Ryan In Team Of The Week (19/12/17)
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 performance by goalkeeper Mathew Ryan in the scoreless draw with Burnley at the weekend at the Amex 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 Ryan as part of his team but explaining his choice he told the BBC.
'Mathew Ryan pulled off three saves against Burnley that prevented Brighton from suffering a humiliating defeat. Brighton need all the help they can get to stay in this league, and when they get penalties, they must convert them. When they don't, and when goals are in short supply, you must have a goalkeeper capable of performing heroics every now and then. That is precisely what Ryan did. One double save - similar to the stops produced by Manchester United's David de Gea against Arsenal, and Manchester City's Ederson against United - were simply game-changers. However, what took place in both penalty areas thereafter was quite outrageous. Why James Tarkowski felt the need to give Glenn Murray a dig in the ribs having already fouled him for an earlier penalty is beyond me. The thought of giving a second penalty away - and robbing his team of a point - apparently because of some personal vendetta was unfathomably stupid. Conversely, watching Jose Izquierdo go to ground so dramatically was equally pathetic. What is happening to the modern-day footballer? Does self-esteem only extend as far as their wallets? I sincerely hope not; otherwise performances by the likes of De Gea, Ederson and Ryan will account for nought.'
It's always good to see the club represented in this way, and well played to Ryan for his recognition, but the most important thing about the weekend was of course the point.
Mathew Ryan (Brighton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), James Collins (West Ham United), Marcos Alonso (Chelsea), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).