Silva, Dzeko, Welbeck and More: Premier League Team of the Week Round Two
So, the second round of Premier League matches have been played, and while it is too early for the table to be taking any real shape - Wolves are currently third, a position they will struggle to maintain, we are beginning to get an idea of who some of the form players are.
There were second wins for both of the Manchester clubs, and Wolves, as well as a first win for QPR and a comeback victory for Chelsea. Arsenal lost at home to Liverpool while Newcastle triumphed in a heated derby match away at Sunderland. The first ever Premier League match in Wales ended in a draw, as did Norwich's clash with Stoke.
With all that action, the time is more than ripe for this season's second edition of Premier League Team of the Week. The team lines up in a 4-3-3 formation. Please leave any teams or suggestions you might have in the comments below.
GK: Brad Friedel
Bred Friedel may have seen three goals go into his net against Manchester United, but the 40-year-old showed exactly why he has long been regarded as one of the league's top shot-stoppers. The American kept the scoreline from becoming embarrassing as he pulled off plenty of fine saves to keep his side in with a semblance of a chance.
Friedel has now amassed an astonishing 267 game run of Premier League appearances, and it is easy to see why the veteran has been number one for so long. He certainly did not look to be nearing the end of his career as he denied the defending champions on numerous occasions. Friedel can provide the type of consistency that his rival for the place in the team, Gomes, simply cannot bring to the table. Although he is probably not a long-term solution, Friedel is more than satisfactory for the time being.
LB: Jose Enriqué
Jose Enriqué has his career at Liverpool off to a flying start. After making an impressive debut last week, the former Newcastle United player was even better against Arsenal in his side's 2-0 victory.
Cool and calm defensively, playing well under pressure, Enriqué showed just the type of attacking intent that Liverpool need from the left-back position. He was a danger going forward, showing both pace, which proved useful against Theo Walcott, and skill. His delivery into the box was also excellent as he played a key role in his side's defeat of Arsenal.
Enriqué could prove to be one of the signings of the season. He certainly will do so if his current form continues.
CB: Phil Jones
On the back of his display against Tottenham, it is easy to see why Phil Jones has been touted as the next Rio Ferdinand, and why Ferguson splashed out £16.5 million on the teenager. The English centre-back was always in control at the back and looked totally at ease as he stepped up to fill in during United's ongoing injury crisis in defence.
Jones had no problems dealing with Defoe in the air and seems to be a natural leader, and his ease on the ball as he brought it out of defence is exactly the type of confidence that both Manchester United and England will need in defence in the coming years.
CB: Thomas Vermaelen
Arsenal may have succumbed 2-0 to Liverpool, but there was no doubting the quality of Vermaelen's display. He was a solid presence, uncompromising and confident. He provided the type of vocal leadership at the back that Arsenal have so often lacked in recent times.
Vermaelen's side could well have real trouble maintaining their position in the Premier League's top four if they do not make new signings, especially with Nasri set to follow Cesc Fabregas out the door. However, regardless of signings, defensive solidarity will be crucial, and Vermaelen looks to be Wenger's best chance of finding it. The Belgian may not have been able to prevent his side's defeat, but he can provide the example that others in Arsenal's defensive cohort must follow if Arsenal are to succeed.
RB: Jose Bosingwa
Great things were expected of Jose Bosingwa when he arrived at Stamford Bridge, but things, so far, have not quite gone according to plan. He has been ravaged by injury and failed to put in the type of performance that his managers would have hoped for.
However, he showed what he is capable of for Chelsea last weekend. He was dangerous going forwards, providing a crucial assist that helped his side claim all three points and his pace on the wing meant that West Brom were regularly outnumbered and outplayed on the right flank. Bosingwa could have been at fault for West Brom's goal; it was his pass that put Alex under pressure, but aside from that, he did his duty at the back well and provided the attacking intent that Ashley Cole has long provided on the other side of the field.
LM: David Silva
Manchester City's David Silva was sensational this weekend, as he was the previous week. He was the nerve centre of City's attacking play, scoring a goal with a decent shot and driving his teammates forward as City held of Bolton 3-2. He was named man-of-the-match and is undoubtedly one of the form players at this early stage of the season.
Silva's pace, vision and agility make him vital to Manchester City and it is, therefore, easy to see why the Spaniard is so central to Roberto Mancini's plans. He could have scored more against Bolton, but the opportunities he created and was involved in will more than please City fans.
CM: Ross Barkley
17 year-old Ross Barkley made his Premier League debut against QPR and, although it is still early days, showed that he could well have a bright future ahead of him even as Everton went down 1-0.
Barkley quickly made his presence felt with a good long-range effort and continued to impress with a fine cross-field ball and two quick-dummied shots that drew defenders to dive before calmly laying the ball off. He linked well with Saha, playing a wonderful one-two with the French striker, and could be influential for Everton during this season; he certainly merits a position in his side's starting XI, if this performance is anything to go by.
RM: Matt Jarvis
Excellent performances last season earned the Wolves midfielder his first cap for England, and the midfielder has continued to impress this season as he looks to get more opportunities for The Three Lions. He put in a great performance against Fulham as Wolves maintained their perfect start to the season.
A goal and an assist marked a lively display by the 25-year-old. His flat cross set up Kevin Doyle, and he reacted quickly to finish after Fletcher's effort rebounded off the post. Jarvis does not get the credit he deserves, but performances like the one he put in against Fulham show that Danny Murphy's criticism of Wolves last season for being too physical are far from providing a full picture.
ST: Gabby Agbonlahor
Agbonlahor was a constant threat for Aston Villa in Alex McLeish's first home game as the club's manager. It was a performance full of strength, pace and skill that helped his side to a comfortable 3-1 win over Blackburn.
He scored a beautiful goal from an angle inside the box that saw the ball curl past the helpless goalkeeper into the top corner, and went close again later on from a similar position as he proved to be a constant threat on the wing. He showed that there is more than just pace to his game as he showed great strength to hold off a defender and provide the lay-off required in the build up to Heskey's goal. He will want to put in similar displays against bigger opposition if he aims to secure a regular birth in England's line-up.
ST: Edin Dzeko
Manchester City's big acquisition from January this year struggled a bit in the second half of last season, but came into some form at the start of the new season. He showed plenty of skill on the ball against Bolton and will definitely be a handful for defences when he is in possession.
His ability to hold onto the ball is a very useful skill for City and it means that he's also expected to contribute assists, as well as goals. He nearly did so against Bolton as he provided David Silva with a couple of good chances before he fulfilled his primary role by scoring a sumptuous volley, one of the highlights of an exciting match.
Dzeko still has a way to go to justify his £27 million price tag, but the City man took more than a small step in the right direction on Sunday.
ST: Danny Welbeck
Danny Welbeck has earned himself a whole host of new admirers after a scintillating performance against Tottenham. He did well for his goal, avoiding two centre-backs and sending his glancing header past Brad Friedel, and provided a flick for Anderson's goal that showed the sort of confidence that top footballer's need.
There is intense competition for places in Manchester United's front line, and Welbeck will have a tough job holding off the likes of Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov, but it is performances like the one he put in on Monday that grab Sir Alex's attention. Gary Neville even remarked that Welbeck got a handshake, something the Manchester United legend claims to have never got after a performance.