Saturday, 26 October 2013

Player Of The Week + Team Of The Week #1

A new segment on my blog, where I look at some of the outstanding players that have performed well for their clubs/countries over the past week across Europe and the EPL.


Here are the outstanding performers over the past week:

Miralem Pjanic - Silky skilled Roma midfielder Pjanic scored a crucial double as Roma beat Napoli 2-0 at home in a top of the table clash last Friday. He scored an amazing wonder strike free-kick from 20 yards out to break the deadlock past Reina, before a penalty finish in the second half sealed the victory for the hosts in Serie A. 

Super: Pjanic celebrated his wonder-strike against Napoli last Friday, giving Roma all 3 points.
Roma run: The hosts have won all 8 of their matches in the Serie A this season

Giuseppe Rossi - Lethal Italian striker Rossi scored a quick-fire hat-trick against Juventus in another interesting game in the Serie A last week Sunday, with Fiorentina going 2-0 down before half-time thanks to goals from Argentine striker Carlos Tevez and French defensive powerhouse Paul Pogba. Rossi made the game exciting with a quick hat-trick, taking advantage of poor Juve defending on the counter attack to score past Buffon on three different occasions in quick succession before he was substituted with 10 minutes to play with a warm round of applause by the home crowd. 

Lethal: Rossi celebrates one of his quick-fire goals against Juventus.
Steven Gerrard - You cannot help but recognize the effort and hard work that English and Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has put in throughout his tenure for The Reds.

After a great week helping his country qualify for the World Cup next year, the Liverpool captain scored his 100th EPL goal from the penalty spot to help his team take a 2-2 tense draw against a 10-man Newcastle side. And that's why he is in the team of the week this week. 

Legendary status: Gerrard celebrates his 100th Premier League goal last Saturday

Next on the team of the week list is fellow EPL player and Argentine striker Sergio Aguero, who made a decisive impact for Manchester City against West Ham away from home on Saturday evening. 

He was clinical with his goal-scoring opportunities, and his vision was top class as he assisted his team-mates with chances throughout the game giving the West Ham defence trouble on the counter attack. He scored a double and helped set up David Silva's goal in the 80th minute to kill the game off - how much more could he have done? 

Number 1: Aguero slots the ball past Jaaskelainen in the 16th minute to open the scoring

Number 2: Aguero heads high to convert his second of the game from a Silva cross

Clinical: Aguero cannot believe his luck after finding space inside the box to slot home

In-form: Aguero is mobbed by his City team-mates after his header

Killer: Midfielder David Silva made it 3-1 in the 80th minute with a great curling strike

Silky Spaniard: Silva celebrates his goal to give City all 3 points away from home. 
Another EPL player who performed well last week was Chelsea and Belgian winger Eden Hazard, who was electric for The Blues as they cruised to a 4-1 win against Welsh side and newly-promoted Cardiff City at home.

He scored twice and always looked dangerous when he was on the ball with Oscar and Mata on the counter attack. He has confidence, and his dribbling on the ball confuses defenders enough for him to have a strike at goal which is impressive, but he just needs to keep consistent. 

Controversial: Cardiff goalkeeper Marshall bounced the ball in his area - Eto'o intercepted and Hazard slotted home

Bullet: Hazard scored twice for Chelsea in an inspired performance against Cardiff. 
Hazard will hope for a good second season in the EPL after an inconsistent first.
A break from the EPL now, with former Borussia Dortmund midfield playmaker gone Bayern Munich young startlet Mario Gotze started his first game of the season last week against Mainz 04, and was impressive.

He was influential as the hub of midfield, helping to assist his team-mates as they dominated at home with a 4-1 win to move back to the top of the Bundesliga. Robben, Muller (2) and Manduzkic got the goals for the hosts, but Gotze was a deserved man of the match in a good showing which will only help his chances of becoming a first-team regular in the future when he is 100% fit. 

Back to the EPL, and this time we have to pick a goalkeeper. Goalkeepers do not tend to get the recognition that they deserve, especially if they are not tested significantly enough in a game, but Tottenham's French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was solid against Aston Villa last Sunday, keeping a clean sheet and doing well to ensure Villa did not get back into a game that could have been easily swayed with a goal for either team. 

Solid: Lloris has performed well for Tottenham with 5 clean sheets so far this season. 
Southampton did well to draw 1-1 with Manchester United last Saturday, with Croatian defender Dejan Lovren being a standout performer in a strong Southampton side who are eyeing a European spot come the end of the season. 

He was a leader at the back for The Saints, not letting Rooney, van Persie & Co to get past him on the counter attack often but more importantly he scored a vital goal past David De Gea in the second half to make it 1-1 after van Persie broke the deadlock. 

Vital goal: Lovren slots the ball past De Gea to equalise for Southampton.
Another EPL match, with the only game on Sunday being played between Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur.

English winger Andros Townsend played exceptional well for Spurs, scoring a goal and looking dangerous on the counter attack with his blistering pace past the Villa full-backs. He is certainly making a name for himself as a good replacement for Welsh winger Gareth Bale, and could play for England next year at the World Cup and play a pivotal role in attack. 

Fine strike: Townsend scored for Spurs in a great overall performance.
Arsenal were top-class against Norwich at The Emirates last Saturday afternoon, thrashing their opponents 4-1 thanks to goals from in-form Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey, French striker Olivier Giroud and a double by German playmaker Mesut Ozil. 

As you can probably tell, some of the Arsenal players are included in this TOTW and one of them is the Welsh midfielder in the form of his life Aaron Ramsey

He played very well for The Gunners against Norwich, always looking to find a team-mate in space to take a shot on goal, feeding Ozil and Giroud as well as Wilshere with precise passes and good attacking movement and defensive tracking back when needed.
He even did some skills and trickery to confuse the Norwich defenders, which just shows his attacking confidence now that he is in-form despite being criticized in the past, proving all of his doubters wrong. 

His team-mate Mesut Ozil was also impressive for Arsenal, scoring a clinical double including a header to cap off a great week for both Germany and Arsenal as his 25th birthday present - silky skills and quick movement throughout baffled the Norwich players as he cruised to a comfortable game. 

Heads I'll score: Ozil converted Giroud's cross with a powerful header. 

Unstoppable: Ozil has been in fine form since his club-record £42.3million move from Real

World-class: Ozil celebrates his brace at home against Norwich. 
Thank you for reading my blog post today, I will have more content available to read soon everyone, including the EPL games that were played today! :)