English Premier League Team Of The Week – Gameweek 11


Based on the performances in the 10 matches played during Matchweek 11 of the Premier League, as well as utilizing stats from WhoScored, Squawka and TransferMarkt, here’s my team of the weekend:

epl totw


Guzan – [Aston Villa] – Brad Guzan is continuing a rich history of American goalkeepers who excel in the Barclay’s Premier League. With Aston Villa, Guzan has well and truly cemented himself among the league’s top keepers. With Tim Howard announcing his retirement this year, American soccer lovers will be pleased to see that he has a worthy replacement. In Villa’s match at the weekend against 4th place West Ham, Guzan made five saves and none more important than a late save to deny Andy Carroll. Villa currently sit in 16th, but are one win from being level on points with Everton [10th], Liverpool [11th] and Tottenham [12th] who all currently have 14. If Villa expect to climb out of the bottom half, they’ll need to rely on Guzan’s strong performances in goal.


Azpilicueta – [Chelsea] – César Azpilicueta has been in a very impressive run of form for Chelsea for pretty much as long as anyone can remember. The Spanish natural right-back has been excelling on the left, despite being played out of position. Recently, Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher labeled the Spaniard as the best defender in the Premier League, and it’s almost impossible to argue. For Chelsea this weekend, Azpilicueta was his usual self, denying any and all advances down Liverpool’s right side, getting forward, linking play and even providing the game-winning assist. Mourinho was quoted last season as saying that if he had “a team full of Azpilicuetas” he would never lose a match. Based on his recent form, I’d certainly have to agree.


Janmaat – [Newcastle United] – Daryl Janmaat’s Man of the Match performance at the weekend personifies Newcastle’s fighting spirit these days. Since losing to Stoke [1-0] on the 29th of September, Newcastle haven’t lost a match, winning their last four in a row. Among those teams they defeated are Liverpool and Tottenham, who currently sit two points and at least three places behind them. In the Toon’s most recent match, Janmaat assisted both goals, one to Ayoze Perez and the other to Fabricio Collocini, to lift them over West Bromwich Albion. His defending was also top class as he made five key tackles and intercepted three key passes.


Collocini – [Newcastle United] – Fabricio Collocini had a stellar game against West Bromwich Albion at the weekend. Like Janmaat, he handled his defensive duties with relative ease, but where he really made the difference was on the offensive end. Scoring one of Janmaat’s two assists, and generally terrorizing West Brom defenders on set-pieces, the Argentine captain marshaled his troops and helped lead by example. His consistency has been a major reason for the Toon’s recent resurgence and if they hope to remain competitive, he will be expected to lead from the back in the matches to come.


Collins – [West Ham United] – James Collins has been a revelation at West Ham this season. The Hammers currently sit in 4th place, and a big reason for their only having conceded 14 times this season is down to Collins’ performances. At the weekend, he made four crucial tackles to deny Villa counters, won all eight of his aerial duels and was an absolute rock in defense. At 31, few anticipated the tall defender to have as good a season as he currently is, but West Ham surely won’t be complaining. He will certainly be called upon to continue performing admirably, especially if West Ham hope to continue their impressive run.

Centre Midfield

Matic – [Chelsea] – If he keeps up his form, Nemanja Matic may end up redefining the holding midfield position. Few players in that position have settled in as well as he has since returning from Benfica. He plays his position with a calm and assurance that is required at the top level, but rarely seen consistently. In Chelsea’s victory over Liverpool at the weekend, Matic won Man of the Match honors for essentially going about his business as usual – breaking up Liverpool attacks, denying service on set-pieces, winning headers and generally disrupting all things LFC. Creative players have a tendency to avoid his area of the field, as was seen with Raheem Sterling, who ended up drifting out wide for the majority of the match. José Mourinho hasn’t said it, but he will be heavily relying on his midfield enforcer to drive his success in the Premier League.

Centre Midfield

Wanyama – [Southampton] – Victor Wanyama’s quality in midfield is one of the reasons for Southampton’s scintillating form in the Premier League. Currently sitting in second behind leaders Chelsea, the Saints have found in Wanyama a consistent performer and a team leader. Scoring the winning goal in last week’s fixture, Wanyama put in a Man of the Match shift against Leicester City. His seven tackles were a game high, and his presence from box to box denied any fluidity from Leicester. Indeed, his putting in an impressive 90 minutes during which he basically rendered anonymous the legendary Esteban Cambiasso should be enough for him to earn a place in this week’s team.

Centre Midfield

Sigurdsson – [Swansea City] – Gylfi Sigurdsson has been enjoying life away from White Hart Lane. If those at Spurs could have anticipated the season he is currently having, they would probably have done everything possible to retain his services. His seven assists, accounting for almost half of Swans’ total goals [15], have been nothing short of excellent and the understanding he is developing with his teammates show that he is a top-class player. Analysts of the game often say that a great player makes other players great, and what Sigurdsson is doing at Swansea is the perfect illustration of that. His man of the match performance at the weekend helped Swans top Arsenal, and his stunning free-kick was nothing short of stellar.

Right Midfield

Sanchez – [Arsenal] – It would not be a stretch to say that Alexis Sanchez has been Arsenal’s best player this season. His contributions have been more than important, they have been crucial. Without his goals, Arsenal would have tied and lost far more this season. Against Swansea City this past weekend, his goal had Arsenal on top, but they eventually lost the match thanks to Sigurdsson’s free-kick and Gomis’ header. Sanchez must surely be getting frustrated as he pulls his weight (and sometimes the whole team’s) week in week out, but his performances have been consistent. Few players across Europe have been able to positively affect matches – in all competitions – the way the Chilean has for the Gunners.

Left Midfield

Montero – [Swansea City] – Jefferson Montero had a field day against Arsenal at the weekend. Bursting down the left as if he wasn’t facing any defenders, the Ecuadorian tormented the Gunners’ defense, particularly Calum Chambers. In fact, I doubt that Chambers will relish watching match footage from this fixture, as Montero exposed him again and again. The winning goal was a result of Montero’s positive attacking play, as he left Chambers in the dust and set up Gomis with a ball that only he could reach. If Swansea are to continue winning matches, especially against opponents of Arsenal’s quality, they will need Montero to be consistent when called upon. Wayne Routledge and Kieran Dyer are normally picked ahead of the Ecuadorian, but Garry Monk may end up shuffling his starting XI based on performances like the one Montero put in at the weekend.

Center Forward

Aguero – [Manchester City] – Sergio Aguero is having his way with Premier League defenses. When speaking of goal-scorers, much of the praise is consistently heaped on Diego Costa and there is good reason for that. However, Manchester City’s impressive frontman has seemingly been scoring for fun. His outrageous first touch prior to his solo effort (his first of two) in City’s match at QPR epitomized his confidence and his calm finish was the icing on the cake. Few strikers are as deadly when scoring tap-ins – Aguero makes goals out of nothing and his determination to get on the end of balls and finish off plays which appeared hopeless may be his greatest asset. Manuel Pellegrini will hope he can continue to pull rabbits out of hats for his side, as much of the negative scrutiny surrounding City’s recent form has been centered squarely on his shoulders. Thankfully, he has Aguero to lighten the load.

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One Response

  1. Chris November 12, 2014

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