It’s time for the Premier League Weekly Awards, where The Football Faithful reward the very best and worst of England’s top flight from the week gone by.
One gameweek down, 37 to go. There were some unexpected results this past weekend, as Brighton hammered Watford 3-0 while Burnley shocked Southampton by the same scoreline on Saturday. That same afternoon Sheffield United got a surprise draw away to Bournemouth, before Manchester United stomped all over Chelsea with a dominant second-half performance that saw them win 4-0.
Unforeseen, but it keeps us all on our toes. Now let’s make like the Community Shield and give out some medals before anyone has warranted them.
Moment of the Week
It was a debut to remember for Daniel James on Sunday. The 21-year-old came off the bench for his first competitive appearance at Old Trafford to score the fourth goal in a comprehensive win over the Blues.
The former Swansea City winger was fortunate enough to see his shot hit the back of the net after it took a deflection, but getting a goal and a big win in your first game for your new club is huge nonetheless.
That in itself is not the reason why James’ goal is this week’s best moment. In May, just before he made his move to the Red Devils, the Welshman’s father passed away, and the emotion of the occasion poured out of him in his celebration.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 11, 2019
Goal of the Week
Tanguy Ndombele’s sweet strike against Aston Villa was so close to winning this week, but the new Spurs midfielder could not compete with the skill and composure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang‘s smooth finish against Newcastle United on Sunday.
AUBAMEYANG SCORES FOR ARSENAL!
He's in absolutely acres of space. Maitland-Niles picks him out nicely before he pops it over Dubravka.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 11, 2019
The Arsenal striker was somehow left on an island to himself by the Magpies’ defence, but the ability to control a speeding cross with one touch and then cheekily chip the goalkeeper as he did was outstanding. That was the Gabonese international’s 33rd league goal for the Gunners, the fifth highest tally of any player after 50 games.
Pass of the Week
This week sees two players share the award after they both hit eerily similar passes that were not only exquisite, but also directly resulted in goals.
First up is Trent Alexander-Arnold, who hit a sublime ball down the throat of Norwich City where it met Divock Origi’s perfectly timed run to put Liverpool 3-0 up. An outrageously satisfying goal to watch on repeat.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 9, 2019
Secondly, Paul Pogba‘s long-range pass fell right into the feet of Marcus Rashford, who duly dispatched the ball into the net. Although it might have been slightly longer than Alexander-Arnold’s assist, it zipped through the air just like the full-back’s.
One has to wonder why Chelsea gave the Frenchman so much time to find Rashford when this is literally his raison d’être on the pitch.
Miss of the Week
Not content with having arguably the worst miss of last season, Moussa Sissoko is putting himself in early contention for this year’s gong as well.
Quote of the Week
MATTINGLY, I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU TO SHAVE THOSE SIDEBURNS.
🗣️ Pep Guardiola on Rodri:
“Rodri will be an incredible signing for us. Rodri doesn’t have tattoos, earrings. His hair is like a holding midfielder. A holding midfielder must be like this – not thinking of the rest."
— Man City Xtra (@City_Xtra) August 10, 2019
Stat of the Week
Divock Origi now becomes the 13th player in history to score for @LFC on all 7 days of the week.
— Ged Rea (@ged0407) August 9, 2019
VAR of the Week
A new addition to the weekly awards, as we’re likely going to see at least one flashpoint thanks to the newly implemented VAR each weekend. There was a lot of video being reviewed in the West Ham United vs Manchester City game on Saturday afternoon, the most controversial of which was this maddening offside call:
Look, I know offside is offside in the rule’s current guise, but judging whether or not a player is beyond the last defender by the width of his armpit seems a bit redundant. Was this the original intention of the offside rule? It seems like an arbitrary distinction to make, one that punishes the attacking player very harshly.
The decision to rule out Gabriel Jesus’ second goal of the game was inconsequential in the end, as City ran out 5-0 winners, but it was only a few months ago when they were on the other side an extremely close VAR call that ultimately ended their hopes of beating Spurs in the Champions League.
And the man who was just barely offside on that occasion? Raheem Sterling.
Donkey of the Week
There is no one more deserving to wear the crown of Biggest Donkey this week than Jack Grealish. First of all, what’s with the hair, Jack? Initially, I thought he looked like a pineapple, but he actually bore more resemblance to the Cheesestrings man. In other words, a very bad look indeed.
Then came the Aston Villa playmaker’s disastrous mistake against Spurs, which directly resulted in a goal for the home side. With just minutes to go in the game and the score at 1-1, he found himself with the ball at the edge of his own 18-yard box. Surrounded by Spurs players, all he had to do was boot it clear, but instead, he dallied around before being dispossessed by Sissoko, and the ball popped to the worst possible person he could’ve hoped for at that stage.
Harry Kane, 2-1.
Another Kane goal sealed a comeback win for the Lilywhites before the final whistle, but it also confirmed a dismal long-running record for the former Irishman; Grealish has lost each of the last 19 Premier League games he has played a part in.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 10, 2019
It’s pretty obvious that record is meaningless, but it’s still good to find reasons to laugh, y’know?
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This weeks Premier League Weekly Awards is brought to you in association with our friends at Carling, who’ve just launched a superb new inter lockable glass that allows you to carry four pints easily. Now if that’s not an innovation we can all get behind, we don’t know what is!