The International football break, as much as we dislike it, gives us time to reflect on the often brilliant but sometimes bizarre Premier League football that we have witnessed in the past two months. With eight weeks of football already played, we feel like it’s time to come up with our first installment of the Premier League team of the season.
The Premier League has been littered with penalty kicks this season. 41 penalties have been taken in just eight rounds of Premier League matches, a record for any of the top five leagues at this stage of the season.
Video Assistant Referee (VAR), the reason for so many penalties being awarded, has polarized global opinion on the use of technology like never before.
The number of goals scored, and consequently, the number of goals conceded, has risen dramatically. Four players are level at the top for the Golden Boot at 8 goals. 11 players have scored 5 or more in the league this season.
Such a curiously exciting brand of football being played in England’s top division has offered a quantum of solace, as Ian Fleming would use the phrase, to the relationship between the clubs, and its fans, who have been separated from watching their teams play in stadiums due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Even the Premier League’s super-clubs haven’t been spared of this season’s drama. The team that survived relegation last season by 1 point thrashed the Premier League Champions Liverpool by 7-2, while Leicester City decimated Manchester City 5-2. The table is being led by Leicester City. Southampton are in the top 4, while Arsenal and Manchester United are in the bottom half.
To sum it up; football hasn’t exactly gone by the book so far. Football Express brings to you the Premier League team of this wonderfully erratic season so far.
Emiliano Martinez (ASTON VILLA)
Aston Villa’s new signing Emiliano Martinez is one of the major reason the Villains are doing so well in the league. The Argentine has kept 4 clean sheets (joint-most in the league) and has made 22 saves in 7 appearances this season.
The surety and leadership that the 28-year-old provides from between the sticks has also gone a long way in improving the Villains’ backline as a whole.
Matty Cash (ASTON VILLA)
Aston Villa signed the 23-year-old right-back from Nottingham Forest for £14.18 million, a fee looks to be an absolute bargain. The Englishman has been solid on Villa’s right-hand side of the defence, making 23 tackles in his 7 matches.
Despite no contribution in goal, he beats the likes of Recce James and Timothy Castagne to feature in our team due to being a more important member of his team’s defensive unit and playing a more valuable part in his team’s results.
Kurt Zouma (CHELSEA)
Chelsea’s 26-year-old centre-back Kurt Zouma has been a mainstay in Frank Lampard’s Chelsea squad this season. The Frenchman is the reason behind Chelsea winning the highest percentage of aerial duels in the league (60.2%) and scoring the joint-second most goals from headers (4).
In his 7 games this season, the only game that Chelsea lost saw Zouma’s teammate Andreas Christensen sent off just before half-time when the score was 0-0 against Liverpool.
Aaron Cresswell (WEST HAM UNITED)
Traditionally a left-back, the 30-year-old Englishman has filled in excellently at centre-back for West Ham United in the left-hand side of a three-man backline. Cresswell has been staunch in his tackles, brave in aerial duels, and often offered support to West Ham’s left-wingback Arthur Masuaku going forward.
The cultured left-foot of Cresswell has also racked up 3 assists in his 8 matches this season from centre-back.
Ben Chilwell (CHELSEA)
Chelsea spending £50 million on Leicester City’s left-back Ben Chilwell was seen by many as ludicrous. However, the Englishman has proved his critics wrong, and despite only playing 5 matches this season, has impressed the most out of any left-back in the league.
In his 5 matches, Chelsea have lost none and kept 3 clean sheets. In the same period, Chilwell has 2 goals and 2 assists, which shows how well balanced he is at both ends of the pitch,
Heung-Min Son (TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR)
Tottenham’s South Korean wide-man has been in sublime form so far in the Premier League this season. Despite not scoring in the last 2 matches, the 28-year-old has 8 goals and 2 assists to his name. That is good enough to get him into any version of the Premier League team of the season.
He has combined well with Spurs’ main-man Harry Kane and led the London side to 2nd in the Premier League table.
Tomas Soucek (WEST HAM UNITED)
The Czech midfielder has been a rock in West Ham United’s midfield this season. The 1.92 meter-tall defensive midfielder was brought in by David Moyes this season from Sparta Prague and has been a mainstay in West Ham’s opening 8 games.
Apart from a solitary goal, his contributions have come in defending counter-attacks and set pieces. The 25-year-old has added the much-needed steel that West Ham United have missed in the past few seasons.
Bruno Fernandes (MANCHESTER UNITED)
Manchester United‘s Portuguese creative playmaker is on a different level as compared to other midfielders this season. Playing in the hole behind the United front-men, the 26-year-old midfielder has both created and finished off chances.
In his 7 appearances, the ex-Sporting CP midfielder scored 5 goals and assisted 3, a major part of any United attack going forward.
Jack Grealish (ASTON VILLA)
Jack Grealish has undoubtedly been one of the best players in all of Europe this season. The 25-year-old Villa captain has 4 goals and 5 assists in his 7 games this season playing down the left.
He is a major reason behind Villa’s impressive Premier League start which sees them sit 6th in the table, having played one game fewer than the teams above them.
Harry Kane (TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR)
The 27-year-old England international has been out of the world so far this season. The Spurs’ striker already has 8 goals and 7 assists in his 8 matches so far this season, the most out of any player in either department.
He is the lynchpin in Tottenham‘s attack and will be vital to their title hopes this season.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (EVERTON)
Dominic Calvert-Lewin beats Ollie Watkins, Mohamed Salah, and Jamie Vardy to this spot. The Englishman has scored all his goals from open play, and when he hasn’t scored, he has troubled defences and linked up play to create chances for others around him.
The Toffees’ youngster is Carlo Ancelotti’s first name on the team sheet, which is a compliment in itself. The 23-year-old will have no problem further adding to his tally of 8 goals this season.
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