Date: 17th September 2017 at 10:46pm
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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 Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac in the scoreless draw with Chelsea at the weekend at Stamford Bridge 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.

Mustafi:

‘At first glance, it looked like a perfectly good goal against Chelsea and, had it been allowed, Arsenal and Shkodran Mustafi would have deserved it on the balance of play. Mustafi didn’t give Alvaro Morata a kick throughout the entire 90 minutes of Sunday’s London derby. Granted, Morata could have done with a little help from Willian, who couldn’t seem to cope, having played two games in four days. That is an important point. because if Chelsea intend to progress in the Champions League, and be serious contenders to retain the title, then more of their players are going to have to deal with playing in midweek and picking up valuable points in the league at the same time. Manchester City have proved they are capable of producing victories after Champions League fixtures, and have the appetite to score goals. Arsenal played in the Europa League two days after Chelsea’s European game and somehow looked better for it. The Gunners now seem over their nightmare at Anfield of a few weeks ago and if Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny and Sead Kolasinac can stay fit, Arsenal’s chances of finishing in the top four will improve dramatically.’

Kolasinac:

‘Sead Kolasinac is built like one of those North London brick toilets that withstood bombing raids during the Second World War. Even after the most awful tackle by my defender of the year last season, David Luiz, he rose to his feet determined to finish the game. The way Luiz overran the ball in an attempt to draw Kolasinac into the challenge left me in no doubt that the Chelsea defender knew exactly what he was doing. In my view, he wanted a piece of Kolasinac. In my playing days, both men would have received a standing ovation for a tackle like that – Luiz for throwing down the gauntlet and Kolasinac for accepting it. Even though the Arsenal defender came off worst, the impressive Bosnia-Herzegovina international finished the game and with it earned a moral victory. This is the third consecutive game in which Chelsea have had a man sent off against Arsenal, which begs the question: are the Blues capable of retaining their discipline against the Gunners, especially when they appear to have the upper hand?’

It’s always good to see the club represented in this way, and well played to the duo for their recognition, but the most important thing about the weekend was of course the point.

Full Team:

Nick Pope (Burnley), Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle United), Joel Matip (Liverpool), Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Mario Lemina (Southampton), Sead Kolasic (Arsenal), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City).

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