EPL Team of the Week
It has hardly been the most eventful week in English football.
Eduardo invented diving.
Yeah, that's pretty much it, as you can probably tell from all the newspaper stories. It was a slow seven days.
So in order to make up for this lack of spectacle, I have decided to change the format of these Team of the Week articles by turning this one into a slide show
Exciting, eh? I'll pause while you have a heart attack.
I have also brought Sky Sports enthusiast Ben Oram into the act in order to bring a little variety to the usually quite dry opinions.
Anyway, now all the speculation is well and truly over, all the scores are known, and all the facts in place, let me reveal to you the English Premier League Team of the Week.
GK : Thomas Sorensen
Stoke need the points at home, like last season, and it always helps having a reliable goalkeeper to fall back on. Sunderland have good fire-power, but the potters keeper put in a fine performance to get his clean sheet.
Hardly the most exciting match in the world, but the great Dane saw off the challenge posed by the northern version of the Drogba-Anelka partnership to ensure a place on the Team of the Week.
RB: Glen Johnson
Given a lot of attacking freedom by Rafa, he got forward very effectively, taking his goal with aplomb. His side did let in two goals, but his forward play helped save a few red faces in the Liverpool camp.
The Liverpool right back romped forward, scored a goal, and although Liverpool’s defence was hardly watertight, Glen Johnson was one of the only reds to exercise any real influence at the Reebok. Second only to the referee’s card.
CB: Matthew Upson
The other defenders got in largely due to the goals they contributed, but you’ve got to remember a defender's main job is to prevent goals at their end, and that’s what Upson did against Blackburn.
He looked assured for the entire game, and solid performances like that leave no wonder that Fiorentina have declared an interest in him.
One of the most consistently underrated defenders in the Premiership, Matthew Upson is a rock for West Ham. He denied the Blackburn attack ensuring a stale match remained that way. So yeah, thanks a lot for that, Matthew.
LB: Ashley Cole
Cole showed typical energy getting up and down the line, constantly offering the other players an option on the overlap, and causing problems. Took his goal superbly and has every reason to be pleased with his performance, even though it wont stop people booing him every time he does anything.
I guess the only left-back guaranteed to make anyone’s team this week would be Ashley Cole, who played with his usual industry on the Chelsea left. And much to the relief of Cheryl, he finally managed to leave his scoring on the pitch.
Apparently, this joke was so cheap that Ashley almost crashed his car in disbelief.
RMF: Aaron Lennon
Really starting to look first class, the spurs winger never let his opponents settle, his pace always causing problems, and he took his goal against the run of play expertly. Looks like he could be hugely important to spurs success this year, especially now Modric is ruled out for up to six weeks.
Terrorising anyone’s wings would have to be the fastest man in England. Supposedly, he's Usain Bolt’s love child with Michael Schumacher’s old Ferrari. Aaron Lennon is a player which has really come alive under Redknapp, maturing steadily and finally coming into the fold for all the right reasons.
His last-gasp effort against Birmingham to steal victory out of, well, the jaws of a draw—I thought that would sound more dramatic in my head—is just testament to this maturity.
CMF: Gareth Barry
Barry has a tough job as a holding midfielder with little support as his teammates surge forward, but he managed to do a fantastic job, especially first half, and got back to save his defence on more than one occasion. Also produced some fine set pieces, including the corner that set up the goal.
One of the reasons City managed to win despite playing relatively poorly. Gareth Barry must have impressed the watching England manager today, holding midfield, playmaking, and even managing to attack sometimes. With midfielders like him, there's no question as to why Mark Hughes only needs to sign strikers...
CMF: Frank Lampard
Lampard had a slight mishap near the start, but his overall game was excellent. He was integral at linking play today, and his passes constantly looked threatening. His two assists are testament to that.
It was difficult to pick a star from Chelsea's midfield. Although Essien and Ballack were also in contention, Lampard provided the little sparks of creativity which put himself in front of his teammates.
LMF: Andrei Arshavin
Arsenal were unlucky in defeat against the reigning champs, and Arshavin was perhaps one of the better players. His goal was superb, and he should have been given a penalty for being wiped out. Looked lively throughout, unlucky not to get anything from the game, as a goal like that deserves to be worth something.
In the build-up to the Arsenal-Man United game, the gunners had the edge, coming to Old Trafford in a rich vein of form. And indeed proved so, providing the best players on both side.
Although Arshavin's good work was cancelled out by Almunia and Diaby, let that take nothing away from the way he and the gunners had controlled the game, nor the 30-yard spectacular he delighted the fans with.
FW: Nicolas Anelka
Anelka and Drogba look to be turning into a fantastic partnership, and seem to have developed a great understanding. It was Anelka today who got the goal from a Drogba pass, and he looked lively all game.
One half of the best strike partnership in the Premiership, Anelka showed why once more. Though both caused Burnley problems all afternoon, it was Anelka who got on the score sheet, meriting his place on team of the week.
FW: Emmanuel Adebayor
Emmanuel worked hard, created opportunities, took on defenders. These are things many Arsenal fans wouldn’t have associated with Ade last year. But today he did all those things and scored another goal to add to his 100 percent record this season.
Mark Hughes seems to have reinvigorated theTogolese hit man. I assume the African striker is spending his new pay packet on lots of milk or something, because he looks a different player from the one Arsenal sold two months ago. He was strong, confident, and had a great posture at Fratton Park. Adebayor proved to be the difference on the South Coast.
FW: Peter Crouch
Tottenham looked a bit stale up front until crouch came on, offering something different, and the Birmingham defence looked like they weren’t sure how to deal with him. Unlucky not to score more, his headed goal topped off a match-changing performance.