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Thursday, 12 December 2013

Squarefootball's Team of the Week - Week 15

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It was another rollecoaster of a weekend in the Barclays Premier League. League leaders Manchester United lost at home for the second time in as many matches, Chelsea dropped three more points away at Stoke City while both Arsenal and Manchester City were forced to settle for a share of the spoils by Everton and Southampton respectively.

It was good news for Liverpool, who moved up to second with their convincing 4-1 win over West Ham, and Crystal Palace, whose 2-0 win over Cardiff has given them real belief of beating the drop.

But who has made it into Squarefootball's Team of the Week this week?

Goalkeeper - John Ruddy (Norwich City)

The England international has had his fair share of poor games recently but he was in fine form in the Canaries' 2-0 win at the Hawthorns. Ruddy was called into action 10 times against the Baggies and deserved his win bonus. This was his fifth clean sheet of the campaign.

Defence - Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle United)

Newcastle recorded their first win at Old Trafford since 1972 and Coloccini was the Mags' star man. The hosts may have been missing Wayne Rooney, but RVP and Hernandez are no slouches, but the Argentine defender kept them in his back pocket to ensure another frustrating day for David Moyes. 

Defence - Kyle Walker (Spurs)

The Tottenham defender was immense against Sunderland on Saturday. The full-back was full of running both defensively and offensively and gave the Black Cats a torrid time. 

Defence - Mamado Sakho (Liverpool)

The French international scored his first goal for the club on his return to first team action and put in a dominant display against West Ham. Brendan Rodgers will be wanting more of the same as the season progresses.

Midfield - Scott Parker (Fulham)

He may have slipped out of Roy Hodgson's thinking for the national team but Parker never, ever, lets his team down. The former West Ham captain was top drawer in the 2-0 win against Aston Villa, winning tackles, breaking up play and keeping the Cottagers ticking over. 

Midfield - Gareth Barry (Everton)

Like Parker, Barry is another England old boy who is making Roy Hodgson look at his options for Brazil. Barry was exceptional at the Emirates and gave his back four the utmost protection. He may not be the quickest or the most talented, but Barry does the ugly side of the game better than most.

Midfield - Leeroy Fer (Norwich City)

The Dutch international played an exquisite ball for Hooper's opener and capped a fine display with a solo goal right at the death. That result has moved Norwich four points clear of the danger zone and kept Chris Hughton in a job for another week at least.

Midfield - Ross Barkley (Everton)

What a performance from the young Evertonian. Barkley dominated the middle of the park against Arsenal and if he continues in this form he must be a certainty for England in Brazil in the summer. Skillful, strong and full of creativity, Barkley may be the next Paul Gascoigne.

Striker - Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham)

The former Spurs and Manchester United man rose to the occasion on Sunday to help Fulham beat Aston Villa at the Cottage. All the tricks and flicks came out as the Bulgarian showed his critics that he can still produce the goods when he wants. Berbatov's penalty was cooler than a penguin styled by David Beckham.

Striker - Andre Schurrle (Chelsea)

The German international scored twice at the Britannia and only the crossbar prevented him scoring a hat-trick. Unfortunately his defensive team-mates stopped him from celebrating with a share of the points. Great performance from the 23-year-old. 

Striker - Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

After four goals in midweek against Norwich City the Uruguayan ace hit another two in Liverpool's comfortable 4-1 win over the hapless Hammers. Suarez hit the strike that was too hot for Jaaskelainen to handle and was bundled in by the unfortunate Guy Demel. The controversial hitman scored with a bullet header before turning Mark Noble inside out and getting a lucky deflection off Joey O'Brien for the fourth. Roy Hodgson needs to be afraid, very afraid!

Weekend Wonders

Game of the Week: Stoke 3 Chelsea 2

Stoke had never beaten Chelsea in the Premier League and it took something special from Assaidi to do it. The game swung backwards and forwards but the Potters thoroughly deserved it for their second half display.

Goal of the Week: Assaidi (Stoke City)

There were some fine efforts again this week, but Assaidi's winner for Stoke was sensational. Mark Hughes told the Moroccan to win them the game and boy did he! His strike was worthy of winning any game and just pips Southampton's Osvaldo to the award.

Manager of the Week: Roberto Martinez (Everton)

It's not often a boss wins this award having drawn a game - and Tony Pulis and Mark Hughes especially can count themselves unfortunate that they did not scoop it - but Roberto Martinez has had a week to remember at Everton. First off he ended the Toffees' nightmare record at Old Trafford by beating the champions, then he took Everton to the league leaders Arsenal and outplayed the Gunners on their own park. Everton fans may have had their concerns when the former Wigan boss was appointed but they are now all dreaming of a place in the Champions League.

Well that's our Team of the Week and Weekend Wonders sorted out. Do you agree? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.

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