With surprise results, record-breaking victories and goals galore, another entertaining weekend of action in the Barclays Premier League comes to a close with another edition of the Mastermind’s Team of the Week!
Goalkeeper: Maarten Stekelenburg
In the goalkeeping performance of the season so far, Marten Stekelenburg saved two penalties and made 5 other smart stops to keep Manchester City at bay and help Everton secure a surprise 1-1 draw. The only thing that kept Pep Guardiola from obtaining another fabulous win as Manchester City manager was the brilliance of Stekelenburg. The goalkeeper didn’t have the best of times in midweek playing for the Netherlands, conceding 4 goals in 2 matches, but looked in inspired form on Saturday to stop Manchester City from running away with the match. Neither penalty was struck particularly poorly but Stekelenburg was fantastic in responding to the task at hand to keep both out and it nearly helped his side claim a famous win until Nolito finally found the back of the net late on. That goal however wouldn’t stop Stekelenburg from having perhaps the best goalkeeping performance of the season so far. Rating: 10/10.
Right-Wing Back: Victor Moses
Victor Moses is a changed man under Antonio Conte and is absolutely flourishing in the side in his new role as a right-wing back. The Nigerian winger was one of Chelsea’s most important players as they cruised to a 3-0 win over Leicester City, scoring a fine goal towards the end of the match to kill the champions off. Moses had 76 touches on the ball, helped out in defense with 2 tackles, 2 interceptions and 2 clearances and had 100% shot accuracy scoring a very fine goal. Victor Moses is still only 25 and his future as a Chelsea player now looks very bright with Conte’s fantastic squad rotation policy that gives so many different players a chance to play and perform to their best. At the moment, he is one of Chelsea’s surprise stars and looks set to continue to play a massive role in Antonio Conte’s setup. Rating: 9/10.
Centre Back: Steve Cook
As impressive as Bournemouth were going forward against Hull City in their smashing 6-1 win, they were almost equally impressive in defence. The leader of that impressive defensive performance was British defender Steve Cook who proved a mountainous obstacle for Will Keane and co to overcome. Cook made a stunning 17 clearances against the Tigers, along with 3 interceptions and two impressively timed tackles. He also had 89% pass accuracy, two shots on target from three, and scored his first goal of the season to help Bournemouth claim a famous victory. Bournemouth were brilliant on all fronts against Hull City and Steve Cook was one of their best performers as he continues to possibly make claims for a spot in England’s setup some day. Rating: 10/10.
Left-Wing Back: Charlie Daniels
Charlie Daniels was one of the best buys in all of Fantasy Premier League last season for his constant wing-play from fullback, scoring and assisting goals galore for Bournemouth all season long but hasn’t lived up to that same billing this season until now. Daniels turned it all around for himself again on Saturday with a fantastic performance that helped the Cherries secure a massive 6-1 victory. The attack-minded defender gave Ahmed Elmohamady, Robert Snodgrass and Jake Livermore a nightmare of an afternoon as his constant pressure down that left side for Bournemouth resulted in him scoring and assisting a goal, contributing massively to their performance. On top of his goal and assist, the British defender also made 3 necessary interceptions, 3 important clearances, completed 2 dribbles and created 2 chances helping to make Hull City look like serious relegation contenders. Rating: 10/10.
Defensive Midfield: N’Golo Kante
N’Golo Kante demonstrated exactly how important he was to Leicester City’s title winning team of last year as he led his new side Chelsea to a 3-0 victory, dominating the midfield massively and doing exactly what he did on so many occasions for the Foxes last season. Kante was arguably the best player on the pitch in Saturday’s encounter as he won back possession nearly every time Chelsea lost it, with three tackles and five interceptions, was a driving force going forward with 2 dribbles, 2 chances created and an incredible chance to score that was blocked and completely stopped players like Vardy and Musa from playing. Among his 100 touches on the day, he completed 86 passes with an 87% accuracy rate, helping Chelsea control all of the possession in the middle of the field and completely topple over his former side. N’Golo Kante hasn’t been immense for Chelsea in the same manner that he was for Leicester City last year but if this is a sign of what is to come we are looking at the potential for him to make the PFA Team of the Year for the second season in a row. Rating: 9.5/10.
Defensive Midfield: Ander Herrera
Ander Herrera was absolutely unreal for Manchester United against Liverpool and was the best player on the pitch by a mile. The defensive midfielder has done excellently well since making a return to the side in United’s 4-1 win against Leicester City, freeing up Paul Pogba and allowing him to get further forward and this time had an even better performance alongside Marouane Fellaini in the middle of the park. The Spanish midfielder did everything he could to help Manchester United keep a clean sheet, completing 7 tackles, 11 interceptions, 3 clearances and winning 4 duels in the air despite his small stature. Herrera also ran the show for Manchester United from deep with 90 touches on the ball, more than any other United player. Ander Herrera has been immensely important to Jose Mourinho’s side this season and was one of the key reasons why Manchester United were able to hold out for a draw against a high-flying Liverpool side. Rating: 9/10.
Right Wing: Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott was Arsenal’s standout star as his fantastic form this season continues with two more goals to his name. Walcott was a constant threat and was in exactly the right place at the right time to hit home two goals for the Gunners and win Arsenal the match. With six total shots he was desperately close to getting his hat-trick on so many different occasions, hitting the post once, skewing a shot over the bar in the final minute and shooting straight at the goalkeeper a few other times when in good position. In all honesty it wasn’t a perfect performance for Theo Walcott against Swansea, but his ability to be in the right place at the right time and find the back of the net is what won Arsenal the match. Rating: 9/10.
Attacking Midfield: Joe Allen
After a stunning campaign with Wales at Euro 2016, Joe Allen was always going to be one of Stoke’s most important players this season but few could have predicted him to have such an incredible start to life with the Potters. With two goals against Sunderland he has now scored as many goals this Premier League season with 4 as his best return in any other. Allen was in sublime form against Sunderland and handed Stoke their first win of the season, scoring both goals in a 2-0 win. Along with his 100% shot accuracy and conversion rate, he also created 2 chances, had a pass accuracy of 90% to help the Potters dominate possession and made three tackles to help Stoke preserve that clean sheet. Joe Allen has been incredible so far this season and without him Stoke might still be in a relegation battle by now. Rating: 10/10.
Left Wing: Junior Stanislas
After returning from injury, Junior Stanislas has been instrumental to Bournemouth’s success this season, knocking Joshua King out of the side and playing a colossal role in their impressive performances of recent times. The Cherries weren’t necessarily expected to topple Hull City over but ended up smashing them into the ground with a monumental 6-1 win, the biggest in the club’s history. The key figure of that massive win was English midfielder Junior Stanislas who scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was instrumental in nearly every attack that the Cherries created. Among his impressive two goals and assist, Stanislas hit the bar from a fabulous free kick, created 3 chances, had 5 shots and whipped in 5 crosses to post probably his best ever performance in a Bournemouth jersey. Junior Stanislas might not make the team of the week for the rest of the year, but this was an incredible performance from him that deserves serious plaudits. Rating: 10/10.
Centre Forward: Callum Wilson
This is the most Bournemouth players you’ll ever see in the Mastermind’s Team of the Week but they all fully deserve to make an appearance and the last of them is the main man up front, the ever-presence in this massive 6-1 win, Callum Wilson. Wilson spent a large section of the 2015-16 season out injured after a bright start to life in the Premier League but since recovering from injury he has been instrumental again to the club’s success and has now scored his third goal in eight matches so far this campaign. On top of a wonderful goal, he led the line masterfully for Bournemouth linking up with players left-right and centre and troubling Curtis Davies and Harry Maguire like they’ve never been troubled so far this season. He also created 2 chances, had 4 total shots, three of which were on target and hit the woodwork, helping the Cherries dominate the match and win 6-1. Callum Wilson is one of the best natural finishers in the league and if he continues on like this, he could some day make a move to one of the Premier League’s elite clubs. Rating: 10/10.
Striker: Charlie Austin
Charlie Austin may have only scored two relative tap-ins against Burnley but his ability to lead the line up front for Southampton in the match and this season and give them something completely different up top has resulted in their massive rise towards the top end of the table this season. With another two goals to his name against Burnley, he is showing exactly how clinical of goalscorer he can be when in full flow and is making fans around the world scratch their heads as to why he wasn’t give a regular place in the side last year under Ronald Koeman. Claude Puel has helped make Charlie Austin in to a changed man as he has already bagged 4 goals in 7 matches this season and as long as the British striker continues to find the back of the net, Southampton will continue to win matches. Rating: 9.5/10.
Player of the Week: Junior Stanislas
Every once in a while Bournemouth have a victory that shocks the whole footballing world and almost always, Junior Stanislas is at the heart of it. Saturday’s encounter was no different as the 26-year old helped Bournemouth claim an incredible 6-1 victory with 2 goals and an assist to his name. Stanislas was more influential to his side than any other in Gameweek 8 and as a result is our first Player of the Week this season not to be a member of the Mastermind’s Top 200 Club. If he can carry on this form for the rest of the season he may just become a member. For now, he is our Player of the Week!
Manager of the Week: Eddie Howe
Who else could it be other than Eddie Howe? Actually there were a lot of impressive performances from managers this week, Tony Pulis and Antonio Conte to name a few, but Eddie Howe continued to build his reputation as one of the best young managers in world football as he oversaw his side claim their best ever victory in the Premier League, a massive 6-1 victory over Burnley. Conte’s tactics may have been second to none at the weekend, while Tony Pulis must receive mention for his incredible man-management style of players, but Eddie Howe managed to rally a side that seemed evenly matched to their opponent to an unbelievable win. Howe made the correct call in bringing Junior Stanislas back into the side after he returned from injury about a month ago and the English midfielder continues to reward his manager with impressive performances including this two goal, 1 assist display against the Tigers. The manager also has to be credited for his resilient defence that most fans around the world couldn’t even name, performing like one of the best back fours in the league. Smith and Daniels were brilliant at getting forward and each had a role in the win by notching an assist while Cook and Francis handled Hull’s attacking weapons with poise and ease making Will Keane look like a schoolboy and Robert Snodgrass like he hadn’t played a match this season. Every player to feature in the match played a part, even substitutes Gosling and King who scored and assisted a goal respectively, and the way he’s managed to take a team of C-list Premier League players and turn them into proven match winners illustrates truly how good of a manager he is.
So there it is! The Team of the Week for Gameweek 8 in the Barclays Premier League! Like what you read? Click the follow button to the right of your screen! And don’t miss out on the latest in Fantasy Premier League tips with the latest edition of Get Him In Your Team! Coming soon.