Burn FM’s Chief Football Correspondent Sam Bernard gives us his weekly insight into who made it into his Team of the Week.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea (Manchester United)
Following his return to first-team action David De Gea has been nothing short of superb. I have run out of superlatives to use when describing how important he has become in recent years for Manchester United.
Once again the Spaniard was in impeccable form and was fundamental in preventing Watford from coming away from Vicarage Road with a point. He came under a plethora of shots and was more than a match for all. He was only to concede in the end from a well-taken penalty by Watford skipper Troy Deeney.
The success in thwarting Real Madrid’s high-profile interest in the keeper may well prove to be key in United’s pursuit to regain the title in the next few years.
De Gea boasts the best saves to shots ratio from inside the box having saved 77% of shots taken from inside the box
Defender: Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspurs)
Kyle Walker’s performance in his 250th game of his career was outstanding. He has an abundance of pace which proves equally effective in defence, where he is able to track back and smother out any dangerous looking attacks, and in attack when he can prove to be deadly when overlapping on the right-wing.
Having said this, he is too often let down by his poor finishing, but the way he curled the ball around Adrian with the outside of his foot shows the confidence the Englishman possesses at this moment.
Walker is finding form at just the right time, which is going a long way in helping cement himself as England’s first choice right-back for the upcoming European Championship campaign, providing stiff competition for Nathaniel Clyne.
Defender: John Stones (Everton)
Every time John Stones steps out onto the field he seems to be getting better and better. Everton are blessed with an abundance of promising youngsters and Stones is no different.
Stones is blessed with being a rock-hard, tough tackling stalwart in the heart of defence but, most importantly, he can also play. Everton’s first goal against Villa came after a fabulous move that started with Stones’ positive pass forward to Barkley, who later finished off the move.
The ever-maturing Stones is week-in-week-out showing why Mourinho spent the whole of the Summer break trying to secure his services.
Defender: Skrtel (Liverpool)
Martin Skrtel looked back to his best against the blue half of Manchester, a worrying omen for the league’s strikers. Skrtel effectively, bar one piece of individual brilliance, kept the league’s best striker in his pocket for the entirety of the game. Liverpool fans must have feared the worse when Aguero was declared fit but they need not worry as Skrtel bossed the Argentine until his substitution in the second-half.
To top off his impressive display he even helped himself to a great goal, which was hit with such power that Hart barely had time to react.
Skrtel has found the net four times against City, more than any other club.
Midfield: Barkley (Everton)
In the form of Ross Barkley, Everton have found themselves an absolute gem, and don’t they know it. There is a very tasty relationship with Romelu Lukaku forming, which could be the difference the catalyst in propelling the Toffees into Europe once more.
Everton are now playing Barkley in his preferred Number-10 role, sitting just behind the main striker. This allows his tremendous attacking talents to be utilised most effectively as he is not only encouraged to express himself but is actively embraced in doing so.
With every game the weight of expectation on his shoulders seems to double in size, but as of yet he is fails to be fazed by it and long may it continue .
Ross Barkley has been involved in nine goals this season so far, more than in any other of his Premier League campaigns
Midfield: Capoue (Watford)
In the Second-Half of Watford’s tie with Manchester United, Watford played with a real purpose and intent and were very unlucky to come away with nothing. While Deeney and particularly Ighalo have been soaking up all the praise this season, Capoue has been the real driving force behind Watford’s surprisingly good start.
Making the move up the M25 from Tottenham was a sensible move for Capoue who has soon become a fan-favourite amongst the Watford faithful, whom applaud every one of his powerful runs and wide range of passing.
His twisting nutmeg on Jese Lingard deep in his own half was a thing of beauty and that alone is enough to propel Capoue in this week’s Team of the Week.
Midfield: Philippe Countinho (Liverpool)
Liverpool’s performance against Manchester City was simply perfect. The performance encapsulated Jurgen Klopp’s high-pressing, heavy-metal style of football and Manchester City simply had no answer for it. It’s not often we can say that.
Every time the little magician got the ball he inflicted pain on the former champion’s defence. On his day Coutinho is a world-class talent and equally is an absolute pleasure to watch. If Klopp can get the best out of the Brazilian, and by that he must get him playing this well regularly, Liverpool will become a real force once more.
Midfield: Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United)
The current German world-champion hasn’t exactly lit up the Premiership in a way fans of manchester United would have hoped this season following his arrival from Bayern Munich.
His performance against Watford, however, was everything that Louis Van Gaal would have wanted when he signed the German. Schweinsteiger used all his experience to dictate the match’s tempo throughout the whole 90 minutes against Watford.
He secured his team three points when he expectedly gambled on the ball reaching the back post following a goal mouth scramble and was on hand to force the ball back into the box giving Deeney no choice but to fumble it into his own net with seconds to spare.
Midfielder: Firmino (Liverpool)
The Brazilian, at long last, showed the Premiership why Liverpool broke the bank to get him following his £29 million summer move from Hoffenheim. He finally announced himself on the Premier League stage. He was asked to lead the line in the continued absence of Benteke and Sturridge from the first eleven and did so with a majestic display.
He linked up telepathically with his Brazilian teammate Coutinho in Liverpool’s stunning demolition of Manchester City. His intelligent movement, decisive link-up play and physical strength tormented the City centre-backs Eliaquim Mangala and Martin Demichelis.
Striker: Jamie Vardy (Leicester)
It was a perfect weekend for Jamie Vardy who equalled Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of scoring in 10 consecutive Premier League games and helped his team climb to the top of the table in emphatic style.
Vardy ran Newcastle ragged from start to finish and helped himself to a delicious goal as he cut in from the left-hand side before firing a clinically accurate shot past Elliot’s near-post. Not bad for a player who four years ago was playing for Fleetwood Town.
Striker: Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Tottenham this season has become a hotbed for up and coming young English players. White Hart Lane is finally looking like a fortress once more and the goals of Harry Kane is a big factor in this change in fortune.
Kane’s form is vital to Tottenham’s fortunes and once again he proved just how good a goal-scorer he has become in the last season and a half as he bagged himself two more goals against the Hammers, who have looked very good at times this season.
Striker: Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
I feel that Lukaku doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves. He is a wonderful talent and Everton should feel lucky to have such an imposing striker amongst their ranks.
After two well-taken goals against a struggling Aston Villa side, the Belgian becomes only the fifth player in Premier League history to score half a century of goals before the tender age of 23.
Too frequently to pundits and journalists forget that Lukaku is only 22. He still has much to learn but the promise and maturity he is showing at such an early phase of his career is inspiring. The world is his oyster and who says that he can’t go on to become one of the best strikers in the league?