As another international break approaches (why, God? Why??), some clubs couldn’t ask for a better time to take a week off (ahem, Newcastle, Cardiff City, Huddersfield and Fulham).
But on the other side you have Bournemouth, who are an absolute wagon. That’s ice hockey talk for unstoppable.
Now, we should all temper our expectations for the Cherries. Remember where Watford were four weeks ago? They haven’t won since…
And I don’t mean to take anything away from Bournemouth. They climbed to the Premier League in 2015 and have solidified their spot in England’s top flight. They have propped themselves up this season through the first eight games and have a real shot at topping their ninth-place finish from 2016. It’s actually crazy to think this club was playing in League 2 a decade ago.
Their ascendancy is why we love this sport. They, along with Wolves, have turned into the story of the season, for people paying attention to clubs Outside the 6. And in all honesty, I’d rather celebrate the little guy’s success over debating what should happen to José Mourinho and all the problems happening inside big clubs.
Okay, I’m off my soapbox, let’s get to Matchday 8 team of the week!
3. Matt Doherty, Wing Back — Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton are quietly one of the hottest clubs in the Premier League and up there with Bournemouth as the hottest team Outside the Top 6. Since their 0-2 loss to Leicester City on August 18, Wolves have gone six-straight Premier League matches unbeaten, including two draws against the Manchester giants.
This week, it was wing back Matt Doherty’s turn to play hero.
Not only did he smash a goal by the helpless Crystal Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey, but Doherty was also a rock in defense. Palace possessed the ball for the majority of the game, but Wolves stingy defense didn’t allow more than a couple Palace threats.
Doherty played especially well on the right side, being the first line of defense against Palace star man Wilfried Zaha. He also handled the Zaha-Patrick van Aanholt combination well with some help from his center backs Ryan Bennett and Conor Coady.
2. Gylfi Sigurdsson, Midfielder — Everton
Over the past two games, Gylfi Sigurdsson has rolled up his sleeves and dragged a lifeless Everton to two league wins on the bounce. From darkness to the light, the Icelandic attacking midfielder has hit his stride at Goodison Park.
Sigurdsson is tied for the club lead with four goals after his wonder strike against Leicester City this weekend. It was a goal for the ages, as you can see above. He’s also started pulling strings from the midfield with lethal attackers Theo Walcott, Richarlison and Cenk Tosun surrounding him.
When Sigurdsson is on, Everton are on, and that’s terrible news for the rest of the Premier League.
1. Joshua King, Striker — Bournemouth
It appeared Bournemouth’s blazing start to the season was about to slow down. They were the first club to lose to Burnley in the league and let the defensive-minded Clarets to put four goals on them. Then last Monday, Crystal Palace’s Mamadou Sakho elbowed a Cherries player in the box, and one penalty later, Bournemouth was back to their winning ways.
Striker Joshua King kept the momentum going for Bournemouth this weekend as they clobbered Watford 4-0. Now, Bournemouth sits sixth on 16 points.
King has registered four goals and an assist in the first eight games of the season and has been one of the catalysts to the Cherries hot start. The Norwegian international scored a career-high 16 goals in 2016-17 and is well on his way to that mark again. Bournemouth finished ninth that season. If he and striker partner Callum Wilson can keep their combination going, it will be another season in the top half of the table for the Cherries.
Matchday 8 Team of the Week
Joshua King — Bournemouth
- Two goals (one penalty) on four shots
- One key pass on 23 total passes for an 82 pass percentage
- Three clearances, two aerials won and one tackle
Callum Wilson — Bournemouth
- One goal on three shots
- One assist on 12 passes
- Two clearances and one aerial victory
Glenn Murray — Brighton & Hove Albion
- One goal on four shots
- Two key passes on 13 total passes
- 11 aerial victories, one tackle and one interception
Beram Kayal — Brighton & Hove Albion
- One assist on 17 total passes for an 81 pass percentage
- Two dribbles and two aerials won
- Seven clearances, three tackles and three interceptions
Gylfi Sigurdsson — Everton
- One goal on four shots
- Four key passes on 17 total passes for a 77 pass percentage
- Three clearances, two interceptions and one tackle
David Brooks — Bournemouth
- One goal on one shot in 70 minutes
- One key pass on 20 total passes
- Two interceptions, two clearances and one aerial victory
Jóhann Berg Gudmundsson — Burnley
- One shot and three dribbles
- Two key passes on 16 total passes
- Four clearances, three interceptions, two tackles and two aerial victories
Matt Doherty — Wolverhampton
- One goal on one shot
- Three tackles and three interceptions
- Seven aerial victories and three clearances
Christopher Schindler — Huddersfield
- One goal on two shots
- 68 total passes for an 82 pass percentage
- 8 aerial victories, three clearances and one tackle
Nathan Aké — Bournemouth
- Eight clearances, two tackles and one interception
- 36 total passes for a 95 pass percentage
Mat Ryan — Brighton & Hove Albion
- Four total saves
- One cleansheet