Clubs Outside the Top 6 Start Finding Their Footing: Matchday 2 Team of the Week

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We did it! It only took two matchdays but we finally have our first Outside the Top Six club take down a giant. A quick tip of the cap to Brighton & Hove Albion who beat Manchester United 3-2 in the Seagulls’ home-opener at the Amex. But, as luck would have it, no Brighton players are featured on this week’s team sheet. There were simply too many superb individual performances from this week. Don’t hang your head, ‘Gulls, a dedicated post to that victory is coming this week.

Back to the rest of the clubs. Bournemouth and Watford kept their records perfect while Leicester, Cardiff and Newcastle registered their first points of the season. Fulham, West Ham and Huddersfield are still waiting for a result, but don’t slouch, relegation zone dwellers, Arsenal is right there with you. Let’s get it on!

Again, this blog is a hobby of mine and sometimes I don’t get the time I need to watch every game, so I’m using WhoScored.com as an assistant as I break down who deserves to be on the list. To the stars!

Three Stars

3. Steve Cook, Center Back — Bournemouth

In six brief and magical minutes, 27-year-old defender Steve Cook stole the show at London Stadium. Yes, Callum Wilson’s solo, never-say-die run through five West Ham players was the play of the game, but the man who unleashed him would elevate Bournemouth to the lead in the 66th minute.

This goal by Cook is signs of one tough bastard. And he was a pain on both ends for West Ham. Cook’s 11 clearances alone were good enough for him to make the team sheet of the week.

2. Troy Deeney, Striker — Watford

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Troy Deeney? Is it: poetry in motion with the elegance of a veteran ballerina preparing for the lead in Black Swan? Is it dexterous pianist slamming his digits across the keys impersonating Beethoven during his final symphony?

Probably not.

You think one mean m’fer. How about one mean trivale-scoring m’fr. This cheeky goal by the ageless Watford striker gets him on this week’s list.

1. Ben Chilwell, Left Back — Leicester

There were a ton of positives for Leicester to take from their first win of the season. James Maddison scored his first Premier League goal, Ricardo Pereira is looking like one of the division’s best right back, and once again Wilfred Ndidi dominated the midfield. They also survived a red card tackle from Jamie Vardy. It was the second straight game Wolves looked poor up a man, but alas, the Foxes navigated their way to three points.

Ben Chilwell stood the tallest among the impressive performances for Leicester. It began with drama in the third minute when Chilwell cleared Raúl Jiménez’ goal-bound shot off the goalline. He continued his brilliance for the rest of the match.

What struck me — and I think most people watching Chilwell — was his pace up and down the left side of the pitch. He bombed forward with no disregard toward human life, specifically Wolves’ Hélder Costa and Matt Doherty.

The left back’s heat map had him positioned in the attacking zone more often than not, even with Leicester going down to 10 men with 25 minutes to play. Chilwell also registered four dribbles which was more than anyone not named Demarai Gray on a Leicester side who are looking young and lethal.

Matchday 2 Team of the Week

Forwards

Richarlison — Everton

  • One goal on two shots
  • Four aerial wins and two tackles
  • Two successful dribbles
  • Two key passes and 70 pass percentage

Troy Deeney — Watford

  • One goal on four shots
  • One assist on two key passes and 20 total passes
  • Four aerial victories

Callum Wilson — Bournemouth

  • One goal on two shots
  • Three dribbles
  • Two key passes on 13 total passes
  • One incredible run that led to a goal

Midfielders

Gylfi Sigurdsson — Everton

  • Six key passes on 22 completed passes for a 79 pass percentage
  • Two successful dribbles and one dispossession
  • Three interceptions and two tackles

James Maddison — Leicester

  • One goal on one shot
  • 23 total passes for an 85 completion percentage
  • Three dribbles and one dispossession
  • Three tackles and one aerial challenge won

Wilfred Ndidi — Leicester

  • Three tackles and three interceptions
  • Four clearances and two aerial victories
  • Two shots and two successful dribbles
  • One key pass on 39 total passes for an 83 pass percentage
  • One new contract extension

Will Hughes — Watford

  • One goal on two shots
  • Two key passes on 27 total passes for a 77 pass percentage
  • Six tackles

Defenders

Steve Cook — Bournemouth

  • One goal on one shot
  • One assist on 15 total passes for an 83 pass percentage
  • Three aerial victories, two tackles and 11 clearances

Ben Chilwell — Leicester

  • Five tackles and one interception
  • Four clearances and two aerial victories
  • Four successful dribbles and one dispossession
  • One key pass on 38 total passes for an 88 pass percentage

Ricardo Pereira — Leicester

  • Six tackles and one interception
  • Five clearances and three aerial victories
  • One assist on 28 total passes for a 78 pass percentage

Goalkeeper

Neil Etheridge — Cardiff

  • Six saves, including one penalty in the 95th minute
  • Clean Sheet

 

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