Tuesday, May 28, 2024
HomeOpinion/FeaturesPremier League Awards: Voracious Gvardiol, Old Trafford waterfall, Merson's promise

Premier League Awards: Voracious Gvardiol, Old Trafford waterfall, Merson’s promise

Our weekly Premier League awards honour the best – and worst – of the football action from the weekend.

Moment of the Week

Is there a more on-the-nose metaphor for a Manchester United team creaking at the seams on the field this season than a waterfall gushing through a hole in the Old Trafford roof?

After watching the Red Devils succumb to a pitiful 1-0 defeat to Arsenal in the teeming rain on Sunday, Sir Jim Ratcliffe has a huge job on his hands fixing the problems plaguing the club both on and off the pitch this summer.

Player of the Week

Pep Guardiola had his tongue firmly in cheek when he remarked Man City had signed the “best winger on the planet”, but Josko Gvardiol is faring quite well indeed on the team’s left flank this past month.

In addition to keeping a clean sheet against Fulham on Saturday, the Croatian popped up in the box twice to score, making it four goals in his last five Premier League appearances. Only Erling Haaland (6) has scored more in that period, and four of those came in the one game.

Gvardiol showed clever movement off a one-two with Kevin De Bruyne for his opener, which was finished so well. In the second-half he drifted to the back post, eluding the entire opposition defence before stretching every sinew to poke the ball past Bernd Leno.

The 22-year-old could have had a hat-trick, which would have been a first for a defender in the Premier League era, but turned down the chance to take a stoppage-time penalty.

Gvardiol explains decision to turn down hat-trick chance

Goal of the Week

It was genuinely hard to pick out a winner this week, such was the quality of some of the goals on show this past weekend.

Callum Hudson-Odoi fired in another wonderful finish after cutting in from the left for Nottingham Forest. Tomas Soucek banged one in on the volley for West Ham. Pedro Porro found the target with a belter for Spurs, while teammate Micky van de Ven showed off an extremely composed finish for a centre-back.

But the gong has to go to Crystal Palace supremo Michael Olise for his effortless long range strike against Wolves. He made it look ridiculously easy, yet looks disgusted with himself afterwards. Cheer up, Mike!

Premier League team of the week for matchday 37

Pass of the Week

Where would Chelsea be without Cole Palmer? It feels like that question has been asked a million times this season, but it continues to be a pertinent one.

Fortunately for the young attacker his teammates have finally begun standing up to the plate in recent weeks, meaning it wasn’t all on his shoulders as the Blues came from behind to beat Nottingham Forest 3-2 at the City Ground.

Still, Palmer pulled out a delicious through ball in the first half to set up Mykhailo Mudryk’s opener for Chelsea. That’s ten for the campaign by the way.

The most improved players in the Premier League this season

Miss of the Week

While Gvardiol was banging them in on Saturday, Erling Haaland couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo.

The Norwegian striker only took three shots (he averaged 4.39 shots per 90 before last weekend) and failed to hit the target with any of them. His second effort will go down as one of his worst ever misses, though.

 

After being played in behind by an inch perfect pass from De Bruyne, Haaland was one-on-one with the goalkeeper. It’s the kind of situation you would expect him to score more times than not, let alone hit the target.

And yet, the 23-year-old skies it, sending the ball harmlessly into the crowd. High, wide and not at all handsome.

Erling Haaland misses a shot for Man City against Fulham in the Premier League.
Erling Haaland misses.

Five Premier League players who regressed in 2023/24

Howler of the Week

If it wasn’t already abundantly clear before Sunday, then we all know for sure that Casemiro is definitely not a centre-back.

Injuries once again forced Erik ten Hag to start the midfielder in the unfamiliar surrounds of the backline – and it cost them dearly.

The Brazilian dallied in his own box as Man United tried to play the ball out against Arsenal, keeping Kai Havertz well onside as the Gunners won possession. Not ones to look a gift horse in the mouth, they capitalised by scoring the only goal of the game through Leandro Trossard.

Roy Keane lays into dismal Man United following Arsenal defeat

Spoilsport of the Week

Man City fans were in a good mood as they moved a step closer to a fourth consecutive Premier League title, and celebrated by doing the customary Poznan at Craven Cottage.

One man chose not to join in, however: Noel Gallagher. I guess he’s too cool for it.

Tweets of the Week: Stoke legend Joselu saves Real, Klopp on notice

 

Quote of the Week

Paul Merson gets plenty of stick, some of it warranted, for his punditry, but the former Arsenal man was in great form on the Super Sunday broadcast, pulling out funny lines and soundbites throughout the show.

Merse made one promise he may come to regret, though, ahead of Spurs‘ meeting with Man City in midweek. If Arsenal’s hated north London rivals somehow get a positive result against the holders to give the Gunners a real chance of winning the Premier League title, he will get a Tottenham tattoo.

The people will hold you to that, Paul!

Is there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Read – Arsenal prepared to be ‘biggest Tottenham fans’

Read More – Biggest omissions from 2023/24 Premier League awards

See Also – Why no one wants outgoing Bayern manager Tuchel

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