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Garth Crooks's team of the week

Garth Crooks
By Garth Crooks

It was Newcastle and Wigan who provided the shocks this weekend in the Premier League.

Both are represented in my Team of the Week, while there are also players from Chelsea and a rampant Spurs, who look more likely to finish third than their Stamford Bridge rivals. Take a look and see if you agree.

Garth Crooks

Tim Krul

Newcastle United

The flying Dutchman's performance at Old Trafford must rank among the best of the season. He produced three breathtaking saves from Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney and Nemanja Vidic and it took a wicked deflection to beat him. The star performer in a superb defensive display by Newcastle.

Did you know? Krul made five saves at Old Trafford, his second-highest total in a game this season (after six at Wolves).

Gael Clichy

Manchester City

It's nice to see Clichy starting to play the kind of football he produced when he first burst onto the scene at Arsenal. We know he can attack and defend in equal measure but the two crosses he provided in the second half of this pulsating match against Liverpool deserved someone to be on the end of them.

Did you know? Completed a very impressive 91% of his passes in the attacking third of the pitch.

Fabricio Coloccini

Newcastle United

I never thought that this defender had the ability to play at such a consistently high level for so long. Without doubt Newcastle's most valuable player and the rock in what was an excellent defensive unit. I thought his reaction when Wayne Rooney clearly took a whack at him while on the floor (regardless of what my colleagues thought on Match Of The Day) was most professional.

Did you know? One of three members of Newcastle's defence (along with Ryan & Steven Taylor) to play every minute of every game this season.

Vincent Kompany

Manchester City

Every side with the potential to win a trophy needs a captain you can depend on. Kompany navigated his way through the game against Liverpool having received a booking early on, coped admirably against a world-class striker and scored what should have been the winning goal. Not bad for an afternoon's work. Perhaps he can pass on some of that professionalism to Mario Balotelli.

Did you know? Scored his third Premier League goal of 2011, matching his combined total from 2008-2010.

Danny Simpson

Newcastle United

Young Simpson was another hero in the Newcastle defensive line-up. Just how he read the danger, positioned himself behind Krul and managed to block the header from Hernandez on the line was nothing short of miraculous. A player with a natural instinct to defend the goal.

Did you know? Simpson won all three of the tackles he attempted at Old Trafford.

Glenn Whelan

Stoke City

Scored a vital goal for the Potters and was a driving force throughout a physical encounter against QPR. Having lost four on the bounce it was important that Stoke stopped the rot. Whelan was their inspiration. Never stopped running and showed great enthusiasm.

Did you know? Three of Whelan's four Premier League goals have been scored from outside the penalty area.



He was good last week against Chelsea but he was even better this week against Manchester City. No longer the scapegoat for the Anfield boo boys, the Brazilian was at the heart of almost every Reds attack and was very unlucky not to get on the scoresheet.

Did you know? Won possession with all seven of his tackles against Manchester City and now has more tackles/successful tackles than any other Premier League player this season (68/52).

Juan Mata


This lad has come to Stamford Bridge without a great fanfare but every time I see him he looks like a star in the making. Provided the flair and inspiration for a desperately needed Chelsea win. I wonder whether Andre Villas-Boas now has the courage to phase out the old and bring in the new.

Did you know? Created Chelsea's first two goals then scored their third. Has six assists this season - only David Silva (seven) has more.

Daniel Sturridge


This young man has developed into a proper footballer. He was raw and precocious at Manchester City but student-like at Bolton under Owen Coyle. Now at Chelsea he is becoming the star many people believed was possible if his attitude was right. Another Chelsea youngster Villas-Boas has to find a regular spot for.

Did you know? Sturridge has scored six goals from 11 shots on target in the Premier League this season.

Emmanuel Adebayor

Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs fans have to rub their eyes in disbelief when they see Adebayor playing - and doing so incredibly effectively - in their team's shirt. He is up front practically on his own and everything that takes place in the last third involves him. With two goals and one assist, who cares how many chances he misses?

Did you know? Fired in nine shots on target against West Bromwich Albion, more than any other player in any Premier League game in the last five-and-a-half seasons.

Victor Moses

Wigan Athletic

At last Moses is starting to look like a Premier League player and a worthy replacement for Charles N'Zogbia. The former Crystal Palace favourite unsettled Sunderland to such an extent it was hardly surprising they had the jitters in the last minutes of the match.

Did you know? Embarked on 11 dribbles this weekend, the second best figure in the league.

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see also
Arsenal 1-1 Fulham
26 Nov 11 |  Premier League
Bolton 0-2 Everton
26 Nov 11 |  Premier League
Chelsea 3-0 Wolves
27 Nov 11 |  Premier League
Liverpool 1-1 Man City
28 Nov 11 |  Premier League
Man Utd 1-1 Newcastle
26 Nov 11 |  Premier League
Norwich 2-1 QPR
26 Nov 11 |  Premier League
Stoke 3-1 Blackburn
26 Nov 11 |  Premier League
Sunderland 1-2 Wigan
26 Nov 11 |  Premier League
Swansea 0-0 Aston Villa
27 Nov 11 |  Premier League
West Brom 1-3 Tottenham
26 Nov 11 |  Premier League
How to watch Match of the Day
09 Aug 11 |  Match of the Day

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