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GARTH CROOKS’ TEAM OF THE WEEK

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With another exciting weekend of Premier League football over with, BBC pundit Garth Crooks has put together his ‘Team of the Week’.

Impressive wins for Aston Villa, Liverpool and Arsenal mean that some of their players have taken a role in Crooks’ team, and here is his full starting XI.

GOALKEEPER – David Marshall (Cardiff)

David Marshall’s performance at Goodison Park was so impressive it looked like Everton were never going to beat the Scotland international. Everton peppered his goal and Romelu Lukaku, Gerard Deulofeu and Kevin Mirallas all brought brilliant saves out of him in the first half.

DEFENDER – Jon Flanagan (Liverpool)

This time it was at Old Trafford in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Manchester United and again I saw young Flanagan cope with another big occasion. At no stage in the game did Flanagan look nervous or overawed. United even got Adnan Januzaj to swap wings in order to try to get at the full-back but he got no change whatsoever.

DEFENDER – Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)
 
What is causing Tottenham fans such anxiety is not the fact that Arsenal are capable of playing some blinding football on their day but their miserly defence look impregnable. Laurent Koscielny has been at the heart of that and his block to deny Nacer Chadli’s low shot and allow Arsenal to keep a clean sheet in the Gunners’ 1-0 win at White Hart Lane epitomised that.
 
DEFENDER – Martin Demichelis (Man City)
 
Demichelis seemed to take complete control of Man City’s back four and looked like a man who relished his new-found responsibility. Any more moments of madness from Kompany and Manuel Pellegrini may have to consider a longer rest for his captain and more responsibility for Demichelis.
 
DEFENDER – Seamus Coleman (Everton)
 
He maybe should have apologised to David Marshall for the fortunate strike that robbed Cardiff of a deserved point. But the Everton defender has been an extra attacking outlet for Roberto Martinez this season and was in the right place at the right time to net once again.
 
MIDFIELDER – Fabian Delph (Aston Villa)
 
They were even better at Villa Park and Delph was the star of the show. I know Guy Mowbray asked the midfielder in his post-match interview whether he meant his Cruyff flick for his goal. The look of disbelief on Delph’s face was a picture – he definitely intended it.
 
MIDFIELDER – Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
 
Not only did his arch-rivals take his team apart, he had to watch Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard do it for the Merseyside club. After all this was someone Ferguson called “not a top, top player” in his autobiography. Not a top player? What was Sir Alex thinking?
 
MIDFIELDER – David Silva (Man City)
 
We know the Spaniard is one of the best playmakers in the country, and his assists have always been amongst the top players in the league, but if he can add a few more goals to his tally City will be in with a great chance.
 
MIDFIELDER – Mikel Arteta (Arsenal)
 
Against a Tottenham side that enjoyed long spells of possession, Arsenal needed leaders and found one in Arteta. He is proving to be the man that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger can rely on in any situation.
 
MIDFIELDER – Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal)
 
To play for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger you have to be an excellent technician. Well players don’t come much better in that respect than Tomas Rosicky. The little Czech maestro’s technique for Arsenal’s solitary goal against Spurs, in just the second minute of the game, was the telling moment and wonderful to watch.
 
FORWARD – Jay Rodriguez (Southampton)
 
The Southampton striker scored one goal in their 4-2 win over Norwich, created another and nearly broke the bar with a chance. However it was his superb lay-off in the passage of play that led to Morgan Schneiderlin’s opener that had me licking my lips.
 
What do you think about this side? Has Crooks missed anyone out?
 
Written by Alex Batt – @AlexBatt – @AlexsArticles

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