Home Premier League Arsenal GARTH CROOKS’ TEAM OF THE WEEK



BBC Pundit Garth Crooks has once again released his team of the week and below you can see which players got a spot in his best-XI after the weekend’s games.

GOALKEEPER – Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)

Whatever you thought of referee Chris Foy’s decision to award a penalty to Norwich in their defeat by Aston Villa, the save by Brad Guzan was the turning point of the match and the catalyst to a superb performance by the Aston Villa keeper. His saves from Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper late in the game were enough for manager Paul Lambert to make a bee-line for his player after the match and congratulate him.

DEFENDER – Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton)

It was an inspired performance by Southampton against Liverpool at Anfield, as the Saints secured a 1-0 victory. It couldn’t have been summed up any better than by my BBC colleague and Match of the Day commentator Guy Mowbray, who said: “Nathaniel Clyne had his former Crystal Palace team-mate Victor Moses under lock and key.” Guy was right, of course.

DEFENDER – Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa)

Aston Villa’s 1-0 win against Norwich marked their first clean sheet in 27 league games and in an excellent performance from Villa’s back five, Ciaran Clark stood out. He made a number of vital defensive blocks late in the game. He didn’t take one for the team, he took a few.

DEFENDER – Vincent Kompany (Manchester City)

I had to see it to believe it. Vincent Kompany leading the charge for Manchester City’s fourth goal against a shell-shocked Manchester United. The issue for City now is can their big-time players produce the goods for the less attractive fixtures in the less attractive places?

DEFENDER – Leighton Baines (Everton)

Leighton Baines must be one of the best dead-ball specialists in the game at the moment. Not since David Beckham has there been a Premier League player who strikes a ball better or provides an air of panic in defences the moment a free-kick is awarded anywhere around the box. He showed how effective he is from those situations with two goals from free-kicks in the win 3-2 win at West Ham.

MIDFIELD – YAYA TOURE (Manchester City)

For the first time this season, Yaya Toure looked like the world-class player he is against Manchester United. At the same time, Manchester City looked like a team capable of taking the title back from their rivals with a stunning performance in the derby win.


Having been the support act on so many occasions at Stamford Bridge, Mikel is slowly becoming a star at Chelsea. His first Premier League goal had to come at some stage and scoring against Fulham in a London derby is not a bad place to start.


If there was such a thing as a honeymoon period for David Moyes at Manchester United, then he can now consider it well and truly over after the mauling provided by Sergio Aguero and his friends. The Argentina forward’s two finishes in the 4-1 derby mauling were of the highest order.


Precisely why Juan Mata is currently struggling to make Jose Mourinho’s starting line-up is open to conjecture, but as long as Chelsea have Oscar in the team the Blues retain a touch of class. Hopefully with Oscar and Eden Hazad in the side, Chelsea will not become merely functional under Mourinho.


Arsenal have made their best start to a season in five years and Mesut Ozil seems to have made a massive difference to the confidence of the side. The game seems so easy for the German. In only his third appearance for the Gunners, Ozil has made a total of three assists and the club may at last have found a replacement for Dennis Bergkamp.


Romelu Lukaku came off the bench to score the winner for Everton against West Ham. Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was reminded in the news conference after the game against Fulham that none of his strikers had scored so far this season, and whether he regretted letting Romelu Lukaku go on loan to Everton. Mourinho said no, but I think he may live to rue that decision.


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