As another exciting weekend of Premier League action passes us by, it’s time to take stock and decide which players were a help or a hindrance to their sides over the weekend.
Here are the Heroes and Villains from the latest round of Premier League fixtures…
Hero: Ayoze Perez
One of the big stand out performers for Newcastle this season, Ayoze Perez hit a well-taken hat-trick in his side’s 3-1 win over Southampton on Saturday.
Rafa Benitez’s stalled contract talks have been dominating proceedings of late in the North East, but on the pitch, Newcastle are doing just fine and Perez’s treble had the St James’s Park faithful on their feet in appreciation. The Spaniard lost brownie points though for horribly sucking up to Alan Shearer at the end of the game, not cool!
Villain: James Ward-Prowse
James Ward-Prowse simply must be good if he’s got a double barrelled surnamed and is English, and plays at Southampton, and has made it on as hero on this illustrious list on more than one occasion this season. That’s enough ands for now though, as Mr Ward-Prowse, is one of this weekend’s Villains.
His stand-in showing at full back against Newcastle could have so easily ended in tears, following his body check on Miguel Almiron to stop what looked like a nailed on goal scoring opportunity for the hosts. Anthony Taylor didn’t see it that way and brandished a yellow card. Ward-Prowse got away with one as Newcastle fumed.
Hero: Phil Foden
A big game and an even bigger goal for Manchester City was delivered courtesy of local lad and boyhood fan Phil Foden. Academy products are a rare commodity at top Premier League clubs these days, but Foden’s contribution this season has been excellent as the 18-year-old has been ready and able when called upon.
His close-range header at home to Spurs could be vital in the run-in for the title and we will likely see more of the Stockport born youngster before this season is done. He looks very conformable in good company at the moment.
Villain: Shkodran Mustafi
There are always a few players knocking around at big clubs in the Premier League, that make you stop and scratch your head in bemusement. Shkodran Mustafi is one of those. Don’t get me wrong, the German international would be fine at a mid to lower table side, but for a club chasing a Champions League place, having a defender so prone to brain fart syndrome is only ever going to trip you up.
At home to Crystal Palace, he took up the mantle of chief liability as Arsenal conceded three times and let valuable points slide away from their grasp. Mustafi was all over the place and caused real gaps to open up every time Palace went forward. If Arsenal are to move on up a level, they must surely deposit Mr Mustafi safely on to the old transfer list in search of pastures new.
Football’s most terrifying looking bloke showed his nimble and acrobatic side on Sunday as he scored a belter of an overhead kick to give his side the lead against Manchester United.
The 21-year-old may be a touch on the crazy side, but he has now scored 14 times for Everton this season and looks a real sound investment for the Toffees. If they are to seriously challenge for European football, he could well be the man to spearhead their charge.
Read Also: The all-time French Premier League XI
Villain: Sean Morrison
Not a great weekend for the Cardiff Stalwart. The towering centre-half had just scored a vintage header at Brighton to keep his side’s survival hopes very much alive. With Liverpool in town, the Bluebirds were doing well to stay in the game and at 0-1 down their captain missed with a real sitter. With the goal gaping and keeper beaten, Morrison just needed to guide a vicious corner ball into the net, but somehow fluffed his lines and put the ball high and wide. The noise and life were almost immediately sucked right out of the home side after that.
It got worse, much worse! Morrison then had a more than helping hand in the penalty after trying to cuddle Mo Salah in the box, with his hands all over the Egyptian who duly went down under the contact for a soft and avoidable spot kick. Cardiff complained of a dive, but Morrison was naive in giving the Salah every chance to go down, which is what Cardiff could well end up doing now after this result and Brighton’s point at Wolves. The Premier League can be a brutal place!