Opinion

FF Premier League Team Of The Season: 4 Chelsea, 2 Spurs, 2 Liverpool & 2 Burnley Players Feature

We’re at that stage of the season now when we recognise the achievements of those we see week in, week out, with the PFA’s nominations for PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year kicking off the debates.

Along with it comes the often much-maligned Team of the Season that, in response, has streams of fans drafting up their own all-star XI. Many are flying about as we speak, which prompts us to give our two cents. Here’s Fresh Football’s Premier League Team of the Season:

Goalkeeper: Tom Heaton, Burnley

It’s on the basis of defensive solidity that Sean Dyche’s side has planned and, more or less, managed to crack their first season back in the Premier League. Tom Heaton’s heroics in between the sticks have certainly played a part in that.

The two-time England international, more fondly remembered for his displays against Liverpool at home and versus Manchester United at Old Trafford, comes 6th in the ongoing race for the Golden Glove, claiming nine clean sheets altogether.

That has seen him top the list of keepers in the bottom half of the table, which, unlike other lauded colleagues such as Sunderland’s Jordan Pickford, has contributed towards Burnley’s mid-table attainment and facilitated our choice for number one.

Right Back: Kyle Walker, Tottenham Hotspur

Among the tightest of choices throughout the XI, the right back slot sees the likes of Kyle Walker go head-to-head with Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia, who’s gone from strength-to-strength under José Mourinho this season.

But for all the improvement from the Ecuadorian, Walker has continued to be a pivotal figure in a side targeting a top two finish, as opposed to scrambling for top four.

The Spurs man pips Valencia on end product, claiming two more assists than Valencia’s modest three, and also averaging 1.15 key passes and 1.33 chances created per game, which is marginally better than his full back counterpart.

Centre Back: David Luiz, Chelsea

Many a critic scoffed at the £30 million spent by Chelsea on the club’s former cult hero, with displays up until early October suggesting they were right to do so. In came Antonio Conte’s characteristic shift to a formation with three central defenders, signalling a straight run for top spot and David Luiz’s rebirth, as a result.

Free to explore his refined technical ability with the comfort of two other centre backs either side of him, Luiz’s maturity has also shun through in a side that’s collected 13 clean sheets thus far and strung together 13 consecutive wins from October to January.

Centre Back: Michael Keane, Burnley

We’ve spoken briefly of the work put in by Burnley in this season’s Premier League and just as focal to the Clarets’ success has been Michael Keane, a mainstay alongside Ben Mee in Dyche’s XI.

The centre back pairing have been virtually inseparable statistically, but the man under the radar has appeared as Burnley’s go-to-guy for defensive interactions, conquering 120 of his aerial duels and winning 60% of all duels in total, which is a 5% increase on what Mee registered.

Such has been his form that the Man United academy graduate has seen his trade recognised by England with his debut cap, meanwhile the likes of Everton reportedly plot a move for the 24-year-old in the summer.

Left Back: Marcos Alonso, Chelsea

Costing the champions-elect a total of £20 million from Fiorentina this summer, Marcos Alonso has done a decent job in allaying fears of his perceived sub-par status in world football.

The Spaniard prides himself on the time he’s spent in Serie A, which bodes well with Conte’s familiarities, whereas the player’s core attributes have seen him become a straight fit into Chelsea’s 3-4-3 formation at wing back.

Five goals and two assists later for the Blues, few left backs in the league have come close to his level of consistency.

Centre Midfield: N’Golo Kanté, Chelsea

To make complete simplicity so hard to ignore takes some doing, yet N’Golo Kanté is already on his second consecutive season of leaving his critics in awe.

No sign of second season syndrome here, with the Frenchman providing a pivotal presence in Chelsea’s two-man midfield and eating up more ground than one could ever deem possible. An easy choice.

Centre Midfield: Adam Lallana, Liverpool

Under the core definition of a central midfielder, there’s a small number of options they may be more popular throughout the masses, but we’re striving to also conjure up a team that also makes some sort of footballing sense.

Adam Lallana is no scrub, however. The Englishman took his time to get going at Anfield, but he’s been among the players to have embraced Jürgen Klopp’s ethos the best in a mixed season for the Reds.

The England international has maintained a high level of performances throughout this season, contributing at both ends of the field, which sees us favour the ex-Southampton midfielder over the likes of Vincent Wanyama, David Silva and a more attacking iteration of Dele Alli, who’ve all hooked in their fair share of plaudits through central areas.

Left Midfielder: Eden Hazard, Chelsea

After a faint 2015/16 campaign, Eden Hazard has remerged as a top bracket Premier League star under Conte, making full use of the free role given to him in a 3-4-3 set-up. The Belgian is a hot favourite for the PFA Player of the Year award, which speaks volumes of our choice.

With seven games of the season to go, Hazard has already equalled his highest scoring seasons of 2013/14 and 2014/15 with 14 goals, three shy of the club’s regular goal-getter Diego Costa, after finding the back of the net against the likes of Man United, Manchester City and Arsenal this season.

Whispers of a switch to Real Madrid have followed suit, which is yet another testament to the qualities displayed by the re-energised Belgian.

Right Midfielder: Sadio Mané, Liverpool

Alongside Chelsea’s N’Golo Kanté, Sadio Mané leads the line for signing of the season since arriving for £34 million from Southampton.

Fully engaged with Klopp’s ‘Gegenpressing’, the Senegalese winger has hit the back of the net 13 times and turned in a further six assists, numbers that aren’t too dissimilar to that of Eden Hazard’s. It’s no wonder many were left arguing for the Liverpool man’s presence in the six-man shortlist for the PFA Player of the Year award.

Thus far, Liverpool’s dependency on Mané has been clear, winning just twice in eight games without their summer signing, which includes defeating League Two outfit Plymouth Argyle. Such is the importance he holds that the wide man is far too difficult to overlook, even with Alexis Sanchez and Nathan Redmond presenting stellar seasons of their own in the meantime.

Striker: Romelu Lukaku, Everton

He’s a striker that often divides opinion, but time and time again Romelu Lukaku finds himself among a hatful of goals.

The Belgian’s technical ability, although appearing more refined this season, is some way off your traditional top class striker, but his laudable ability to strike gold with frequency may well see the Everton forward claim this season’s Golden Boot.

It’s a feat that can’t be ignored, giving him the edge over Diego Costa, Sergio Aguero, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and many more favoured strikers.

Striker: Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur

If there’s one player who knows just how to time an appeal for all relevant gongs, that man is Harry Kane. The England international, rather characteristically, started the season slowly with just five non-penalty goals in the first half of the season.

Fast-forward four months and that figure has doubled in his favour, culminating in a late charge to defend his Golden Boot award with 19 goals at this stage of the season.

No period displayed Kane’s string of exemplary performances quite as well as February, scoring six in four games before crowning his work with the Player of the Month award. It’s because of this and many more performances since the turn of the year that Kane has battled his way into our Team of the Year.

 

Stay tuned to our social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

Premier League Team Of The Week: Ft. 3 Man City, 2 Man Utd, 1 Liverpool & 1 Chelsea Player

Here is our Premier League team of the week from the latest round of fixtures.

Jordan Pickford – Sunderland

Pickford was immense for Sunderland against Watford as he kept a clean sheet and ensured the Black Cats took all three points.

The 22-year-old has become a regular in the starting XI for David Moyes men and is growing with confidence each week, his displays have been so impressive it is only a matter of time before the big clubs come calling.

Aleksandar Kolarov – Manchester City

When the team-sheet was announced on Sunday afternoon, many football fans was surprised that Kolarov started over summer signing John Stones, but his performance warranted his starting spot and with a performance like that it will keep the Englishman out of the team for coming weeks.

The centre-half was solid at the back, keeping the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott very quiet throughout the game, as always the City man was excellent in possession and composed defensively.

Ragnar Klavan – Liverpool

Playing in his first Merseyside derby, Klavan had a truly phenomenal display dealing with Romelu Lukaku with ease and keeping Everton’s attacking players at bay.

The Liverpool man was physical, defensively sound and composed in possession finishing the game with 88% passing accuracy, as a defender winning your tackles is crucial and this man won 100% of his against Everton, to emphasise how impressive he was.

He was excellent in an all-round great display as the Red side of Merseyside came out on top.

Phil Jones – Manchester United

Phil Jones was once the forgotten man at Manchester United, but is slowly becoming the needed man.

The English International has been superb at the back for United in recent weeks and is giving Jose Mourinho a headache for when Chris Smalling and others return to full fitness.

Many doubted Jones’s ability but he dealt with Salomon Rondon very well, coming out on top of the physical battle and helping his side take all three points.

Patrick Van Aanholt – Sunderland

Firstly, Sunderland has a very good left-back on their hands in Van Aanholt, he has been consistently impressive all season thus far and his performance at the weekend again proved why he has become vital in this Sunderland team.

When your club is in a relegation battle, all you want is for your players to show desire and fight in their performances and that shone through when he ran from deep in his own half, into Watford’s area to set up the winning goal was fantastic, a run of true desire.

Jack Wilshere – Bournemouth

Jack Wilshere registered his first assist of the season this weekend against Southampton and was unfortunate to be on the losing side.

It’s brilliant to see Wilshere getting back to his best after years of devastating injuries, he was excellent against the Saints and is finally getting his burst of speed back. As Wilshere completed another 90 minutes, some of the stats behind his game are impressive, he managed 85% pass accuracy, made nine take ons and created one chance.

Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City

The attacking midfielder’s display against Arsenal was simply sublime, magical and amazing.

He ran the show, from start to finish he was a complete nuisance for the Arsenal defence, he made arguably the pass of the season to assist Raheem Sterling for the winning goal after switching play magnificently.

The Belgian was immense, he created seven chances against Arsenal, having three shots and completing one take on. He deserved to score when he hit the post and was a stand out performer on Sunday afternoon.

Fernando – Manchester City

With Manchester City missing Fernandinho, it was crucial that Fernando stepped up in his absence and he has done so in style.

The Brazilian was a rock in the midfield against Arsenal and dominated the Gunners midfield winning the battle overall. The midfield rock maintained a 90% pass accuracy which is exquisite, whilst making two interceptions and four blocks.

The midfielder was good in both offensive and defensive situations and was always on top of the likes of Mesut Ozil, Granit Xhaka and Francis Coquelin.

Diego Costa – Chelsea

Diego Costa is the best number 9 in Europe, without a shadow of doubt, there is no better striker on this planet at this current moment and Costa is week in week out showing why.

The Spanish international is currently leading the race for the Golden Boot with 13 goals, and scored the winning goal (again) against Crystal Palace to ensure his side are comfortably top of the tree at Christmas.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Manchester United

Like the man himself said, he get’s better with age, just like wine.

The Manchester United man again proved why he was such a good signing for free in the summer as he has hit double figures for the season already

He was influential for United in their 2-0 win over West Brom and helped the Red Devils secure all three points with a brace.

Alvaro Negredo – Middlesbrough

The summer arrival of Negredo was massive for Boro, and he is really starting to find his feet again in England as he scored a brace in a brilliant win over relegation rivals Swansea.

Boro were superb at the weekend as they picked up a massive three points just before Christmas, climbing away from the relegation zone by four points.

Arsenal Fans Claim This Midfielder Put In No Effort In Shameful Performance vs. Everton

Arsenal travelled to Goodison Park on Tuesday evening in a bid to extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League since the opening day of the season.

The Gunners only defeat prior to the match was against Liverpool, the Toffees rivals, but they fell to a crushing defeat to Ronald Koeman’s men to make it 2-0 to Merseyside over the North Londoners.

It was a poor performance all round, but one player in particular who was on the receiving end of strong criticism was Arsenal’s German World Cup winner Mesut Ozil, who was lethargic, pathetic, and out-fought all game in a shambolic display.

Playing in his favourite number 10 role, Arsenal expect to be able to rely on their most creative player to carve out chances and take the game by the scruff of the neck, but when the going gets tough, Ozil seems to disappear, quite literally. Ozil, who can of course produce moments of artistic magic is still a wonderful player, but when he has the attitude of ‘can’t be bothered’ it really does rub off on others.

Unlike Alexis Sanchez, who has had better nights but still he ran his socks off up until the final whistle and still showed great character for the team, Ozil was Slowly walking about, not tracking back, letting the game run away from him and quite simply being a shadow of what he possesses in a very lazy performance.

The Arsenal man is not immune to criticism, however wonderful he may be, for Everton’s winning goal, Mesut Ozil found himself in the penalty box defending the corner (no, that is not a typo) and although he should not be there in the first place, he should still be man enough to challenge Williams for the ball. Instead, Ozil ducked and turned his back on the ball as he cowardly pulled himself out of any contact.

Honestly, that’s a total disgrace, for a club who want to put an end to their disastrous title drought, to have a player duck from the ball which turned out to be the winner is not good enough, what mentality is that giving off? He should want to throw every limb he has into that challenge, instead he let his man have all the time in the world before casually walking back to the halfway line.

Ozil is first name on the team sheet each week, without a doubt, he is crucial for Arsenal and is key for their title charge, but when the going gets tough, he must get tougher, he could have showed some sort of heart and character to try and win that ball in the box, but he did nothing which has cost his team the points.

To put the cherry on top of such a disappointing performance, Ozil had the opportunity to put the Gunners ahead when the ball was dragged back into his path, but unfortunately he blasted the ball over, he could have certainly scored.It is really frustrating to watch when someone of his

It is really frustrating to watch when someone of his qualitiy is playing with such attitude, all is not bad for Ozil though, he did still manage to create one chance against Everton and ended the game with 81% passing accuracy, which isn’t great for his standards but still far from woeful.

It is certainly a performance to forget for Ozil, it was dire. We look at how Twitter reacted to his performance, and as expected some fans are really not happy.

As you can see, Arsenal fans were less than impressed with the Germans performance yesterday and rightly so, they’re desperate to end their title drought and know losses like yesterday could play divalent in the title run. Yes, the criticism may be deemed unfair as he is a glorious player, but no player is immune to it, and he really must take a long hard look at himself after yesterday’s display.

To top of his performance, he didn’t even go over to thank the Arsenal faithful after the match and headed straight down the tunnel, maybe he felt embarrassed after the defeat but there is never any excuse not to thank the fans that look up to you.

Walcott has also come under strong criticism for his performance, if you can call it that, in the 2-1 defeat against Everton.

Arsenal are in an excellent position, they have only suffered two defeats this season which could have both been avoided, Arsenal need Mesut Ozil to step up and help them reach maximum heights this season.

Up next is Manchester City away for the Gunners, he could certainly put this performance behind him if he was to help his side take all three points and put a real marker down.

Karius or Mignolet? The Liverpool Predicted Lineup To Face Middlesbrough Tomorrow

Liverpool return to action on Wednesday evening, hoping to bounce back following their 2-2 stalemate with West Ham on Sunday. The previous two games against Bournemouth and the Hammers add increased importance to the Middlesbrough match in mid-week, as Jurgen Klopp looks to get his side back to their best.

With Loris Karius finding himself at the heart of heavy criticism from fans and pundits alike, the young German keeper could find himself out of the side in place of Simon Mignolet. The decision seems to be one of the lesser of two evils, rather than of the better quality offered by either player.

Neither goalkeeper exudes confidence to their defenders and at present, the questions being asked by Karius are not being answered. Nonetheless, Jurgen Klopp has made it clear that he has faith in his summer acquisition, and it seems there is no way back for Mignolet.

Dejan Lovren came off at half time against West Ham following a hamstring issue, meaning he is likely to miss out on Wednesday. Ragnar Klavan seems the most appropriate replacement for the Croatian, with Lucas Leiva another player who could come in to do a job at the back. Mamadou Sakho’s Liverpool career seems to be over and I can’t see any involvement for the Frenchman, despite calls from some fans for him to be reinstated.

Liverpool will also be without Daniel Sturridge, who has missed the last few games due to a calf knock. The England international has registered just 28 minutes in the month of December since moving to Anfield four years ago, emphasising his injury woes. With Philippe Coutinho also on the recovery table, Klopp’s attacking options are running pretty thin at the moment, and thus the responsibility will fall on the trio of Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi.

Predicted Lineup

Loris Karius

Nathaniel Clyne, Ragnar Klavan, Joel Matip, James Milner

Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana

Sadio Mane, Divock Origi, Roberto Firmino

Emre Can missed out at the weekend due to a small knock and with rumours suggesting he will be out once again, a midfield trio of Henderson, Wijnaldum and Lallana seems likely. I can’t see much variation in the side from the weekend with the current injury constraints to the side, so it will be up to the same eleven to get the three points for Liverpool.

If they can shut out the current individual errors within the side, and display the attacking spark that they have so many times this season, Liverpool will be hard to stop on Wednesday night against Middlesbrough.  However, Jurgen Klopp’s side have been rather poor of late and a fixture against a newly promoted side who have already taken points from Manchester City and Arsenal, shouldn’t be underestimated.

Premier League Team of the Week includes 3 Arsenal, 2 Chelsea & 2 Manchester United Players

Here’s our Premier League team of the week from the latest round of fixtures.

Thibaut Courtois – Chelsea

Courtois was again impressive as Chelsea recorded nine consecutive wins, with the Belgian keeping another clean sheet in the Premier League.

With managers wanting goalkeepers to be good with their feet, Courtois certainly impressed with 81% passing accuracy throughout whilst dominating his area and being a calm and collective presence in between the sticks as always.

Hector Bellerin – Arsenal

Arsenal fans will feel much more assured now their Spanish right-back has returned to action, and in some style too.

Continuously being an offensive threat, he helped change the game when he came on from the bench, registering an assist for Theo Walcott.

Bellerin, who is key to this Gunners side, managed 94% passing accuracy whilst creating another three chances too in a quality display.

Phil Jones – Manchester United

Since his return to the Manchester United squad, Phil Jones has been immense and has certainly cemented his place in the United XI for the immediate future.

In a must-win game against Spurs, Jones was excellent against the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli keeping them at bay.

The Englishman made five interceptions, six clearances whilst winning 100% aerial duels in a dominating display.

Laurent Koscielny – Arsenal

Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal’s finest defender since the likes of Sol Campbell and Martin Keown for sure.

He helps Arsenal pass out from the back and completed 88% passing accuracy against the Potters, whilst making four clearances and winning 50% of aerial duels as he helped his side extend their unbeaten run since the opening day of the season.

Christian Fuchs – Leicester City

Leicester City looked back to their best again against Manchester City as the Champions absolutely blitzed Pep Guardiola’s side.

Defensively the Foxes were solid, and Fuchs for me was a standout performer at the back against City as he kept the likes of Jesus Navas at bay, ensuring the Spanish star had little impact on the game.
Fuchs managed 10 clearances and two interceptions in a fine performance as he helped his side get back on track.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan– Manchester United

Who knew that Bundesliga player of the season, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, was so good. Well, everyone is the answer, that’s why everyone was so baffled by Jose Mourinho’s early season treatment of the Armenian.

Each game the United star has played, he has been above every other teammate and is simply in impeccable form.

He was magnificent against Spurs, he was causing Danny Rose so many problems and scored an immense goal whilst completing three take ons and creating one chance.

Unfortunately, he looks to be set for a spell on the sidelines for a few weeks after picking up an ankle injury, which is a shame for the whole league, as he is a true joy to watch.

Granit Xhaka – Arsenal

For so many years, Arsenal have been crying out for a physically strong, all round dictator from deep and have finally find the perfect player in Granit Xhaka, the Gunner’s Switzerland gem.

Against the Potters, Xhaka managed to maintain an 88% passing accuracy whilst creating two chances and three clearances in a solid performance.

Jeff Hendrick – Burnley

Burnley’s record signing finally lived up to his billing against Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon as he scored a beautiful volley from 25 yards, like Jamie Vardy’s goal against Liverpool last season.

He helped Burnley end their run of three straight defeats, helping his side take the crucial three points. Hendrick was solid in midfield and created one chance whilst making five interceptions helping his side defensively.

Stefano Okaka – Watford

Well, what a performance from Watford man Stefano Okaka. Against a very strong Everton back four, the Watford striker had a field day in a brilliant display.

His first goal was a touch of art, a sublime piece of skill which is rarely pulled off with such precision, whilst scoring his second goal with a powerful header then going on to run the Everton defence ragged all afternoon.

Diego Costa – Chelsea

Diego Costa, simply the best number 9 in Europe. Although Chelsea were not having it their own way against West Brom, Costa was still working hard, closing down from the front, helping out defensively and being a real nuisance for the Baggies back four.

His goal was a thing of beauty, he nicked it from the defence before driving it into the top corner exquisitely.

The Spanish international created three chances and three take ons in another fine performance, he was playing at left-back in the latter parts of the game to help his team out which just shows how hungry he is this season.

If Costa keeps on scoring and playing the way he is, Chelsea will be crowned champions come May.

Jamie Vardy – Leicester

Jamie Vardy was having a party against Manchester City on Saturday evening.

The Englishman looked back to himself against Guardiola’s men, he was making runs, rediscovering his relationship with Mahrez and closing down efficiently from the front.

Vardy scored his first ever hat-trick against City and showed glimpses of his old self, he completed three take ons too whilst maintaining high energy levels throughout.

He has come under strong scrutiny for his goal-scoring drought but has finally put that past him as he sets his eyes on helping Leicester get back into the top half of the table.

Gibbs Starts, Mustafi Out: The 4-2-3-1 Arsenal Line-Up That Can Beat Everton

Arsenal will travel to Everton on Tuesday night and they will face a Ronald Koeman team that is not in good form. 

Traditionally an away trip to Everton is a tough game, but Arsenal would surely be very disappointed should they not pick up another 3 points on Tuesday as they chase the title.

Here’s the eleven I expect Arsenal to field and I think that should Wenger opt to do so, the Gunners can take all three points from the game.

Goalkeeper: Petr Cech

Big Pete still can’t save penalties BUT, he is a good goalkeeper, a very good one actually and his selection between the sticks is all but certain. The pressure from Ospina for his place will hopefully see Cech play at his best.

Defence: Hector Bellerin, Gabriel Paulista, Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs

Bellerin is back fit again and that is great news, however Mustafi’s injury prevents Arsenal from being full strength at the back. Gabriel is likely to move into the centre of defence, just as he did against Stoke. The Brazilian is a little erratic defensively at times and his defensive positioning does worry me a little. But his stable performances at right back has seen him earn a chance to impress in Mustafi’s absence. He needs to play well with Holding and soon Mustafi and Mertesacker will return so Gabriel needs to impress if he wishes to feature regularly in the future.

Defensive Midfield: Granit Xhaka, Francis Coquelin

Both players are reasonably fresh with Coquelin never going away on international duty and Xhaka only used sparingly in the season’s opening stages. This means they are more than capable of playing against Everton and again against Manchester City. Keeping these two in the middle will also allow for a build in consistency as the team recover from the long-term loss of Santi Cazorla.

Attacking Midfield: Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

I see no real need to change the attacking set up. It was a really good performance from Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott at the weekend, with the former getting a great assist and the latter another goal, his 10th of the season. Ozil also scored and is showing that he is a much bigger goal threat this season. Alex Iwobi will be pushing to win back his first-team place after scoring in consecutive games. He also scored in his last visit to Goodison Park so Wenger will surely be tempted to select him, but Oxlade-Chamberlain deserves to retain his place too. The competition for places is good and it will be good to have either of them as an effective substitute.

Striker: Alexis Sanchez

He was rested for the final stages of the home game against Stoke and that is because Wenger knows that Arsenal need a fit and firing Alexis in order to have a real chance of winning the Premier League. He is the star man for Arsenal and with Chelsea setting the pace so highly, Alexis needs to continue his quality performances to keep the team at the top.

Arsenal Linked With January Move For West Ham Ace: Why He’d Be A Great Signing

Arsenal’s squad looks stronger than ever and considering their performance to date, the Gunners fans must surely be happy with the team’s performance and their summer activity in the transfer market.

But with the title race so close this season – Arsenal could always benefit from additional talent. But signing a player in January is always a risk, especially if it is a player that will have to adapt to a new league and possibly a new language – so winter signings can often have an adverse effect on momentum. But the possible signing I want to talk about is Dimitri Payet, who has been linked with a move to the club in recent weeks. The experienced West Ham midfielder rose to prominence last season and excelled in England and on the international stage at Euro 2016. But this season he has seriously struggled in a very poor West Ham team, he looks disinterested and appears to be pushing for a move away from the club. Aged 29 it would be understandable if Payet was eyeing a move to one of Europe’s bigger clubs before the sun sets on his career. West Ham are seriously struggling this season – after their European adventure was cut short, they are now languishing around the relegation zone and it does not look like they will be able to match the player’s ambitions moving forward – he wants to be playing Champions League football and his quality deserves it.

Should he become available I’m sure there would be a long list of admirers. The likes of Real Madrid and Paris-Saint Germain were linked in the summer, but if Arsene Wenger were to offer him an option to stay in England and London then I think he would certainly be interested.

Do Arsenal need Payet? Should he join the club I think he would have to settle for a role on the wing, but I think he can still play very well in that position. Whilst Arsenal do have plenty of wide options, they are all still very inexperienced and inconsistent, I think a player of Payet’s quality would certainly aid the squad in their title quest and in Europe moving forward. The likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alex Iwobi and Jeff Reine-Adelaide would not see their development damaged too much with the arrival of Payet. Iwobi is still only 20 and has proven that this season he cannot perform at a high level consistently, he still has a lot to learn and players like Payet are brilliant to learn from. Jeff, aged 18, is not yet ready for the limelight – a loan spell would do him good. Whilst Arsenal are looking to give the Ox a new contract, the 23-year-old is also one who struggles for consistency. Welbeck (26),  Lucas (28) and Walcott (27) are the other wide options with Alexis Sanchez now finding his best form through the middle. Walcott and Welbeck can both be considered injury prone after their records in the recent past and Lucas is still settling in to English football, with his best form coming in the Champions League.

A player of Payet’s quality is always welcome in my opinion. He’s proven his quality in the Premier League and for France – and Wenger will not have missed that.

Yes Arsenal’s options would be crowded should Payet join, but Arsenal so often suffer from injury problems in the latter stages of the season and that derails their title challenge. They also struggle when trying to contend in Europe, the league and the FA Cup, with the squad being stretched and tired legs seeing the team drop points. Not only would Payet be an option out wide, but he’d provide a great rotation or backup option for Ozil at number 10. Arsenal have no natural replacement for the German should he suffer an injury and trying to shoehorn Ramsey or promote Jeff too quickly would surely not be a good idea. Payet could provide that extra bit of quality that helps Arsenal go all the way in the title race, and perhaps to the next stage in Europe.

Arsenal fans, would you pay £30million for Dimitri Payet should he become available for that price in January? Let me know in the comment section below.  

No Mata, Bailly Starts! Manchester United Team News & Predicted Line-Up To Face Tottenham

Manchester United have been left frustrated in the last few weeks, failing to finish games off, drawing against Everton, West Ham and Arsenal in recent weeks. United will be looking to secure their first win since the beginning of November but will be coming up against a Spurs side that have lost just once in the Premier League this term. 

Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw will be unavailable through injury for the visit of Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs. Here is our Manchester United predicted line-up to face Tottenham.

GK: David De Gea

Sergio Romero started in goal for the Red Devils on Thursday night in the Europa League, but I am fairly certain that David De Gea will return for United to face Spurs.

RB: Antonio Valencia

Valencia has not only proved that he can defend extremely well down the right-hand side, but the attacking threat he offers is also valuable to Mourinho and United. He will look to cause Danny Rose some problems down the right and look to put some dangerous crosses into Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

CB: Eric Bailly

Bailly has just recovered from a knee injury picked up at Stamford Bridge, and played in the Europa League on Thursday. Bailly has proved what a good signing he is for the Red Devils, and will probably make his first league start since October.

CB: Phil Jones

Jones has stepped in well for the injured Chris Smalling, who is not likely to make it back for the clash with Spurs. A few good performances from Jones may mean that he keeps his place for this match.

LB: Daley Blind

We have seen a few players play at left-back for Manchester United this season under Jose Mourinho, but with Luke Shaw injured, it is likely that we will see Daley Blind start at left-back.

CDM: Ander Herrera

Herrera has played very well for United this season and played again on Thursday night. He is an extremely important player for United, and will most likely start in midfield on Sunday.

CDM: Michael Carrick

He was brought on in the Europa League on Thursday, but Marouane Fellaini will not be in Mourinho’s good books after that stupid challenge last week at Goodison Park. Carrick will probably start in holding midfield here alongside Ander Herrera.

RAM: Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Jose Mourinho has recently praised the attitude of Mkhitaryan, and he has been in electric form since being placed in the team. A goal in the Europa League will boost the Armenian’s confidence, and he should start against Spurs at Old Trafford

CAM: Paul Pogba

The Frenchman needs to find his best form and has shown very little of why United decided to fork out £89m in the summer. He is one of those undroppable players considering how much he is worth, but he needs to start pulling his weight in team, with many fans starting to get extremely frustrated.

LAM: Anthony Martial

It will be an interesting battle to watch out for on Sunday afternoon. It is more than likely that Martial will be lining up against Kyle Walker at Old Trafford, and that will see two quick players against each other, but who has the most guile?

ST: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Two goals this week for Ibrahimovic, one against Everton last Sunday, and another one in the Europa League, and he is almost guaranteed to start against Spurs with the threat he provides.

Bellerin Starts, Ramsey Out: Arsenal Team News And Predicted Line-Up To Face Stoke

Arsenal will be full of confidence after a successful couple of weeks both domestically and in Europe. Following a good run of form, Arsene Wenger’s man have seen themselves move up to second in the Premier League and secured top spot in the Champions League group stages after PSG’s slip-up on Wednesday night. 

Hector Bellerin could return from injury for this one while Santi Cazorla, Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck are all out for the Gunners. Here is the Arsenal predicted line-up to face Stoke.

GK: Petr Cech

Was dropped for the Champions League match in favour of Ospina, but should start once again here.

RB: Hector Bellerin

Gabriel hasn’t put in a bad shift yet at right-back since the injury to Hector Bellerin, but the return of the Spaniard will be a big boost for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal, and he should be reinstalled back into the starting line-up straight away.

CB: Shkodran Mustafi

Mustafi and Koscielny have built up a very good relationship and understanding at the back for Arsenal. The defender missed out in midweek in Basel, and should be placed back in the starting line-up here.

CB: Laurent Koscielny

Will be a little disappointed not to have kept a clean sheet in the Champions League, but it was enough to take Arsenal through in top spot. I have no doubts in that he will play from the start against Stoke.

LB: Kieran Gibbs

Had a good game in midweek in the Champions League, and picked up three assists in that 4-1 win over Basel to secure top spot. Should keep his place here.

CDM: Granit Xhaka

Nothing too special from Granit Xhaka in midweek, but he had a solid game. After settling in, he will be looking to hit top form and nail down a regular place in Arsene Wenger’s line-ups. A good performance here will go a long way to doing that.

CDM: Francis Coquelin

Is available for selection to Arsene Wenger once again, and I think he will return to the starting line-up after that rest in midweek.

RAM: Theo Walcott

Another one that wasn’t selected in Basel, but has been in decent form recently. He should start again at the Emirates for Arsenal here.

CAM: Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil has discovered some good form in the Champions League but has not been at his very best in the Premier League recently. However, he was back amongst the goals last week against West Ham in the 5-1 thrashing, scoring his first league goal since October and will look to build on that.

LAM: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Also among the goals last week at the London Stadium, and has looked dangerous recently, scoring his second of the campaign last Saturday. Contract talks have reportedly started with the winger, and Arsenal will be hoping to tie him down with a new contract.

ST: Alexis Sanchez

Despite his hat-trick against Basel, I do not think that Lucas Perez will start on Saturday. I think that Alexis Sanchez will lead the line by himself against Stoke, with Lucas an attacking option on the wing and through the middle from the bench.

Premier League Team of the Week: Ft. 3 Chelsea, 2 Arsenal, 1 Liverpool & 1 Everton Player

Here’s our Premier League team of the week from the latest round of fixtures.

It was a weekend of bizarre results in places, whilst Arsenal and Chelsea showed their title credentials with impressive wins, it was a gamble from Manchester City to try and match Chelsea 3-4-3 and it backfired, get your Genting Casino promotion code to see if you can have more luck.

Lee Grant – Stoke City

Stoke City are back to winning ways and have kept consecutive clean sheets thanks to the in-form Lee Grant, who has been superb in between the sticks for the Potters in recent weeks.

Burnley certainly gave Stoke a good game at the weekend but without Grant standing strong and pulling off saves, things could have been ever so different.

But Grant excelled in a good performance and helped the Potters up to ninth place with a trip to the Emirates Stadium beckoning.

Eric Dier – Tottenham Hotspur

Eric Dier, who predominately plays in central midfield has found himself  playing in defence for Tottenham Hotspur a lot this season due to Toby Alderweireld’s injury.

The English international had a superb performance for Spurs in there 5-0 demolition over Swansea City with Dier winning 100% tackles, having 102 touches of the ball which is more than anyone else whilst maintaining 92% pass accuracy. Dier also got himself forward creating two chances in a truly immense display.

David Luiz – Chelsea

Honestly, I cannot remember a week in which David Luiz did not make our TOTW, this is not because I am a biased Chelsea fan, it is simply because he has been in impeccable form.

His arrival raised question marks which have been answered with supreme performances, he is enjoying himself in Antonio Conte’s new system and has been in majestic form since the start of the season.

A revelation, he has been arguably the best defender in Europe thus far this season, he was sublime at the Etihad Stadium managing six clearances, 34 passes and two interceptions.

The Brazilian is improving week in week out and his form will play a big part in Chelsea’s success this season.

Phil Jones – Manchester United

Since his return from injury, Phil Jones has been very impressive in the United team and is certainly giving Jose Mourinho selection headaches for when Eric Bailly returns to full fitness.

In their 1-1 draw at Goodison Park, Jones was tasked with keeping Romelu Lukaku at bay and did so in style, matching the Belgian striker’s strength and desire.

The English international maintained an immense 89% passing accuracy, whilst winning 100% aerial duels, which certainly catches the eye coming up against someone as powerful as Lukaku.

Ryan Fraser – Bournemouth

Many people woke up on Sunday morning and had not heard of Ryan Fraser before, or some may remember him from having a good spell ruined by injury at Ipswich Town, but one thing is for sure, you certainly know who he is now.

When Fraser was introduced to the game with 35 minutes remaining, nobody would have thought he would have the impact he did.

Firstly he won the penalty which was converted, he then scored a goal whilst grabbing an assist too in Bournemouth’s remarkable 4-3 win over Liverpool.

His direct approach and speed was too much for Jurgen Klopp’s men to handle, and he will certainly be looking to start for Eddie Howe’s men after a wonderful Man of the Match performance.

Emre Can – Liverpool

If anyone can, Emre can.

Although Can was on the receiving end of an embarrassment defeat, the German international still showcased an exquisite performance in the middle of the park.

He helped his side take the lead after setting up Sadio Mané for the opener before curling a beautiful strike into the back of the net from outside the box.

His performance certainly caught the eye with the midfield maestro also completing three take ons in a brilliant display.

Granit Xhaka – Arsenal

When Arsenal announced Santi Cazorla would miss up to three months of the season due to injury, many fans panicked, but honestly, there is no need to.

Granit Xhaka found himself in the starting XI again for the Gunners and on each occasion he has not disappointed in a wonderful performance against West Ham United.

The midfield rock, who formed a partnership with Francis Coquelin, managed 89% pass accuracy whilst being defensively switched on winning four tackles and three interceptions.

Idrissa Gueye – Everton

When Everton announced the signing of Idrissa Gueye in the summer, many football fans turned their heads, but he is quietly becoming a vital player for Everton and has been one of the best midfielders in the Premier League this season.

Coming up against the likes of Paul Pogba in the United midfield, he stood strong and won the battle which saw the Toffees man win five tackles and complete 37 passes.

Gueye was influential for Everton again on Sunday and won 75% of his duels, which showed how dominating he was against the Red Devils.

Eden Hazard – Chelsea

After a season to forget last season, this Belgian is thriving in Conte’s new formation and is rapidly getting back to his best which has him in the bracket with some of the worlds best.

Hazard was again at the heart of everything for the Blues as they cemented their title credentials with a win against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

Alexis Sanchez -Arsenal

When Alexis Sanchez turns up, it is just beautiful to watch.

The Gunners annihilated West Ham United on Saturday evening in a 5-1 victory, but one man stole the headlines, that man being their Chilean magician Alexis Sanchez.

The Arsenal forward scored a truly glorious hat-trick with his third goal being utterly outrageous, whilst oozing brilliance throughout and assisting Mesut Ozil.

West Ham defenders are no doubt relieved they will not have to face Sanchez for a while after being torn apart by the 27-year-old, who was a menace all game.

Diego Costa – Chelsea

Once again, Diego Costa makes our TOTW after an immense afternoon at the Etihad Stadium as he helped his side take all three points.

The Spanish international scored an incredible goal, with controlling the ball out of the air beautifully before smashing past the helpless Bravo.

Costa is a different animal this season, he look’s even hungrier, and Saturday again proved why he is currently the best number 9 in Europe with the Chelsea man hitting superlative form.

3 Players Arsenal Should Sign In The January Transfer Window

Arsenal moved up to second in the Premier League table after a 5-1 win over London rivals West Ham on Saturday, and having already secured qualification into the knockout stages of the Champions League, Arsene Wenger will be looking to add to his squad depth over the January transfer window so that he can make a push for the Premier League title as well as progress in the Champions League. Here are three players that Arsenal should try to sign in the new year.

1) Cesc Fabregas

Arsene Wenger has always rejected the idea whenever put to him that he wants to bring Cesc Fabregas back to the Emirates Stadium, but if he was given the opportunity to work with the Spaniard once again, then I am sure he would.

The Gunners could have the chance to secure the services of Fabregas over the course of the January transfer window according to reports emerging on Sunday morning from the Sunday Express. The 29-year-old has not featured regularly under Antonio Conte this season, despite playing in the 3-1 win over Manchester City on Saturday.

Santi Cazorla has been sidelined for three months, and despite denying it, Arsene Wenger will be keen to find a replacement in the new year. The signing of Fabregas would also add to Arsenal’s squad depth as they look to make a charge for the Premier League title whilst progressing as far as they can in the Champions League.

If Arsenal were able to secure the services of Fabregas, it would be an excellent signing for the Gunners. The Spaniard still has a lot to offer in the Premier League, and you just have to look at the ball Fabregas played up to Diego Costa for the equaliser on Saturday to see the quality he can offer.

Coquelin Out, Giroud Starts: Arsenal Team News And Predicted 4-2-3-1 Line-Up To Face Basel

Confidence will be high in the Arsenal camp after they moved up to second in the Premier League table following a 5-1 win over West Ham, and now the Gunners travel to Basel with qualification in the Champions League already secured. 

Mathieu Debuchy and Hector Bellerin leave Wenger a selection headache at right-back again whilst he is still missing long-term absentees Santi Cazorla, Chuba Akpom, Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck are all out.

In order to finish top of the group, Arsenal must win and then rely on a PSG slip up against Ludogorets, and with this in mind Arsene Wenger might look to make a few rotations but still field a strong side to maintain the teams winning momentum. Here is the predicted 4-2-3-1 line-up to face Basel in the Champions League.

GK: David Ospina

The Arsenal goalkeeper has been subject to a little bit of criticism recently from Arsenal fans, but I do expect him to replace Petr Cech here as he usually does for the Champions League fixtures. On his day, he can be a very useful keeper.

RB: Gabriel Paulista

Carl Jenkinson was slammed for his performance in the EFL Cup last week in the 0-2 defeat at the hands of Southampton, and Paulista played alright against West Ham. He should keep his place again in Basel.

CB: Shkodran Mustafi

Mustafi has been a success ever since making the £35m switch from Valencia and has formed a very strong partnership with Koscielny at the heart of the defence. I expect Arsene Wenger to field a fairly strong team in Basel, and Mustafi should keep his place.

CB: Lauren Koscielny

As I have said, the partnership built up between Mustafi and Koscielny has been one that Arsenal fans love, and with Alexis Sanchez firing well up front it is a recipe for success. He should start once again here.

LB: Kieran Gibbs

Arsene Wenger should pick a strong side, but there are expected to be changes. Nacho Monreal has been in decent form of late, but Kieran Gibbs could take his place for the clash in Basel as the duo continue to contest for the left-back berth.

 

CDM: Granit Xhaka

The big money signing of the summer has not always featured under Wenger this season, but he played well on Saturday against West Ham, and he should keep his place in the starting line-up here, going to his former club.

CDM: Mohamed Elneny

Elneny recovered from illness to come on as a late substitute and will be pushing for a start here ahead of Francis Coquelin, and I think that he might get that starting place in the final group stage game, especially because, like Xhaka, this game will be a bit of a homecoming for him.

RAM: Theo Walcott

Walcott has been a much-improved player this season and netted against Bournemouth in the last Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium. He was replaced after 66 minutes by Aaron Ramsey on Saturday, and Arsene Wenger might have had this fixture in mind.

CAM: Mesut Ozil

Ozil got back amongst the goals in the Premier League on Saturday, and although it was just a tap-in, he was in the right place at the right time – something he has done much more frequently this season. Ozil has played well this season in the Champions League and will be a key figure for Arsenal here.

LAM: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Oxlade-Chamberlain also started on Saturday against West Ham, and also bagged himself a goal in the 5-1 thrashing. He has been decent form, and will probably start on the left-wing against Basel.

ST: Olivier Giroud

Giroud has returned to training after not making the squad on Saturday. With qualification secured, and with Arsenal relying on a PSG slip up at home against Ludogorets to finish top, Arsene Wenger might see this as an opportunity to rest key man Alexis Sanchez and start fit-again Giroud.

This Manchester United Defender Excelled vs. Everton – But Time To Go For Fellaini?

Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on Sunday as Marouane Fellaini gave away a late penalty. Two players caught the eye for United on the day, but both for very different reasons. 

Marcus Rojo supplied the first big talking point of the game after lunging into a 50/50 challenge with Idrissa Gueye, but was only shown a yellow card by referee Michael Oliver, much to the anger of the Everton players. The first half was dominated by controversial decisions as United players would argue Gareth Barry should have been sent off for two bookings.

After 42 minutes of sloppy play from both sides, the deadlock was finally broken. Anthony Martial supplied a perfect ball for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to chase and lob the ball over the stranded, Stekelenburg. The goal was given by goal line technology after the attempt hit the bar, post and then creeped over the line.

The first piece of action of the second half took place on the 53rd minute when Kevin Mirallas skipped past Rojo with ease and forced a good save from David De Gea, who would have been trying to forget his mid-week slip up against West Ham.

Ander Herrera hit the post with a great effort after some good work from Mkhitaryan on only his second league start for the club.

On the 85th minute, Marouane Fellaini was substituted on, and on the 87th minute, the same man gave away a penalty. The Belgian once again proving why he isn’t up to standards for a side like Manchester United. Leighton Baines kept his nerve and placed the penalty in the bottom corner, which proved to be the final goal in the game.

Phil Jones, hopefully back for good

When Phil Jones joined the club, Sir Alex Ferguson labelled the young man as a future captain of club and country, but the Englishman has been plagued with injury and hasn’t been able to live up to his potential. Back from injury, the centre-back has been extremely impressive and there was no change today. Jones kept Romelu Lukaku quiet for the whole game and made sure he didn’t win anything in the air, which is a tough task against such a physical player. The ex-Blackburn Rovers player was a brick wall and made sure David De Gea was protected. Jones had the confidence to play it out from the back to Michael Carrick instead of hitting it up the field and giving it away.

When managing Chelsea, Mourinho mentored John Terry into the player that he is today and if he can stay fit, I don’t think there is any doubt that he can reach the former England captain’s level.

How long can Fellaini hold onto his Utd Career?

Manchester United fans will not be wanting to see any more of Marouane Fellaini for a good few weeks, that’s if he can survive the January transfer window. The Belgian has never been in the good books of the fans ever since he joined the club and he simply isn’t helping himself. He doesn’t have the quality of the players around him and it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Mourinho put his belief in the midfielder to keep the ball for the final few minutes and add an extra man to the defensive duties, but another stupid mistake led to another draw. Surely it’s time up for Fellaini?

3 Reasons Why Chelsea’s 3-4-3 Is So Difficult To Play Against

A crushing 3-0 defeat at Arsenal prompted Antonio Conte to switch to a 3-4-3 formation, and to say it has worked in Chelsea’s favour is an understatement. The Blues sit top of the Premier League and have won every single league game since that Arsenal defeat. Here are three reasons why Chelsea’s 3-4-3 is so hard to play against.

1) They can defend extremely well

You only have to look at Chelsea’s defensive record since Antonio Conte’s switch to the 3-4-3 system to see just how well Chelsea can defend. Since the switch eight games ago, the Blues have conceded just two goals, one against Spurs a week ago, and one against Chelsea yesterday. They did go on a run of six games without conceding a goal.

The wing-backs are so important to the Chelsea system, and when needed they can drop back in to make a back five when Chelsea are under a lot of pressure. This can be used to frustrate teams, and catch them on the break, and it was a masterclass in counter-attacking football on Saturday from Conte’s side, with two of their three goals coming from quick breaks.

Admittedly, Chelsea were a little lucky to concede just the one goal. Sergio Aguero nearly capitalised on a poor back-pass, and Kevin De Bruyne somehow managed to miss a sitter. Nevertheless, Chelsea have let in just eleven goals this season, boasting the second best defensive record in the top flight.

Arsenal Are The Real Deal & Can Win The Premier League This Season

Arsenal picked up 3 points away from home on Saturday evening in what could’ve been a tricky away fixture for the title-chasing Gunners.

But in the end, it was a relatively straightforward win with the Gunners dominating in the first half but only managing to go into the break with a 1-goal lead. That goal came from Francis Coquelin making a key interception and that freed Alexis Sanchez who unselfishly gave the ball to Mesut Ozil, allowing the German to tap into an empty net.

The second half saw West Ham come into the game more than Arsenal fan will have liked, but they were still restricted to very few openings as the Gunners defence stood strong. It was then time for Alexis Sanchez to once again show his quality. Starting as the lone striker, the Chilean looked so confident and was quality with pretty much everything he did. He doubled Arsenal’s lead with a brilliant individual run, and most impressive was the finish. Striking from a tight angle, he found the bottom corner with aplomb, and it helped highlight the difference in quality between Alexis and most of the other players on the pitch.

It wasn’t long before the little Chilean made all the difference again, striking from the edge of the box and finding the bottom left corner with an unstoppable, accurate finish. There was a scare for Arsenal when Carroll headed in to make it 3-1, but Oxlade-Chamberlain responded immediately and restored the 3-goal lead for the Gunners. Then, a few minutes before full-time, Alexis completed an incredible performance, chipping the goalkeeper to get his hat-trick and make the score 5-1.

Crucially Alexis scored 3 goals and made 1 assist – but what was reassuring about Arsenal’s performance is that they always looked in control. Too many times in the past, Arsenal have crumbled in this kind of game, even when they take the lead. They now look so much more in control and are playing with a new found confidence. The additions of Mustafi and Xhaka to the spine of the team cannot be underestimated and the decision to move Alexis to play through the middle has been a revelation.

I loved the fact that Mustafi was barking orders throughout the game, keeping the defence in line and the midfielders in front of him in check.

With the Chilean’s contract having less than two years to run, many Arsenal fans have called for him to extend his contract, and for Arsenal to give the player the money he wants.

In my opinion, Alexis is up there with the best in the Premier League and tonight showed that. Arsenal really need to keep hold of him, he’s different class. The sooner we wrap up his contract the better, it’s time to loosen the purse strings.

Alexis was not the only star on the day, though – there were encouraging performances from the likes of Granit Xhaka and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in midfield as it appeared Arsene Wenger finally found his midfield rhythm.

With this kind of performance and with the new signings settling in so well, Arsenal must truly be considered title challengers now.

They have quality players in every position and every title winning team has a main man, Arsenal’s is without a doubt Alexis and he proved that with a brilliant hat-trick.

The Gunners have passed several tests already this season that show they are a changed team. They dismantled Chelsea, and apart from the opening day of the season, where only half the team was there, they are undefeated in the league. You can rightly say that West Ham were very poor, but it is unusual and refreshing for Arsenal to still have not lost an away game when you consider the strength of all the teams in the Premier League.

Premier League Team of the Week: Including 3 Arsenal, 3 West Ham & 2 Man City Players

Here’s our Premier League team of the week from the latest round of fixtures. There were some standout performances with 3 players from West Ham and 3 more from Arsenal making the eleven. Scroll down to find out about the XI in full, and why they made it.

Darren Randolph – West Ham United

This is not the first goalkeeper to go to Old Trafford this season and have, arguably their best game of the season thus far. Randolph joined that list of keepers this weekend after an immense display against Manchester United on Sunday afternoon. He denied the likes of Marcus Rashford and Jese Lingard, saving a point for the Hammers as Slaven Bilic rightly favoured the Republic Of Ireland international over Adrian.

Nicolas Otamendi – Manchester City

When the Argentinian first arrived in England, he was heavily criticised for his performances which did not reach the billing City faithful where hoping.

But, since Guardiola’s arrival he has formed a fine partnership with England defender John Stones. On Saturday, Otamendi impressed at the back for City and made 18 clearances, created one chance and also finished the game with 88% passing, which will be a stat that pleases the boss.

Angelo Ogbonna – West Ham United

Much like teammate Randolph, Ogbonna was excellent in the Hammers away match to Jose Mourinho’s men and was at the heart of the defence that kept United at bay.

He made one key block to deny Ibrahimovic in the first half, which was destined to hit the back of the net and finished the game with 100% tackles and aerial duels won, whilst also impressing with a 75% passing accuracy in a truly great performance.

Laurent Koscielny – Arsenal

Arsenal man Laurent Koscielny has become vital to this Gunners team, and time and time again proves why he is one of Europe’s finest defenders. The Frenchman had another top class display on Sunday against a very strong Bournemouth attack including the likes of Wilson and King who both possess excellent speed. The Arsenal man finished the game winning 67% tackles, 75% aerial duels, making eight clearances and 87% passing. Mr consistent.

Nathan Ake – Bournemouth

Although he was on the losing side on Sunday, he was brilliant on the left hand side for the Cherries.

The on-loan Chelsea man surely caught the eye of Blues boss Antonio Conte after his quality display at the Emirates. He was both brilliant offensively and defensively whilst creating once chance, making 14 clearances and finishing the game wit 78% passing accuracy. The 21-year-old has been in fine form in recent weeks and if he keeps progressing will find himself knocking on the Chelsea starting XI door next season.

Michail Antonio – West Ham United

Antonio has been excellent consistently in the past two seasons and was once again impressive at Old Trafford. Although the Hammers man had a dip in form after Bilic opted to play the versatile midfielder at right-back where he struggled significantly. Since moving back to his favoured position he has been extremely dangerous for West Ham, and on Sunday he created once chance, completed four crosses, five take ons and helped out defensively with 100% tackles won.

Granit Xhaka – Arsenal

Arsene Wenger experimented another midfield pivot with Granit Xhaka starting alongside Mohamed Elneny, and it may be the most perfect partnership thus far, at least in Santi Cazorla’s absence.

Xhaka was phenomenal for the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium as he helped his side get back to winning ways. Fans have been left raging in recent weeks due to Wenger’s exclusion of their summer signing, but after his performance on Sunday he must be deemed un-droppable for the upcoming games.

The Switzerland midfielder was excellent in transitions, whilst his exquisite passing helped Arsenal attack quickly, finishing the game with 90% passing accuracy, the midfield rock also managed to be successful with 73% of his tackles – a truly wonderful display.

Josh Sims – Southampton

Well, what a way to introduce yourself to the Premier League. Within 42 seconds the young Saints player registered his first assist after setting up Charlie Austin for the winning goal, whilst running Everton ragged all afternoon with immense pace and ability. An afternoon to remember for the 19-year-old after a very good introduction.

Leroy Fer – Swansea

Now we have all calmed down from the game of the season at the Liberty Stadium, we can reflect on the brilliant Leroy Fer who scored a brace for the Swans. Bob Bradley was in desperate need for the three points for his struggling side, and two goals from Fer helped seal the 5-4 victory, he was too much to handle for Crystal Palace as he completed three take ons and 77% passing in an erratic game.

Sergio Aguero – Manchester City

When you have the quality of Sergio Aguero leading your line, you just know he will score. The Argentinian scored a brace for Pep Guardiola’s men after they went 1-0 down to Burnley at Turf Moor after a fine strike after Marney opened the scoring. Aguero secured three points for the away side with a 2nd and was once again the difference between City and the opposition.

Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal

When Arsenal need a saviour, up steps this magic Chilean. Alexis Sanchez once again got on the score sheet for the Gunners as they secured three points against a very resilient Bournemouth side. Aside from Alexis scoring a brace in Arsenal’s 3-1 victory, he maintained high intensity throughout and pressed high up the pitch to try win the ball back. Arsenal can rely on their new number 7, after he created four chances, three take ons and finished the game with 72% pass success, not bad for a striker.

Will Leicester City Manage to Steer Clear of Relegation?

Everybody remembers the quick ascent to glory that Leicester made last season. It literally took the football world by storm. This relatively small team just climbed out of anonymity right to the very top of the English Premier League, claiming a title that has often been an exclusive reserve for the big teams. Many expected the team to jealously guard the reputation that they worked so hard to build in just one season. But it turns out that Leicester is in the habit of doing the unthinkable time after time. This season, the team is on the very verge of relegation, and unless they do something about it and do it quickly, they might just have to leave the competition prematurely.

This is the place to stay updated with lines for soccer.

Leicester Woes

This season has been anything but good for Leicester, and the future does not look any brighter. In five matches, the team has only managed to gain one point. To make matters worse, Leicester has already lost a solid six games in this season. Compared to the last season where they lost just three games, their present situation is more than worrying. Currently, the team stands at position 14 in the 20 team league, which is not expected of a team that won the title last season. In fact, the imminent threat of relegation that Leicester is facing has only ever happened to one other big team. The unfortunate team was Manchester City, which won the English Premier League in 1937 but was relegated the following year.

Many people are convinced that Leicester is performing so poorly in the EPL as it is giving the competition divided attention. The general notion is that Leicester’s participation in the Champions League has contributed to its dismal performance in the Premier league. The piteous performance of Leicester on Sunday, where they lost 3-1 to Watford, only goes to show just how badly the distraction has affected Leicester’s performance.

Ranieri’s Opinion

However, the team’s coach sees the whole situation in a completely different light. According to him, the participation of the team in both competitions is nothing short of enjoyable. However, he does acknowledge that the team’s performance in the EPL is wanting, but he feels that the team is up to the challenge. He says that he and everyone else on the team is willing to put in the hard work and the extra hours required for the team to perform well in both competitions. He is also quick to point out the fact that Leicester is doing well in the Champion’s League, although the same can hardly be said of the Premier League.

One has to admire Ranieri’s open defiance of failure, and his willingness to keep the team winning in spite of overwhelming challenges. He quips that Leicester outdid itself last season, and he is optimistic that it is going to write history yet again. Currently, the team is focused on winning the Champion’s league first and hopefully still have time to better its scores in the Premier League. It needs just one point on Tuesday to earn a place on the knock out stage, and steer clear of attention until February.

10 Changes, Jeff Starts: The Arsenal XI That Should Start vs. Southampton On Wednesday

Arsenal are back in Cup action on Wednesday night as they will host Southampton in the League Cup Quarter Final. Arsene Wenger has opted for a rotated squad in this competition in previous rounds, but with the final just two games away, and Southampton a tough opponent, will he be tempted to bring in some first team players for this clash?

I take a look at what I believe will be the likely Arsenal line-up and what I think it should be, when the two sides meet.

Goalkeeper: Damian Martinez

Arsene has three very good goalkeepers at the club and he’s playing them all in different competitions to spread out the game time. For the League Cup it is Martinez who is likely to take the place between the sticks. The young Argentinean has done very well in the two rounds previous and after signing a long-term contract at the club earlier this month, he’ll be keen to impress and keep the club in the competition.

Defence: Carl Jenkinson, Rob Holding, Gabriel Paulista, Kieran Gibbs

Jenkinson was apparently not happy at being left out of the squad against Bournemouth, but after Debuchy’s injury Arsenal need him. Holding and Gabriel have not been given much game time but both deserve to be given some game time in this competition. Gabriel looks like he needs more minutes to improve, and Holding has impressed at every opportunity. Gibbs has been at least on par with Monreal this season so once again, deserves to start.

Midfield: Francis Coquelin, Granit Xhaka; Lucas Perez, Jeff, Alex Iwobi

I’d like to see Xhaka retain his place in the middle of the park as Arsenal need to find some kind of consistency in midfield and with Cazorla out I think he is the best placed midfielder to do that. Alongside him we can afford to start the fresh Coquelin, who sat out against Bournemouth. I think Jeff will start at number 10 and he deserves to do so, it will be great to see the Frenchman in that position again. On the wings I would like to see the fit again Lucas Perez and Alex Iwobi. It’s a big game for both of those players as the wide spots are up for grabs in this Arsenal eleven. If either can put in a good performance, then I can see them breaking into the team.

Striker: Olivier Giroud

After being left out of the team against Bournemouth, Giroud will once again be hungry to prove himself in the team. Scoring goals doesn’t seem to be enough to get him into the eleven with Alexis thriving as an all-rounder through the middle, so it is up to Giroud to keep improving and prove his worth. The game on Wednesday presents a good chance for him to do just that.

Title Credentials Proven: Why Yesterday Was A Different Kind Of Win For Liverpool

Liverpool displayed a different kind of performance on Saturday against what can only be described as a double-decker Sunderland defence. While it wasn’t the most eye-catching display from the Reds, the grit and perseverance on display was aplenty as they marched to a 2-0 win.

A Clear Sign of Progression

Throughout Brendan Rodgers’ tenure at Liverpool, frustration proved to get the better of Liverpool. Throwing away leads and failing to make chances count was all too often a feature of their league campaign despite dominating the lion’s share of possession. Chances went begging, heads dropped and a solemn acceptance of a point arose.

“Sunderland always play a defensive style It is difficult to come through but we stayed concentrated, worked for the moment and found a way.” – Jurgen Klopp

There was no such acceptance on Saturday, with a strong display of patience marking a clear sign of progression. Nathaniel Clyne and Milner had chances rebuffed while Roberto Firmino and Gini Wijnaldum forced decent saves from Jamie Pickford, who did well to keep Liverpool out as long as he did. However, Liverpool’s heads didn’t drop and they continued to mount pressure on the young keeper, who eventually couldn’t keep them out any longer.

With their domination and pressure paying off, you can’t help but wonder just how crucial the result could prove to be for Liverpool come the end of the season. A draw at home against Sunderland would have been a big setback but at 2-0 the confidence remains high on Merseyside.

A Chance Well Taken

Having found his opportunities severely limited this season thanks to the rampant form of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, Divock Origi has found it hard to reach the heights of last season.

Yet, handed the chance due to Coutinho’s early injury, Origi made his mark on proceedings. Receiving the ball on the edge of the box, the 22 year old riggled away from Duncan Watmore before cutting back and curling his shot into the far corner. Relief for the Reds.

Rallying The Troops

You couldn’t blame the Liverpool supporters for being rather subdued after seeing Philippe Coutinho stretched off before the half time whistle. It seemed to be heading for one of those days but Jurgen Klopp’s role as conductor played a key role in the change in fortunes.

The German was the orchestrator, rallying the Anfield faithful to get behind the side and mount further pressure on David Moyes’ side. Noise levels rising and pressure rising, Liverpool turned the screw and got their just reward.

The free-flowing football usually displayed by Liverpool may make for a better watch, but points are the only thing that matters. If you want to compete at the top end of the Premier League, you need to be able to grind out results against teams who pack their defence and hope for the draw. Liverpool did just that.

4 Reasons Arsenal Will Finish Above Tottenham Again This Season

Arsenal and Tottenham have both started the season fairly well and with just one point separating the two teams after 12 games, it looks like they will closely matched once again this season. Of course both teams ambitions are greater than finishing above each other, both want to win the league. But finishing above their rival would ensure that they’d be at least close to the top as both teams look likely to push for the title. I think it’s going to be another season where Arsenal edge this local duel, and here’s 4 reasons why.

1 – Better attacking depth

Attacking depth hasn’t been a word associated with Arsenal in recent years but this season they certainly appear to have greater variety in attack than their North London rivals. Tottenham are so reliant on Harry Kane and that couldn’t be clearer. They’ve only got back into good goalscoring form since he returned to the team and the worry for Tottenham fans will be whether or not Kane is capable of staying fit and keeping consistent form throughout the entire season. Arsenal’s first choice striker appears to be Alexis Sanchez, but Olivier Giroud keeps scoring from the bench. It’s giving Arsene Wenger a fantastic problem and a one that may very well prove to be the difference between the clubs come the end of the season. There’s also the small matter of Danny Welbeck and Lucas Perez who look set to return in December.

Premier League Team of the Week: 3 Chelsea, 1 Arsenal Loanee & 1 Tottenham Player Feature

It’s that time of week again, and after the International Break we finally welcome back thoroughly missed Premier League football, and here is our team of the week for the weekend just passed.

Jordan Pickford – Sunderland

The 22-year-old continued to impress in a depleted side during the Black Cats 3-0 victory over Hull City.

He was calm and composed between the sticks and this threaded through to his defence with Sunderland claiming a clean sheet. The Englishman made five fine saves to ensure he kept his clean sheet and was superb in the the much needed victory.

Victor Moses – Chelsea

The once forgotten man is now helping Chelsea top the table after becoming a crucial player in Antonio Conte’s new system.

Moses has been a revelation this season thus far and enjoyed another win with the Blues against Middlesbrough with  five crosses, one take on and never ending defensive assurance whilst offensively being superb. His fine performance was granted with the MOTM award.

Virgil Van Dijk – Southampton

Throughout the 90 minutes Van Dijk was superb against an attacking trio of Firmino, Coutinho and Mane – who returned to the St Mary’s for the first time after his departure in the summer.

One immense last ditch tackle on his ex-teammate Mane was the best of the lot and probably was a point saving tackle. The stats behind his performance are very impressive with 79% passing accuracy, 100% tackles won, two interceptions, two clearances and 75% aerial duels won.

David Luiz – Chelsea

Once again, David Luiz makes our TOTW for as many weeks as I can remember.

This is getting quite easy now to be putting him in our team each week, he has been a revelation since his return to Stamford Bridge and the Brazilian enjoyed another good defensive display at the weekend with eight clearances, one take on and 78% passing completed.

His form has helped his club top the table as the season starts to take shape.

Nathan Ake – Bournemouth

Can Nathan Ake do it on a cold winters day away to Stoke City? Yes he can.

The 21-year-old was brilliant defensively and had a tough afternoon in dealing with Wilfried Bony but came out on top. He was very calm in possession and scored the games only game with a powering header. Ake finished the match with 100% tackles won whilst making 15 clearances which just shows how busy the Cherries man was all afternoon.

Harry Winks – Tottenham Hotspur

What a dream first start for this 20-year-old. Playing in a London derby is big enough, but to do it in style and grab yourself a goal is everyone’s dream, and it was almost an introduction for himself with Spurs relishing from yet another fine youngster.

Playing in the midfield he saw the ball quite a bit and manager 86% of his passes completed, whilst creating once chance and scoring one goal from two shots. Efficiency at its finest.

Jack Wilshere – Bournemouth

Maybe, just maybe we now going to see the best of a fully fit Jack Wilshere. The Arsenal loanee had an excellent match away to Stoke City in the Cherries 1-0 victory and nearly doubled the scoring after seeing his fine effort hit the outside of the post. The midfielder created three chances whilst completing 84% of his passes. One Frenchman, called Arsene Wenger will be very pleased with his performances of late as Wilshere tries to save his Arsenal career.

Yaya Toure – Manchester City

There is nothing like a beautiful come back story, is there? I mean the whole Premier League has missed Toure, and his comeback may have finally turned the head of Pep Guardiola.

Toure scored two goals in a dream return to the City starting XI, he managed two take ons whilst showboating his beautiful movement for his first goal. A quality display.

Roberto Pereyra – Watford

Watford beat the current Premier League champions 2-1 at the weekend and the game included a fine goal from their summer signing Roberto Pereyra.

He was excellent throughout and was a real problem for the Foxes, completing five take ons, scoring one goal and creating one chance he helped the Hornets take all three points.

Victor Anichebe – Sunderland

Sunderland have picked up six points from six and finally look like a team worthy of challenging in the Premier League.

There was one hero on Tyneside on Saturday afternoon and that man was Victor Anichebe, his brace saw the Black Cats see of Hull City with the forward also completing three take ons, making himself a nuisance for the Tigers defence.

Diego Costa – Chelsea

Honestly, Diego Costa is the best number 9 in Europe at this current moment.

He has been absolutely brilliant all season thus far and has become a killer in front of goal again under Conte. The Spanish International created four chances against Middlesbrough, completed six take ons and scored yet another goal which was the winner, taking his tally up to 10 for the season. At this rate, Costa is helping his club top the table whilst scoring himself to the Golden Boot.

3 Reasons Why Chelsea Will Win The Premier League Title This Season

Antonio Conte is well known for his success playing with a 3-4-3 formation. Now he starting to bring success at Chelsea with the same setup, the 1-0 win away at Middlesbrough being Chelsea’s sixth win in a row and sending them top of the table.

After a stuttering start, the Blues are starting to look like the real deal, and here is three reasons why they can beat the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs to the Premier League title this season.

1) They defend extremely well

Antonio Conte has not always set his Chelsea team up in a 3-4-3 formation this season. He had been playing with four at the back, but following defeats at home to Liverpool and away at Arsenal, Conte decided to change the system.

It has been a success ever since the change. One of the areas in which we have seen particular improvement is in the defensive department. Gary Cahill and David Luiz have been key to the impressive defensive record that Chelsea have maintained since their system switch. The Blues have not conceded a single goal since their 3-0 defeat at Arsenal, conceding just nine all season.

That record means they have conceded just one more goal than Tottenham, who have the best defensive record in the Premier League. All title winning sides are built on good defences. We saw that with Leicester City last season who conceded just 36 goals over 38 matches, and we have seen it with previous title winning sides.

This Is The Reason Why Manchester United Failed To Win Against Arsenal On Saturday

Jose Mourinho made one fatal tactical error on Saturday in the lunchtime kickoff against Arsenal, and it was one that in my opinion ultimately cost United the three points. 

United needed to send a statement out to the rest of the Premier League after a poor start to the season, and a win over Arsenal would have been the perfect way to do that. And his side looked like they would secure the three points at Old Trafford, a venue in which Arsenal have not won in ten years.

It took a while for United to break through a resilient Arsenal back line, but Wayne Rooney found space in the box and pulled the ball back to Juan Mata, who stayed cool to fire the Red Devils ahead midway through the second half. It looked like it was going to be a perfect display from a Jose Mourinho point of view.

The midfield of Michael Carrick, Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera along with the defence of Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Antonio Valencia all managed to keep Arsenal’s danger men quiet throughout most of the game. Alexis Sanchez had minimal impact, and we saw very little of Mesut Ozil, who failed to have a shot on goal or create a single chance. Arsenal were extremely ineffective going forward.

Despite this, and that fact that Arsenal had created next to nothing for most of the game, Mourinho decided to apply his trademark tactic and sit back and defend what he had. We could see a distinct change in the setup with just under ten minutes to go, United just sat back.

This allowed Arsenal more time on the ball and in the end it was two Arsene Wenger substitutes that did the business for the Frenchman. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain beat his man down the right and delivered a delightful cross towards the back post where Olivier Giroud was waiting to nod the ball past De Gea and snatch a late point for the Gunners.

In the end, it was not that United being unlucky that cost them the three points like Mourinho claims. It was the fact that Mourinho instructed his team to sit back in the latter stages of the game. Arsenal offered nothing going forward, not even on the break up until that point. If Mourinho had kept things the same, I am certain that the Red Devils would have walked away with a 1-0 win and all three points.

Will this error make Mourinho change his ways? I very much doubt it. Have your say  in the comments section below. 

Xhaka Starts: The 4-2-3-1 Arsenal XI That Will Beat PSG In The Champions League

Arsenal need to get at least a draw on Wednesday night to keep their hopes of topping their Champions League group alive. The Gunners have performed well in Europe so far this season, picking up a draw in Paris and then maximum points since. The problem for Arsenal is that PSG are also yet to encounter any hiccups since that opening match day. Now Arsenal need either a 0-0/1-1 draw or a win to ensure they stay top of the group heading into the final match day where they travel to FC Basel.

The Gunners haven’t topped their group for some time now and it will be important for them to change that this time around if they hope to go past the last 16 of the competition, a hurdle where they normally fall.

Goalkeeper: David Ospina

I think we know that Ospina will start this game and quite rightly. Arsene Wenger has put faith in the Colombian in Europe and it has paid off so far. He

Defence: Carl Jenkinson, Skhodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs

There was a lot of worry about Jenkinson going into the game at Old Trafford but he did OK and didn’t stand out as a weak point as many expected him too. I am sure he will keep his place on Wednesday night. Mustafi and Koscielny continue to grow with every game and they must start at the heart of the defence. At left back I’d bring in Gibbs to show Monreal once again that his place is not safe. The Spaniard hasn’t been at his best this season and I think Gibbs deserves a chance in a big game.

Central Midfield: Granit Xhaka, Francis Coquelin

I think in Cazorla’s absence it is essential that Xhaka starts, especially when Coquelin is the other deep lying midfielder. Arsenal need a midfielder at the heart of the game that can pass both long and short. Arsenal spent a lot of money on Xhaka and he performed very well against Spurs but was weirdly left out at Old Trafford. He simply must start this game.

Attacking Midfield: Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi / Alexis Sanchez

Alexis didn’t look 100% against United and I think if there is any doubt over his fitness he shouldn’t start this game. If that is the case then the fresh Iwobi should come in on the left. Elsewhere I think it is important that experienced pair Walcott and Ozil start the game, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain being used as an impact substitute if needed.

Attack: Olivier Giroud

Giroud needs to be rewarded with a start in this game. He was clearly annoyed that he was on the bench again against Manchester United and he seemed pretty smug when he headed in the equaliser. He’s in a rich vein of form at the moment where everything he is touching goes in. He needs to show that when he starts he can perform at the same level though. He has a decent record in big games in the Champions League, having scored against the likes of Bayern Munich in the past. A winner against PSG would ultimately prove himself to be amongst the best.

3 Key Battles That Will Decide The Winner Of Manchester United vs. Arsenal

Games don’t get much bigger than this. It’s Manchester United vs. Arsenal in Saturday’s early kick-off, with the added spice of Jose Mourinho vs. Arsene Wenger. Arsenal have started the season fairly well, but a result at Old Trafford is needed to show they are serious contenders. Mourinho must surely view this game as a must win to give his team even the smallest of chances of launching a title challenge. Below I look at three key battles that will decide the outcome of this match.

1 – Mesut Ozil vs. Maraoune Fellaini

I think we all know Fellaini is going to start this game and I strongly expect Mourinho to assign him the sole task of stopping Mesut Ozil. Mourinho knows only too well of Ozil’s ability and he will want Fellaini to try and nullify the serious threat that Ozil possesses. The German was given a rest in the international break and considering he’s in a purple patch at the moment, it will certainly be important for Manchester United to keep him quiet if they are to win the game. You can also spin this round, when Ozil has been man marked in big games he often struggles to be at his influential best. It is important for Arsenal that in these kind of games their World Class players come to the fore – it is time for Ozil to earn his money (rumoured £200,000 per week contract) and deliver the goods on Saturday afternoon.

3 Things Mourinho Needs To Do To Get Manchester United Back In The Title Race

When Jose Mourinho was announced the manager of Manchester United football club, the United faithful straight away started to talk about the big silverware and started to feel their club would rise back to the top again, that is the kind of affect the Portuguese manager can have on your team, with the CV he carries, it was hard not to disagree.

Then come the big summer arrivals, Eric Bailly, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and forgotten man Henrikh Mkhitaryan. That is when the United faithful really started believing, and when other clubs fans stated to worry.

With a man that has won everything at the helm, and the Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 players of the year arriving to the Theatre of Dreams in one summer you would have put your house on United at least competing to win the Premier League this season.

But, as can happen in football, things have not gone to plan for United, nor for their manager who is certainly starting to come under some strong criticism from pundits and fans alike. After spending more than £150 million in the summer the bar was raised, for Mourinho to take United out of the shadows which Louis Van Gaal left them in. No Champions League football for the club which once conquered Europe and no self belief within the players you could argue Mourinho had a job on his hands to put the club where they belong, but after spending masses of money there should be no excuses set.

Sitting sixth in the Premier League table, one win in their last five league games and just 16 goals scored in 11 matches thus far this season, we take a look at 3 things Mourinho must address to ensure his club start climbing the table, before it is too late.

1) Find a place for Mkhitaryan the starting XI

When Manchester United were linked with all the players they finally singed in the summer, there was one man that I thought, if they get him they will be unstoppable, and that man was Henrik Mkhitaryan. The Bundesliga player of the year, he is a great attacking midfielder who can play on either flank.

How he is not managing to make the 18 match day squad for the Red Devils is, well, quite baffling. A free-scoring midfielder who bagged himself 19 league goals last term, whilst assisting for fun is not breaking into a United squad that is lacking that touch in the final third.

All in all last season, the Armenian international scored 23 goals and assisted a further 26, which meant he contributed to a goal on 49 separate occasions for BVB, which is simply breathtaking.

With the likes of Ibrahimovic, Martial and Rashford all struggling for consistency in there play and goals drying up on that front, they have a man sitting in the stands that created a total of 136 chances last season, which again shows how majestic he was last season.

Although he did not shine out when he was given a chance, this is not an excuse for him not to make the squad and in fact, he should be the first name on the team sheet each week.

If Mourinho is to get his side scoring goals and becoming a feared team again, the man in charge must accommodate a place in his team for their fantastic summer arrival Mkhitaryan.

PL Team of the Week: 3 Chelsea, 2 Manchester United, 1 Arsenal & 1 Liverpool Player Feature

It’s that time again (a bit late admittedly), here’s our team of the week for last weekends action. 

Jordan Pickford – Sunderland

The man inbetween the sticks in our TOTW is Sunderland’s impressive shot stopper Jordan Pickford. He had a majestic display against Bournemouth in their 2-1 victory on the weekend and was unlucky not to bag himself a clean sheet after making six saves.

The 22-year-old had plenty to do and was kept busy all afternoon, superb saves to deny Joshua King and Arsenal’s on loan midfielder Jack Wilshere made sure the Black Cats took the three points to Tyneside.

David Luiz – Chelsea

Another week goes by, another David Luiz master class.

When the Brazilian arrived in England most fans and pundits alike raised an eyebrow at the signing, after being torn apart at the back by Arsenal those critics grew louder.

But a turn in form and performing quality displays on a weekly basis has seen the man help Chelsea to 2nd in the league and go unbeaten in five league games, including five clean sheets.

He has been a revelation in Antonio Conte’s new system and has slotted in the back three perfectly, his form is impressive and the boss will be hoping this carries on with some crunch matches on the horizon.

Michael Dawson – Hull

Calum Chambers – Middlesbrough

Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool

Liverpool’s magic Brazilian once again gets himself into our TOTW after showcasing another sublime display at the weekend in their 6-1 demolition of Watford.

The 24-year-old bagged himself a goal and an assist in a fine afternoon and ran the Hornet’s defence ragged whilst creating an abundance of chances.

His early season form has helped the Reds sit top of the Premier League with Jurgen Klopp certainly relying on his majestic form if they are to continue to challenge throughout the season.

Moussa Dembele – Tottenham Hotspur

Man of the Match in a North London Derby and managing to keep Arsenal’s German assist king Mesut Ozil very quiet is why Dembele is in our team this week.

He was the best player on the pitch against the Gunners and was excellent both offensively and defensively, and won the vital penalty for Spurs after going on a brilliant run easing himself past several Arsenal players before being brought down in the box.

He was almost untouchable the way he glided around the Emirates pitch, and after a perfect display he showed why he is so key to the Spurs side.

Granit Xhaka – Arsenal

Granit Xhaka started his first ever North London derby on Sunday afternoon which turned out to be his best game in an Arsenal shirt thus far this season.

The 24-year-old broke up play exquisitely and prevented the away side from building dangerous attacks whilst protecting the back four efficiently throughout. His defensive duties were impressive but in the latter stages of the game his transition play was remarkable, he pushed the ball forward quickly from the midfield in bid to try a find a winner.

His impressive performance saw him finish the 90 minutes with 82% pass completion, five tackles and four interceptions to show his worth to the Arsenal side.

Paul Pogba – Manchester United

Following his world record move to the Red Devils in the summer, Pogba has come under strong scrutiny after a slow start to life at United, his performances were unimpressive and he was slowly starting to frustrate the United faithful.

But, in recent weeks the Frenchman has started to settle more and got himself going, he scored a thunderbolt goal against Swansea on Sunday and is starting to slowly show his worth with more assuring displays, after his immense goal. It’s only a matter of time before the Premier League sees more clearly the talent which Pogba possesses.

Eden Hazard – Chelsea

Zlatan Ibrahimović – Manchester United

Back amongst the goals! Zlatan didn’t have a perfect performance but crucially for United he found his clinical edge again and netted two important goals for his team.

Diego Costa – Chelsea