For the first time in weeks the BPL Team of the Week isn’t too tough to call. There were plenty of stellar performers this week but not too many to count like in weeks past. This is The Mastermind‘s Team of the Week for Gameweek 7 in the Barclays Premier League!
Goalkeeper: Lee Grant
Stoke City have been trying desperately to find the right replacement in goal for the injured Jack Butland and finally they have found their man in Lee Grant. The 33 year old goalkeeper had his best display of his entire career helping Stoke shutdown Manchester United and secure a 1-1 draw. Grant made a staggering seven saves, claimed 100% of the crosses that came his way and was phenomenal in stopping Ibrahimovic and co from scoring in what was arguably Stoke’s best performance of the season. Rating: 9/10.
Right Back: Kyle Walker
Full of energy and running all game long, Kyle Walker was an instrumental force to Tottenham’s 2-0 win over Manchester City. The Spurs fullback was always willing to get forward and contributed extensively to the chances that they created. He also stuck to his task defensively amazingly well, completely stopping Jesus Navas and Raheem Sterling from playing as Spurs dominated the match, kept a clean sheet and pulled off one of the most impressive wins of the season. Rating: 9/10.
Centre Back: Shkodran Mustafi
Arsenal should be beating Burnley every day of the week, but the Clarets put up a tremendous fight and one man that managed to get Arsenal over the line was German defender Shkodran Mustafi who continues to look like the perfect partner for Laurent Koscielny. Sam Vokes had a terribly tough time breaking down Arsenal’s defence because of how effective Mustafi and Koscielny were. The German international made 13 clearances, made 5 tackles and won 5 duels in the air as Arsenal kept a clean sheet and narrowly came out on top, winning 1-0. Rating: 8.5/10.
Centre Back: Laurent Koscielny
Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain probably would have scored had Laurent Koscielny not gotten in the way, but nonetheless Koscielny came up the hero again as Arsenal beat Burnley with the last kick of the game. The French international has been incredible to start this season and without him Arsenal surely would have not picked up several points, including all three against the Clarets. The pass master completed 87% of his passes on Sunday for a total of 62 passes and dominated Sam Vokes in the air with 4 duels won. With Kosciely and Mustafi in Arsenal’s back-line, the Gunners should have no problem at continuing to keep clean sheets for the rest of the season. Rating: 8.5/10.
Centre Back: Winston Reid
Winston Reid had his best game of the season so far despite West Ham putting in another poor display against Middlesbrough at the weekend. Reid was brilliant defensively and stuck to every task he was given, proving to be a massive barrier for the Smoggies in their attempt to score goals. Reid made 8 interceptions, 10 clearances and 2 blocked shots to help keep the score down to just 1 goal against for the Hammers. His distribution was excellent, constantly looking forward to pick out passes from distance and free his forwards away. Despite his constant attempts at long passes he managed to complete 90% of his passes, assisted Dimitri Payet’s wonder goal and on top of that he made a clearance off the line to help Slavan Bilic’s side secure a single point. West Ham weren’t brilliant against Middlesbrough but Winston Reid certainly was. Rating: 9.5/10.
Left Back: James Milner
James Milner has been absolutely brilliant as a left-back under Jurgen Klopp this season and scored again at the weekend, helping Liverpool claim another victory, 2-1 this time against Swansea. On top of his goal, Milner also created 2 chances, made 3 tackles and made 5 interceptions, putting in a very impressive defensive display against Swansea’s pacey wingers Wayne Routledge and Modou Barrow. The Liverpool midfielder retired from international football recently but with the way he’s going at the moment, Gareth Southgate should be begging him to come out of retirement and play for his nation again. Rating: 9/10.
Right Wing: Willian
Chelsea had a torrid time in the month of September but now that October has rolled around they look in full flow again. One man that helped them get back up to speed massively was non-stop running machine Willian, who put in a very fine performance against the Tigers. The Brazilian midfielder was everywhere for Chelsea and was involved in everything they generated, creating 3 chances, taking 3 shots, and scoring a magnificent goal as Chelsea won 2-0. His 81 touches were also more than anyone else on the pitch and his 14 crosses could have easily made the score four or five-nil. Willian is an incredibly intelligent footballer and will need to keep on performing to this level if Chelsea are going to get back into the UEFA Champions League places this season. Rating: 9/10.
Attacking Midfield: Dele Alli
With the injuries to two of Spur’s key men, Harry Kane and Eric Dier, the whole team needed to step up to get a result against Pep Guardiola’s undefeated Manchester City and although every single Spurs player was magnificent on Sunday, it was Dele Alli who stood out above the rest. The 20-year old midfielder was full of energy and vibrancy, closing defenders down and carrying the ball forward and distributing it accordingly to help Tottenham to a very important win. He also scored a massive goal to make the score 2-0, won a penalty, created another chance and was fouled four times, just acting as a constant threat that City could not cope with. Dele Alli finally looked up to speed against Manchester City, putting in his best performance of the season and narrowly edges out Stoke midfielder Joe Allen in this week’s team of the week. Rating: 9/10.
Left Wing: Dimitri Payet
Dimitri Payet is in the form of his life at the moment and is rapidly becoming one of the best and most sought-after footballers in the world despite being less than a year away from turning thirty. He dazzled in West Ham’s 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough and provided all the star dust in the world that they needed to turn a side low in confidence into a side capable of getting a point. In addition to his four shots and five chances created, he also scored one of the standout goals of the season so far, making six or seven top flight defenders looked like kindergartners. His 74 touches on the ball were far and away more than any other West Ham player, highlighting his importance to their ability to get the draw. The Frenchman also forced five fouls from the Middlesbrough defenders, completed 6 dribbles and whipped in 9 crosses, a ridiculous figure given that Zaza, Tore and Antonio only had 1 shot on target between the three of them. West Ham are really struggling at the moment but with Dimitri Payet in their side there is no way they could possibly go down. Rating: 10/10.
Centre Forward: Troy Deeney
If any Premier League player was a bully in public school, it was undoubtedly Troy Deeney. The Watford captain just torments defenders on a regular basis and at the weekend against Bournemouth made 6’0 Francis and 6’1 Cook look like schoolboys. His most impressive stat at the weekend was 10 duels in the air won, some of the defensive end and some in the attacking end, playing a massive role in Watford’s team in all areas of the pitch. Deeney also tormented Watford with his skill in front of goal, taking 4 shots, one of them hitting the back of the net and creating 2 chances for his teammates to score. Troy Deeney is a wonderful footballer and if he carries on like this he could one day make an appearance for England. Rating: 8.5/10.
Striker: Diego Costa
Diego Costa’s fine form in front of goal and for the team continues as he scored and assisted another goal against Hull City on Saturday. Chelsea struggled in September but with a change in formation and personnel in the lineup, Antonio Conte’s side really picked things up against the Tigers and got a much needed win in large part thanks to Diego Costa. The Spanish striker contributed to both goals, had three shots on target out of four attempts and created a further three chances, highlighting his unselfishness and work ethic for the team. Diego Costa is one of the best strikers in the league and if he continues to score at this rate and his hamstring holds up, he will end the season as the Golden Boot winner. Rating: 10/10.
Player of the Week: Dimitri Payet
There is arguably no footballer in better form at the moment in the Premier League than Dimitri Payet. Even despite his team struggling massively to get anything going at all, he’s managed to put in some of his best performances in his entire career since the start of September. Payet was massively important for West Ham United in their 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough and hopefully this will lift the spirits of the team and help them start to perform to the same level that they showed last season.
Manager of the Week: Mauricio Pochettino
Pep Guardiola’s side were beginning to look like they were going to run away with this league and become the next set of Invincibles, but Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs ended any hope of that happening, rallying his team to a massive 2-0 victory. Pochettino put on a clinic on how to defend and play against Manchester City, pressing every single player the second they got on the ball. The fullbacks were brilliant in getting forward as always while also holding their defensive duties while Alderweireld and Vertonghen just couldn’t be beaten, illustrating Pochettino’s fantastic organization of his backline. He also made a brilliant decision in starting the in-form Heung-Min Son up top instead of the out-form Vincent Janssen and bringing Erik Lamela back into the side as the two of them were excellent and together with Dele Alli ran the show going forward for Spurs. Out of all the impressive displays this season from clubs around the league, this might be one of the best and Mauricio Pochettino deserves a massive amount of credit.
Goal of the Week: Dimitri Payet vs. Middlesbrough
Any player who can dance his way through six defenders and the goalkeeper and fool every single one of them is a special, special player. This was a wonder goal of the highest order and could end up being the goal of the season.
So there it is! The Team of the Week for Gameweek 7 in the Barclays Premier League! Thanks for tuning in and see you next time for Gameweek 8!