old West Ham debutant after he kept £42.5 million man, Mesut Ozil, quiet for most of the game?
His passing was a joy to behold too, with a 95% passing accuracy, which was the game’s highest percentage, and it was a debut to remember for the player and his club.
He’s certainly one to keep an eye on, and the question of if he will be a Wayne Rooney or an Adnan Januzaj is one to watch.
He gave one of the best, and most experienced right-backs in European football one of the roughest rides he’ll get all season.
His pace showed he can cause defences problems all season, and he could’ve bagged a winner for the Swans, but for a good save from Asmir Begovic.
He was a constant pain for Sunderland as he scored two of the Foxes four as they defeated the visitors 4-2.
After making a good run to get in between the back four and score a header for his first, he then drew Lee Cattermole into a foul in the area, to win himself a penalty, which he coolly slotted away to bag his second and Leicester’s third before half-time.
What a signing this lad is going to turn out to be for the Hammers if he keeps performing like he did today.
He’s quick, strong, and likes to get shots away. Also, let’s not forget he loves an assist too, which he duly delivered with a fantastic free-kick onto the head of Kouyate, which he really couldn’t miss – one to get in your fantasy football team.
It’s not too often a sub gets in the team of the week, but this lad changed the game. He set up Barkley’s first goal for the Toffees, and scored their second equaliser.
He certainly made more of an impact on the game in his 30 minute substitute appearance than Lukaku did for 90 minutes, and could well see himself installed in the starting line up if he continues to make an impact like that.
‘I was part of the team that scored two goals in the Premier League against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea’ is probably worth putting on your CV. Especially given Swansea were the only team last time out to do that against the Blues at home, and managed to do the same thing again. That was in large parts down to Gomis, and he fully deserves his place here.
He worked his socks off for 90 minutes, made a good run in behind to draw Courtois into a foul, which led him to getting sent off, and scored the resulting penalty.