EPL Talk’s Jesse Chula is under the weather today so he asked me to step in to handle the Premier League Footballer of the Week duties. Luckily there was one player who certainly shone out from the rest, which makes my job easier. But perhaps you disagree with my choice?
First, let’s examine the runner-ups.
Some people may gloss over the fact that Blackburn’s Paul Robinson had a fantastic performance between the goalposts against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Even though Rovers won 3-0 in a convincing display of football, the scoreline could have been much tighter if it wasn’t for Robinson’s point-blank saves. It’s no surprise that Robinson was England’s number one goalkeeper a few years ago. While his chances of getting back into the national squad are hurt by playing for Rovers, hopefully Capello can see past that and give Robinson another chance in the near future.
Speaking of playing for England, recent debutant Jordan Henderson had a superb match for Sunderland on Sunday in their one nil victory against West Ham United. After Asamoah Gyan attacked down the right wing for the Black Cats and crossed a perfect pass into the path of Henderson, the England international struck the ball with his first touch into the far corner of the net to score his first Premier League goal of the season and only his second Premier League goal of his career. Overall, Henderson was a bright spark in a game that wasn’t the prettiest to watch.
West Bromwich Albion supporters gushing from their side’s first win against Newcastle United in 26 years will need to thank Peter Odemwingie profusely for picking up the three points. The Nigerian international again showed his range of brilliance from the way he controlled the ball, his pace and the way he can twist and turn seemingly with ease to score the brace that was the difference in West Brom’s 3-1 victory against the Toon.
Second, here is this week’s winner, in my eyes.
Premier League Footballer Of The Week
Samir Nasri. The man has stepped into the void left by Cesc Fabregas who has been sidelined by injury. Last season, Nasri showed glimmers of brilliance but the big difference this season is that he is a lot more mature on the pitch and is often carrying the team on his shoulders. The Frenchman seems to believe in himself a lot more this season and has shown better concentration in front of goal, being able to keep his mind focused on the matter at hand which is to navigate the defenders and knock the ball into the back of the net.
Nasri’s performance on Saturday was spectacular and it’s one of the main reasons why Arsenal is now sitting in first place in the Premier League. Against Fulham, Nasri’s first goal was one of the best of the season. The way he twisted and turned past three Fulham defenders and then, calm and composed, struck the ball into the back of the net past Mark Schwarzer. The second goal by Nasri was even better. This time too he twisted and turned past three Fulham defenders, but it was in a much narrower space so his inch-perfect control needed to be exceptional which it was. But he saved the best bit for last as he knocked the ball past the oncoming Schwarzer and then the Frenchman, with his back toward goal, twisted around and from a very acute angle turned the ball into the back of the net. Simply superb.
It’s no wonder that Nasri has been the Gunners best player this season. And now he’s the top scorer.
What do you think? Is there a player we missed from the honors who deserves a mention? If so, share his name in the comments section below. And in the meantime, vote in the poll to decide who you thought was deserving of the award this week.