English Premier League Team of the Month: April 2017

The 2016-17 Premier League season is coming to an end after what was its busiest month of action in April 2017. Instead of the usual 3-4, some teams played 6 games, some even 7, making this a crazy month inside of the Premier League. The ones who were able to standout over the course April even despite the high number of games, rather than just one or two times, were the ones to make the Team of the Month.

Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris 

Team of the Week Appearances: 0
5 appearances, 5 clean sheets, 8 saves, 80% distribution success

Hugo Lloris has been excellent all season long and has been so crucial to Tottenham Hotspur’s success. But the Spurs saw their greatest month of the season in April, in which from six matches they only conceded 1 goal. That one goal, in a 3-1 triumph over Swansea was when Lloris wasn’t even playing so he went through the entire month without conceding a single goal. The Frenchman saved all eight shots that came his way and had fantastic distribution, being successful with 80% of his kicks and throws. Hugo Lloris has gone about this season rather quietly but has still been easily one of the best around as Tottenham continue to try and challenge for the title. Rating: 9/10.

Right Back: Harry Maguire 

Team of the Week Appearances: 0
4 appearances, 2 goals, 4 chances created, 26 clearances, 9 interceptions

Harry Maguire was forced to sit on the bench in the Mike Phelan era at Hull City but ever since Marco Silva has come into the fold, Maguire has made himself the first choice defender at the club and was even given the captain’s armband for their most recent match against Southampton. Maguire has been great for the Tigers in both penalty areas, helping them to 3 wins and 1 draw from 6 matches. The British defender was a key member in attack, scoring 2 goals, creating 4 chances and completing 7 of his 8 attempted take-on’s. Defensively, he was even more of a beast, making 26 clearances, winning 11 duels in the air and making 8 blocks and 9 interceptions as Hull kept 2 clean sheets. Although he didn’t make any of the best elevens this month, he was still fantastic for the Tigers and managed to make the subs bench on two occasions. Harry Maguire is one of the most talented rising defenders in the game and could even be set for a big money move sometime in the next few years. Rating: 9.5/10.

Centre Back: Eric Bailly 

Team of the Week Appearances: 2
7 appearances, 35 clearances, 17 interceptions, 13 aerial duels won

In the absence of Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Daley Blind have become Manchester United’s first choice defensive duo again. The two of them were incredible together these last few games, particularly Bailly who just seems to instill fear in the minds of every attacker he comes up against. Bailly started in every single one of United’s matches this month in all competitions yet he still managed to hardly put a foot wrong. He was just impeccable defensively and was always there to clear away danger, making 17 interceptions, 9 blocks, 35 clearances and making 9 tackles. He also dominated in the air winning 13 headed duels and completed 87% of his passes. With his form this month, Eric Bailly has proven that next season he should be United’s first choice centre half. Rating: 10/10.

Centre Back: Gary Cahill 

Team of the Week Appearances: 1
6 appearances, 2 goals, 14 aerial duels won, 32 clearances, 9 interceptions

Key to Chelsea all season long, Gary Cahill had his best month of the season in arguably the month that it mattered most. Chelsea weren’t always as brilliant in April as they have been in previous months but they were still able to steamroll several teams and Cahill was crucial to every win. The British defender scored 2 goals, had 75% of his shots on target and created 2 chances in his 6 matches this month, making an impact for Chelsea in attack again. But he was even better in defense, making 32 clearances, 9 interceptions, 10 tackles and winning 14 duels in the air. Cahill’s PFA Team of the Year selection might have raised a few eyebrows, but now he is proving all his doubters wrong and leading Chelsea to a second title in three years. Rating: 9/10.

Left Back: Jan Vertonghen 

Team of the Week Appearances: 1
6 appearances, 9 tackles, 17 headed duels won, 28 clearances

Jan Vertonghen seems to hardly ever lose any one of his duels. He’s so strong, so comfortable and calm in possession of the ball, so defensively astute and so touch-tight and physical, making life impossible for his opposition. Vertonghen was crucial to Tottenham’s ability to only concede 1 goal the entire month, making 9 tackles, 17 headed duels won and 28 clearances! Going the other way he also showed his composure in possession, making 85% of his passes, completing 100% (9/9) of his dribbles and having every single one of his shots on target. Jan Vertonghen is an excellent defender, had a fantastic month of football in April and does not get the credit he deserves often enough. Rating: 9.5/10.

Defensive Midfield: Eric Dier 

Team of the Week Appearances: 1
5 appearances, 1 goal, 13 clearances, 11 headed duels won

Whether it was at centre back or defensive mid, Eric Dier was always crucial to Spurs this month and ensured they became the toughest team in the league to beat. Since that 2-0 loss to Liverpool in February where Sadio Mane tore them apart, Mauricio Pochettino’s side have gone on a 9 game win streak with Dier starting every single one of them and playing every single minute. In addition to 1 Team of the Week appearance, the defensive midfielder also made 2 substitute appearances, highlighting how pivotal he was to Tottenham in April. In attack, Dier scored 1 goal, created 2 chances and completed 89% of his passes. In defense, the 23-year old made 13 clearances, won 11 headed duels and 7 tackles. Eric Dier has not had quite the same impact that he had in 2015-16 but this month has been back to his best and continues to help lead Spurs to better times. Rating: 9/10.

Right Wing: Heung-Min Son 

Team of the Week Appearances: 2
6 appearances, 5 goals, 8 chances created, 83% passes completed

Heung-Min Son might be the the best player in the Premier League who has been forced to spend so much time on the bench this season. Whenever he is given his chance to shine, he sparkles in Tottenham’s side with his fantastic all-around game. Heung Min Son was dazzling all month long for Pochettino’s side, making the left wing his own again and even playing well up top in the absence of Harry Kane. The South Korean international was fantastic in front of goal, scoring 5 goals in 6 matches and was key to everything Spurs produced in attack, creating 8 chances and completing 6 take-on’s. Pochettino’s side won all six of their matches this month more than comfortably and Heung-Min Son was massively important to that. Rating: 9.5/10.

Attacking Midfield: Christian Eriksen

Team of the Week Appearances: 0
6 appearances, 2 goals, 21 chances created, 77% shot accuracy

Christian Eriksen might be the most underrated player in the league this season. He’s been outstanding for Tottenham as they continue to challenge for the title and is the league’s second leading assist man, yet he still doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Eriksen was vital to Spurs’ stellar attack this month, creating an insane total of 21 chances in just 6 matches. 2 assists from those 21 chances created is hardly a fault of his own as if only Spurs hadn’t hit the woodwork so many times or had their shots stopped, Eriksen could have ended up with 10 more assists in this month alone. The Danish midfielder was clinical in front of goal, scoring twice but also having 77% of his shots on target. Christian Eriksen is one of the biggest snubs for PFA Team of the Year this time around but if he continues on playing like this, next year could be his year. Rating: 10/10.

Left Wing: Eden Hazard 

Team of the Week Appearances: 2
6 appearances, 4 goals, 18 chances created, 8 interceptions

Continuing to lead Chelsea’s title charge, Eden Hazard was fantastic in April, just as he has been all season long. The fact that this is now his sixth Team of the Month appearance in the first nine months of the 2016-17 season suggests that there really is nobody else like him in the Premier League and that he quite possibly was harshly snubbed for PFA Team of the Year. Hazard has already equaled his best tally of goals in a single Premier League season with 15 so far this campaign and many more look set to come despite everything coming to an end soon. When Chelsea were on top in April, it was because they were able to get the most out of Eden Hazard, who was in stunning form at times, scoring 4 goals in 6 matches. Unlucky to end April with just 1 assist, Hazard created a stunning total of 18 chances. On top of that, he also completed 15 of his 20 attempted take-on’s, constantly driving forward for Chelsea, and he forced his opposition into making 14 fouls! Eden Hazard is an unreal footballer, looks to have led his Chelsea side to a second Premier League title in three years and possibly got snubbed for PFA Player of the Year. Rating: 10/10.

Striker: Harry Kane 

Team of the Week Appearances: 1
4 appearances, 2 goals, 2 assists, 11 take-on’s completed

Harry Kane started the month off injured and then suddenly he was back as if he never missed a minute! Sure Kane only scored 2 goals from 4 matches, but he also had 2 assists! He also had 83% of his shots on target, created 6 chances and completed 11 of his 14 take-on’s! So it was just another stunning month of action for Kane in the Premier League. Spurs just could not be stopped this month and they were even better when Kane was in the team. Rating: 9.5/10.

Striker: Joshua King 

Team of the Week Appearances: 1
6 appearances, 4 goals, 8 chances created, 9 tackles

Joshua King has really come alive these last few months and is finishing the season insanely strong, now on 15 Premier League goals. King took The Mastermind‘s Player of the Month award back in March and he nearly might this time as well for his stunning displays up top for Bournemouth in April. What has impressed me most about King in his resurgence of form is how good his all-around game is. He always helps out in defense and racks up the numbers in tackles, sometimes even more than the defenders on his team. But in addition to that, he creates loads of chances, is confident enough to drive the ball forward, hardly misplaces a pass and most importantly, has no trouble finding the back of the net! In April alone, King scored 4 goals from 6 matches and was unlucky not to come up with any assists with his 8 chances created. He also completed 9 take-on’s, made 9 tackles and led Bournemouth throughout their very good month of action. Rating: 10/10.

Formation: 4-4-2: Lloris, Maguire, Bailly, Cahill, Vertonghen, Dier, Son, Eriksen, Hazard, Kane, King

Substitutes: Maya Yoshida, Phil Jagielka, Ben Davies, Charlie Daniels, Wilfred Ndidi, Philippe Coutinho, Sergio Aguero

Player of the Month: Eric Bailly 

Integral to helping Manchester United continue their stellar unbeaten run and come up with some seriously impressive results, Eric Bailly had his best month in a Manchester United shirt. 35 clearances, 13 headed duels won in the air and 17 interceptions were just some of the many impressive statistics he boasted in April as he was just a defensive beast, completely shutting down every team he played against. The Ivorian played every single minute of every single one of United’s games this month until he was subbed off at Swansea. What happened after that? Manchester United conceded and the match ended in a draw. He’s just been that good this month and consistently good as well which is something that few others on this team can claim to have been. Eric Bailly is April’s Player of the Month!

Runners Up: Eden Hazard, Joshua King

Manager of the Month: Mauricio Pochettino

For a side to go six games in the Premier League, all in the same month, and only concede 1 goal is just astonishing. It’s a true testament to just how organized Tottenham Hotspur’s team have been and it doesn’t even matter how many injuries they have had this month because of the fantastic job that the entire squad has done to make up for any potential problem areas. The defense that kept five clean sheets and only conceded 1 goal this month often included both of Spurs’ backup fullbacks, Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier, while Victor Wanyama and Harry Kane also missed out of a few matches to injury without the side looking any less fluid. Pochettino has just instilled a fantastic winning mentality into this team and it has culminated in them winning 9 games on the spin now including a stunning past month. For his side’s incredible form, defensive resilience and attacking prowess, Mauricio Pochettino has to be April’s Manager of the Month!

So there it is! The Mastermind‘s Premier League Team of the Month for April. Like what you read? Click the follow button! Make sure to check out past Team of the Month articles right here! See you next month!




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