There have been so many amazing performers in the Premier League this week, making this a very difficult week to select only 11 players for. Players like Diego Costa, Odion Ighalo, Steven Defour and Idrissa Gueye all had exceptional games this past weekend but still couldn’t find their way into the team this week because of how good these eleven players were. This is The Mastermind‘s Team of the Week for Gameweek 4.
Goalkeeper: Lukasz Fabianski
Chelsea netted two goals against the Swans, but it could have been much, much worse had Lukasz Fabianski not been on top of his game. The Polish goalkeeper made 5 saves and two successful punches to deny the Blues. Two of his saves in particular were outstanding and so crucial in helping keep Oscar and Costa out and help his team get a draw against the champions of two seasons ago. Although he still conceded two goals, Lukasz Fabianski is this week’s goalkeeper of the week for his fantastic performance against the Blues. Rating: 8/10.
Right Back: Kyle Walker
Ever since last year, Kyle Walker has become one of the best fullbacks in the Premier League and has continued his fantastic rise this season with a string of fantastic performances, most recently of which was his brilliant display against Stoke City. Tottenham were all over Stoke City on Saturday morning and one of the leading reasons why was the willingness of their two fullbacks to get forward. Kyle Walker was brilliant in getting forward during the match, while still never shying away from his defensive duties. He completely stopped Marko Arnautovic from playing, limiting him to just 1 successful dribble and only 59% successful passes. Walker also got forward to whip in 3 crosses, one of which was converted by Dele Alli to give him an assist for the day as well. If Kyle Walker can keep up like this, he could be on his way to incredible things in a Tottenham Hotspur jersey. Rating: 8/10.
Centre Back: Nicholas Otamendi
Nicholas Otamendi had a superb performance for Manchester City against Manchester United, controlling Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney and playing a massive role in his side’s 2-1 win. Pep Guardiola always loves ball-playing defenders but perhaps the bulldozer like ox that is Otamendi is the perfect match for the skillful John Stones. The Argentinean defender was excellent in defense, completing all 5 of the tackles he attempted, while also making 6 interceptions, 8 clearances and winning 4 duels in the air! He also completed 90% of his passes and almost scored a goal, having a shot from close range stopped by David De Gea. Vincent Kompany is always a massive miss for Manchester City but with Otamendi performing to the level he did, the Blue side of Manchester didn’t miss the Belgian defender on Saturday at all. Rating: 9/10.
Centre Back: Curtis Davies
For the first time ever, someone not named Lionel Messi has made The Mastermind‘s Team of the Week in league play four weeks in a row and shockingly, it is Curtis Davies who is the man to equal Messi’s record. Hull City were a side that were expected to struggle massively this season and probably would have done if Curtis Davies had not been in their back-line. Due to Davies’ defensive capabilities, Mike Phelan’s side have gone on to lose only one of their four matches and this week were able to overcome a 1-0 deficit to tie Burnley 1-1 in the dying seconds with a late Snodgrass equalizer. Davies was an ever-presence in the match, touching the ball 82 times, making 2 tackles, hitting the woodwork and completing 93% of his passes. The British defender also continued his run at the top of the charts in both interceptions and clearances in the Premier League, making 10 more interceptions and six more clearances. He has now made 11 more interceptions than any other player in the Premier League with 31. Curtis Davies has enjoyed an incredible start to the 2016-17 Premier League season and has now made all four Mastermind Team of the Week‘s so far. Rating: 9/10.
Left Back: Jose Holebas
Watford finally got off the ground and running in this 2016-17 campaign as they thwarted West Ham’s tremendous talent, outplaying them to win by a score of 4-2. Jose Holebas was one of Walter Mazzarri’s best performers on Saturday afternoon as his 3-5-2 formation finally worked out in his favour. The 3-5-2 setup allowed Jose Holebas to use his qualities going forward and although both of West Ham’s goals came from Michail Antonio, the man he could have been marking more closely, more than not when these two matched up it was the Greek defender who came out on top. Holebas made 5 tackles, won 4 duels in the air and made 5 clearances. Going the other way, he also scored an impressive goal and put in 7 crosses that were just waiting for Ighalo and Deeney to get on the end of. After being named as one of the worst players of the month of August in our monthly roundup a couple of weeks ago, (English Premier League Monthly Roundup: August 2016), Jose Holebas may just be starting to turn things around at Watford and may finally be finding his feet under Walter Mazzarri. Rating: 8.5/10.
Right Wing: Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane was superb in his Southampton days but ever since arriving at Liverpool he has transformed his game to a whole new level and has stood out as one of the players of the season so far. Mane was a menace against Leicester and gave Liverpool so much pace and power going forward that the Foxes just couldn’t cope with as the Reds waltzed to a 4-1 win, something they would have had no shot at achieving last season without Mane. The Senegalese midfielder scored a fantastic goal and then assisted another late on for Roberto Firmino to help his side come to a massive home victory. On top of his stunning goal and assist in the game, he also had 72 touches, completed 5 dribbles and created 3 chances. Going forward, Sadio Mane was incredible and was pivotal to Liverpool’s 4-1 win. Rating: 10/10.
Attacking Midfield: Kevin de Bruyne
Kevin de Bruyne came back to haunt his former manager again as he ran the show for Manchester City and was the main reason why City beat their arch rivals Manchester United by a score of 2-1. De Bruyne scored the first goal with a fantastic finish, unofficially assisted the second goal by hitting the woodwork as the rebound fell right to Iheanacho and then hit the woodwork again late on, almost making the score 3-1. The Belgian midfielder was a bundle of energy, constantly surging forward and being a linchpin to get all other City players involved in the game. He was also absolutely unstoppable as all four Manchester United defenders found it impossible to get anywhere near him. On top of his goal and unofficial assist, de Bruyne also created 6 chances for his teammates to score, made 2 interceptions and whipped in 7 crosses! Kevin de Bruyne did absolutely everything he could to win his team the match and was the main reason why Guardiola’s side came out on top over a Jose Mourinho team once again. Rating: 9.5/10.
Attacking Midfield: Christian Eriksen
Glenn Whelan and Gianelli Imbula are going to be very sore come tomorrow morning and that is in large part thanks to Christian Eriksen’s tenacity to get forward and create chances for his teammates to score. The midfield duo just could not cope with any of the Spurs’ front three in behind Kane, especially Eriksen, as it was him who ran the show and made everything happen. The Danish midfielder had 72 touches, created 5 chances, whipped in six crosses and assisted two goals to help Tottenham win in stunning fashion by a score of 4-0. Rating: 9.5/10.
Left Wing: Heung-Min Son
Heung-Min Son wasn’t expected to start this match by any means, especially with Erik Lamela in such good form, but the South Korean winger came straight into Spurs’ lineup to steal the show and help his side win 4-0 against Stoke. The winger scored from 2 out of his three shots and assisted Harry Kane’s goal, directly contributing to three out of Tottenham’s four goals. Son also completed 86% of his passes and created 3 chances, acting as a persistent peril that Stoke just could not cope with. Heung-Min Son had a brilliant first match of his season and certainly has just given Mauricio Pochettino a selection headache ahead of next week’s match against Sunderland. Rating: 10/10.
Centre Forward: Roberto Firmino
Like Sadio Mane and others, Roberto Firmino was full of energy and was far too much for Leicester City to handle as the Champions fell to a 4-1 defeat. Firmino was excellent for Liverpool and is finally on the board for the season after a bit of a slow and sluggish start to the season for the Brazilian attacker. He had three shots in the match, all of which were on target and two of which were converted for fantastic goals. He also created 4 chances as Liverpool completely dominated Leicester and glided to an impressive victory. Some people might think that Sturridge should regularly start in favour of Roberto Firmino up top for the Reds but with performances like this it’s impossible to deny how important of a role the Brazilian forward has in Jurgen Klopp’s setup. Rating: 9.5/10.
Striker: Romelu Lukaku
After going on a three game drought to start this season, Romelu Lukaku came to life against Sunderland, dominated the show and scored all three goals as Everton smashed The Black Cats by a score of 3-0. He was so clinical in front of goal and his movement was excellent, making things happen for himself and deserving all three of his goals. Jordan Pickford had no chance on any of his three finishes as Lukaku gave the Sunderland keeper absolutely zero time to react . He just looked so lively all game long and could have scored several more goals apart from his three shots that he found the back of the net with, taking 9 shots, 6 of which were on target. Romelu Lukaku hasn’t had the best of starts to this season but now after a fantastic performance against Sunderland, he is set to be the focal point for Everton in their quest for Champions League football. Rating: 9.5/10.
Player of the Week: Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane was just so incredibly influential to Liverpool’s 4-1 win over the Champions Leicester City and was absolutely unstoppable for the entirety of the match. His pace and agility were on full-display and at full-tilt all game long giving Leicester’s defenders a Saturday afternoon nightmare. Sadio Mane has certainly caught the eye ever since arriving at Liverpool from Southampton, looking absolutely unstoppable at times and really bringing hope to Liverpool supporters that this could be their year to get back into that top four.
Honourable Mentions: Kevin de Bruyne and Heung-Min Son
Manager of the Week: Ronald Koeman
Sunderland set up to defend against Everton but simply just couldn’t properly do so with the incredible tactics that Everton deployed to win the match. Koeman got absolutely everything right against Sunderland and made a crucial switch at half-time that changed the match and allowed his side to come away as 3-0 victors. Firstly, Everton were always forward thinking with their possession of the ball, turning 66% possession into 9 shots on target. Secondly, Mason Holgate has had an excellent start to the season but the manager was correct in trusting the more experienced Seamus Coleman as the Irishman came straight back into the side after returning from injury and was exceptional in both defense and attack. Gueye and Barry anchored the team going forward and at the same time denied absolutely everything that Januzaj, Watmore and Gooch tried to create. Defoe meanwhile couldn’t get anything going with Williams and Jagielka constantly on his case the second the ball arrived at his feet. Everton were first to every ball winning 27 out of 37 tackles for the taking in the match. Defensively Everton were incredible once again but offensively they were even better. At half time, with the score at 0-0, Koeman made a decision to take a floundering Ross Barkley off and replaced him with Gerard Deulofeu, who completely changed the match. Deulofeu, Bolasie and Mirallas then used their energy and pace to run circles around Sunderland’s defenders and each played a crucial role in handing Romelu Lukaku three goals. The faith that Koeman has shown in his players like Lukaku who have struggled at the start of this season has been fantastic and he is certainly now being rewarded. Ronald Koeman had a tactical masterclass against Sunderland and despite not kicking a ball, was instrumental in his side’s 3-0 win over The Black Cats.
Honourable Mention: Eddie Howe
Bournemouth haven’t exactly been brilliant so far this season and have taken a lot longer to get going than most would have expected but they finally grabbed their first win of the season after shutting up shop, playing very defensively and then earning themselves a deserved victory through a Callum Wilson goal fairly late on. Bournemouth kept 63% of the possession against West Brom and weren’t wasteful at all with it, completing 84% of their passes as a team. The two fullbacks, Smith and Daniels were lively going forward but still kept their defensive duties intact as Francis and Cook sat like two rocks behind the pebble that was Saido Berahino. West Brom are usually very hard to breakdown defensively but on this occasion, Eddie Howe managed to set up his team in a way where they could always be on the front-foot and attack, taking 12 shots, 5 of which were on target but also in a way that Berhanio and co just couldn’t cope with as West Brom looked toothless again and struggled all game long to muster up any kind of attack. In the end, there weren’t too many tactically brilliant performances from any manager this week but Eddie Howe certainly deserves a mention for helping his team walk to a comfortable 1-0 win against one of their prime fellow relegation battlers.
Game of the Week: Manchester United 1-2 Manchester City
Both of the Manchester derbies of last season were lifeless and dull but this one was as fantastic as expected. Both teams had a lot to lose, coming into this match both with perfect records and both teams did everything they could to win the match, albeit City much more successfully than United. But the pace of the match was incredible as every single player was full of energy and non-stop running all game long. Guardiola had a tactical masterclass as well with what he did with De Bruyne and Silva which was incredible to watch. Every single player who stepped on to the pitch had some kind of impact on the match whether positive or negative and it was a brilliant encounter.
So there it is! The Mastermind’s Team of the Week for Gameweek 4 in the Barclays Premier League. Make sure to check back in a few days time for another edition of Get Him In Your Fantasy Team! and our preview and predictions for Gameweek 5. See you then! 🙂