Date: 23rd January 2017 at 10:13pm
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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 Petr Cech, Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez in the two one victory over Burnley 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 trio as part of his team but explaining his choice he told the BBC.


‘I was tempted to go for Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois for another clean sheet. His save from Hull’s Oumar Niasse in the closing minutes nearly clinched it, but I have gone for Petr Cech. The former Chelsea keeper was first class throughout the messy affair. He took a blow to the head that caused a moment’s concern but recovered to put in a solid performance against a very dangerous Burnley. You can count on Cech to be professional in a crisis and there were times in this match when Arsenal seemed to be out of control. The behaviour of Arsene Wenger was jaw-dropping. To push the fourth official, who was well within his rights to ask Wenger to leave the area having been dismissed, was appalling. It’s just as well the Arsenal manager has apologised to him, it’s the least he could do. Now he will have to wait to hear what the FA thought about this unseemly affair. I suspect it won’t be good.’


‘Trying to win a football match with 10 men is one thing – but it becomes considerably more difficult when your manager and team-mates seem to have lost the plot while you are trying to do it. That’s what appeared to be the situation facing Shkodran Mustafi in a mad spell at Emirates Stadium. It all started when Granit Xhaka made a totally outrageous tackle on Steven Defour, followed by an equally needless challenge by Francis Coquelin that resulted in a penalty. The madness didn’t stop there either; Arsene Wenger was then removed from the dugout for remonstrating about a decision the referee Jon Moss got absolutely right. Fortunately, Mustafi kept his cool at a time when all around him were losing theirs.’


‘The penalty that settled this fixture was controversial but it took a big man to convert it. Once I saw Alexis Sanchez step up to the spot I knew the game was over. The fact Jon Moss got the decision wrong in my view is immaterial now, but what did the referee think Ben Mee was going to do, let Laurent Koscielny head the ball into the back of the net? The defender is entitled to clear the ball regardless of where the opposing player is prepared to stick his head. Nevertheless, the penalty was awarded and Sanchez showed his class with a coolly taken spot-kick in a white hot atmosphere. It’s just as well Arsenal have a player who in this sort of situation can cope with the pressure.’

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

Full Team:

Petr Cech (Arsenal), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Tom Carroll (Swansea City), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Andy Carroll (West Ham), Fernando Llorente (Swansea City).