Premier League Team of the Week

Premier League MW4 TOTW: Liverpool and United left reeling, Everton remain exquisite and Leicester are punished!

The Premier League Matchweek 4 Team of the Week features a second perfect player rating of the season and some familiar in-form names. Jozef Kostecki provides a rundown of the best players from the fourth week back in the English top-flight…

Premier League Matchweek 4 Results

3rd October 2020 Chelsea 4-0 Crystal Palace
3rd October 2020 Everton 4-2 Brighton & Hove Albion
3rd October 2020 Leeds United 1-1 Manchester City
3rd October 2020 Newcastle United 3-1 Burnley
4th October 2020 Leicester City 0-3 West Ham United
4th October 2020 Southampton 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
4th October 2020 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 Fulham
4th October 2020 Arsenal 2-1 Sheffield United
4th October 2020 Manchester United 1-6 Tottenham
4th October 2020 Aston Villa 7-2 Liverpool

Premier League Matchweek 4 Manager of the week – Dean Smith

Spoilt for choice this week, in all honesty there were maybe five different managers I could have picked but, I settled on Dean Smith. Now and then a team is made to look better than they are by an opposition not at the races. This was not one of those times. Dean Smith got his team firing on all cylinders. Showing no fear that the reigning champions were stood in front of them and taking the game by the scruff of the neck. How many times in recent years have we seen Liverpool down and out by half time?

Well, we saw it Sunday night. But it did not stop there. You would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the Villa dressing room at halftime, as whatever Dean Smith said halftime came and went and Aston Villa never let up. Every single time an ember of the Liverpool side we knew burned, Villa put it straight out. A performance for the ages, and one we will not be forgetting soon.

Premier League Matchweek 4 Player of the week – Jack Grealish

For the second week running both manager and player of the week are hailing from the same club and deservedly so. Grealish was exceptional in a true blockbuster of a game, and perhaps this was the finest 90 minutes he has ever produced. The Midlands’ club’s captain led by example, producing two goals and three assists against the defending champions, and it has to be said Liverpool did not have an answer to the class filled performance Grealish produced.

Coming up against a team almost entirely full of Champions League winners, it was Grealish who truly looked world class. With the international break starting a performance like that surely secures Grealish’s place amongst the starting lineup against Wales this coming Thursday.

Premier League TOTW 4

Goalkeeper: Emiliano Martinez (7.2 Player Rating)

Whilst it may seem generous at first to give any keeper who concedes two goals a position in the TOTW Martinez has more than earned his place. The Argentinian made his presence known, denying Liverpool goals on multiple occasions and making an impressive six saves. With everything else that happened in this game, we cannot forget that Martinez was denying with these saves shots from some of the best players in the world.

These were the first two goals the Villains have conceded so far in the Premier League this season, and we can attribute this low number to Martinez. I mentioned previously Aston Villa stamping out any embers from the Liverpool squad, but after his big summer move the lights are brighter than ever on Martinez as he steps out of the shadows and he is more than delivering.

Right Back: Serge Aurier (8.7 Player Rating)

Aurier has had his quality doubted a lot since his arrival in the Premier League, however there can be no doubt over his showing against Manchester United. Benching new signing Matt Doherty, Aurier was more than impressive bombing forward and offering a serious and constant threat to a shaky Red Devils defence. The goal and assist he grabbed was the very least he deserved, and if not for another shot that was blocked he could well have had another goal.

His ability to find gaps in the United defence, creating space for his team even without always receiving the ball, was vital in the dominance Spurs showed. Whilst he was equally good defensively, silencing Rashford without seeming to even break a sweat himself. We should take it with a pinch of salt when considering just how abysmal United were, however Aurier made several tackles, interceptions and clearances. He was the best defender on the pitch come full time.

Centre Back: Kurt Zouma (8.2 Player Rating)

After conceding three goals to Premier League relegation candidates West Brom the week previous, the Chelsea defence were out to prove a point this weekend. Zouma was a rock at the back and played an almost perfect game. Winning all four of his duels (both aerial and ground) and not committing a single foul, the Frenchman was exceptional. After not even making the squad for that 3-3 game against West Brom, Zouma returned with a vengeance, marshalling the defence and making his voice heard.

With the summer signing of Thiago Silva designed to bring a level of experience to the Chelsea team, Zouma showed that perhaps he too can bring this. Between his nine years as a professional, six of which have been in the Premier League, it is clear Zouma has picked up more than a few things. Saturday’s game showed this includes being able to lead a defence. Zouma also grabbed himself a rare goal. After narrowly missing the chance to grab a goal a few minutes earlier in the game, Zouma leaped above all others to place a brilliant header into the net in the 66th minute.

Centre Back: Aaron Cresswell (8.6 Player Rating)

To get two assists and a clean sheet is rare for a centre-back. Now combine that with your opposition for that game being a free scoring Leicester side, who are averaging four goals a game before kick off, well that is almost unheard of. But Aaron Cresswell managed just that, and as a result finds himself in the TOTW for two weeks running. Once again Cresswell showed off the incredible crossing range that has become somewhat of a trademark for the Englishman.

Whipping in a beautiful ball, he picked out Antonio for the first of three. Though he would grab a second assist, it is his incredible defensive showing that stood out once again. A player who had become forgotten amongst the many Premier League left backs, the way Cresswell has tweaked his game to his now regular left centre back role is exceptional. As a result, the praise is rolling in and deservedly so for the Premier League defender and his team.

Left Back: Ben Chilwell (8.9 Player Rating)

Making his Premier League debut for Chelsea, the 49 million pound man made a brilliant start to life down London way. England’s starting left back showed true class for the Blues, curling in a series of deadly balls from corners and is unlucky all things considered to only come away with the one assist. Chilwell also opened the scoring for his new club. Striking the ball like a rocket, he got the ball rolling for his team.

Sometimes players take an awfully long time to gel with their new teammates, but based on Saturday’s game, Chilwell will not be one of those. A performance like that may have immediately confirmed his place as Chelsea’s left back for years to come at just 23 years of age.

Right Midfielder: James Rodriguez (9.5 Player Rating)

From one incredible Premier League signing to another. As we now go into the first break of the Premier League season, it would be tough to argue with James being the player of the season so far. Once again showing true class, playing defence splitting passes and being the fulcrum to Everton’s brilliant start to the season. It seems with every game that comes and go’s James shows off another incredible part of his skill set.

Against Brighton it was not only those pinpoint perfect passes we are fast coming accustomed too, it was his positioning. Two different times James skipped away from the Brighton defence, found himself in space and was the scorer at the end of an excellent Toffees’ move. Whilst not injury prone, the Colombian has missed more than a couple games in recent years, so now every neutral will pray he can keep fit and keep this form going in the Premier League.

Centre Midfielder: John McGinn (8.6 Player Rating)

After a serious ankle injury last year forced John McGinn to miss over 90 days and 15 games, the Scotsman has started this season reminding Villa fans just what they lost out on. Grabbing a goal and an assist, Aston Villa’s number seven now sits at joint second with fellow teammate Jack Grealish in second place for Premier League assists.

However, it was more than just his goal contributions that showed McGinn’s class. He put a massive shift in on the defensive end. McGinn made both three tackles and three interceptions. This is impressive reading against any opponent, but doing so against Liverpool is exceptional.

Centre Midfielder: Jorginho (8.5 Player Rating)

In a summer of seven signings, Jorginho showed against Crystal Palace that he still brings something to the Chelsea team that no other can. The Italian man brought a level of swagger to the Blues team, effortlessly playing perfect passes. Whilst the central midfielder showed some weakness’ in his game, mainly on the defensive side, he compensated these with in his role in the pivot with Kante. Jorginho also scored two goals by slotting home two brilliant penalties in trademark style.

With the increased rate penalties are being given this season, and having only missed one penalty in his Chelsea career, Jorghino could well be sticking around the London clubs starting 11 for the foreseeable future. You can see why Premier League rivals Arsenal were interested in bringing him to the Emirates.

Left Midfielder: Jack Grealish (10.0 Player Rating)

I alluded to it earlier in the article, but this was a perfect showing from Villa’s captain. Impossible to defend and bringing elements to his game that are not always seen. We know Jack Grealish can be a tricky player to defend and as a result will draw fouls, but on Sunday night he was so much more.

Offering a performance that some of football’s greatest ever players would have been proud of, the man was untouchable. It speaks volumes that after two goals and three assists against Liverpool, Jack Grealish deserved more. True to the club’s name, Jack Grealish was the Villain in Liverpool’s story.

Striker: Harry Kane (9.0 Player Rating)

The second player in the TOTW to have missed out on a significant amount of game time last year. It is great to see Harry Kane back and playing the way he is. An exceptional player, one that Spurs and the Premier League have sorely missed. He was once again incredible in Spurs dismantling of a well below par Manchester United squad. Scoring two very well taken goals and picking up another assist.

Harry Kane now finds himself well clear at the top of the assist charts, showing that he is so much more than just a goal scorer. The England captain punished the regular Man United mistakes, and on another day would have walked away with the match ball, something that based on his start to the season, he absolutely would have deserved.

Striker: Ollie Watkins (9.1 Player Rating)

Aston Villa’s record signing turned into Aston Villa’s hat-trick hero. Against Liverpool Watkins showed the performance of a top level striker, not just another big buy from the Championship. Aston Villa’s number 11 handled himself like a player with years of experience in the Premier League, not just three games. Grabbing three goals and an assist against Liverpool on a night I’m sure Mr Watkins will never forget, and neither will any football fan.

A special night for a team that were tipped for relegation to perform like that, it is surely one of the Premier League’s great upsets. So much of that then comes back to Ollie Watkins and his brilliant showing.

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Honourable Mentions for Premier League TOTW 4

Heung-Min Son: Two goals, one assist and a 97% pass accuracy, surely that would be enough to make the Premier League Team of the Week? Well, any other week he would have been, but this was no ordinary week of Premier League football.

Sam Johnstone: When your team loses 2-0 and you’re the goalkeeper, it is tough to secure your place in the team. However, Sam Johnstone made three exceptional saves and really did his bit to try keep West Brom in the game.

David Moyes: For the second week running, David Moyes finds himself in the honourable mentions section. Once again it feels harsh on Moyes as he really has got his West Ham team firing on all cylinders. Here’s hoping after the international break he makes it in the team itself.

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