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

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From Garth Crooks
Football analyst
Arsenal and Spurs played out a thrilling 2-2 draw to complete a thrilling weekend of football.
While name rivals Manchester City thrashed Brighton 4-0 liverpool kept their 100% start at Burnley.
With Manchester United drawing, Sheffield United held chelsea 2-2.
Leicester impressed with a 3-1 win over Bournemouth, West Ham beat at Norwich 2-0, Crystal Palace saw Aston Villa 1-0 off and Newcastle drew. At a 3-2 thriller Everton beat Wolves in Sunday’s other match.
Here’s my team of this week – have a read and pick your own under.
I believe that it’s perfectly okay for a goalkeeper to rely upon his device as far as his defenders can rely on him. The association between stand-in keeper Adrian and the Liverpool four has had its positive and negative moments.
Adrian’s performance against Burnley was about as good as it gets. The man made a great save from Chris Wood although his defensive device made certain Adrian wasn’t needed to return to their rescue afterwards. For the first time since Adrian took over from the injured Alisson Liverpool looked comfortable using their goalkeeper. The future is starting to seem Red.
Did you know? Adrian includes a 73% save percentage in the Premier League this season. Of course goalkeepers using three or more starts in 2019-20, just three have a better percentage (Vicente Guaita 80%, Ederson 77 percent and Hugo Lloris 76 percent ).
Fabian Schar: This was a very different test to the one confronting Newcastle a week from Spurs. I posed the question’could the Magpies assault with the same conviction since they defended White Hart Lane?’ The operation wasn’t great although quite as convincing enough to include a Watford side desperate for things.
Schar played a major role in this operation that was controlled by Newcastle. When they went 1-0 down, they did not panic and that he took his aim with terrific composure. Not bad for a centre-back.
Did you know? Since the start of 2019, Schar has scored five Premier League goals, more than any other present Newcastle participant. Four of these have come at St James’ Park.
Virgil van Dijk: It was just a matter of time before Virgil van Dijk resumed his place. This week the Dutchman was indulging himself in award ceremonies with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. I guess if you’re going to be among the best players in the world these events have to be attended.
Nevertheless it was fine to see him swap his tuxedo for the familiar away colors of Liverpool Football Club against Burnley and turn into a stellar performance. To get Van Dijk, this match was a stroll in the park. Great to have you back into my team Virgil, of this week.
Did you know? Liverpool have won 73% of the Premier League matches when Virgil van Dijk is now featured, with all the Reds suffering just four defeats from these 56 games (W41 D11 L4).
Jannik Vestergaard: After Jannik Vestergaard out-jumped Victor Lindelof to nod home a dazzling headed equaliser from Manchester United, my instant thought was that he would not have done this to Chris Smalling.
The former United centre-back, on loan at Roma, finds himself surplus to requirements – together with Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez – only for United’s manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to have the nerve to state his group is looking a bit thin. The Red Devils are searching anything other than devilish at the moment. In fact they seemed insipid and unconvincing from a 10-man Southampton side that should have been put away.
Did you know? Vestergaard scored his first Premier League goal for Southampton in his 27th league appearance for the club, becoming the third largest player to score to the Saints from the Premier League, following Ronnie Ekelund and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Kevin de Bruyne: He scored the first goal and set up the second class. The Belgium international has now contributed five assists in four games and at this rate could find himself from the late teenagers and even attaining 20 within an all-time period. This could spell disaster. Just a thought!
Did you know? De Bruyne was involved in nine goals in his previous seven Premier League starts (two goals, seven assists).
Jack Grealish: I do not normally select players on the losing side but on this occasion I have to make an exception. Jack Grealish not just gave a captain’s performance against Crystal Palace but was robbed of this role he played in supplying Villa with what could have been an impressive and warranted equaliser.
Kevin Buddy’s shocking conclusion to disallow Henri Lansbury’s 96th-minute goal after Grealish’s colorful run rankings among the worst decisions I’ve seen in years. What Friend did not find (and I did) had been Grealish get bumped by Wilfried Zaha as he entered the box, which propelled Grealish into the ground. You actually see Zaha, with hand raised, appeal to the referee to mention no punishment. This was truly an outrageous choice.
Did you know? Grealish has generated the most opportunities of any Aston Villa participant in the Premier League this season (eight), together with all but one of these coming from play.
Roberto Firmino: I’ve mentioned it before and I will state it again, when Roberto Firmino is about tune so are Liverpool. The Brazilian orchestrated a masterclass from the Merseysiders against a Burnley side that, but for a brief event, never appeared at the match.
Perhaps Firmino can heal the obvious rift between Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane because it would seem boss Jurgen Klopp is having trouble. For Mane to burst so publicly, as he did in being substituted later Salah had clearly dismissed him on 2 occasions once in scoring positions, was utterly warranted. Salah can not play this match in his own – .
Did you know? Firmino became the first Brazilian to evaluate 50 Premier League targets. He’s the ninth player to achieve the landmark for Liverpool – no other team has ever had more (flat with Manchester United).
Christian Eriksen: After I noticed Eriksen was beginning this north London derby I instantly thought, Spurs can’t lose this game. I was right, they didn’t lose the match – but they should have won it. Eriksen is a class act and if he is on his game you will find few better.
It was the Dane who bust a gut to get up using the drama and tap house the loose rebound from the Erik Lamela shot. Spurs look like they may hang on to Eriksen for some time longer, which will be just as well as they have no-one who can handle the ball better. As for Arsenal, it is a good job. He’s a Granit Xhaka using brains.
Did you know? Eriksen has now scored 50 Premier League goals – the very first Danish player to reach this landmark. He’s the first participant to register both 50+ goals and aids for Spurs from the contest.
Jordan Ayew: This game was not a classic by any means but it didn’t create discussing points. Jordan Ayew was very unlucky to not make my team of the week following his operation against Manchester United. However there’s absolutely little doubt about his selection this week after pushing his way past Tyrone Mings to score in the 73rd minute and provide the Eagles with three points for the 2nd consecutive week.
Mings, on the other hand, might have been included in the England squad that was new but that doesn’t make him an England player.
Did you know? When he had been an Aston Villa player, ayew has scored for the very first time since December 2015.
Sergio Aguero: The Artful Dodger was it again. Sergio Aguero has been on the prowl against 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 on pockets as taking candy from a baby.
I can not work out if it was hubris from Graham Potter to think he could beat Manchester City in their own game, or whether using his subject of his team playing football regardless of the 44, he wanted to continue. I have to state Brighton and soccer are currently playing – I’ll give that to him.
Did you know? Aguero has scored 99 Premier League targets in the Etihad – just Thierry Henry at Highbury (114) and Wayne Rooney in Old Trafford (101) have scored greater in one place in Premier League history.
Jamie Vardy apart from his exploits under Brendan Rogers that there is no doubt about it,” Jamie Vardy goes right back to his very best. His first aim was an end of the maximum order and his next was a heist. When he was in charge what Claude Puel did for this lad’s form must call into question his capacity to manage any given level.
As Bournemouth, they should have been playing with a Leicester for. The attack with Youri Tielemans on Callum Wilson has been a shocker. I don’t care whether the player wasn’t seeking or, the attack was mistimed, it had been reckless and he ought to have gone.
Did you know? Vardy was directly involved in 14 goals in 14 Premier League games under Brendan Rodgers (12 goals, two assists).
You’ve seen my selections. But who would you go for?
Pick your XI.
Is it me or has the quality of refereeing in the Premier League fallen? I can’t remember so many decisions produced by the man in the midst so early in this 24, when I have observed. That I also sense it’s generated uncertainty among our officers, although There’s absolutely not any doubt in my mind that VAR has created a massive difference to this dynamic of the game.
It must be the referee’s decision that is final. Not VAR.
If every single time you make a decision you’re wondering what VAR has 19, it cannot be helpful. Referees deserve our protection. Uefa’s approach must be followed by the Premier League and give a chance to view replays from the area in case of an obvious error or a issue to the referee, and allow him to decide whether his initial decision was wrong or right.
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