FA Cup Player Power Rankings: Paterson, Oviedo, Jelavic and Lichaj Impress

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJanuary 8, 2014

FA Cup Player Power Rankings: Paterson, Oviedo, Jelavic and Lichaj Impress

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    Welcome to the first edition of our FA Cup player power rankings, where we rank the competition's in-form players based on their performances on the pitch.

    The first week is always extremely hard to construct. It reads more like a list of the top performances from the third round, ordered by excellence.

    Don't fret, though. By the fourth round, we'll have two tangible games to measure the lads on, and this will start to take shape.

    In order to try to build a run of form in our players, only players from teams who are in the fourth round are included—sorry, Jake Buxton! 

10. Eric Lichaj, Nottingham Forest

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    Eric Lichaj was unceremoniously released by Aston Villa this summer, but the 25-year-old found another Midlands home in Nottingham Forest and has begun to flourish.

    He was fantastic against West Ham United until being substituted with an apparent niggle, should have scored after surging into the box from the left and dazzled throughout.

    It's good to see him developing nicely rather than solely relying on his long throw as a weapon. 

9. Seamus Coleman, Everton

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    As usual, Seamus Coleman spent 90 minutes tearing the right flank apart on Saturday as Everton smashed Queens Park Rangers to pieces.

    He spent the large majority of his time camped in the opposing half, attacking and pinning his winger back, then proceeded to score a glorious fourth goal to cap off an easy win.

    He's getting pretty good, isn't he? 

8. Nikica Jelavic, Everton

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    Nikica Jelavic is firmly second choice in the Everton ranks when it comes to playing up front, but at least he's making the most of his opportunities when awarded them.

    He missed a penalty for his hat-trick in a truly heartbreaking moment, but aside from that, it was glorious to see the Croatian return and play with confidence.

    Scoring two isn't bad, mind. 

7. Serge Gnabry, Arsenal

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    Grave concern spread through the Arsenal fanbase after receiving the news that Theo Walcott will be out for at least six months following an ACL tear.

    Serge Gnabry's performance against Tottenham Hotspur, however, should serve as a beacon of light going forward. He was overpowering coming in off the right, served up a great assist for Santi Cazorla and ran the show using his dribbling, pace and poise.

    Hopefully the FA Cup will be the German's big chance to impress. 

6. Chico Flores, Swansea City

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    Chico Flores was a pillar of strength in Swansea City's back line on Sunday, limiting Manchester United to just a single goal and playing a large part in his side's shock win.

    He was dominant in the air and alert on the ground, cleaning up stray balls and crosses effectively and consistently.

    The ball somehow always found its way to Chico's body. Magnet. 

5. Alejandro Pozuelo, Swansea City

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    The fallout from Swansea City's victory over Manchester United on Sunday has been almost all about the Red Devils' failings.

    What appears to have slipped through the cracks, though, is the Swans' brilliancethe play of Alejandro Pozuelo, Michael Laudrup's summer signing, in particular.

    The Spaniard dominated the middle of the park, passed the ball superbly and fired through one great assist. 

4. Bryan Oviedo, Everton

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    Bryan Oviedo continued his brilliant breakout campaign by serving up two assists and winning a penalty for Everton against Queens Park Rangers.

    Leighton Baines may have returned to fitness and resumed the left-back role, but the Costa Rican international is slotting in more naturally on the left of midfield and enjoying his time on the pitch.

    Roberto Martinez trusts him, and Oviedo has played himself into an indispensable role for now. 

3. Willian, Chelsea

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    Like Bryan Oviedo, Willian is quickly becoming undroppable to his current manager.

    The Brazilian was fantastic once again against Derby County, remaining patient outside the box for an opening against a defence packed like sardines and showing immense trickery and guile.

    His high pressing when off the ball is a pretty unique trait among silky No. 10s such as this man. 

2. Harry Maguire, Sheffield United

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    At just 20 years of age, Harry Maguire waltzed into Villa Park and led Sheffield United to an upset victory over Aston Villa.

    The centre-back stood tall amid severe bouts of pressure and excelled in clearing everything that came his way. Nicklas Helenius' strike—Villa's only goal—was a lucky one, somehow squeezing through several legs, and shouldn't be used to detriment Maguire's showing. 

1. Jamie Paterson, Nottingham Forest

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    Jamie Paterson had a career day on Sunday, smashing a superlative hat-trick past a beleaguered, confused West Ham side.

    The 22-year-old had never actually scored for Nottingham Forest prior to the FA Cup tie, having gone 16 assorted appearances without finding the net since moving from Walsall in the summer.

    That's a hell of a way to break a duck!