Goalkeeper: Heurelho Gomes (Watford)
Watford recorded their third straight win against an improving Sunderland side. For once, Watford fans cannot credit the three points to their dynamic duo in the form of Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney. Instead they have to be grateful to their Brazilian goalkeeper.
Gomes is well-known in the Premier League due to his eventful stint at Spurs, in which he gained a reputation for calamitous mistakes. For Watford he has, more often than not, played a key part in their surprisingly competitive start in the Premier League.
He pulled off numerous world-class saves as well as bravely putting his body on the line multiple times to stop the likes of Defoe and Fletcher from putting the ball into the back of the net. Gomes’ bravery was rewarded with a well-earned clean sheet and three points to go with it.
Defender: Jonas Olsson (West Brom)
The big centre-half had an absolutely immense game against Liverpool over the weekend. It is no easy feat coming up against the brute force of Benteke combined delicately with the flair of Coutinho but Olsson proved a fitting match in front of the Kop.
The Swede appeared to have scored the winner with a fabulous volley, which any budding striker would have been proud of, before being ruled out for offside, after much deliberation. He put the ball in the net a second time with a superb header after jumping highest following a corner. This time it would be allowed to stay.
West Brom looked as if they were going to leave Anfield with an unlikely three points before a cruel deflection in the 96th minute rescued a point for the Reds.
Defender: Gareth McAuley (West Brom)
McAuley’s game was very similar to that of his teammate Jonas Olsson. He was a tower of strength in the middle of defence and was a constant goal threat throughout the game; he prodded the ball into the back of the net after Mignolet yet again looked nervous coming to collect a ball.
McAuley worked very well at the back and was helped by a solid defensive performance by the whole team. Pulis would have been very proud.
Defender: Ryan Shawcross (Stoke)
This season Stoke City have been arguably the least consistent team in the league. Stoke have been so good at times that they have been widely dubbed ‘Stokalona’ on social media after outplaying Premier League favorites Manchester City. In other games they have been simply outplayed by the likes of Watford.
There has been one constant for Stoke and that has been the perfromances of their captain, Ryan Shawcross. Mark Hughes has made Shawcross the main pillar of his defensive unit and so far it is working. Provided Shawcross remains fit, Stoke have a very good defensive foundation that gives their more creative players a degree of freedom to work their magic – a sure recipe for success
Stoke City have not conceded a single goal while Shawcross has been on the pitch this season, having played 497 minutes
Midfield: Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
I would argue that when Arsenal get into their groove and play at their electrifying best they are as good as anyone in the league. And with Mesut Ozil in the side creativity is certainly not a problem. He was magnificent against Villa and set up Aaron Ramsey’s goal in his usual laidback style. After receiving the ball in a dangerous position he let it run across his body and shaped to shoot, before laying it delicately back to Aaron Ramsey who could not miss.
Wenger, like many of us, has been hugely impressed with the German’s performances and prompted to state in his post-match interview that he is the “complete” player. I would echo that Mr Wenger. Ozil’s 13th assist of the season is a triumph that he should be celebrating.
Midfield: Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal)
In reality Arsenal need not have got out of third gear in a fixture in which they utterly dominated a very weak Aston Villa side. At risk of using a proverbial cliché, Villa will have to climb a mountain to avoid relegation-but Arsenal and Ramsey won’t care. He looked utterly imperious against the League’s strugglers.
Ramsey is back to full fitness and the goals are starting to come once more. He has now scored in consecutive league games for Arsenal for the first time since August 2014. With both Sanchez and Cazorla out injured, Arsenal fans will look to the Welshman to step into their talented and highly priced shoes – or boots.
Midfield: Georginio Wijnaldum (Newcastle United)
Newcastle United have back-to-back wins and for the first time have looked like they may escape the dreaded relegation positions. These victories have come against Liverpool and most recently Tottenham, who are definitely no slouches.
McClaren will thank Wijnaldum who has stepped up in these games to become Newcastle’s most influential player at the moment. The Dutchman has proved invaluable this season, chipping in with seven goals. The talented player set up Newcastle’s late-winner with a beautifully lofted ball when nothing else seemed on. If Newcastle and Steve McClaren are to avoid relegation, Wijanldum’s good form will have to continue.
Midfielder: Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace)
Bolasie, from start to finish, was mesmerising against the Saints, who failed to find a way to nullify his electrifying pace and quick feet. It was Bolasie’s instinctive run in the first-half that created the opportunity for the talented Yohan Cabaye to score with a neat side-foot finish.
Teams like Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United in particular in the market for a pacey winger in January, and Bolasie’s name will surely be in the hat. His good form over the last two seasons has given Pardew a real problem – keeping hold of him. I love watching Bolasie play and long may his good form continue.
Attacker: Joshua King (Bournemouth)
If Bournemouth fans can remember a better week than the last I would love to hear it. Having just beaten the current title-holders Chelsea, Bournemouth took advantage of an injury-hit Manchester United. The star of the show went, ironically, to former Red Devils youngster Joshua King.
King showed an abundance of skill from the first whistle as he was determined to prove a point to the team that let him go for not being good enough. His efforts were rewarded with a well-deserved goal that came after a perfected training ground routine straight from a corner.
Attacker: Oliver Giroud (Arsenal)
For too long now Giroud has been receiving criticism from fans and pundits alike for not playing well enough, despite doing the business on the goal-scoring end. He is undeniably a man in form right now and the way he played against Aston Villa oozed confidence and class.
I struggle to comprehend the arguments made by those who persist that Theo Walcott should play upfront for Arsenal instead of the big Frenchman. For me there is only one man to lead the line for Arsenal and that is Oliver Giroud.
Giroud scored his 50th Premier League goal for the Gunners in his 113th game. Only Thierry Henry and Ian Wright have reached the milestone quicker for Arsenal.
Attacker: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
I am running out of superlatives that I haven’t already used to herald the marvelous talent that is Jamie Vardy this season. On paper you would have through that Gary Cahill and John Terry would have enough experience to deal with the plucky striker. This failed to materialise.
Instead Vardy added his 15th goal of the season with a well-taken volley. The way Vardy stood his ground against an advancing Diego Costa following a crunching tackle is indicative of the psyche installed by Ranieri – they are not afraid by anyone and the possibility of them winning the league has to now be taken seriously.