Which 11 players make the cut in 90MAAT’s GW1 team of the week?
For a player making his Premier League debut at a newly promoted club that surprised everyone by getting promoted in the first place, I thought that Lossl was rather exceptional. Keeping a clean sheet away from home against Crystal Palace who are by no means a pushover is a magnificent feat.
The highlight of his performance has to be his save to push a Wilfred Zaha shot around the post if not the textbook save from a powerful Christian Benteke header, either way, he made sure that Palace’s potent attack were kept at bay. An encouraging start for Lossl and for Huddersfield and now the pressure is on for them to keep this form going next week against Newcastle.
Earlier in the month Pochettino claimed that Walker-Peters was not yet ready to start a Premier League game yet now we can say that that was either a clever ploy to keep the pressure of the young Englishman, a mistake, or just a huge lie, but either way, I think we can say that the Spurs manager was indeed wrong.
Normally Trippier would occupy the starting right back spot for Spurs but his injury gave Walker-Peters the chance to shine and shine he did. In each half he showed a different side to his game: first half was solid and conservative but after the break he was let loose on the poor Newcastle defence, with a wave of threatening crosses coming into the box. Unfortunately for fans of other Premier League clubs, it appears that Pochettino and Spurs may have found another star.
Another understated, classy, and all round superb performance from the Belgian. Last season he and his compatriot Vertonghen blunted most Premier League attacks and they did the same to the newly promoted Newcastle at the Sports Direct Arena on Sunday.
They just could not get anything past the pair of them and to be honest it was tough to pick between the two but alas it has to be done. If Tottenham can keep them both fit and at the club then Pochettino’s men could soon become one of the most compact defences in the league: not to jinx it but Spurs fans, get excited.
The Mancunian arrived in Merseyside for what seemed at the time like a hefty price tag of £25m rising to around £30m but that has been dwarfed in recent weeks, yet still off the back of one good season in the Premier League that is a fair amount of money indeed. However he more than justified his price tag at the weekend.
A decent Stoke attack threw themselves at him Jagielka and while the more experienced campaigner next to Keane struggled a tad, the new boy looked like the one with 40 England caps and 291 league appearances for Everton.
Another Spurs player makes it into the final XI and it is one that has consistently improved game upon game since his move from Swansea in 2014. There was some initial hesitation over his transfer from Spurs fan but since last season when the team really became Pochettino’s own he has grown into his role within the squad.
Despite being somewhat of a utility player, featuring at defensive midfield, centre back, and left back, and playing second fiddle behind Danny Rose, Davies has proved himself crucial to the team.
Even now, with Rose’s future up in the air after his interview with The Sun maybe he could become the established left back? As usual he put in a solid performance against Newcastle topping it off with a goal at the far post, what more could you ask?
Matic’s move from Chelsea to United has been the subject of much debate in the past few weeks, despite the £40m price tag which some feel justifies Chelsea’s decision to let him go, many more still feel that it was a mistake by the blues and against head coach Antonio Conte’s wishes.
Matic’s performance was, in my opinion, his best so far in the Premier League, he was peak Matic, destroying opposition moves getting his head up and sweeping a pass forward to Lukaku or looking shorter to Pogba or Mkhitaryan.
He turned the ball over 11 times, played the most amount of passes (69), had more touches (89), and even ran further than all his teammates (11.41km) and then to top it all of he went on a skill full mazy run down the right wing to bring Old Trafford to its feet. It appears the Serb has been intent on making his former employers in West London regret their decision.
For me Clive, it seems like Rooney is completely re-invigorated, newly energised, and just down right excited to be playing for his hometown club in front of fans who absolutely adore him, it is a good time in Wayne’s world.
Then surely, what better way to cap your first performance at the club who first gave you a chance in professional football than with a gorgeously taken header, peak Rooney.
Though it was not just the goal that impressed the Goodison faithful: Rooney was everywhere helping out the back four with defending, destroying moves as they develop in the central midfield and playing some truly magnificent passes out toward the front. Rooney was back and it was fantastic to see.
What is there to be said that hasn’t been already discussed about Dele Alli? Well, this: this weekend he showed a new side of his game, mental toughness. Newcastle went out to target him, to wind him up, and to get him steaming but he resisted.
The performance put in by a 21-year-old had the maturity and professionalism of a man with 500 Premier League appearances and he such was the resilience he showed that eventually Newcastle snapped and Jonjo Shelvey tried his best to snap Alli but yet the boy from Milton Keynes kept face and kept on keeping on.
Then just to rub salt in the Geordie’s wounds Alli scored a delightful goal with a sliding finish after a delicate little chip from Eriksen. Simply sublime.
Arsenal’s club record signing couldn’t have asked for a better start to his Arsenal and Premier League career: 2 minutes into the opening game of the Premier League season and he nestles a delightful header past Schmeicel into the Leicester net.
He continued to be a threat to the Foxes defence the entire game, insightful cutting runs, aggressive body language, and an all round positive attitude bode well for the rest of the Gunners season. With Alexis Sanchez’s future still up in the air, it looks as if Arsenal have found the man who can lead the line for the foreseeable future.
He was a presence in the box and that is what they have missed, someone to play on the shoulder of the last defender, to gamble, to score off every body part be it the knee, shoulder, or the hip, who cares. Not Lacazette, as long as it goes in that’s all that matters.
Well, Manchester United. What an utterly terrifying prospect. They are tall, strong, fast, egotistical, but most importantly, they are technically gifted. Now this next sentence is incredibly hard for a committed Chelsea fan to say but say it I shall, Lukaku looks like a natural fit at Old Trafford.
What a performance: two goals and the attitude that comes with them, Lukaku was a terror to West Ham’s defence bullying them, pushing them off the ball, and then powering two goals past Joe Hart.
Mourinho must be jumping for joy in his hotel room. To have snatched such a prize from under the noses of his old employers is one thing, but for that player to come in and play as he did? Priceless.
Last season Okaka teased us, he gave us mere glimpses of the things of which he is capable and this Saturday against Liverpool was more of the same. He was pacey, direct, and took his goal with aplomb.
He was a key part of a dedicated and hard working Watford team, a consistent threat at set pieces, all be it to a rather weak Liverpool defence but to challenge a title contender requires some serious skill and that is what was provided.
They look to be energised and re-invigorated under Marco Silva and Okaka is only going to benefit from that, plus with new signing Andre Gray to push him, this season good well be a prosperous one for the Italian.
GK – Lossl (Huddersfield)
RB- Walker-Peters (Tottenham)
CB – Alderweireld (Tottenham)
CB – Keane (Everton)
LB – Davies (Spurs)
CM – Matic (United)
CM – Rooney (Everton)
CM – Alli (Spurs)
ST – Lacazette (Arsenal)
ST – Lukaku (United)
ST – Okaka (Watford)
Written by Olly Norman.