Tag Archives: Adam Federici

Premier League Team Of The Week – Gameweek 18

Chelsea-TOTW

See who have made our Team of the Week from an exciting eighteenth gameweek in the Premier League. Chelsea and Liverpool provide not one, two or three but four players each, while there is one each from Manchester City, Manchester United and Reading.

Adam Federici (Reading)

Aston Villa’s Brad Guzan was one of the top performers of the week as he was virtually playing alone against Chelsea, but on a matter of principle I just couldn’t select a keeper who conceded eight goals in a match and so I went with Federici. The Reading goalie frustrated the Premier League champions Manchester City for 90 minutes and was very unlucky to concede a stoppage time goal in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium.

Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City)

Manchester City have yet to hit top gear but they still remain very much in the hunt to retain their Premier League title. It is fair to say that not everyone at City is pulling their weight at the moment but it would be harsh if its said the same about Pablo Zabaleta. The right-back has been in terrific form and if it wasn’t for his persistence – and cross for Gareth Barry’s winning goal – City would not have eked out Saturday’s late win.

Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea)

The Serbian was given one of the toughest jobs of the weekend – mark the inform Christian Benteke. He and Gary Cahill combined well to nullify the Belgian’s threat very effectively, recording a clean sheet in the 8-0 thrashing of Aston Villa on Sunday. He even managed to increase his goal tally for the season with a poacher’s goal after Cahill’s shot was palmed his way.

Martin Skrtel (Liverpool)

To be honest, Saturday’s action Premier League action fell dull until the late kick-off between Liverpool and Fulham at Anfield. The goal which brought the weekend to life was just superb from defender Martin Skrtel. A nice touch to control the ball before unleashing an unstoppable volley past Mark Schwarzer to open the floodgates for the Reds on their way to a 4-0 win over the Cottagers.

Patrice Evra (Manchester United)

Its been a funny season for Manchester United at the back. Their defenders are leaking goals but at the same time scoring at the other end of the pitch. Evra is a perfect example of this during Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Swansea. The Frenchman did superbly well to score with a header from a Robin van Persie corner but then was caught out of position as Michu equalised for the Swans.

David Luiz (Chelsea)

Chelsea may have scored eight against Aston Villa, but none was better than David Luiz’s freekick. It was very similar to how Didier Drogba used to hit them for the Blues. It was not only the Brazilian’s goal which earns him a place in the Team of the Week. Played just in front of the back-four, Luiz looked right at home in the Obi Mikel role and the African must surely be a worried man now.

Ramires (Chelsea)

The Brazilian did not even start the game but yet he makes our Team of the Week. The midfielder, who is not known for his goal scoring, came on in the second half for Frank Lampard in Chelsea’s thrashing of Aston Villa on Sunday, and ended the match as one of the star performers and became the only player to score more than once in that match. He scored the Blues’s fifth and eighth goal of the night.

Stewart Downing (Liverpool)

Downing makes the Premier League Team for the first time ever. Perhaps this is what the Mayans were referring to? Back in his regular role of a winger, the former Aston Villa wide man put in an excellent performance in Liverpool’s easy win on Saturday. He set Steven Gerrard for the hosts’ second goal of the night and scored one himself in the second half. His first assist and goal in the Premier League since joining the Reds last season.

Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)

Competition in midfield is tough this week given Chelsea’s hammering of Aston Villa but there was no chance of leaving Steven Gerrard out. The Liverpool skipper has been in patchy form this season as he adjusts to Brendan Rodgers’ style of play. However, we saw the Gerrard of the old as the Liverpool legend provided two assists for his teammates, but also got his own name on the score sheet too.

Eden Hazard (Cheslea)

After a blistering start to life in the Premier League, Eden Hazard has positively cooled off. Any worries should be abated now, though, as the Belgian wizard ran riot on The Blues’ left flank against Aston Villa. His holding midfield duo controlled the game and were able to find him regularly, so he had ample opportunities to shine. He also got himself on score sheet by scoring his side’s seventh goal of the night.

Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

Suarez was back to his best on Saturday. The Uruguayan bagged the final goal of four against Fulham and it was a perfect reward for his efforts all game long. Even though the goal came very late and technically unimportant at the stage of a comprehensive rout, it was important for Liverpool’s only injury free senior striker to get back among the goals after failing to score for more than a month.

TOTW GW 18

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Premier League Team Of The Week – Gameweek 14

Hernandez-Routledge-TOTW

See who have made our Team of the Week from an exciting fourteenth gameweek in the Premier League. Everton and Swansea City provide two players each, while there is one each from Aston Villa, Manchester City, Manchester United, Queens Park Rangers, Stoke City, Sunderland and Tottenham Hotspur.

Simon Mignolet (Sunderland)

The Belgium shot-stopper put in a positive display – which showed he had recovered from error against West Brom at the weekend – to earn himself and his team a much needed clean-sheet. He was not regularly tested by the QPR forwards, but was more than ready when called upon and made total of six saves during the game on Tuesday.

Rafael (Manchester United)

Being a Manchester United fan, I am loving to see the progress the young Brazilian has made this season. He has come of age and was once again at his best, as he was alert to the early threat of Matt Jarvis, making a number of key interceptions. Going forward, he put in a couple of dangerous crosses and was a threat to deal with for the West Ham defence.

Ryan Nelsen (Queens Park Rangers)

QPR will need some strong characters in the dressing room and on the pitch to get them out of this tricky hole at the foot of the table, and the New Zealand international is one of those. Having signed him while at Tottenham in February, Harry Redknapp knows Nelsen has those qualities and the defender was rock solid in the heart of the defence  in their clean-sheet at Sunderland on Tuesday.

Matija Nastasic (Manchester City)

Many eyebrows were raised when Roberto Mancini decided to break up the successful partnership of Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott at heart of the City defence. But the doubts have given way to nods of approval as the young Serbian once again impressed alongside the skipper and was solid at the back in the City’s 2-0 win at Wigan on Wednesday.

Leighton Baines (Everton)

The Everton left-back has been in the form of his life this season as he put in another superb display in the 1-1 draw against Arsenal at Goodison Park. The marauding full-back provided a constant outlet for his side on left and linked up with Steven Pienaar to devastating effects at times which caused the Gunners some trouble at the back.

Pablo Hernandez (Swansea City)

Pablo Hernandez has made his name as a right-winger for Valencia in the La Liga, but in Swansea’s impressive win over high-flying West Brom on Wednesday, the Spaniard did much of his best work on the left flank. Hernandez was a class apart during a first half performance that saw the Swans go 3-0 up within 40 minutes and he was involved in all the three goals.

Wayne Routledge (Swansea City)

Another player who has been impressive alongside Michu and Pablo Hernandez for the Swans this season has to be Wayne Routledge. The former Newcastle man was at his very best in the win over West Brom. He scored twice with two superb finishes and the midfielder popped up virtually in every attacking position as he caused havoc to the Baggies defence.

Marouane Fellaini (Everton)

The big Belgian returned from suspension and played a huge part in his side’s 1-1 draw at home on Wednesday. Fellaini epitomised all that was good about hard-working Everton, but also brought a significant amount of quality too. His curling effort in the first half brought the Toffees back on level terms after Theo Walcott had given Arsenal an early lead.

Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur)

It takes something special to make it in the Team Of The Week after scoring such an own goal and that’s exactly what the Welshman did in the 2-1 win over Liverpool at White Hart Lane. Bale’s driving run and delicious delivery led to Aaron Lennon’s opener within ten minutes before he doubled the lead with a brilliant free-kick.

Cameron Jerome (Stoke City)

We have seen many super-subs this season and Jerome was the latest of the lot. He came on in the 68th minute against Newcastle and completely turned the game on it’s head. The former Birmingham man used his pace to trouble the full-backs and delivered a perfect cross for Jonathan Walters to equalise. Then the forward repaid the faith shown in him by Tony Pulis as he won the game with a late strike.

Christian Benteke (Aston Villa)

The Belgium striker has been keeping Darren Bent out of the team with his superb performances and on Tuesday night against Reading, he again showed why he deserves to start ahead of the England international. Benteke saw a superb chance denied by Adam Federici in the first half and was superb as a target-man throughout the game before scoring the late winner.

TOTW GW 14

Premier League 2012/13 Team Preview – Reading

Welcome to IntoTheTopCorner’s team-by-team preview to the new Barclays Premier League season. Here we look at Reading’s vital stats, their summer transfers and analyse their chances.

Manager: Brian McDermott.
Captain: Jobi McAnuff.
Stadium: Madejski Stadium (24,161).
Last season: Promoted as Championship winners.
Leading scorer (CH): Adam le Fondre (8).
Odds: Title 1500-1. Relegation 5-4.

In: Chris Gunter (£2.6m, Nottm Forest), Danny Guthrie (Free, Newcastle), Adrian Mariappa (£3.3m, Watford), Garath McCleary (Free, Nottingham Forest), Pavel Pogrebnyak (Free, Stuttgart), Nicky Shorey (Free, West Brom), Pierce Sweeney (Undisc., Bray Wanderers).

Out: Michail Antonio (Undisc., Sheff Wed), Cederic Baseya (Released), Harry Cooksley (Free, Aldershot), Tomasz Cywka (Free, Barnsley), Cameran Edwards (Released), Ethan Gage (Released), John Goddard (Released), Andy Griffin (Released), Brian Howard (Free, Torquay), Simon Locke (Released), Angus MacDonald (Loan, Wimbledon), Mathieu Manset (Undisc., Sion), Carl McHugh (Released), Jack Mill (Released), Joseph Mills (Loan, Burnley), David Murphy (Released), Garath McCleary (Released), Frankie Raymond (Released), Karl Sheppard (Loan, Accrington), Gozie Ugwu (Loan, Yeovil), Jacob Walcott (Released).

Kits

Key Man – Adam Federici
The Australian keeper has always been seen as a player with loads of potential and telent in him, but he proved his quality last season. Federici was ever-present last term, providing a reliable last line of defence throughout the promotion push. The 27-year-old shot-stopper helped the Royals keep a division-high 20 cleans sheets and he will have to do more of the same this season if the Royals have to stay in the Premier League.

Opening Fixtures
18-Aug – Stoke (H)
22-Aug – Chelsea (A)
25-Aug – Sunderland (A)
16-Sep – Tottenham (H)
22-Sep – West Brom (A)
29-Sep – Newcastle (H)

Probable Formation (4-4-2): Federici; Gunter, Pearce, Mariappa, Shorey; McCleary, McAnuff, Leigertwood, Kebe; Pogrebnyak, Le Fondre.

Verdict: The Royals finished last season like a train to claim the nPower Championship crown, but Brian McDermott’s men will be set for a very difficult return to the top flight, which could just prove a step too far for them. The signing Pavel Pogrebnyak – who was outstanding for Fulham last season – for free is a good way to go about readying the team for the Premier League, but doubts still remain. Although Reading have a decent squad which has been improved by some quality signings in the summer and they play a decent brand of football, the smart money is on them to go back from where they came. I liked what they did last year, but they have no real stars and someone has to finish bottom. Reading look the most likely to .

Prediction: 20th.

Reading Promoted – 5 Key Men & Their Reaction

Reading are back in the big time with their 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Tuesday confirming their return to the Premier League after a four-year absence.

It completes a remarkable turnaround for the Royals, who were second-from-bottom in the table after four games and a first home win wasn’t secured until mid-September. The club were languishing in 16th in November and were 11 points off the pace when they lost 1-0 to Hull on January 21. That proved to be their last home defeat as they won 15 of their last 17 league games which included a 4-2 success at West Ham and 3-1 win at Southampton – the two teams who had occupied the automatic spots for much of the season.

Into The Top Corner looks at five key players who helped them get back to the big time and their reaction.

Adam Federici (Goalkeeper)

The Australian international has been an ever-present in the Reading goal. The 27 year-old has kept an impressive 19 clean sheets in the league this term and went 490 minutes without conceding a goal earlier in the campaign. Made a brilliant penalty save as Reading beat Brighton 1-0 last week.

Reaction: “It’s great to see everyone so happy. We’ve all worked so hard this season and it’s been a great year and to have the accomplishment at the end of the season is fantastic. The only way to top this season is to do one better and be even better and that is what we will strive to do. It’s been a great year and to top it off like this is unbelievable.”

Ian Harte (Defender)

The former Leeds man is preparing for a top flight return 16 years after his Premier League debut. The 34-year-old Irishman scored a pressure penalty at West Ham last month and his wealth of experience has driven Reading’s promotion charge.

Reaction: “I’m absolutely delighted, We had to grind it out and the fans have been fantastic and it’s an amazing night, this is something is special,. Now we have to try and win on Saturday and win the title.”

Kaspars Gorkšs (Defender)

Gorkss was brought in by Brian McDermott in August to replace outgoing club captain Matt Mills. The Latvia captain came in with Reading in the relegation zone but the experience the 30-year-old gained in helping QPR make the same step last season has helped the Royals.

Reaction: “I can’t believe it. What a fantastic achievement from all the staff, manager and players. You can’t beat this.”

Jem Karacan (Midfielder)

The 23-year-old has risen through the ranks at the Madejski Stadium and he has played an important role in Reading’s midfield this season. Born in London, his mother is English but he has represented Turkey up to under-21 level.

Reaction: “It’s unbelievable and what an honour. It’s an honour to be part of this great squad. We all deserve it and it is a fantastic day for everyone at the club.”

Jason Roberts (Striker)

Reading are blessed with a talented trio of strikers in Noel Hunt, Adam Le Fondre and Simon Church. But signing 34-year-old Roberts from Blackburn in the transfer window proved a masterstroke. Roberts has left Championship defenders battered and bruised, scoring six crucial goals in 15 games – including Reading’s first goal in their 3-1 win at Southampton last week – the win that sent them top.

Reaction: “It’s a little bit surreal really. I’ve enjoyed it and it is great to know we are going up but I want to win it now. I want to be Champions. Today is a special day. The whole team has done a great job, but because I’m 34 I’m definitely enjoying it more.”