English Premier League Team of the Month February 2017

February was a bit of an odd month in the Premier League. Not only did some of the league’s prime relegation battlers like Swansea and Hull find themselves towards the top the form table but there was also a great disparity in matches played for teams across the league. Most teams played 3 matches this month, some played 4 and Southampton only managed 2. This makes February’s team of the month very interesting as naturally some players have had more of a chance to show their skills than others. Nonetheless, these are the best 11 players for the month of February in England’s top flight of football.

Goalkeeper: Joel Robles 

joel-robles
Team of the Week Appearances: 0
4 appearances, 2 clean sheets, 11 saves, 4 catches (100%), 4 goals conceded

For the second month in a row, rising Everton star Joel Robles is the Goalkeeper of the Month! The 6’4 Everton man has become a clean sheet keeping hero as of late for the Toffees and has been a major part of a successful run that has seen Koeman’s side gain 21 points from their last 9 matches. In fact, since Robles has come into the side for the injured Maarten Stekelenburg, Everton have only lost one game, a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby. The Spanish goalkeeper had another fantastic month in February, featuring in all four matches and securing his fifth and sixth clean sheets of the season, an incredible feat for someone who has only played ten matches. In that time the Spaniard also made 11 saves, claimed 100% of the catches he came for and only conceded 4 goals. The only major slip up for Robles this month was in his team’s 6-3 win against Bournemouth. Between his other 3 appearances, he only conceded 1 time! Joel Robles has been one of the surprise performers since the turn of the year and after two fantastic months is developing a very solid reputation under Ronald Koeman at Everton.
Rating: 8.5/10.

Centre Back: Chris Smalling

chris-smalling-defending-against-jamie-vardy
Team of the Week Appearances: 1
3 appearances, 1 assist, 33 clearances, 16 aerial duels won, 4/5 tackles won, 2 chances created, 90% pass accuracy

A beast at the back, Chris Smalling has taken a while to get going this season but has finally been given his chance to shine in Mourinho’s side in February. The injury to Phil Jones vacated a spot for Smalling to take over the Manchester United defender did not disappoint. The British defender was as steady as can be at the back, making 33 clearances, winning 16 duels in the air and only mistiming 1 of his 5 tackles. Smalling also had a rare hand at the other end of the pitch, creating 2 chances and assisting 1 goal. He was also good in possession of the football completing 90% of his passes and was a key factor in the fact that United kept a clean sheet in all 3 of their matches this month. Chris Smalling is a brilliant British defender and might have just stolen a spot back away from Phil Jones for the rest of the season. Rating: 9.5/10.

Centre Back: Gareth McAuley

Gareth McAuley wba
Team of the Week Appearances: 0
3 appearances, 2 goals, 25 clearances, 8 interceptions, 10 headed duels won, 3 blocks

Gareth McAuley has never been one of the best defenders in the Premier League but at the old age of 37, when many other footballers would have stopped playing years before, is now suddenly having his best season ever as a footballer. It’s almost a bit of a surprise that at the age of 37, he’s still so heavily involved in Tony Pulis’ plans. But the Northern Ireland defender has been fantastic this season for the Baggies and is one of the main reasons why they find themselves in the precarious position of 8th place in the table! McAuley had a great month of football in February, playing every single minute and scoring his fifth and sixth goals of the season (that’s more than Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney combined). The Irish defender also completed 25 clearances to help his side see away danger and added 8 interceptions, 3 blocks and 10 aerial duels to a list of impressive accomplishments. Gareth McAuley is by no means one of the best defenders in the Premier League but is having an amazing season for West Bromwich Albion as they sit comfortably in 8th place in the table.

Centre Back: Harry Maguire 

harry-maguire
Team of the Week Appearances: 0
4 appearances, 33 clearances, 13 interceptions, 6 blocks, 12 headed duels won

Harry Maguire was never in the plans of Steve Bruce nor Mike Phelan, but under Marco Silva has become one of the finest young English defenders in the game all of a sudden. The 23-year old Hull City man has been instrumental for the Tigers this month, making more defensive actions (clearances, blocks and interceptions) than any other player in the league. He made 33 clearances, 13 interceptions and 6 blocks in February, just doing a magnificent job on his way to helping Hull to 1 win and two draws from 4 matches. Maguire also impressed in the air, winning 12 headed duels and also amazingly for a defender, won 8 fouls and conceded just 1 the entire month! Although Harry Maguire never found himself on a Mastermind Team of the Week in February, he was always one of Hull’s star performers in their recent resurgence of form and is now looking set to be a key player in their bid to survive this season. Rating: 9/10.

Defensive Midfield: Ander Herrera 

ander-herrera-vs-watfrod
Team of the Week Appearances: 1
3 appearances, 4 chances created, 88% pass accuracy, 8 clearances, 6 interceptions, 12 tackles, 100% successful take-on’s

Ander Herrera is back on the Team of the Month for the second time this year as he continues to be Manchester United’s star man in midfield. Herrera’s game isn’t about the goals or the flashy skills and tricks; he does the ugly work, the work that Pogba nor anyone else in that Manchester United midfield is willing to do. A key linchpin to Manchester United’s attacking play, Herrera completed 234 passes this month, more than any other player. And the midfielder was looking forward more than you might think, with 58% of his passes going up the field compared to 42% going backwards or sideways. In 3 appearances he also created 4 chances and completed 100% of the take-on’s he attempted, further highlighting his dominance in possession of the ball. But impressively, the Spanish midfielder continues to do the ugly defensive work, completing a total of 12 tackles, 4 more than any other Manchester United player and double that of his midfield partner Paul Pogba. Herrera also made 8 clearances and 6 interceptions, highlighting his first-rate reading the game. Ander Herrera has become one of the Premier League’s best players this season and although he continues to be underrated by many and overshadowed by other defensive midfielders like Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante, if there is a Team of the Year right now, Herrera should be one of the first names on the list. Rating: 9.5/10.

Centre Midfield: Ross Barkley 

ross-barkley-everton
Team of the Week Appearances: 1
3 appearances, 1 goal, 1 assist, 9 chances created, 9 fouls drawn, 7 tackles

2016 was more or less a year to forget for Everton’s Ross Barkley but the British midfielder has started off 2017 in magnificent form as the Toffees still remain unbeaten in the league. Ross Barkley was outstanding for Ronald Koeman’s side this month, taking up all kinds of positions but flourishing particularly as a right winger in behind Romelu Lukaku. The 23-year old midfielder combined brilliantly with his same-age Belgian teammate in February and it was the two of them who were heavily involved in every goal that Everton scored. Barkley himself scored 1 goal and assisted another, but created a further 9 chances for his teammates to score, more than any other player in the league. The British midfielder also demonstrated his pace and power by drawing 9 fouls and even did his defensive work with 7 tackles. Ross Barkley is truthfully one of the best midfielders in the Premier League; he just hasn’t shown it on enough of a regular basis this season. But February was Barkley’s month to shine and hopefully he can kick on and become that player that we all know he can be. Rating: 9/10.

Right Wing: Pedro Rodriguez 

pedro-rodriguez-chelsea-fc
Team of the Week Appearances: 1
3 appearances, 2 goals, 1 assist, 7 chances created, 7 shots, 8 take-on’s

After being unquestionably Chelsea’s best player in their torrid 2015-16 campaign, Willian Borges da Silva would have been expected by all to have a massive role to play yet again in 2016-17 under Antonio Conte. But the Brazilian winger can hardly get into the side this season and that is entirely because of the brilliance of Pedro Rodriguez. The former Barcelona man has been pivotal to Chelsea’s success this season and has been their best player in the past few months, seemingly scoring, assisting or doing both in every single game they play now. Pedro was key yet again for the Blues in February, scoring 2 goals with 1 assist in 3 matches as the Blues picked up two wins and a draw. The Spanish winger also showed off his composure in possession of the ball, completing 8 take-on’s and was highly resourceful in attack, with 7 chances created and 7 shots. Pedro Rodriguez has been one of Chelsea’s star men this season, continues to defy odds to keep Willian out of the side and at the moment is having his best ever campaign as he looks to lift his first major trophy in England. Rating: 9.5/10.

Left Wing: Eden Hazard 

hazard-and-moses
Team of the Week Appearances: 2
3 appearances, 1 goal, 1 assist, 7 chances created, 27/29 successful take-on’s, 82% pass accuracy, 4 interceptions

Every time someone else emerges as a PFA Player of the Year contender, Eden Hazard puts in the type of performance that reminds everyone why he is the most likely of all to win the accolade for a second time. Hazard has probably been the best player of all in the Premier League this season and even when other players are having more of an influence for Chelsea, the Belgian winger still manages to steal the show with a brilliant piece of skill or a stunning assist. Hazard had a brilliant month of action in the Premier League, picking up WhoScored‘s Premier League Player of the Month award thanks to his 3 stunning and influential displays for the Blues. He may have only assisted 1 goal and found the back of the net with just 1 of his strikes, but Hazard was always incredibly influential for Chelsea and with 27 successful take-on’s, yes that’s more than any other player by 13, the Blues were impossible to stop at times. The 26-year old Belgian also created 7 chances, coming up unlucky to only assist one goal, completed 82% of his passes and helped out in defense with 4 interceptions. Eden Hazard is impossible to stop when he is in this kind of mood and continues to lead the way of all potential PFA Player of the Year winners. Rating: 9.5/10.

Striker: Gabriel Jesus 

gabriel-jesus-man-city
Team of the Week Appearances: 2
3 appearances, 3 goals, 1 assist, 4 chances created, 5 fouls drawn, 67% shot accuracy

Incredibly unlucky to get injured at such an important time in his career, Gabriel Jesus still managed to be Manchester City’s most influential player this month through their 3 matches. In 3 appearances, Jesus scored 3 goals and assisted another, quickly becoming Guardiola’s star man as they won all 3 of their matches this month. His fantastic month of February football included two Team of the Week appearances, the first coming when he scored and assisted in City’s 4-0 win against West Ham and the second coming when he scored a brace against Swansea, including the game winning goal with practically the last touch of the game. In total, Jesus also created 4 chances and forced his opposition into committing 5 fouls; while a conversion rate of 50% is pretty outstanding all on its own. Gabriel Jesus could have been Manchester City’s savior this season had he not gotten injured against Bournemouth and hopefully he can make a swift return towards the end of the season to help continue to lead Guardiola’s side to better times. If not and he’s out for the rest of the season, then 2017-18 will be definitely his year to shine. Rating: 10/10.

Striker: Romelu Lukaku 

Everton v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League
Team of the Week Appearances: 1
4 appearances, 5 goals, 5 chances created, 75% shot accuracy, 15 aerial duels won, 9 take-on’s

No player scored more goals or had more of an impact on a Premier League side this month than Romelu Lukaku. It seemed as though it was just a couple of months ago that Don Hutchinson and Andy Townsend were calling for the Belgian striker to be more consistent with his scoring. Now Hutchinson, the former Everton man, is claiming the Belgian to be even better than Harry Kane. A lot of the criticism of Lukaku in the past has been that his incredible record in front of the net aside, he doesn’t do enough in other areas of the pitch. But the Belgian put that to rest in February by linking up brilliantly with his teammates to create 5 chances, win a staggering 15 duels in the air and even complete 9 take-on’s. He also had 75% of his shots on target, scoring from 5 of his 12 shots as Everton went unbeaten for the second month in a row. Romelu Lukaku has finally established himself as one of the Premier League’s very best strikers this season and if he continues to bulge the back of the net at this fast a rate, could be on his way to a first ever Golden Boot. Rating: 10/10.

Striker: Manolo Gabbiadini

Britain Soccer Premier League
Team of the Week Appearances: 1
2 appearances, 3 goals, 3 chances created, 4 fouls drawn

Despite featuring in just 2 Premier League matches, Manolo Gabbiadini sneaks on to the Team of the Month in just his first month of Premier League action. The 15 million pound striker has turned out to be a peach of a signing for the Saints and has quickly become their key man in attack. 3 goals from just 2 matches says it all really in terms of his influence for the Saints this month while a further 3 chances created and 4 fouls drawn demonstrates that he’s about more than just the goals as well. Furthermore, not that this counts for this particular list, but he also scored two incredible goals to nearly lead Southampton to lifting the EFL Cup! Manolo Gabbiadini has stunned the Premier League this month with his fantastic form in front of goal, looks an amazing signing by Claude Puel and could go on to become Southampton’s most important player this season. Rating: 9.5/10.

Formation: 3-4-3: Robles, Smalling, McAuley, Maguire, Herrera, Barkley, Pedro, Hazard, G. Jesus, Lukaku, Gabbiadini

Substitutes: Antonio Valencia, Andrea Ranocchia, Alfie Mawson, Manuel Lanzini, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Harry Kane

Player of the Month: Romelu Lukaku 

romelu-lukaku-6-3-bournemouth

Gabriel Jesus nearly won the honour but after Romelu Lukaku put in another stellar performance against Sunderland on the final matchday of the month, he propelled himself to the top spot as The Mastermind’s Player of the Month for February. We are nearly positive that if Jesus had played the entirety of the Bournemouth fixture that he would have claimed the honour but at the same time Lukaku’s 5 goals in 4 matches just cannot be overlooked. The Everton striker has just been immense for Ronald Koeman this month, creating 5 chances, completing 9 take-on’s and winning 15 duels in the air to go along with those 5 goals. It’s been a fantastic month of action for Romelu Lukaku and one that has seen him surge towards the top of the goal-scoring charts as the race for the Golden Boot is well and truly on.

Runners Up: Gabriel Jesus, Eden Hazard

Manager of the Month: Ronald Koeman

ronald-koeman-vs-southampton

There have been a heap of impressive managers in the Premier League this month but Ronald Koeman takes the accolade for Manager of the Month for the second time in a row. The Everton manager has been immense for the Toffees not the for the first time this season and has led his side to 2 wins and 2 draws from 4 matches, keeping up their incredible 9-game unbeaten run. Koeman just seems to get the tactical side of the game better than nearly any other manager out there and has an uncanny ability to completely shut good teams out. The keys to Everton’s success in February have included fullbacks in Baines and Coleman who love to get forward and stretch out the opposition’s defense, a young midfielder in Tom Davies that Koeman gave his full debut to at the start of the year, two tough tackling holders in Schneiderlin and Geuye and an incredible link between the always energetic Lukaku, Barkley and Kevin Mirallas. Everton have just looked so impressive in February on all fronts and apart from a minor three goal slip up to Bournemouth, they hardly put a foot wrong, scoring 9 and conceding 4. Everton may only sit in 7th position but if they can keep up this amazing unbeaten run they may soon find themselves further up the table. Ronald Koeman has been instrumental to that unbeaten run and wins his second Manager of the Month award of the season.

Runners Up: Marco Silva, Tony Pulis


So there it is! The Mastermind’s Premier League Team of the Month for all the action across February. Like what you read? Follow for a plethora of articles like this delivered directly to you. See you next time!

P.S. make sure to check out our latest Team of the Week here -> English Premier League Team of the Week Gameweek 26 and our March edition of The Mastermind Top 200 Club.

 

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