Hello, after three weeks out the team of the weekend is back to credit those who went above and beyond for their teams this weekend. I hope you all enjoyed your festivities but the football is back upon us and thank goodness I hear you cry.
This weekends action saw a fantastic number of goals and excellent play across a variety of games. Though the league table has barely changed in the way it reads teams will have picked up a vital three points, whether it be Reading who have now moved to within five points of safety, Arsenal who yet again proved that crisis is not a word on their lips or Swansea slowly sneaking up towards the European qualification spots.
Anyway enough talking here's my team of the week, apologies if your team is missing someone.
GK: Adam Federici - After a series of howlers earlier in the season, it would now appear that the Australian is finally beginning to re-adapt to the Premier League following yet another strong performance against West Ham. With the Hammers looking for an equaliser to Pavel Pogrebnyak's early goal, Federici kept solid with a series of excellent saves, leaving the Madejski with a clean sheet, in the knowledge that he'd helped Reading to a vital three points.
Unlucky to miss out: Simon Mignolet
RB: Phil Jagielka - He may have been on the losing side but out of position Jagielka certainly didn't embarrass himself against Chelsea. Out on the right Jagielka did exactly as you'd expect defensively keeping the attacking threat of Eden Hazard to a bare minimum, but also provided an attacking threat going forward with penetrative direct runs from deep.
Unlucky to miss out: Glen Johnson
CB: Alex Pearce - Just what the doctor ordered for Reading as Alex Pearce's display at the heart of the Reading defence proved essential to the Royals picking up a much needed win. Kept Carlton Cole quiet for the majority of the day through strong positioning and strength whilst also stepping in to stop other attacking players on their way to goal with a collection of excellent tackles.
Unlucky to miss out: Ivan Ramis
CB: Martin Skrtel - Liverpool's hard man was in excellent form as Liverpool tore Harry Redknapp's QPR side apart on Sunday. Coming up against the threat of unpredictable former Anfield man Djibril Cisse, the Slovakian reduced Rangers to very little. Strength was evident as usual as well as an aerial dominance that QPR simply couldn't match. Inspired performance.
Unlucky to miss out: Jonny Evans
LB: Patrice Evra - Not the most hard fought position on the pitch to decide, a solid performance from the Man United veteran was enough to claim his place in the team of the week. Contributed to a well drilled United defence that reduced West Brom's attacking threat considerably and will be happy to have added yet another goal to his tally for the season.
Unlucky to miss out: Kyle Naughton
RM: Aaron Lennon - The nippy winger may unfairly have his critics at times for not always producing a final ball. However against Sunderland Lennon performed excellently on the right side of the midfield, terrorising Matthew Kilgallon with his devastating pace that had the Sunderland man chasing shadows. The skill shown to knock the ball past the defender then run on to it and tuck past Mignolet was fabulous.
Unlucky to miss out:
CM: Frank Lampard - Who said Frank was too old? Facing off against in form Everton, Lampard was returned to the Chelsea starting line up and turned in a virtuoso display to help Chelsea come from behind to beat Everton. His passing was right on the money all afternoon, taking a complete hold of the central midfield area and chipped in with two more goals to add to his impressive career tally.
Unlucky to miss out: James McCarthy
CM: Jack Wilshere - How Arsenal had missed Wilshere over his 15 month absence. The Englishman has quickly re-established himself as a key component of Wenger's side and another highly influential performance against Newcastle guaranteed his place in this weeks side. Passing was fantastic as usual and the movement and vision to spot a defence-splitting pass is devastating.
Unlucky to miss out: Jonathan De Guzman
LM: David Silva - A touch of class from the Spaniard helped Man City overcome Norwich at Carrow Road. Many have said his performances have dropped from last seaso but against Norwich his touch, understanding and ease with which he pulled Norwich apart could suggest he is heading back to that superb form. The cushioned pass to lay Dzeko with a chance on a plate to open the scoring was simply exquisite.
Unlucky to miss out: Steven Pienaar
ST: Luis Suarez - Another appearance in my team of the week for Luis Suarez, a player everyone would love to have in their side, even if they may not necessarily admit it. Against QPR, he had the West Londoners in all sorts of bother with his intelligent movement, ball usage and general flair and it came as no surprise when the Uruguayan opened the scoring. A second followed to long after and it's proved enough to demolish any spirit left in their opposition.
Unlucky to miss out: Edin Dzeko
ST: Theo Walcott - The first name on this team sheet following yet another superb performance from Theo. Now comfortably in his favoured striking position he terrorised the Newcastle defence all game on Saturday evening. Two assists for the late Giroud goals as well as a fine hat-trick were proof if it wasn't there already that Arsenal must hold on to Walcott. The determination and desire for his third goal was a particular highlight.
Unlucky to miss out: Sergio Aguero
Let me know what you think!
image: © Ronnie Macdonald