Date: 13th February 2017 at 12:07am
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Arsenal 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 goalkeeper Petr Cech and Alexis Sanchez in the two nil victory over Hull City at the weekend at the Emirates 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.


‘Cech’s save from Oumar Niasse at 0-0 was crucial bearing in mind the reputation of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is at stake. Another save by Cech from the same player in the second half was just as important and for the same reason. In these circumstances, when fans are exerting pressure on the manager, it’s vital that players respond in a manner that alleviates that pressure. Cech and Alexis Sanchez have the ability to do that, but what about the rest? Precisely what Kieran Gibbs was doing impeding Lazar Markovic when he was the last line of defence I don’t know. It could have spelt disaster for Wenger. Down to 10 men at that stage of the game? If ever there was a moment when the entire match could have blown up in Wenger’s face then that was it. Cech displayed (and Sanchez for that matter) that not only can he cope with real pressure but he can be relied upon not to freeze at critical moments. A valuable asset to have in a crisis.’


Is Alexis Sanchez keeping Arsene Wenger in a job? If Arsenal had lost to Hull at home, (in light of recent results) and they could have if not for Petr Cech in goal and Sanchez up front, the calls for Wenger’s departure might have become unbearable. Sanchez and Cech are the only two consistent performers in a team full of ability and short on bottle. I’ve already sung Cech’s praises but Sanchez seems like the only outfield player at Arsenal that actually appears to want to win something and not just settle for fourth spot. The Champions League comes into view this week and I’m not entirely sure if that’s a help or a hindrance for the Gunners. What is clear is that Arsenal need to keep Sanchez whatever happens. Anything that can be done to achieve that will probably save Wenger from any further criticism.’

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 victory.

Full Team:

Petr Cech (Arsenal), Eric Bailly (Manchester United), David Luiz (Chelsea), Alfie Mawson (Swansea City), Martin Olsson (Swansea City), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Juan Mata (Manchester United), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal).