Garth Crooks’ staff of the week: Martinez, Lingard, Foden, Kane

Garth Crooks’ staff of the week: Martinez, Lingard, Foden, Kane

Garth team of the week

Manchester Metropolis moved 5 factors clear on the high of the Premier League after beating Liverpool 4-1.

Backside membership Sheffield United misplaced 2-1 to Chelsea whereas fellow strugglers West Brom went down 2-0 at Tottenham and Newcastle held on with 9 males to edge Southampton 3-2.

Try my staff of the week after which make your individual alternatives in the direction of the underside of the article.

Garth's team of the week

Goalkeeper – Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)

Emiliano Martinez

Martinez: The free-kick from Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka was all the time going to be harmful. Martinez had seen his former team-mate convert them from this distance earlier than. However the Aston Villa goalkeeper’s save was glorious. Martinez had a good technique to journey to get to the shot, which was heading for the highest right-hand nook, however moved his toes brilliantly to get to the ball.

The Argentine has been excellent for Villa this season, with the exception of the current recreation in opposition to West Ham, once I thought he may need carried out somewhat higher. However, Liverpool’s Alisson has proven that even one of the best goalkeepers can have dangerous days.

Do you know? Martinez grew to become the third goalkeeper to maintain a clear sheet in his first two Premier League appearances in opposition to a membership he has beforehand appeared for within the competitors – after Shaka Hislop versus Newcastle (1998-99) and Mark Schwarzer in opposition to Middlesbrough (2008-09).

Defenders – Isaac Hayden (Newcastle), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa)

Isaac Hayden, Lewis Dunk, Tyrone Mings

Hayden: For me, Newcastle’s 3-2 win in opposition to Southampton on Saturday was the match of the day. The situations grew to become progressively worse however the high quality of soccer beneath the circumstances was simply large.

Newcastle performed with 10 males for half-an-hour and 9 males for 18 minutes – together with seven minutes of stoppage time – however miraculously held on for 3 factors.

Isaac Hayden was magnificent within the final 20 minutes of this fixture. His clearance off the road from a Danny Ings sliced shot was excellent. His potential to sense the hazard and maintain off the Saints bombardment was fairly good.

Do you know? Hayden has now performed extra Premier League video games in opposition to Southampton with out ever shedding than he has in opposition to some other facet within the competitors (P5 W4 D1 L0).

Dunk: You may’t go for very lengthy speaking about any form of Brighton success with out mentioning the title of Lewis Dunk. In opposition to Liverpool his defending, or ought to I say blocking of pictures, was as soon as once more magnificent, as Brighton secured their first victory at Anfield since 1983.

Three days later, the Seagulls returned to the north-west of England and proceeded to play Burnley off the park. Dunk scored a terrific header however his staff solely left with some extent. It did not do justice to Brighton’s efficiency – or that of their captain.

Do you know? Since Brighton had been promoted in 2017, Dunk has scored 9 Premier League objectives, a determine solely three different defenders can higher (Marcos Alonso 14, Patrick van Aanholt 11, Virgil van Dijk 10).

Mings: Aston Villa had been run ragged by West Ham in midweek however recovered effectively in opposition to an Arsenal facet who lacked leading edge. I do know Nicolas Pepe scored in opposition to Wolves final week however can Arsenal actually afford to depart somebody of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s class on the bench? I do not suppose so.

Having received his staff again on observe with some respectable outcomes, Mikel Arteta’s meddling once more. In the meantime, Tyrone Mings performed a masterful function in organising his troops and maintaining the Gunners at bay.

Do you know? Mings made six clearances in opposition to Arsenal – solely Ezri Konsa made extra within the match (10).

Midfielders – Jesse Lingard (West Ham), Bruno Fernandes (Man Utd), Ilkay Gundogan (Man Metropolis), Phil Foden (Man Metropolis)

Jesse Lingard, Bruno Fernandes, Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden

Lingard: What a press release of intent West Ham’s mortgage signing from Manchester United has made. His objectives in opposition to Aston Villa had been effectively taken however his efficiency was fairly revealing. He could also be surplus to necessities at Outdated Trafford, however given how little first-team soccer he has performed this season, Lingard has actually stored himself in fine condition. He could not have had such an impactful match at Villa if he hadn’t.

His efficiency in opposition to Fulham just a few days later was an extra indication of his focus. To have such an affect on a brand new staff so quickly says volumes for the lad and flies within the face of his critics.

The large query is – can he stick with it?

Do you know? Regardless of this being simply his second Premier League look of the season, Lingard coated 11.26km for West Ham in opposition to Fulham – solely Tomas Soucek coated extra distance for the Hammers on Saturday (11.47 km).

Fernandes: It appears virtually inconceivable that Bruno Fernandes might be a part of a staff that scored 9 objectives in opposition to Southampton and solely get one for himself. It merely does not replicate the type of type he has been on this season.

His purpose in opposition to Everton was rather more like those we’re used to from the Portugal worldwide. What a pity United’s defensive frailties have but once more hampered their potential to reap the benefits of the staff’s – and specifically Fernandes’ – large firepower to assemble wins.

No staff may be anticipated to win the title if they’ve to attain 4 objectives to win a match.

Do you know? Since Fernandes’ debut within the Premier League, solely Mohamed Salah (23) has scored extra Premier League objectives than the Manchester United midfielder (21). In the meantime, solely James Ward-Prowse (5) has scored extra outdoors the field than the Portuguese (4).

Gundogan: In opposition to an outclassed Burnley, the motion by Manchester Metropolis’s Ilkay Gundogan was good – whereas his ball for Raheem Sterling to attain was even higher.

A couple of days later, Metropolis went to Anfield and took the champions aside. Having missed a penalty in a recreation of such significance, the Germany worldwide merely upped his recreation and instigated one of the best Metropolis efficiency at Liverpool for years.

Manchester Metropolis are on high of the league and appear like a staff who’ve discovered their urge for food for titles once more.

Do you know? Gundogan is now Manchester Metropolis’s joint-top scorer throughout all competitions this season (11, with Sterling), whereas Bruno Fernandes (18) is the one midfielder who has netted extra amongst Premier League gamers in all competitions this time period.

Foden: I’ve chosen Phil Foden in my staff of the week however I have to confess I don’t see him being forward of Jack Grealish, James Maddison or Mason Mount. He’s undoubtedly proficient however at Manchester Metropolis, he’s surrounded by higher, extra gifted gamers. How can he not flourish – he is already gifted.

For the time being Foden, as was the case in opposition to Liverpool, places the ending touches to superb staff performances, leaving the grown-ups resembling Gundogan and Sterling and De Bruyne – when match – to interrupt the bow of the opposition. He is younger and has time however he is not able to take over from the adults simply but.

Do you know? Of all gamers to attain a minimum of 10 objectives throughout all competitions throughout the high 5 European leagues this season, solely Erling Braut Haaland (20 years and 201 days) is at a youthful age than Manchester Metropolis’s Phil Foden (20 years and 255 days).

Forwards – Harry Kane (Tottenham), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Raheem Sterling (Manchester Metropolis)

Harry Kane, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Raheem Sterling

Kane: As a lot as I wish to say it wasn’t so, Tottenham are at risk of changing into often called a one-man staff. When Kane is within the facet, Tottenham look a special proposition. His team-mates comprehend it, the opposition comprehend it and the supervisor is aware of it. Son Heung-min is a top-class participant however even he has seemed misplaced with out his co-striker.

Kane seemed somewhat rusty on his return to motion in opposition to West Brom however took his purpose as if he was taking part in for his nation. It was the right technique to reintroduce the England captain and simply in time for the FA Cup fifth spherical. Spurs cannot afford to lose him for any size of time.

Do you know? Kane has now scored 208 objectives in 317 appearances in all competitions for Tottenham, making him the joint-second highest scorer within the membership’s historical past alongside Bobby Smith (additionally 208 objectives in 317 apps).

Calvert-Lewin: He could have scored his seventeenth membership purpose of the season in opposition to Manchester United – however till final Wednesday, when he scored at Leeds, Dominic Calvert-Lewin had been going by way of a mini-barren spell within the Premier League.

The Everton striker scored the decisive purpose at Elland Highway and salvaged some extent within the closing seconds at Outdated Trafford. What a dent it was to Manchester United’s title problem. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s face on the finish of the match was an image of shock.

Do you know? Solely Mohamed Salah (16) has scored extra Premier League objectives than Dominic Calvert-Lewin this season (13).

Sterling: It was no coincidence that within the absence of Liverpool supporters, and with the intimidation issue eliminated, Raheem Sterling had arguably his greatest recreation at Anfield since his departure to Manchester Metropolis. Fairly other than operating Trent Alexander-Arnold ragged, he compelled Fabinho to present away a penalty, scored Metropolis’s third purpose and reminded everybody why he left Liverpool for Manchester Metropolis within the first place.

It wasn’t solely about successful trophies, though the Premier League title is nearly actually heading again within the arms of Sterling and his team-mates, but in addition about changing into a greater participant. He is actually carried out that and now wears the captain’s armband to show it.

Do you know? Sterling is just the third participant to attain 100-plus objectives in all competitions beneath Pep Guardiola in his top-flight managerial profession, after Lionel Messi (211) and Sergio Aguero (120).

The Crooks of the Matter

The sport is in disaster. Mohamed Salah’s open admission,external-link after his two objectives at West Ham in late January, that he doesn’t like VAR is a large indicator of what’s being mentioned in dressing rooms all through the Premier League. His Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has additionally disapproved publicly of the way in which the expertise is getting used.

Nonetheless, the dismissal of Southampton’s Jan Bednarek at Manchester United, adopted days later by the sending off of West Ham’s Tomas Soucek at Fulham by the identical referee, can solely be described as incompetence on an unrivalled degree.

VAR was offered to the soccer public as one thing to help the officers of their resolution making, not make it harder.

But replays on Match of the Day clearly highlighted that neither Soucek nor Bednarek ought to have been despatched off. VAR insists that its proof is conclusive however it’s so poorly interpreted by Mike Dean, and a few of his colleagues, that it has put the sport on a collision course with gamers and followers.

Fortuitously, frequent sense prevailed when each Soucek and Bednarek’s pink playing cards had been rescinded on attraction.

Decide your XI from our checklist and share with your mates.

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