After it was a glorious weekend for Liverpool Football Club, the Premier League has taken yet another twist, but the one thing that has stayed the same, is that BBC Pundit Garth Crooks has put together his starting XI from the weekend’s games, and below you can see who made his team.
GOALKEEPER – Julian Speroni (Crystal Palace)
If Crystal Palace stay up this season, they need look no further than two people – goalkeeper Julian Speroni and manager Tony Pulis. Speroni is having the most fantastic season for the Eagles and Pulis has marshalled his troops so effectively in front of the Argentine keeper. Against Chelsea, Speroni’s first-half save from Eden Hazard kept his side in the game and his second-half stop from the same player might prove to be the defining moment for Pulis and his boys.
DEFENDER – Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal)
The battle that ensued down Arsenal’s left side between Kieran Gibbs and Pablo Zabaleta was gladiatorial at times. The Arsenal full-back never gave an inch to the more experienced Argentine, and on more than one occasion even got the better of him. Who said English players can’t compete with some of the best foreign players in the world?
DEFENDER – John Stones (Everton)
A player who made his first league start for Everton in January but has become an important member of Roberto Martinez’s Merseyside outfit. A classic English defender who will be crucial for the Toffees if they intend to reach the promised land – that cherished Champions League spot – this season. Against Fulham he looked like a player who had been playing at centre-back all his life, even though he started his career as a full-back.
DEFENDER – Steven Caulker (Cardiff)
I don’t normally select defenders who concede three goals away from home, but Steven Caulker’s headed equaliser was so impressive I had to include the Cardiff skipper in my Team of the Week. That said, there were times when I thought Cardiff’s defending was bordering on the calamitous.
DEFENDER – Glen Johnson (Liverpool)
The England full-back appears to be playing better than ever, and it could not come at a better time for the Reds. The casual manner in which Liverpool dismissed Spurs must be of great concern to Tim Sherwood, and very damaging for his future job prospects at the Lane. As it stands, with Chelsea losing and City drawing, it would be a brave man who would bet against Liverpool winning the title now.
MIDFIELDER – Jonathan De Guzman (Swansea)
His first goal was not bad, but his second finish was just fabulous. It looks like Swansea, and Jonathan De Guzman in particular, have found a new lease of life under the management of Garry Monk. Norwich simply could not live with the Dutchman’s movement and finishing ability.
MIDFIELDER – Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
He scored the most extraordinary goal last week, this week he was just his normal brilliant self. A fabulous glancing header accompanied by an emphatic penalty. What would David Moyes have done without him? Forget planes flying over Old Trafford with messages claiming Moyes is the ‘wrong one’. Without Wayne Rooney in his side, Moyes would have gone.
MIDFIELDER – Adam Lallana (Southampton)
Adam Lallana’s goal was a beauty, capping a wonderful performance from the England international. His assists for Rickie Lambert’s goal and Jay Rodriguez’s second were indicative of a player who has had the most glorious season. The Match of the Day boys got it spot on when they suggested he should not just be in the England squad for the World Cup in Brazil – he should be in the team.
FORWARD – Wilfried Bony (Swansea)
You will not see two better assists all season than the ones Wilfried Bony produced for Jonathan De Guzman and Wayne Routledge. The back-heel for De Guzman’s first goal was out of the top drawer, and not even Glenn Hoddle at his best could have provided a better ball for Routledge to score. I am not sure Bony is ready to replace Didier Drogba for Ivory Coast in the World Cup, but he has had a great second half to the season for the Swans.
FORWARD – Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
As we enter the business end of the season, it seems these days I cannot pick a Team of the Week without including Luis Suarez. After Liverpool’s demolition of Tottenham, and with Manchester City and Chelsea to play at Anfield, even the most ardent Everton fan must be thinking their greatest rivals are in with a great chance of winning the Premier League title.
FORWARD – Peter Odemwingie (Stoke)
What an inspired bit of business by Mark Hughes to bring Peter Odemwingie to the Potteries. The Nigerian striker is back to his goalscoring best and is posing a real selection headache for Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi. With the form Odemwingie is in, I cannot see how they can leave him out.
What are your thoughts on this team? Has Crooks missed anyone out?
Written by Alex Batt – @AlexBatt – @AlexsArticles