BBC Pundit Garth Crooks has put together his ‘Team of the Week’ from this weekend’s Premier League and FA Cup action, and here is his starting XI.
GOALKEEPER – Petr Cech (Chelsea)
So I have gone for a safe pair of hands. Chelsea are clear at the top of the Premier League and Petr Cech has to take some credit for that. He kept another clean sheet against Tottenham and made a brilliant save from Sandro at a time when Spurs were desperate to get back into the game.
DEFENDER – Luke Shaw (Southampton)
There are some players who are destined for international careers and others who are not. Luke Shaw looked so comfortable against Denmark last week that he might find himself representing his country for some considerable time. His performance against Crystal Palace was as assured as ever. I hear Manchester United are looking for a decent left-back.
DEFENDER – Steven Caulker (Cardiff City)
It made for a special week for Caulker, who made the England squad against Denmark before providing a survival lifeline for the Bluebirds against a Fulham side who look destined for a spell in the Championship.
DEFENDER – Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
While I was taken to task by Dan Walker on Final Score over my view that Smalling has been outstanding for Manchester United this season, the presenter did concede that the defender’s World Cup selection was inevitable.
DEFENDER – Liam Rosenior (Hull City)
What I liked about this performance was the quiet authority of Hull City full-back Liam Rosenior.
MIDFIELDER – Phil Jones (Manchester United)
Against West Brom, he looked like he was almost back to his best. With a World Cup around the corner, England’s go-to utility player will, provided he remains fit, be a valuable asset for the national team.
MIDFIELDER – Michael Carrick (Manchester United)
Against West Brom he was the link between the attack and defence and, should anything happen to Steven Gerrard, there is not a better man in the country to take over those reins.
FORWARD – Mikel Arteta (Arsenal)
What a second penalty. Talk about holding your nerve. Not only did Arteta show great composure when retaking the spot-kick so successfully but he had the added pressure of not missing against his old team at such a crucial time in the match.
FORWARD – Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
He practically strolled through the 90 minutes against West Brom as he and his team-mates outclassed the relegation-threatened side. West Brom, it has to be said, were totally out of their depth. A bit like their manager Pepe Mel to be honest.
FORWARD – Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
There is no doubt about it, since Jose Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge, the manager has added important elements to Hazard’s game. It will be very interesting to see if the player can have the same impact in the World Cup without Mourinho stalking the technical area.
FORWARD – Samuel Eto’o (Chelsea)
Samuel Eto’o replaced an injured Fernando Torres for Chelsea and Spurs wish he hadn’t. The former African player of the year darted around the field like he was 22, not 32.
What are your thoughts on this team? Has Crooks missed anybody out?
Written by Alex Batt – @AlexBatt – @AlexsArticles