What another fantastic week it was in the 2016-17 Premier League season. With goals, contentious decisions, red cards and more standout stars playing to their best ability, it was another weekend full of excitement. This is The Mastermind‘s Premier League Team of the Week for Gameweek 13.
Goalkeeper: Darren Randolph
Darren Randolph was absolutely on top of his game against Manchester United and was the main reason why his side were able to hold out for a 1-1 draw. Manchester United created chance after chance during the match but just could not find the back of the net as Randolph made 6 incredible saves. He was also always there to snuff out any loose passes that Manchester United made, constantly putting pressure on Manchester United’s forwards surging forward, catching crosses with ease and doing everything he could not to be beaten. Randolph also claimed or punched away 100% of the crosses that came his way and had more touches on the ball (56) than any other West Ham player other than Michail Antonio. Darren Randolph was excellent against Manchester United and is proving his manager’s decision to take Adrian out of the side an effective one. Rating: 9.5/10.
Right Wing-Back: Victor Moses
Victor Moses has been one of Chelsea’s key figures in their recent resurgence in form and had one of his most important games as a footballer as he popped up with the crucial winner to give Chelsea a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur. As he has been all season, Moses was full of energy and running power down that right side giving Spurs loads of problems and delivering 5 crosses into the box. He also made 3 interceptions, had 52 touches on the ball and of course scored Chelsea’s crucial winner to help keep Conte’s unbeaten run going. Victor Moses has been instrumental to Chelsea’s success as of late and has been a revelation at right wing back this season. Rating: 8.5/10.
Centre Back: Nicholas Otamendi
In the absence of Vincent Kompany at the back for Manchester City, Nicholas Otamendi has constantly stepped up in his place and has had a brilliant season so far for the Citizens. The Argentinean defender had a fantastic game against the Clarets, beating Sam Vokes to 12 aerial duels, winning 3 tackles, making 2 interceptions and assisting Sergio Aguero’s first goal with a knock down header. Otamendi also made 18 clearances, more than any other player this weekend and was pretty decent on the ball as well, completing 88% of his passes with 84 total touches. The 28-year old has been brilliant so far this season in the place of Vincent Kompany in the side and deserves a lot more recognition for the way Pep Guardiola’s side have played so far this season. Rating: 9/10.
Centre Back: Gareth McAuley
Gareth McAuley has been one of Tony Pulis and West Brom’s best players so far this season, proving that age is just a number. The 36-year old was clinical in the air yet again for the Baggies, scoring from his only shot on goal to earn his side a 1-1 draw and find the back of the net for the third time this season. The Northern Ireland international was also brilliant in defense again, winning 6 duels in the air, completing 6 interceptions and making 7 clearances to help keep Hull City at bay. Gareth McAuley is 36 years old but is still one of West Brom’s very best players and continues to be a major threat in the air and a major source of goals for Tony Pulis’ side. Rating: 9/10.
Left Wing-Back: James Milner
James Milner has been fantastic at left-back this season despite never really playing in that position before. The ex-England international has played some of his best football ever under Jurgen Klopp at left-back and continued his fine run of form in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Sunderland this weekend. The attack-minded fulback had 88 touches on the ball, both of his shots on target, and delivered 12 crosses for his teammates to try and find the back of the net. On top of all that, James Milner stepped up to hammer home his fifth penalty shot of the season, proving that he is one of the best penalty kick takers in world football. He was also solid defensively when called upon making 2 tackles and 2 clearances and played a massive role in helping Liverpool not only win this match but keep what is just their third clean sheet in the league this season. James Milner has never been a fullback at any point in his career and even if he still isn’t truly a defender now, he is flourishing in that position and is playing some of his best football ever. Rating: 9/10.
Centre Midfield: Leroy Fer
Swansea finally secured their first win under Bob Bradley as manager and one of the key reasons why was Dutch international Leroy Fer who has had to work his way back into the side in recent weeks. Throughout his career, Fer has never been a clinical goal scorer but now this season he has somehow transformed his game to new levels and is finding the back of the net week in and week out. Fer was brilliant against Crystal Palace in this crazy 9 goal fixture, scoring two fantastic goals to help his side secure a 5-4 victory. Fer had 3 shots on target from 4 total shots and won 8 duels in the air to help his side narrowly dominate over the Eagles. With two goals against Crystal Palace, Leroy Fer has now scored a stunning six goals so far this season, tied for the 6th highest amount in the league. Rating: 9.5/10.
Defensive Midfield: Jordan Henderson
For all the attention that Liverpool’s front three of Coutinho, Firmino and Mane have gotten this season, one man who’s gone a little bit under the radar has been Reds captain Jordan Henderson who has been arguably just as good this season as the three mentioned above. Henderson was brilliant against Sunderland, completely dominating the midfield, dictating the tempo and constantly being a starting place for Liverpool attacks. The 26-year old, created a total of six chances for the Reds, giving Sunderland all sorts of problems. He also had a stuttering 144 touches on the ball, more than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues this weekend, proving how much of a dominant influence he was for Liverpool in the midfield. He also completed 130 passes including his assist for Divock Origi’s goal, delivered 6 crosses and made 12 long ball passes. Henderson also helped out brilliantly in defense with 4 superbly timed tackles and 2 interceptions. Jordan Henderson has been one of Liverpool’s most key figures this season and looks back to his best again as he continues to build his reputation as one of the best defensive midfielders in world football. Rating: 10/10.
Centre Midfield: Paul Pogba
So cool in possession of the ball, such flair and technique, an excellent passing range and an eye for goal as well, Paul Pogba can certainly do it all and did it all against West Ham United. The Frenchman did everything he could to win his team this match but it just wasn’t enough in the end as they succembed to a 1-1 draw. Pogba had 111 touches on the ball against the Hammers, helping United dominate posession and maintain all the pressure on Slavan Bilic’s side. He was crucial to United’s attack, assting Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goal with a wonderful ball and taking 3 shots, nearly finding the back of the net had it not been for the brilliance of Randolph. The French midfielder was also good in defense, winning 2 tackles, 6 duels in the air, making 4 interceptions and 3 clearances while also never allowing West Ham’s midfielders any time on the ball at all. Paul Pogba has received a fair bit of criticism so far this season for his displays for Manchester United and I have always been a proponent of the fact that he has played a lot better than people have been giving him credit for. When he puts in performances like that for Manchester United it is hard to say that Paul Pogba isn’t on top of his game at this very moment in time. Rating: 9.5/10.
Striker: Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez’s work rate, movement and goal scoring touch was as fantastic as ever against AFC Bournemouth as he led an energy-charged Arsenal side to a 3-1 victory. Sanchez was fantastic at finding the back of the net on two occassions during the match, continuing to prove exactly what Arsene Wenger needs up front and continuing to keep Olivier Giroud out of the side. But it wasn’t just the goals, Sanchez was also Arsenal’s key provider in attack, creating 5 chances for his teammates to score. Of his four shots, two were converted for goals and his work rate, energy and liveliness up front led Arsenal to victory yet again this season. Controversial opinion here but Arsenal quite honestly have not been brilliant at the best of times this season but one man that has been incredibly successful has been Alexis Sanchez and the Chilean striker is the main reason why the Gunners sit fourth in the table. Rating: 9.5/10.
Centre Forward: Gylfi Sigurdsson
Gylfi Sirgurdsson was all over Crystal Palace’s defence and was beyond crucial to Swansea City’s massive 5-4 win this weekend. Try beating this for a stat on a player’s influence on a football pitch, Sigurdsson contributed to all five of Swansea’s goals as three of the goals were set up by his set-piece deliveries, one of the goals was knocked in by Llorente from his shot and of course he scored that magnificent free kick as well. In total between his fantastic deliveries from set-pieces and his great wing play, the Icelandic international whipped in a stunning 17 crosses to try and help his teammates score goals and succeeded in doing so on three occassions. Sigurdsson had an amazing influence in all five of Swansea City’s goals and because of that, there was no way he was going to be left out of this week’s Team of the Week! Rating: 10/10.
Striker: Alvaro Negredo
Alvaro Negredo hasn’t scored a lot this season but stepped up to the plate massively for Middlesbrough on Saturday almost leading his side to victory until it was snatched away by the stupidity of Marten de Roon. He was such a handful for Wes Morgan and Robert Huth to handle all game long, two defenders that were brilliant last season, and the Premier League champions just could not cope with the Spaniard at all. Negredo scored from his only two shots on target to almost lead his side to victory but he also won 10 duels in the air, had 50 touches and was just clinical in front of goal to really make Middlesbrough start to look like a Premier League team again. Alvaro Negredo has had his fair share of struggles so far this season but was brilliant on Saturday and did all he could in nearly leading his side to victory. Rating: 10/10.
Player of the Week: Jordan Henderson
Offensively and defensively, Jordan Henderson was just so crucial to Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Sunderland this weekend. Yes it was only Sunderland, but Henderson still managed to completely control the mdifield with ease, having 144 touches on the ball and 130 passes, more than any other player in Europe’s top 5 leagues this week. He also created 6 chances including assisting Divock Origi’s goal, whipped in 6 crosses and helped out in defense with 4 tackles and 2 interceptions. Jordan Henderson has been superb so far this season and Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Sunderland was a sign of exactly why he is one of the best defensive midfielders in the world of football at the moment.
Manager of the Week: Antonio Conte
Sorry if it’s getting boring to hear about how Antonio Conte is the best manager in the Premier League every single week, he has just been that good as of late and can’t stop winning games. I’ll try not to be repititive since I’ve already talked about this manager and some of these players at great lengths, but it was Victor Moses again who popped up to give Chelsea the win and the manager again needs to be praised for what he has done in transforming Moses into a whole new player. The Nigerian has been magnificent since being brought back into the fold by Antonio Conte and has now even attracted the interest of FC Barcelona, the type of story you would have laughed at a year ago that now seems more than plausible. Bringing Moses back into the team has been just one of many intelligent moves by Conte this season and there are so many others that we could talk about as well, like for example how he’s managed to get the best out of Pedro Rodriguez this season, who scored Chelsea’s opening goal. After a rough start to the match, Conte clearly rallied his side at half time to bring up the intensity and it resulted in a masterful defensive performance from the Blues in which they never allowed any Spurs player any room on the ball. Tactically, Tottenham just could not cope with the pressure of the Blues in the second half and fell off the pace as the Blues surged ahead and won the match. No other manager has been as good as Antonio Conte has this season and he could seriously be on his way to winning his first ever Premier League title in his first ever season in England.
So there it is! The Premier League’s Team of the Week for Gameweek 13 in the Barclays Premier League. Like what you read, click the follow button for more articles like this every week or comment below to share your thoughts! See you next time!