Premier League Team of the Week

Premier League MW5 TOTW: Aston Villa maintain perfect record, VAR breaks hearts in the Merseyside derby and United produce a crucial performance


As the Premier League returns from the international break, Matchweek 5 Team of the Week features another spot for Harry Kane as he makes his third appearance in the best XI, but who else features? Jozef Kostecki provides a rundown of the best players who looked sharp after international action…

Premier League Matchweek 5 Results

17th October 2020 Everton 2-2 Liverpool
17th October 2020 Chelsea 3-3 Southampton
17th October 2020 Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal
17th October 2020 Newcastle United 1-4 Manchester United
18th October 2020 Sheffield United 1-1 Fulham
18th October 2020 Crystal Palace 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
18th October 2020 Tottenham 3-3 West Ham United
18th October 2020 Leicester City 0-1 Aston Villa
19th October 2020 West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Burnley
19th October 2020 Leeds United 0-1 Wolves

Premier League Matchweek 5 Manager of the Week – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

‘Ole’s out of time’ seemed likely to be the sentiment shared by most if he could not get his team playing at the level that is expected of such a big club. Five minutes into the game down to an unlucky own goal Ole needed a huge response from his team and he got just that. The Manchester side grew into the game, leaving the team that got dismantled against Spurs in the past.

The true brilliance of the performance Ole got out of his team was highlighted by how their head’s never dropped, not even when Bruno Fernandes missed his first penalty in 11 attempts for Manchester United. The Club would seize the game, scoring three brilliant goals late on with shades of Sir Alex Ferguson firmly in place.

This brilliant attacking display Solskjaer got from his team came in the wake of several key players missing the game. In particular Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani. This left the Manchester side without a wealth of attacking options, but under Ole’s tactics they adapted with goals coming from unlikely places, such as Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. When taking this into consideration it makes the performance from the Red’s even more impressive.

Premier League Matchweek 5 Player of the Week – Harry Kane

Harry Kane makes his third appearance in a Premier League TOTW for this year and his second in consecutive weeks. He does so in a truly impressive manner with an incredible all rounded performance. The England captain narrowly missed out on a perfect 10 rating in game-week 2, but this time he receives that honour making him only the third player to do so this season.

Involved in all three of Tottenham’s goals with two goals and an assist, Kane gave so much to his team and surely will leave devastated that they couldn’t secure all three points. Harry Kane now stands at 4th place in the goal-scoring charts and leads in assists. After his big injury last season, it cannot be commended enough the way the Englishman looks back and better than ever.

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Goalkeeper: Nick Pope (8.5 Player Rating)

A first time in this season’s TOTW for Nick Pope and it comes on the back of a top level performance. Facing up against a West Brom team who were determined to come away with more than just a point Pope was flawless. Making six saves if fans of the Northern side want to praise anyone for their clean sheet, then they can look no further than Pope. Based on the way the table looks currently, neither West Brom nor Burnley can afford to drop points in a game like this, so huge praise has to be heaped on Pope’s shoulders for keeping his team in the game.

The Englishman made his second international start over the break. If he keeps playing the way he is you would have to believe those numbers will sky rocket with the European Championship’s coming up this year.

Right Back: Matty Cash (7.9 Player Rating)

A defensive rock on Sunday night Matty Cash was brilliant as Aston Villa kept up their perfect Premier League record. Whilst his job may have been easier with Jamie Vardy not fit for Leicester, Cash was still incredible as the Midlands club collected a clean sheet. Despite picking up a booking 40 minutes in that didn’t break Cash’s stride producing a series of impressive stats, including a 100% tackle success rate.

The 16 million pound man is proving himself to be a top, top talent in the Premier League. It is no wonder he was voted Nottingham Forest’s player of the season last year. The Midland’s club were rightly criticised for much of their business in last season’s window, but it is clear with signings like Cash they have learnt their lesson.

Centre Back: Chris Basham (8.1 Player Rating)

Chris Basham rolled back the years on Sunday where for 81 minutes he was the best player on the pitch. The 32-year-old was brilliant and was only subbed off with Sheffield chasing a goal. Squaring up against Fulham the bottom two sides in the Premier League each managed to grab their first points of the season. The centre back brought a bit of everything to the game offering; two key passes, six interceptions and six tackles. After being granted a new two-year contract back in August, performances like this show that it may well be a Chris Wilder masterstroke.

It is perhaps a shame that he didn’t get to see out the full 90 minutes, but since he made way for eventual goal scorer Billy Sharp, I’m sure he’ll make peace with it, especially with it securing a much needed point, ahead of an away trip to Liverpool this coming weekend.

Centre Back: Harry Maguire (7.9 Player Rating)

As the old saying goes cometh the hour, cometh the man and the man turned up. The Manchester United captain has looked a shadow of the player Manchester United spent 80 million pounds on this season, but on Saturday night he was back in full force. Scoring the first of the Manchester side’s 4 goals, he went from a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, to a genuine leader.

Playing to prove the doubters wrong, Maguire was relentless in his dominance. Winning 7 out of 8 of his aerial duels and making a series of vital interceptions. After an undeniably turbulent time over the last three months, Manchester United fans will pray their captain has found his feet now and can build on this impressive performance. This sentiment will only be increased with a tough round of fixtures ahead, including PSG and Chelsea.

Left Back: Lucas Digne (7.6 Player Rating)

The Everton left back offered a cultured performance in a heated Merseyside derby. The Frenchman brought a level of class to the game,  showing defensive solidarity without committing a single foul. Alongside this Digne won 8/10 of his duels throughout the game, he seemed determined to not put a foot wrong for the entire 90 minutes, something that is commendable in such a big game. As is to be expected it was not just quality in the defence Digne brought. With Everton chasing the game, Digne curled in a trademark cross straight to Dominic Calvert-Lewin to tie the game.

Consistent the whole way throughout the game and consistent the whole of this season so far. The former Barcelona man makes his third appearance in the Premier League TOTW’s for this season.

Centre Midfielder: James Rodriguez (8.1 Player Rating)

It is approaching the stage where I could just copy and paste my review for James from week to week. With 5 weeks gone, the Colombian has featured in either the TOTW or honourable mentions in all but one of those weeks. Picking up another assist James now sits on three in the Premier League already this season, made even more impressive when considering how he also has three goals to his name.

The level of class and confidence he has brought to this Everton side is huge, they look a better side with him in the XI then they have done for years. As a neutral, it is a real shame that the two time Champions League winner has only just come to the Premier league at 29.

Centre Midfielder: Tom Cairney (7.7 Player Rating)

Against Sheffield United, Tom Cairney delivered a brilliant showing. Leading his team, Fulham captain Cairney had an immense 102 touches (the most of any player). Every time Fulham seemed to build any momentum, Cairney was at the heart of it. Easily the better side on the day it is no fault of Cairney that the London side failed to grab their first three points of the season.

Possibly Fulham’s best performance so far this season, there will most likely be hope in the camp that they can build on this and grab more points against Crystal Palace this coming Saturday. If the rest of the team can match Cairney’s ability then this is even more likely.

Centre Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes (9.0 Player Rating)

The biggest compliment you could give Fernandes’ performance against Newcastle is that he showed no quit. The Portuguese ace covered almost every blade of grass and was determined to show that Manchester United are not down and out. When Karl Darlow saved Bruno’s admittedly tame penalty, the attacking midfielder picked himself up and kept pushing for the win.

His hard work paid off when he brilliantly slotted home off a Marcus Rashford assist. A favour he would then repay to Rashford assisting for the last goal of the day. After such a top showing, it is no wonder why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has named Fernandes his captain against PSG on Tuesday night.

Striker: Harry Kane (10.0 Player Rating)

Five fixtures gone and Harry Kane is for my money, the best player in the Premier League right now. The England captain will most likely still be in disbelief that his side didn’t come away with all three points.

He started off the day as he has so many times already this season, linking up perfectly with Heung-Min Son. The Korean international would quickly return the favour and within 8 minutes both had their goals. Kane doubled his tally in the 16th minute, Spurs fans will still be in complete and utter shock that he never got his third.

Now unbeaten in 8 games in all competitions, much of this will be down to Harry Kane. If he can keep this form up Spurs may even be dark horses for the title this year.

Striker: Timo Werner (8.9 Player Rating)

It may have taken a few games, but it’s safe to say Timo Werner has arrived. The Chelsea new boy was clinical at every opportunity. He grabbed two goals, both of which showing a swagger and cockiness that had been missing from Chelsea’s front-line since the departure of Eden Hazard.

The striker did more than just score. In the 59th minute, he turned to provider for his fellow international Kai Havertz. Werner laid a ball across the box for Havertz, who easily slotted the ball home.

Whilst Frank Lampard’s lineups have lacked constituency so far this season. If Timo Werner can keep up this level of performance, he will be the first name on the team sheet for years to come.

Striker: Marcus Rashford (9.0 Player Rating)

Marcus Rashford in the wake of limited striking options took up the mantle of Manchester United’s striker.Without either of his usual front three present that didn’t stop Rashford coming out, all guns blazing. Brilliantly linking up with the entirety of his teammates, Rashford assisted both Bruno Fernandes and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

After scoring on international duty, Rashford wanted to bring his impressive international form to the Premier League. Something he managed with his brilliantly taken goal late on in the game. While it may have taken 96 minutes to grab that goal, nobody could deny they thoroughly deserved it. With Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani still out, a showing like that will give Solskjaer something to think about before deciding on his lineup against PSG.

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Honourable Mentions for Premier League TOTW 5

Che Adams: A goal and an assist in a very well rounded showing from Che Adams. Danny Ings may well get most of the plaudits, and rightly so. However, more praise should be given to the way Adams has really found his feet in the Premier League.

Sam Johnstone: For the second week Johnstone comes so close to making the TOTW. Four impressive saves, and if it wasn’t for his opposition’s keeper being that bit better, he would have been a guarantee for the keeper position.

Max Kilman: In his second Premier League showing of the season, Kilman impressed. A very well-rounded performance in the defence. Kilman also did well to assist the winning goal.

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