Brighton Duo In Team Of The Week (7/11/17)
Brighton are represented in the latest Premier League team of the week that has been selected by BBC pundit Garth Crooks.
Actually Garth is now down as a 'Football Analyst' these days, a posh term for a pundit then!
The performances by Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk in the one nil victory over Swansea City at the weekend at the Liberty Stadium was enough to earn them a place in the side alongside the other, in the opinion of the former Spurs striker anyway, most impressive performers in the topflight over the latest weekend.
I think we'll already know ourselves, and not just based on the latest performance, why Crooks, we'll also not argue with it, selected the duo as part of his team but explaining his choice he told the BBC.
'I keep looking at Brighton's results, and their current position in the Premier League, with utter disbelief. When I saw the Seagulls play Manchester City in their opening fixture, I was convinced they would struggle to get 20 points. Well, they've knocked that theory into a cocked hat as they are on 15 already this season. The faith Chris Hughton has in his players must be immense and Shane Duffy certainly ranks amongst one of his best. His clearance to stop a cross destined for Tammy Abraham to side-foot into the net in the opening exchanges against Swansea was as intuitive as it was brilliant. In contrast, Swansea have Federico Fernandez, who froze in the box in a way I have never seen from a central defender to allow Glenn Murray to score. If Fernandez freezes every time he recognises he's in danger or out of position, and is incapable of retrieving the situation, he has to ask himself if he is playing in the right league.'
'Lewis Dunk's block on Abraham's shot in the dying moments of Brighton's win was about as emphatic a message as he could have given Swansea. The message was simply: 'You are not scoring today.' Indeed, the block was so solid I thought Abraham had broken his ankle on Dunk's boot. The newly called-up England striker was so desperate to announce his rise into the international squad with a goal, he didn't realise Dunk had got to the ball first but swung his foot in desperation anyway. Chris Hughton is doing such a fantastic job at Brighton it is almost an indictment that Everton have not approached him to fill their vacancy. I have already recommended Sean Dyche for the post, but I can't mention the Burnley manager without mentioning Hughton in the same breath. Hughton has, unlike Dyche, done the business at a number of clubs and is a conservative manager in the sense that he will not spend a chairman's money recklessly. He is respected by players, in a way the great former Everton manager Harry Catterick was adored by his playing staff, and is perfect for a club like Everton. Remember Hughton has already handled a big club at Newcastle before being unceremoniously shown the door. Everton, unlike other clubs, don't do flash and that is why Hughton is another excellent candidate.'
It's always good to see the club represented in this way, and well played to both for their recognition, but the most important thing about the weekend was of course the win.
Nick Pope (Burnley), Steve Cook (Bournemouth), Shane Duffy (Brighton), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), N'Golo Kante (Chelsea), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Rajiv van La Parra (Huddersfield Town), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Alvaro Morata (Chelsea), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City).