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Monday, 21 November 2011

Team of the Week and Weekend Wonders: Week 12

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Victories for Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, QPR, West Brom and Everton at the weekend, not to mention a glut of goals, ensured that the Premier League returned with a bang. But who has made it into our Team of the Week? Will Robin Van Persie keep his place in the starting line-up? What about Mario Balotelli? Mitch Waddon reveals all.

After an encouraging international break, in which England had back-to-back 1-0 wins over Spain and Sweden, the national divisions returned with a bang. The Premier League was no exception with 28 goals being scored over the weekend - and that included a goalless draw at the Stadium of Light!

With Tottenham hosting Aston Villa in the Monday night game, we are left with 18 teams (and NO Scott Parker) to pick our Team of the Week from:

Goalkeeper: Mark Schwarzer (Fulham)

In a dismal game between Sunderland and Fulham, Schwarzer kept the Black Cats at bay. The pick of the saves was a fantastic reaction block with his legs following a deflected shot from Stephane Sessegnon.

Right Back: Glen Johnson (Liverpool)

Johnson gave his best performance of the season and gave Fabio Capello more reason for selecting him as England's number one right back. The Liverpool number two defended well against Malouda in the first half and then, with minutes left, scored a sensational winner to give the Reds the deserved victory.

Centre Back: Russell Martin (Norwich City)

Martin gets into our Team of the Week following a string of goal-saving interceptions and clearances against Arsenal, the pick of which being the clearance over the bar as he blocked a shot with his leg. Even though Norwich failed to win, Martin was able to ensure the scoreline stayed respectable.

Centre Back: Ashley Williams (Swansea City)

Williams looked strong and dependable against Manchester United this weekend, stringing passes along the backline and into the midfield, as well as keeping the ball away from the hunting pack that was United's attackers.

Left Back: Leighton Baines (Everton)

Another appearance for Leighton Baines in our Team of the Week. Once again the Everton number three defended well and his set piece skills ensured a Toffee win. The first Everton goal came from a Baines' free-kick to allow Jagielka to score a header before Baines converted a penalty to give his side the win.

Right Midfield: Theo Walcott (Arsenal)

Another fantastic performance by Walcott this week, giving Norwich's Tierney no chance at left back. Arsenal's first goal came after a brilliant run and cross from Theo, allowing Van Persie to tap in from close range.

Centre Midfield: Jordi Gomez (Wigan Athletic)

A return to action for Wigan's creative midfielder and a fine goal for Gomez. The Spaniard scored a wonderful 20-yard strike and could've doubled his tally later on in the game.

Centre Midfield: James Milner (Manchester City)

Another strong performance from Milner against his old club. James Milner did well pushing through the middle and stringing passes together with the rest of the midfield.

Right Midfield: Zoltan Gera (West Brom)

A fantastic full debut on Gera's return to the Baggies' first team. Gera played fantastically in the second striker role and linked up well with Shane Long to give West Brom a deserved victory over Bolton.

Centre Forward: Heidar Helguson (QPR)

Not many people would've expected Helguson to being playing so many games this season, but the Iclandic striker has certainly taken his chances. Helguson added two more goals to his season's talley as Queens Park Rangers defeated Stoke 3-2.

Centre Forward: Robin Van Persie (Arsenal)

I'm seriously considering writing a letter to Van Persie. It would say something along the lines of: "Dear Mr Van Persie. Would you please stop scoring so many goals and give other Premier League strikers the chance to be in our Team of the Week?" I doubt it would work though! Once again Van Persie was the key man to Arsenal's success, scoring both goals in their 2-1 win over Norwich.

Weekend Wonders

Manager of the Weekend: Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool)

The Scotsman earns our manager of the week award after leading his side to a 2-1 win at Chelsea. The result means that Dalglish is undefeated against Chelsea as Liverpool manager and will no doubt provide a massive boost of confidence for the Reds going into next week's game against Manchester City. Special mention also goes to Neil Warnock after his QPR side won 3-2 at hard-hitting Stoke.

Goal of the Weekend: Glen Johnson (Liverpool)

The talk was all about players scoring against their old clubs at Chelsea-Liverpool but I'm sure that not many would've thought it would be an ex-blue getting on the scoresheet. With minutes remaining Johnson, who had a decent chance in the first half, ran along the right hand side, cut into the penalty area and placed a fine finish into the left corner to give Liverpool the lead. Also worth of mention is Robin Van Persie's second goal against Norwich, a fine chip into the near corner to give Arsenal the victory.

Howler of the Weekend: Demba Ba (Newcastle)

This miss could've changed the course of the game and therefore the course of the Premier League title. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating, but it was still a pivitol chance. Ba leapt for a cross to head home from four yards, only for the ball to skew horribly wide when it looked easier to score. It was a horrific miss considering the goalscoring form Ba has been in recently. Kudos must also go to Swansea's Scott Sinclair, who failed to connect with a cross to convert into an open goal against Manchester United, with the ball striking his standing leg instead.

Controversy of the Weekend: The Cunning Corner (Blackburn)

A lot of talk about this one with Blackburn's second goal at Wigan due to a debatable corner. As the corner kick was awarded to Blackburn, Yakubu feigned to kick it and began to walk to the penalty area. Morten Ganst Pedersen would then walk the ball towards the 18-yard box whilst all the Wigan players and the referee had their backs turned, allowing the Norwegian to cross the ball for Junior Hoillet to head in the equaliser. Replays showed that no contact had been made by Yakubu, meaning that Pedersen had played the ball to himself from the corner and the goal shouldn't have stood. Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has blasted the lapse in concentration by the officials, with the decision seemingly costing the Latics three points.

Mitch's moment: Change at Chelsea?

There's been a lot of talk about Chelsea already preparing to remove Andre Villas-Boas as manager, especially considering that they have lost four of their opening 12 Premier League games. The Blues appear to be leaking a lot of goals in recent times and this has called into question AVB's selection methods. Many fans can't grasp why David Luiz (Sideshow Bob?) is playing most games in defence even though the lad doesn't seem to know the meaning of the word 'defend'. These fans then get even more confused that Alex is continuely left out of the side even though Chelsea's only two Premier League clean sheets have come when Alex has played.
My opinion on the matter is simple: give Villas-Boas time. The Blues have paid £13.5 million compensation for this bloke and he's only 34. He is a young manager who needs to be given the time and the funds to dismantle the ageing Jose Mourinho machine and to rebuild his own side. He cannot be judged on three months work. Ask me again in three years.

Do you agree with Mitch's team of the Week? How about the Weekend Wonders? Or Mitch's Moment? Whatever your views, we would love to hear from you!

Don't forget to follow Mitch on Twitter. @MitchWaddon

Related Articles:

Team of the Week and Weekend Wonders: Week 11

Squarefootball's Team of the Week - Week 10

Squarefootball Team of the Week Nine - October 22

Squarefootball's Team of the Week - October 17

Squarefootball's Team of the Week - October 3

Squarefootball's Team of the Week - Sept 26

Squarefootball's Team of the Week - Sept 19

Squarefootball's Team of the Week - Sept 12

Squarefootball's Team of the Week - Aug 29

Squarefootball's Team of the Week - Aug 22

Squarefootball's Team of the Week - Aug 15

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Mitch Waddon



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