Garth Crooks’ Team of the Week: Who is playing like a future Ballon d’Or winner?

Garth Crooks

At the end of every Premier League weekend, BBC football pundit Garth Crooks will be on hand to give you his Team of the Week.

But who did you choose this time? Check and choose your team. As always, Garth will cover the big details of the game in The Crooks of the Matter.

Team of the weekStopper

Ederson (Manchester City)

I will declare before I go any further that there are many saviors in modern times that I think are worth it. It may have something to do with the fact that I grew up in the era of Gordon Banks, Pat Jennings, Peter Shilton, Ray Clemence, Joe Corrigan, Phil Parkes; I can go on.

Most of today’s players are swinging the ball when they should be catching it and trying to catch it when they are supposed to hit it. Ederson, Alisson and David de Gea are exceptions.

Ederson, like all goalkeepers, is prone to the odd mistake or poor performance but he wins more games for his club than he misses. His save from Leicester’s Youri Tielemans on Saturday was another classic example.


Diogo Dalot (Manchester United)

As the game progressed more and more Manchester United had to dig in against a very determined West Ham. I don’t like witch hunters and Harry Maguire has been attacked by a few but he is still stable. He stood up to the test against the Hammers as did Lisandro Martinez, who produced another stellar performance and whose style of play reminds me of former Scotland defender Martin Buchan.

David de Gea did his part although I expected his team keeper to make all his saves. The real star of the show was Diogo Dalot. If there was a headache to be made, he did it. He defended brilliantly and at times in very difficult situations. United are now just one point outside the top four and look like a decent team again.

Ben Mee (Brentford)

Ben Mee’s goal against Wolves deserved credit, which is why he made my selection. At times the defenders have encouraged moments in the opposition’s penalty area and Mee’s finish was as deliberate as it was beautiful. Why Mee was caught up in the row with Diego Costa is another matter entirely. Costa has a reputation for instability, so Mee knew what he was getting into.

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For Costa to drop his head in Mee’s face was asking for trouble, but for the Brentford player to drop like a stone seemed weak. If the center half wants to join the fight, by all means do so but do it with dignity.

Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City)

I’ve often thought that Aymeric Laporte was Ruben Dias’ younger partner – well, that’s not the case anymore. Laporte has become Manchester City’s most reliable defender with or without Dias. It took the Spaniard time to find his feet in a team that does not take any players. He now looks like the real deal and contributed to City’s clean sheet against the very dangerous Leicester City. With Laporte, Dias, John Stones, Nathan Ake and new star Manuel Akanji to choose from they look impossible.


Crysencio Summerville (Leeds)

Boy, did Leeds need these three points. Nobody expected them to get them at Anfield, but not only did they get them, they deserved them. Crysencio Summerville’s arrival has had the kind of impact Liverpool didn’t expect. The 21-year-old Leeds midfielder could not have had a better birthday present than scoring the winning goal.

Liverpool have dropped 19 points so far in the league this season and the fact that they managed to drop 22 points in their entire campaign last season should tell us something.

This team has played a lot of football in the last three years and the new boys have not had the impact that some expected, especially since Sadio Mane left.

Thomas Partey (Arsenal)

Thomas Partey has been in outstanding form for the Gunners this season but often finds himself playing second fiddle in my options to the likes of Granit Xhaka and Martin Odegaard. Well, not against Nottingham Forest.

The Ghanaian international was his usual energetic self but added a stunning goal to what was a fine performance. To be fair to the player, he has scored goals like this before.

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Partey has the grit and steel of former Arsenal legend Peter Storey and the practical energy of David Price. Arsenal fans of a certain age will know exactly what I’m talking about.

Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)

Manchester City seem to be one of the few clubs that have coped with the demands of Champions League football while maintaining top form at the same time. Chelsea hit the hammer, while Liverpool lost badly. Of course, none of their teams have Kevin de Bruyne in their ranks.

The world’s best player at the time hit a free-kick so venomous that it hit the post and hit the back of the net as Leicester keeper Danny Ward was suspended in the air trying to save the ball. get a handle on it. It’s time for this best player to win the Champions League as well as the Ballon d’Or.

Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)

Nottingham Forest went down to earth with a wave at Arsenal, after enjoying the high life after beating Liverpool last week. The Gunners scored five more goals than Forest and it could have been 10. At times it looked like Arsenal were creating chances at will.

Martin Odegaard strolled around the Emirates Stadium making many of Arsenal’s attacks and looked organized and cultured as he did so. The win puts Arsenal back at the top of the league with two games to play before the World Cup break.

Fortunately, that should destroy their power.


Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

Scoring 100 goals for Manchester United is a big deal. Marcus Rashford has worked hard in recent months to secure a regular place in the United side ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Against West Ham, Rashford looked like a player who was not working hard but was also hopeful.

The question now is whether Gareth Southgate can trust the striker – should he be included in England’s final 26-man squad – to produce for his country? He would be a brave man to leave her.

Callum Wilson (Newcastle)

If you had any doubts about Newcastle United’s performance against Tottenham last week you can be sure that it was not a mistake after they completely destroyed Aston Villa at St James’ Park.

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Callum Wilson scored in both games and looks to fit in well with the team that is developing under Eddie Howe.

This latest win moves the Magpies into the top four and they did it with little controversy – which shows the character of their manager. I don’t see Wilson as a top four fighter but that’s where his team is now and I wouldn’t bet against them staying there on this form.

Leandro Trossard (Brighton)

There seems to be a feeling that Graham Potter owes Brighton fans an apology for suddenly leaving the Amex Stadium for Stamford Bridge. Apologize – for what? Brighton fans should consider themselves very lucky to have had Potter for as long as they have. It was widely known in football circles that he had rejected several offers before succumbing to Chelsea’s lure.

The problem for the Seagulls now is whether they can hang on to Leandro Trossard, who destroyed Chelsea, and made Potter uncomfortable with his return to his old club. It’s not unusual for top players to end up at bigger clubs – or managers for that matter.

A short gray line

The Crooks of the Matter

The Socceroos have released a joint statement against Qatar’s human rights record, becoming the first 2022 World Cup team to do so. The video message criticizes the World Cup hosts’ treatment of migrant workers and LGBTQ+ people. I would find the announcement more persuasive if Australia’s treatment of Aborigines over the years were not so appalling.

The Aussies have qualified for the World Cup but I suggest that if they feel bad about the way the Qataris are running their country, I would make a modest suggestion – don’t go!

In fact, turning down the World Cup and not playing will make a bigger statement and bolster their confidence than just talking. Besides, they’re not going to win this tournament, so why go if you feel so strongly about it?

Choose your XI from our list and share with your friends.


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