Manchester City Trio In Team Of The Week (12/9/17)
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, Kevin de Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy in the five nil victory over 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 trio as part of his team but explaining his choice he told the BBC.
'With Vincent Kompany out through injury (again) it was left to Stones - left out in recent weeks - to take control of matters at the heart of Manchester City's defence. All credit to Stones for his performance. The way he controlled matters for City prior to Mane's sending-off was impressive, especially in light of Nicolas Otamendi's shocking defending. There was a moment in the first half when City suddenly looked completely vulnerable, largely due to the Argentine's lack of defensive awareness. Stones took it upon himself to take charge of the situation and save them from conceding a goal. It was a clear indication to me that Stones was growing as a defender and may one day be relied upon to take over from Kompany. There are still more difficult tests for Stones to face before I am totally convinced and playing against 10 men isn't one of them. However, this is an English hopeful who can still fulfil his potential and on this performance the signs are very encouraging.'
'De Bruyne's first pass to set up Sergio Aguero for Manchester City's opening goal against Liverpool was delightful and the second for Gabriel Jesus was even better. I've labelled De Bruyne the 'king of the assists' for some time now, certainly since the demise of Arsenal's Mesut Ozil in that department. As for Liverpool, Jon Moss was absolutely right to send Sadio Mane off for what looked, in my opinion, a dangerous and reckless tackle on City keeper Ederson. The argument that a foul should not be determined by the severity of the injury it causes is something out of a 1982 World Cup semi-final nightmare, when Harald Schumacher escaped without even a booking after knocking Patrick Battiston unconscious. What nonsense. How else do you assess the severity of a tackle, especially when that tackle is late? The game has changed immeasurably from the days when players could simply take out an opponent and be praised by his team-mates for the skill with which it was executed or worse, see the incident totally ignored by the officials. Why Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp should display such disapproval about the challenge on Ederson is incongruous to me. It was City manager Pep Guardiola who should have felt aggrieved. Thank goodness the game has moved on. Well done referee Jon Moss.'
'This player is growing on me. I liked him when he was at Monaco and I selected him in my team of the week after his debut against Bournemouth. His quality on the left side was conspicuous in that game and it looked even more potent this weekend against Liverpool. Mendy delivered a ball in the first half across the face of the six yard box that had me screaming 'what a ball!' David Beckham in his heyday couldn't have delivered a better cross. It was like a boomerang. The sad thing was that when the pass fell to Kyle Walker he didn't go and whack it. However, Mendy got the reward his deliveries deserved when another raid down the left saw his cross land perfectly at the feet of Leroy Sane, who put the ball in the back of the net where it belonged. While Mendy quietly gets on with his job, he looks like a player very capable of leading in a battle. Manchester City have not had anyone like that in their team for some time. However, when I took one look at the Liverpool defence I thought to myself 'that back four is rubbish'. Regardless of Mane's sending-off, you cannot win games, never mind titles, with that defence.'
It's always good to see the club represented in this way, and well played to all three for their recognition, but the most important thing about the weekend was of course the win.
Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), John Stones (Manchester City), James Tarkowski (Burnley), Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle United), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur), Pascal Gross (Brighton), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Choupo-Moting (Stoke City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)