Premier League Player Power Rankings: Suarez and Sturridge at It Again
Welcome back to another week of our Premier League player rankings, as we assess the latest and greatest displays in England's top flight.
We don't have a new No. 1 this week, but there has been plenty of movement in the top 10 nonetheless, and we've even got two new entrants. The top 10 is unsurprisingly dominated by the top two clubs in the league table, Chelsea and Liverpool, with those two sides only having lost once in the league in 2014 between them.
Here's the top 10, leave your comments and thoughts on them as always!
Dropping Out and Honourable Mentions
It won't surprise too many people to see Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny dip out of the top 10 after a particularly poor display and a severe 6-0 drubbing for his side.
Aston Villa's Ron Vlaar also misses out after his side lost, 4-1, to Stoke City, having spent last week in our top 10.
Christian Eriksen has been in terrific form for Spurs of late, and it's probably just as well that somebody has for them. Cesar Azpilicueta is also probably deserving of a top-10 spot by this point after an incredibly consistent season and another great performance at the weekend—he was just edged out this time.
David Silva, Joe Allen and Shane Long have also all been excellent for their respective sides of late.
10. Wayne Rooney, Manchester United
Last Week: NEW!
Manchester United have been very poor as a team this season, but one or two players throughout the side have mainly held their level. Wayne Rooney has been one, and in recent weeks, the forward has stepped up his performances markedly.
He was the Red Devils'
best only good performer in the defeat at home to Liverpool, and he stepped up to win the match this past weekend against West Ham, too. Sure, his opening strike was magical and spectacular, but that's not why he's here—it's his endeavour, work rate and endearing quality which gets him a top-10 spot.
9. Steven Gerrard, Liverpool
Last Week: 8
Steven Gerrard is our first of five Liverpool players, with the most in-form side in the country dominating our top 10.
Playing at the base of the Reds' midfield diamond, Gerrard struggled early on in the game at the weekend as Cardiff City overloaded the Reds down the channels—hence his drop in the ranking—but he was soon back to dominating the game and pushing his side forward. For once, he wasn't overly involved in any of the six goals, but he has still been in great form.
Being one booking away from a two-match suspension is his only worry.
8. Gary Cahill, Chelsea
Last Week: 3
Harsh on Gary Cahill? Probably, but the truth is, he was tested so infrequently at the weekend that he barely had to get out of his dressing gown and slippers to keep a clean sheet against Arsenal.
For once, the few bits of defending he did have to do didn't feature his usual resilience and dependability; Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla both escaped him rather too easily to get shots away—but in general, this was a weekend where quiet defensive displays were permissible, though overlooked alongside the fantastic attacking performances on show.
7. Martin Skrtel, Liverpool
Last Week: NEW!
Liverpool conceded three goals at Cardiff, but centre-back Martin Skrtel was extremely solid—it was others alongside him who let the team down on this occasion. Strong in the air and on the ground, the Slovakian held his ground well against mobile forwards.
At the other end, he had a massive impact, too, scoring the second equaliser of the game and then putting Liverpool 3-2 up, his fifth and sixth league goals of the season. He's been on a great run and deservedly takes his place in the top 10.
6. Jordan Henderson, Liverpool
Last Week: 4
Like team-mate Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson had an up-and-down start to the game at Cardiff—but as soon as his side started dominating possession, his undervalued ingenuity and passing ability came to the fore.
It was Henderson who slid a great through-pass for Glen Johnson to provide Liverpool's first goal of the game, while his endless running and recycling of possession outside the box consistently caused problems for the Cardiff back line. He had a good game, but not an excellent one, which is why he drops out of the top five.
5. Nemanja Matic, Chelsea
Last Week: 6
It's not unreasonable to think of Nemanja Matic as the signing that has changed Chelsea from title challengers to title favourites; that's the kind of impact he has made. He's been simply superb in the centre of the park.
Against Arsenal, he was immediately on the front foot, pressing and tackling and winning the ball back as fast as possible in midfield, before releasing the ball quickly to enable those transitions which killed the Gunners in the opening 10 minutes. It was another imperious performance.
4. Yaya Toure, Manchester City
Last Week: 7
Sometimes, great teams need great players to pull them through tough periods, and that's what Yaya Toure has done for Manchester City.
The powerful Ivorian hit a hat-trick at the weekend to down Fulham, scoring twice from the penalty spot before curling in one of the goals of the weekend for his treble.
That's 20 for the season in all competitions from his central-midfield role, a great achievement. City can go top of the table if they win their games in hand, and it's Toure who has dragged them back into form of late.
3. Eden Hazard, Chelsea
Last Week: 2
Chelsea might have rattled six past Arsenal this past weekend, but it was other attackers who were the star performers this time, with Eden Hazard only "very good" instead of his usual "outstanding."
He netted a penalty, but it was really the strikers—Samuel Eto'o and then Fernando Torres—who gave Arsenal's defence nightmares, along with wide forward Andre Schurrle. Hazard flitted in and out of the game as he ran at the back four, but his end product wasn't always at its finest.
2. Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool
Last Week: 5
In any normal week, with any normal team-mates, Daniel Sturridge's excellent performance at Cardiff City might have earned him the man of the match award and top spot in the rankings. His consistency at Liverpool has been phenomenal—he's made only 15 such appearances for the club, since signing in January 2013, where he hasn't either scored or assisted in a game.
This time around, he did both, back-heeling into the path of Luis Suarez to set up Liverpool's fourth goal, before scoring the fifth himself. His movement, work rate and link-up play were all of the highest calibre.
1. Luis Suarez, Liverpool
Last Week: 1
Another game, another week atop the charts—Luis Suarez was in breathtaking form for Liverpool against Cardiff City. He hit another hat-trick in the Reds' 6-3 win, while also setting up Daniel Sturridge's goal.
The Uruguayan forward has been exceptional this season, scoring 28 in 25 games—that's a rate of a goal every 80 minutes of play. He's far and away the league's top scorer, even after missing the first five games, and is set to break records for both his team and the entire division if he keeps up this form over the remaining games.
Luis Suarez: top class and top of our rankings.