After another weekend of Premier League football comes to a close, once again, we’ve picked out the three heroes and three zeroes from this weekends action.
Ilkay Gundogan – Hero
The German international was at his silky smooth best against Cardiff City on Saturday. A goal and an assist from Gundogan on the day was just the tip of the iceberg from an all round top class performance. Injuries and the general stellar form of this teammates have meant we have all not been talking about the former Dortmund maestro as much as we should.
He is tailor made for the cut and thrust of Guardiola’s attacking play and was at his devastating best as Man City destroyed Cardiff on Saturday afternoon. If injuries are kind to him this season, he could be one of the big players in what threatens to be a fascinating title race.
Joe Ralls – Zero
The Cardiff stalwart is playing his first ever season in the Premier League and was perhaps guilty of impatience and frustration on Saturday as his team faced an almighty drubbing. As the rain battered the pitch, Ralls went in for a challenge on Gundogan that had many people wincing when the replays rolled.
Going over the ball and catching the City midfielder’s standing leg, it was a real nasty one that could have ended horribly. Thankfully Gundogan got up unhurt and Ralls was a lucky, lucky boy to only see yellow. It’s the side of Warnock’s play we’d all hoped had gone, sadly not.
Joao Moutinho – Hero
Wolves fans should still be pinching themselves that they have been able to attract quality players such as Joao Moutinho to the glitzy lights of the Black Country. Moutinho has been one of the stand-out players for Portugal over the past decade and he showed his true class for Wolves at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Bending in a first time screamer from the edge of the box he rescued a point for his side which could come in very handy come the end of the season. An early contender for goal of the season!
Mesut Ozil – Zero
Has there ever been a more divisive player in the Premier League than the former Germany International? Arsenal fans love a good moan, and plenty of them have aimed their complaints squarely at their World Cup winning creative midfielder. In fairness to the fans, Ozil blows so hot and cold that he often looks like two different players and it must be as frustrating to watch for Arsenal fans.
In their 2-0 win over Everton, you really would have expected the midfielder to have taken the game by the scruff of the neck and dominate proceedings. Unfortunately, Ozil had other ideas and was quite happy to hang around the fringes of the game. At a time when his peers at rival clubs have all stepped up and taken responsibility, Ozil flatters to deceive on a regular basis and may ultimately find himself dropped unless his work rate dramatically improves.
James Maddison – Hero
Maddison looks a real shrewd bit of business for The Foxes this season. Claude Puel’s men look a little lost at times, but with the former Norwich midfielder, they have a real match winner who was at it yet again against Huddersfield.
Lossl should have saved the free kick on Saturday in all honesty, but you cannot deny it was sweetly hit and yet another encouraging sign for the England Under-21 International. He also linked up very well with Vardy and Iheanacho as Leicester cruised to a win, picking out passes and showing a true variety of set-piece play. It’s only a matter of time before the Beckham comparisons pile up…sadly.
Wilfred Zaha – Zero
This week’s man to mess up everyone’s Fantasy Football is…Wilf Zaha! The one-man team that is Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace drew blanks in by far the worst game of the day, possibly the entire season so far.
It’s not been an easy week for Zaha has it? In fairness to him, he has a point about protection from referees, but the best way to go about your business is to keep on embarrassing defenders regardless of how many dodgy tackles are thrown your way. Nobody wants to see a top player get hurt, but neither do we want to see someone feeling they deserve special treatment.
On a day where the opposition was there for the taking, and a lifeless game needed a spark, Zaha sulked on the fringes of the action and failed to inject some quality in proceedings. Palace are going to need points on the board and to do that they need their star man performing, not winging at linesmen when a perfectly good tackle is put in on him. It could be a long season for The Eagles if their star man throws a strop.