Arsenal Duo In Team Of The Week (23/1/18)
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 Nacho Monreal and Mesut Ozil in the four one victory over Crystal Palace 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.
'Whenever I've selected this player, it is usually because he's scored a goal. However, it would be grossly unfair of me to limit Nacho Monreal's qualities to his ability to occasionally put the ball in the back of the net. The Spaniard has been a pivotal defender for Arsenal for some years now, and his all-round game can only be described as infectious. I've described him before as a defender who plays as though his life depends on it, and so it proved against Crystal Palace. The visitors were blown apart largely by the sheer opportunism of Monreal during 13 quite extraordinary minutes. Monreal scored from a header having left James McArthur picking his nose. The full-back then took complete advantage of Timothy Fosu-Mensah's desperate clearance and laid his pass on a plate for Alex Iwobi to make it 2-0. Then, from another set-piece, Monreal brushed McArthur aside yet again to provide another assist - this time for Laurent Koscielny. Game over.'
'Alexis Sanchez's departure from Arsenal to Manchester United was greeted with almost a celebratory performance by his team-mates. I can't remember the Gunners starting a match with such conviction. The goal of the game came from Alexandre Lacazette but was set up by the only world-class player left in Arsenal's ranks - Ozil. The move leading up to the goal was beautiful, matched by the only player on the field with the artistry to take the score to the point of embarrassment for Palace. Roy Hodgson has done a wonderful job in a very short space of time, but many more beatings like this and I fear his Eagles will find themselves plummeting back into the relegation zone, fighting for scraps.'
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 points.
Willy Caballero (Chelsea), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal), Willian (Chelsea), Joe Allen (Stoke City), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City).