Date: 26th September 2016 at 9:53pm
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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, Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscielny and Alexis Sanchez in the three nil victory over Chelsea 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 all four as part of his team but explaining his choice he told the BBC.


‘Last season, far too much emphasis was placed on Cech’s arrival at the Emirates. There was an assumption that the title was a formality in what was otherwise thought to be a championship-winning team. A year later and, in an Arsenal side whose defence was unflappable against Chelsea, Cech can still produce the big saves when called upon. I’ve only ever seen one goalkeeper whose save turned a season and that was Peter Shilton in Brian Clough’s 1977-78 Nottingham Forest title-winning team. His point-blank save from Coventry’s Mick Ferguson was a turning point and was regarded as the moment that delivered Forest the championship. Cech is very capable of producing something similar which is just as well if you are serious about winning the title.’


‘I knew Bellerin was quick but not that quick. Against Chelsea, the only real mistake Gunners centre-back Laurent Koscielny made all game was to allow Pedro a free run at Arsenal’s goal. However, that was before Bellerin took evasive action and absolutely destroyed his fellow Spaniard for pace. What really impresses me about Bellerin, apart from being lightning quick, is the way he attempts to link the play with players like Alexis Sanchez and use the forward almost as a wall to get himself into the opposition penalty area. What a cheek. It really should be the other way round.’


‘If you are a centre-back and about to face Diego Costa, you are perfectly entitled to wear a gum-shield and place plenty of Vaseline over the eyebrows. To Koscielny’s credit, he refused to apply either and relied on his sheer tactical ability to outplay Costa. In the past, Arsenal have employed more combative defenders like Gabriel to out-battle the Spaniard and the contest has invariably ended in tears. Koscielny offers brain instead of brawn and it worked perfectly.’


‘At the risk of sounding treacherous to my former club Tottenham, if Arsenal can manage to keep Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla on the field and at the same time, Arsenal must be in with a chance of winning the title. Sanchez is the most important member of the trio as far as I am concerned. Keep Sanchez fit and present him with sufficient goalscoring opportunities and the Chile international is very capable of bringing Arsenal the trophy that has eluded Arsene Wenger for some considerable time. The thought is enough to give Spurs fans nightmares.’

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

Full Team:

Petr Cech (Arsenal), Hector Bellerin (Arsenal), James Milner (Liverpool), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Son Hueng-min (Tottenham Hotspur), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Philippe Countinho (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal).