Garth Crooks’ team of the week: Van Dijk, De Bruyne, Grealish, Eriksen, Vardy

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By Garth Crooks
Football analyst
Spurs and arsenal played out a draw to complete a thrilling weekend of soccer.
Whilst title rivals Manchester City thrashed Brighton 4-0, liverpool kept their 100% start at Burnley.
With Manchester United drawing 1-1 in Southampton chelsea were held 2-2 by Sheffield United.
Leicester impressed with a 3-1 triumph over Bournemouth, West Ham beat at Norwich 2-0, Crystal Palace found off Aston Villa 1-0 and Newcastle drew 1-1 with Watford. In a 3-2 thriller Everton beat Wolves in the other match of Sunday.
Here is my team of this week have a read and select your own below.
I think it’s perfectly acceptable for a goalkeeper to rely on his defensive device as much as his defenders can depend on him. The relationship between the Liverpool four and also keeper Adrian has had its bad and good moments.
Adrian’s performance against Burnley, nevertheless, was about as good as it gets. The Spanish keeper made a great save from Chris Wood although his unit made sure Adrian was not needed to return to their rescue thereafter. For the very first time since Adrian took over from the wounded Alisson Liverpool appeared comfortable. The future is beginning to look Red.
Did you know? Adrian has a 73% save percentage in the Premier League this year. Of goalkeepers with three or more begins in 2019-20, only three have a greater percent (Vicente Guaita 80%, Ederson 77% and Hugo Lloris 76%).
Fabian Schar: This was a really different test to the one confronting Newcastle a week against Spurs. I posed the question’could the Magpies assault with the same certainty as they defended at White Hart Lane?” The operation wasn’t quite persuasive but great enough to contain a Watford side desperate for points.
Schar played a part by Newcastle in the controlled , professional performance. If they went 1-0 down, they did not panic and he took his aim. Bad for a centre-back.
Did you know? Since the beginning of 2019, Schar has scored five Premier League targets, more. Four of these have come at St James’ Park.
Virgil van Dijk: It was only a matter of time until Virgil van Dijk declared his place. This week the Dutchman was indulging himself award ceremonies with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. I suppose if you are likely to be among the top players in the world these events must be attended.
Yet it was fine to see him exchange his tuxedo for the recognizable away colours of Liverpool Football Club against Burnley and turn in a stellar performance. For Van Dijkthis game was a stroll at the park. Great to have you back into my team of the week.
Did you know? Liverpool have won 73% of the Premier League games when Virgil van Dijk is now showcased, together with the Reds suffering just four defeats from those 56 matches (W41 D11 L4).
Jannik Vestergaard: When Jannik Vestergaard out-jumped Victor Lindelof to nod home a brilliant headed equaliser from Manchester United, my instant thought was that he would not have done that to Chris Smalling.
The former United centre-back, on loan at Roma, finds himself surplus to needs – together with Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez – just for United’s manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to have the nerve to say his squad is looking a bit thin. The Red Devils are searching anything besides devilish at the moment. The truth is they seemed insipid and unconvincing from a 10-man Southampton side who must have been put away.
Did you know? Vestergaard scored his first Premier League goal for Southampton in his 27th league appearance for the team, getting the third largest player to score for the Saints in the Premier League, after Ronnie Ekelund and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Kevin Bruyne: He set up the moment class and scored the first goal. The Belgium international has now contributed five assists in four games and at this speed could find himself at the late teenagers and even reaching 20 in an all-time period. This would spell disaster. Only a thought!
Did you know? De Bruyne was engaged in nine goals in the past seven Premier League begins (two goals, seven assists).
Jack Grealish: I don’t normally pick players on the losing side but on this occasion I must make an exception. Jack Grealish not only gave a captain’s performance against Crystal Palace but was robbed of the role he played in providing Villa with what would have been an impressive and warranted equaliser.
Kevin Buddy’s shocking decision to disallow Henri Lansbury’s 96th-minute goal after Grealish’s colorful run ranks one of the worst decisions I have seen lately. What Buddy didn’t view (and I did) had been Grealish get pounded by Wilfried Zaha as he entered the box, and that propelled Grealish to the ground. You really see Zaha, together with hand raised, appeal to the Army to convey no penalty. This was an outrageous decision.
Did you know? Grealish has created the most chances of any Aston Villa participant in the Premier League this year (eight), together with all but among those coming from open play.
Roberto Firmino: I have said it before and I’ll mention it again, when Roberto Firmino is on song so are Liverpool. The Brazilian orchestrated a masterclass from the Merseysiders against a Burnley side who, but for one brief occasion, never appeared at the match.
Perhaps Firmino can heal the obvious rift between Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane because it might seem boss Jurgen Klopp is having difficulty. For Mane to burst publicly, as he did at being substituted after Salah had clearly dismissed him on two occasions in scoring positions, was fully warranted. Salah can’t play with this match – a point Firmino clearly knows.
Did you know? Firmino became the first Brazilian to score 50 Premier League targets. He’s the ninth player to achieve the milestone for Liverpool – no additional team has ever had more (flat with Manchester United).
Christian Eriksen: When I saw Eriksen was starting this north London derby I immediately thought, Spurs can’t lose this game. I had been correct, they didn’t lose the match – but they ought to have won it. Eriksen is a class activity and when he is on his game you will find several better.
It had been the Dane who bust a gut to catch up with the drama and tap the loose rebound in the Erik Lamela shot. Spurs look like they may hang on to Eriksen for a little while longer, which will be just too since they have no-one who can take care of the ball . As for Arsenal, it’s a fantastic job they have Matteo Guendouzi. He’s a Granit Xhaka with brains.
Did you know? Eriksen has now scored 50 Premier League goals – the very first Danish participant to reach this landmark. He’s the first player to enroll both 50+ goals and aids for Spurs from the competition.
Jordan Ayew: This match wasn’t a classic by any means but it didn’t produce discussing points. Jordan Ayew was very unlucky not to make my team of the week after his execution against Manchester United. However there’s not any doubt about his selection this week after forcing his way beyond Tyrone Mings to score in the 73rd minute and provide the Eagles with all three points for the second consecutive week.
Mings, on the other hand, might have been included from the England squad that was new but that doesn’t make him an England player.
Did you know? When he was an Aston Villa player, ayew has scored in Premier League games for the first time since December 2015.
Sergio Aguero: The Artful Dodger was at it . Sergio Aguero has been on the prowl from a Brighton side that had the audacity to go toe to toe with Manchester City. The two superbly of aguero were not so much choosing pockets taking candy from a baby.
I can not work out if it was hubris from Graham Potter to believe whether he wished to continue with his theme of his team playing attractive football regardless of the consequences, or he can beat Manchester City in their own game. I have to say Brighton and attractive football are currently playing – I will give him that.
Did you know? Aguero has scored 99 Premier League goals at the Etihad – only Thierry Henry in Highbury (114) and Wayne Rooney in Old Trafford (101) have scored more in a single place in Premier League history.
Jamie Vardy: Quite besides his exploits under Brendan Rogers that there is not any doubt about it, Jamie Vardy is right back to his best. His aim was a finish of the highest order and his next was a heist. When he had been in charge Exactly what Claude Puel did for the form of the lad should call into question his ability.
As for Bournemouth, they ought to have been playing against a Leicester. The attack by Youri Tielemans on Callum Wilson has been a shocker. I don’t care if the player was not searching or, the handle was mistimed, it had been reckless and he ought to have gone.
Did you know? Vardy was directly engaged in 14 goals in 14 Premier League games beneath Brendan Rodgers (12 goals, two assists).
You’ve seen my choices. But that would you go for?
Pick your XI.
Is it me or has the quality of refereeing from the Premier League fallen? When I have seen so many outrageous decisions produced by the guy in the middle early I can not recall. I also sense it’s created uncertainty among our officials, although there is not any doubt in my mind that VAR has made a massive difference to this dynamic of the match.
It must be the referee’s decision that’s final. Maybe not VAR.
If each single time you make a decision you’re wondering exactly what VAR has ever seen it cannot be useful. Referees deserve our security. The Premier League should follow the strategy of Uefa and provide an opportunity to see replays in the specialized area in the event of a clear mistake or a contentious issue to the referee, and let him decide whether his first decision was wrong or right.
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