‘Only one winner here, and it’s not you Jose’


Garth's team of the week

Liverpool and Chelsea remain unbeaten and could not be separated in a Premier League thriller at Stamford Bridge.

Elsewhere, Cardiff, Newcastle and Huddersfield remain winless as their tough starts to the season continue, and West Ham poured more pain on Manchester United and their manager Jose Mourinho.

But who shone enough to make it into my Team of the Week?

Garth's team of the week: Alisson, Rudiger, Maguire, Rose, Wijnaldum, Noble, Sigurdsson, Ozil, Sterling, Kane, Arnautovic<!–

Goalkeeper – Alisson

Alisson<!–

Having played with three of the greatest goalkeepers who ever lived – Gordon Banks, Peter Shilton and Ray Clemence – I know what makes a great one. They were all unflappable. Once they put a pair of gloves on, they became as cool as ice.

The same seems to be true of Alisson. The Brazil international made two crucial saves from Willian in the opening exchanges of Liverpool’s draw at Chelsea, and kept out Eden Hazard later in the game. You clearly get what you pay for.

Did you know? Alisson’s save percentage is 84.21% this season. Only Bernd Leno (100%) and Paulo Gazzaniga (88.89%) can top that, but Leno has only made one substitute appearance, and Gazzaniga has played just twice

Defenders – Antonio Rudiger, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose

Antonio Rudiger, Harry Maguire and Danny Rose<!–

Antonio Rudiger: I’ve steadily grown in admiration for this player during the time he’s been at Chelsea, and so have their supporters. To hear the occasional cry of ‘Rudi!’ around Stamford Bridge, a sign of the fans’ approval of another crunching tackle or a powerful header, is quite a compliment.

Rudiger hardly gave Liverpool’s holy trinity – Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino – a kick. That is bordering on the miraculous.

Did you know? Rudiger made 71 passes in Chelsea’s draw with Liverpool. Only Jorginho made more for the Blues (73).

Harry Maguire: If you want to know why Leicester beat Newcastle United and kept a clean sheet at the same time, you need look no further than Harry Maguire. His tackle on Ayoze Perez when the striker only had the goalkeeper to beat was timed to perfection.

Maguire then caused pandemonium in the Newcastle penalty area, leaving referee Simon Hooper no choice but to award Leicester a penalty, before scoring a powerful header. In short, he was too strong and too good for Newcastle. Read why I think this fabulous north east club is in crisis in the Crooks of the Matter below.

Did you know? Maguire recovered possession on nine occasions against Newcastle – the most of any Leicester City player.

Danny Rose: For the second consecutive week, Danny Rose makes my selection. His determination to get into the opponents’ box in order to affect the game was, once again, sensational against Huddersfield.

It was Rose who forced Florent Hadergjonaj to panic in the box, which resulted in a penalty. Harry Kane applied the finishing touch as usual.

Did you know? Rose made five tackles and gained possession on 10 occasions – the most of any Spurs player.

Midfielders – Georginio Wijnaldum, Mark Noble, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Mesut Ozil

Georginio Wijnaldum, Mark Noble, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Mesut Ozil<!–

Georginio Wijnaldum: This player has suffered from being in a team that has so many outstanding players – he’s hardly been noticed. However, against Chelsea, Wijnaldum had one of the best 90 minutes of football I have seen him have in years.

Liverpool’s front three were firing blanks, and James Milner and Jordan Henderson spent much of their time chasing Eden Hazard around Stamford Bridge, but Wijnaldum held it all together for the Reds in midfield. He had a great game.

Did you know? Wijnaldum completed 53 of his 59 passes against Chelsea (89.8%) – the best accuracy of any Liverpool player.

Mark Noble: I did tell you that if West Ham held their nerve they wouldn’t have a problem staying in the Premier League. Their first four games without a win might have sent lesser clubs into panic mode, but I’ve seen Mark Noble wrestle unruly West Ham fans to the ground and remind the rest to watch their Ps and Qs.

Does that sound like a player that is easily intimidated? Noble gave another captain’s performance against a beleaguered Manchester United – much to the delight of those who have a problem with Jose Mourinho.

Did you know? Noble made more passes than any other West Ham player against Manchester United (67), while also providing an assist.

Gylfi Sigurdsson: It never ceases to amaze me when players with wonderful ability score the more technical and difficult goals but struggle with the simple tap-ins. Gylfi Sigurdsson failed to convert a penalty against Fulham but scored two beautifully taken goals, which looked infinitely more difficult.

Everton need a top-class striker to play alongside Theo Walcott and Richarlison, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin needs more time to develop. Fulham, meanwhile, are struggling to come to terms with the demands of the Premier League.

Did you know? Sigurdsson’s brace against Fulham was also accompanied by five chances created – the most of any Everton player.

Mesut Ozil: Did I see Mesut Ozil wearing the captain’s armband? Now there is innovation. Well done Unai Emery. If you want more out of your player then give him more responsibility.

I must say Arsenal look a much happier bunch under Emery. They are not a title-winning side yet but I think this manager will get Arsenal challenging for honours in the not-too-distant future. This man knows what he’s doing.

Did you know? Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has scored two goals in his past three Premier League games, as many as he managed in his previous 18.

Forwards – Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, Marko Arnautovic

Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and Marko Arnayutovic<!–

Raheem Sterling: I told my son two seasons ago that I thought Raheem Sterling had the ability to compete with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo for the mantle of best player in the world. My son roared with laughter, but he’s an Arsenal fan so what does he know! While that mantle looks like it might currently go to Eden Hazard, Sterling is starting to look in that class.

Against Brighton, Sterling was immense, and the speed with which his game has improved under Pep Guardiola is staggering. If Sterling can do for England what Ronaldo has done for Portugal, then hey presto… the mantle is his.

Did you know? Sterling was directly involved in both of Manchester City’s goals against Brighton (one goal and one assist).

Harry Kane: I still think Harry looks a little jaded from his exploits in the summer, but two goals and three points against Huddersfield will make him feel a whole lot better.

There cannot be a better penalty-taker in the league. He absolutely rattled his spot-kick past Jonas Lossl. However, the harsh truth is that Huddersfield are out of their depth and soon to be out of the league.

Did you know? The England international scored twice against Huddersfield from his three attempts on target.

Marko Arnautovic: There is something of Eric Cantona about Marko Arnautovic – but without the intimidating stare. The only other difference between these two mercurial characters is that one played for Manchester United and the other should have done. In the meantime, Arnautovic ripped United’s “fragile” team to shreds.

Jose Mourinho refers to his team as fragile but what he fails to realise is that it is he who has caused that fragility. You keep humiliating Paul Pogba, your star player, in public and then substitute him in another show of public defiance. Of course he becomes disillusioned and angry and that unsettles the rest. There’s only one winner here, and it’s not you Jose.

Did you know? Since the start of 2018, only Mohamed Salah (24) has had a hand in more Premier League goals than Marko Arnautovic (17 – 10 goals, 7 assists).

Now it’s your turn

You’ve seen my picks this week. But who would you go for?

Pick your XI from our list and share with your friends.

Pick your XI from our list and share with your friends.

The Crooks of the matter

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Have Newcastle’s ‘Ashley Generation’ had enough?

Third from bottom with two points from seven matches and rudely dismissed by Leicester – performances on the pitch have only served to contribute to the anger and frustration fermenting among Newcastle United supporters. The target: owner Mike Ashley; public enemy number one.

Last week, BBC Sport posed this question: ‘Have Newcastle’s Ashley generation had enough?’ Had enough? That’s what boxing referees ask the opponent having just been on the end of a pummelling. The analogy is fitting, because that is precisely how Newcastle fans must feel and it can’t go on.

Newcastle are painful to watch, and on the front and back pages for all the wrong reasons. Ashley has provided Premier League football to an area that is otherwise starved of a top-class football team. He has also brought in a top-class manager. For that he must be applauded, but neither works without serious investment.

The news that former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon is leading a consortium to take over the Magpies is an exciting prospect. In the interests of everyone concerned, a deal needs to be struck . It’s time the club moved on.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/45699519

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