Premier League Team Of The Week (11-13 April)
Simone Mignolet – The Liverpool goalkeeper continued his impressive form by recording his sixth clean sheet in ten matches showing how much he has improved since the turn of the year. Although Newcastle didn’t threaten often, Mignolet made impressive saves to deny Mehdi Abeid and Ayoze Perez at crucial times when Liverpool were only leading by one goal. His distribution was impressive throughout and if Mignolet keeps playing like this, he will give the Reds a solid platform on which to chase Manchester City.
Toby Alderweireld – The on loan Atletico Madrid defender was required to play at right back after Nathaniel Clyne was rested at the weekend and he was a contender for man of the match after a wonderful display. At the back, the Belgian played a crucial role as he made some crucial blocks and tackles to ensure his side kept a clean sheet, while his passing and attacking involvement were both very good in Hull’s half of the pitch. Southampton will face a huge task in the summer trying to keep him on a permanent deal.
Ron Vlaar – Aston Villa continued their good form under Tim Sherwood with a win at White Hart Lane, which will have been extra satisfying for the new manager. Their defence was as good as it has been this season as Spurs were limited to very few clear cut chances. Ron Vlaar showed the sort of form that he showed in the World Cup as he kept Harry Kane quiet. Vlaar is a very good reader of the game and his aerial presence makes him a difficult opponent for attackers to get the better of. If he puts in more performances like this, he could be set for a move to a bigger club this summer.
The Arsenal defender was at his best on Saturday as Arsenal managed to record a clean sheet. He has been key to their recent good form in the Premier League and is back to his best after some shaky performances earlier in the season. He looked comfortable when Burnley attacked and made some key blocks and interceptions to prevent them from creating many clear cut chances.
Daley Blind – The Manchester United player is seen as a long-term option in the centre of midfield, but he is making the left back berth his own with Luke Shaw out of the side at the moment. The Dutchman has played the position a lot for Ajax and his national side, but he wasn’t brought in to play left back at Old Trafford. He wasn’t beaten easily when City were attacking and he played his role going forward with some decent balls up to Fellaini.
Yannick Bolasie – Alan Pardew loves his sides to play counter attacking football and quick wingers are central to his approach. At Newcastle, he never has the luxury of having a good set of wingers. However at Palace, Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie have both been superb since Pardew came to the club and he will want to keep them both for a long time to come. Bolasie ripped Sunderland to shreds all afternoon with his pace and dribbling abilities. He scored a brilliant hat-trick, which will be a boost for him as he hasn’t scored as many goals as he would have liked in the top flight.
Jordan Henderson – The stand in Liverpool captain continues to impress in Steven Gerrard’s absence and is showing why he should be given the armband on a permanent basis this summer. He dominated the midfield on Monday night with relentless pressing and made a number of interceptions to set up Liverpool attacks. He also showed his attacking presence as he made some surging runs into the Newcastle box and even occupied a centre forward position at times. He was also credited with an assist which shows his creative instincts which will be very important when Gerrard leaves this summer.
Morgan Schneiderlin – Southampton recorded another victory at the weekend and they have given themselves a great chance of securing European qualification this season. Although they spoke up their hopes of Champions League this season, Ronald Koeman will consider the Europa League as a wonderful achievement for the club. At the weekend, Morgan Schneiderlin put in another top quality central midfield display as he dictated the tempo with his passing and broke up the play when Hull did attack. The Frenchman got an assist as well as he showed he can create chances.
Ashley Young – The Englishman has been in great form in the second half of the season, and arguably his best performance came on Sunday in the Manchester derby. He played in his favoured position on the left wing and caused Pablo Zabaleta a lot of problems. The winger managed to get two assists and score a goal himself in a marvelous display of wing play. Many had written Ashley Young off in the summer, but he has seen his Manchester United career get a new lease of life under Louis van Gaal and the confidence in his game is evident for all to see.
Another player who has reinvigorated his career at Old Trafford is Marouane Fellaini who was at risk of becoming linked to David Moyes reign and as such being seen as a flop. However, he has become an integral part of Louis van Gaal’s team and philosophy at Manchester United. The Dutchman wouldn’t have seen the Belgian as such when he took over in the summer, but Fellaini’s aerial strength and height give the attack a different dimension and he certainly made the Manchester City back four very uncomfortable. He managed to get a goal with some great movement to find space in the back of City’s defence.
Glenn Murray – The impact that Glenn Murray has had on Crystal Palace since returning from Reading has been excellent and Alan Pardew will be very happy with his decision to place his faith in the 31-year-old. The striker was the club’s key player in the promotion season, but injuries and a lack of opportunities had prevented him from making a name for himself in the top flight. He has now become one of the first names on the team-sheet once again and he showed his quality again on Saturday with two assists and the opening goal of Palace’s dominant win over Sunderland.