No Premier League games this weekend so only the first three weeks of action included in my English Premier League “Team of the Month.”
GK – Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) 25 years old
Mignolet was brought in to replace Pepe Reina in the summer and some fans weren’t happy with the move. However, the Belgian has proved his worth with three clean sheets in three games including a penalty save in the dying moments of the opener against Stoke.
RB – Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) 23 years old
Ward has previous Premier League experience with a handful of appearances for Portsmouth at the end of the 2009/10 season. He has been very good for Palace so far and they will need him to maintain his good form if they are to avoid a quick return to the Championship.
LB – Leighton Baines (Everton) 28 years old
Many expected Baines to link up with his old boss, David Moyes at Manchester United in the transfer window but the clubs were unable to agree a deal. At 28, Baines is overdue a move to the top level and his performances so far deserve more than Everton can give him.
CB – James Collins (West Ham) 30 years old
Collins is an old school, no nonsense centre back who has made a bright start to the season for the Hammers. West Ham have conceded just one goal in their opening three games and much of that has been due to Collins’ displays.
CB – Dejan Lovren (Southampton) 24 years old
Lovren has made an excellent start to his Southampton career and there has been no need for a settling in period after his summer move from Lyon. He is a Croatian international and looks equally as good on the ground as he is in the air.
RM – Pablo Hernandez (Swansea) 28 years old
It hasn’t been a great start for Swansea with defeats in their opening two games to Manchester United and Tottenham but they bounced back well with a crucial victory away to West Bromwich Albion. The key man in that victory was Hernandez who got a goal and an assist. He also got an assist against Manchester United meaning he has played a part in all three of the Swans goals this season.
LM – Nathan Redmond (Norwich) 19 years old
Redmond looks like a fantastic talent and he has made a fantastic start to his Premier League career including scoring the winning goal in Norwich’s 1-0 win over Southampton. At 19, he looks like a very good prospect and is definitely one to watch for the future.
CM – Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) 23 years old
The Aston Villa midfielder has made an excellent start to the season and perhaps he is finally fulfilling the potential that he showed in his time at Leeds United. He has been inconsistent in his time at Villa and at 23 he has to make that step to being a top performer at this level.
CM – Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) 33 years old
I had my doubts about how Gerrard was going to fit into Brendan Rodgers style of play but he seems to have really bought into his philosophy and has reinvented himself in a deeper role in Liverpool’s 4-2-3-1 formation. Whilst he may not be the man grabbing the headlines, it’s for the greater good and Liverpool look stronger for it.
CF – Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) 26 years old
Giroud has made a very good start to the season scoring three goals in three games. Giroud is a player I’m not totally convinced by but it’s hard to argue with this start. Giroud is Arsenal’s first choice striker and with Ozil added to the teams creative options, twenty goals should be the absolute minimum return.
CF – Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) 24 years old
Liverpool have started off with three 1-0 wins and Sturridge has been the goal scorer on each occasion. Sturridge has always shown glimpses throughout his career but he has had to make do with substitute appearances and occasional starts. Brendan Rodgers has put faith in him though and he is repaying his managers faith with goals.
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