City Duo In Team Of The Week (20/3/17)
Manchester City are represented in the latest Premier League team of the week that has been selected by BBC pundit Garth Crooks.
Actually Garth is now down as a 'Football Analyst' these days, a posh term for a pundit then!
The performances by John Stones and David Silva in the one all draw with Liverpool at the weekend at the Etihad Stadium was enough to earn them a place in the side alongside the other, in the opinion of the former Spurs striker anyway, most impressive performers in the topflight over the latest weekend.
I think we'll already know ourselves, and not just based on the latest performance, why Crooks, we'll also not argue with it, selected the duo as part of his team but explaining his choice he told the BBC.
'A couple of great blocks by John Stones were enough for me to realise this young man was on top of his game against the Reds. As the game unfolded, and the skiddy conditions became a nightmare for defenders, Stones seemed to become more assured. I must say his defensive partner Nicolas Otamendi often makes me nervous on occasions like these, but to be fair to the Argentine he handled Liverpool's counter-attack very well in the second half. There is no doubt in my mind that Stones is growing into an excellent central defender, and the more I see him the more I detect that the juvenile risk-taking we saw in the early part of his career is being replaced with a calm maturity. It's good news for City and very good news for England.'
'This was a game I didn't want anyone to lose. It was a fabulous game of football and, for once, referee Michael Oliver didn't do anything daft. The managers were great with each other on the touchline, and both teams appeared totally committed to winning, with 22 players giving everything in very tricky conditions. Kevin de Bruyne deserves a mention for that moment of magic and the ball of the game. It opened up Liverpool's defence so completely and left Sergio Aguero, the best natural finisher in the game, to do what he does best. Yet for me it was David Silva who provided City with all their inspiration. He had great support from Fernandinho, especially when the Brazilian joined him in midfield in the second half. It was Silva who nearly provided City with all three points with a wonderful chipped ball for Raheem Sterling, but the England international simply wasn't equal to it. Credit to both managers, to the players and the referee. We saw a hell of a game.'
It's always good to see the club represented in this way, and well played to both for their recognition, but the most important thing about the weekend was of course the point.
Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City), Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion), John Stones (Manchester City), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Allan Nyom (West Bromwich Albion), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur), David Silva (Manchester City), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United).