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Monday, 28 November 2011

Team of the Week and Weekend Wonders: Week 13


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In a weekend full of exciting Premier League action, we all recieved the worst of reminders that there are more important things in life than football. The tragic loss of Gary Speed on Sunday morning has brought the footballing world together in mourning for the Welshman. The actual football seems to fade into insignificance with the loss of one of a predominant figure in the British game, but the show went on, and so will we. My tribute to Gary Speed is to keep doing what I do: talking about the sport he loved.

With all 20 teams in the Premier League participating in action, we have a complete selection box to hand pick our team of the week from.

Sqf team of week 13


Goalkeeper: Tim Krul (Newcastle United)

Three absolutely outstanding saves against United gets Krul into our team of the week. The Magpies' shotstopper was only beaten by a wicked deflection, but superbly blocked Vidic's diving header to give his team a well earned draw. Manchester City's Joe Hart pushed him all the way for this spot.

Right Back: Danny Simpson (Newcastle United)

Simpson is another Newcastle player who has worked his way into our Team of the Week. A miraculous block on the line from a Javier Hernandez header kept the Mags in the game and his ability to read the play and cover effectively showed this weekend against his former employers.

Centre Back: Steven Taylor (Newcastle United)

The third Newcastle-shaped piece in our Team of the Week puzzle. Taylor communicated fantastically with Coloccini to keep the Manchester United attack at bay and made many important clearances and interceptions to keep the score level.

Centre Back: Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal)

The Belgium international was both the hero and villian for Arsenal this week, but his overall performance justifies his inclusion. Arsenal's number five ensured the back-line remained disciplined and he scored a well taken goal to make sure the Gunners left with a point.

Left Back: Leighton Baines (Everton)

Yet another inclusion for the Everton left-back, who is in tremendous form at the moment. The England international was once again involved in all things offensive for the Toffees, contributing a cross to set up Everton's first goal.

Defensive Midfielder: Lucas (Liverpool)

The Brazilian isn't Anfield's whipping-boy anymore! I've recieved my fair bit of stick from the Liverpool faithful for not including Lucas before, but I now feel he's thoroughly earnt his place. The midfielder had a fantastic game against Manchester City, breaking up play and starting attacks.

Right Midfield: Seamus Coleman (Everton)

The Irishman was very impressive against Bolton this week, providing width and pace on the right side of midfield. Coleman gave Robinson problems all afternoon.

Left Midfield: Victor Moses (Wigan Athletic)

If Victor can play like this every week, I sincerely hope he picks to represent England over Nigeria. The young lad looked quick and confident against Sunderland, giving the defenders all sorts of problems.

Attacking Midfielder: Juan Mata (Chelsea)

The Spaniard regained some pride for Chelsea this week, being involved in all things good against Wolves. Mata was involved in the first two goals before securing the third goal and the three points with a cool strike into the roof of the net.

Centre Forward: Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea)

Sturridge is giving both Andre Villas-Boas AND Fabio Capello all sorts of selection problems. The young Englishman is keeping £50 million man Fernando Torres out of the team and is scoring goals galore!

Centre Forward: Jermaine Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur)

A lot of people would be selecting Defoe's strike partner, Adebayor, in their team of the week, but I felt Defoe's work ethic, passing and goal deserved the final spot.

The Weekend Wonders

Goal of the week: Ruben Rochina (Blackburn) v Stoke

A small light at the end of a very dark tunnel for Blackburn, when Rochina popped up as the game against Stoke was coming to an end to hit a powerful and beautiful strike to give Rovers a consolation goal. Special mention to Chelsea's Sturridge for his well worked finish against Wolves.

Manager of the Week: Roberto Martinez (Wigan Athletic)

Big props to the Latics' boss, who oversaw a well deserved win at Sunderland. It's been a stressful couple of months for Martinez, who went from being offered the Aston Villa job to being tipped for the sack. However, the Spaniard took the pressure off himself and put it onto Steve Bruce instead. Special mention also goes to Andre Villas-Boas for getting Chelsea back on track.

Howler of the Week: Wes Brown (Sunderland)

Wes Brown wins this prestigious award for his back pass failure to Keiren Westwood. The game was tied at one goal apiece, before Wes Brown and Westwood exchanged passes, allowing Di Santo to intercept and win the game for the visitors.

Controversy of the Week: Newcastle Penalty at Manchester United

Was it a penalty? I'm not so sure, you know. Rio Ferdinand isn't known for his poorly timed tackling. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Yet the assistant referee felt that the England defender had illegally hindered Hatem Ben Arfa and therefore gave the Magpies a penalty at Old Trafford. I don't think the ref would've given it otherwise.

Mitch's moment: RIP Gary Speed

Anything could've happened this week in Premier League football. This is still the most important thing that's happened this week. A Wales legend that, in Mark Larwenson's words, was "completely normal" and down to earth.

I remember watching Gary Speed playing for Bolton back in 2007. It was at Upton Park and he was completely professional and a pleasure to watch playing. I'm not going to claim to know Gary Speed, neither have I followed his entire career. But that doesn't take away that he was a model player and an inspiration to all young players.

RIP Speedo.

What do you think of our team of the week? Let us know! Whatever your opinion, we'd love to hear from you!

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

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Mitch Waddon

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