City Duo In Team Of The Week (19/12/17)
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 Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling in the four one victory over Tottenham Hotspur 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.
'What a finish by the baby-faced assassin during Manchester City's victory over Tottenham. Kevin de Bruyne threatened to roll the ball on to his right foot, only for Eric Dier to shut the door in the Belgium international's face. So, without breaking stride, De Bruyne took the ball to his left side and smashed the ball past Hugo Lloris with such force the goalkeeper could barely get his fingers to it. The goal came moments after Dele Alli's horrendous tackle on De Bruyne - the second by a Spurs player after Harry Kane's on Raheem Sterling - which merited a sending-off. There are no reasons whatsoever why a player should go over the top of the ball. It is perfectly acceptable for the player to go through the ball, but Alli did not and as a consequence didn't surround himself with glory with this tackle. I would prefer not to see it again. The tackle didn't stop De Bruyne, in fact it galvanised him. Next it was Jan Vertonghen who refused to let the genius through on his right side and De Bruyne, again without any fuss, went on his left side in order to put Spurs to the sword once again, only to be brought down for a penalty by his fellow Belgian. This was one of the best performances I have seen from an individual for some time. He just seems to get better and better.'
'Against Tottenham, Raheem Sterling scored two goals and could have had five. His finishing can get considerably better, and if it does he can be whatever he wants to be. To be fair to Spurs, they didn't park the bus - teams with such talented players should never do that. Spurs took City on and looked good for an hour. But does Harry Kane have to do everything? I expect him to score goals, he's very good at that, but does he have to tackle and defend set-pieces as well? I thought that was the defenders' job. As for his lunge at Sterling - well, frankly, it was appalling and deserved a sending-off. I'm not suggesting it was deliberate but it did smack of a player doing a job not within his expertise. Spurs need Kane up the other end of the field scoring goals and not suffering the fear of suspensions doing other people's jobs.'
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 points.
Mathew Ryan (Brighton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), James Collins (West Ham United), Marcos Alonso (Chelsea), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).