Tag Archives: Kyle Walker

Premier League Team Of The Week – Gameweek 17

Benteke-Totw

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

Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur)

The French international is making the most of his chances to show Andre Villas-Boas what he can do after putting in a commanding display in goal in Spurs’ 1-0 win over Swansea on Sunday. Lloris kept a clean and made some brave clearances with the highlight being when he came off the line to punch away a dangerous cross and deny Michu a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa)

Not too many full-backs have made Liverpool’s rising star Raheem Sterling look terrible this season, but Lowton certainly achieved the feat on Saturday. Sterling looked completely out of ideas as the Reds slumped to a 3-1 defeat at Anfield and the former Sheffield United man can take great comfort in knowing it was his positioning and reading of the game which made the pacey winger so ineffective.

Ashley Williams (Swansea City)

The Swans may have been on the end of a 1-0 defeat at White Hart Lane but Williams gave everything for the Welsh side, proving a rock solid presence at the back. A brave performance from the centre-half saw him make several key clearances and blocks as Spurs were denied a way through up until their late breakthrough from a set-piece.

Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur)

Though he has played most of this season at left-back, the Belgian international earned a rare start in the centre of defence at the weekend, and his manager was rewarded for this decision, with Tottenham looking solid for the most part at the back. As a bonus, Vertonghen also popped up to score the winner, as he elegantly volleyed home Kyle Walker’s free-kick.

Yaya Toure (Manchester City)

Toure was the star when City played at St. James’ Park last season and he was the star again on the weekend as he ran the show in the middle of the park for City as they defeated Newcastle 3-1. The Ivorian’s pinpoint pass set up Sergio Aguero perfectly for the opener, while he added a goal of his own late on to put the seal on both City’s win and an impressive individual display.

Ashley Young (Manchester United)

Following their dramatic derby win, the Red Devils were in the mood against Sunderland on Saturday. Central to Saturday’s 3-1 win was former Aston Villa winger Ashley Young who had a hand in two of the three goals United scored that day. His best was obviously the assist for Robin van Persie’s opener, but he was definitely a handful all afternoon for the Black Cats’ defence.

Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)

The Gunners hit back at their critics after their embarrassing League Cup defeat to Bradford in the midweek, with an assured 5-2 victory over Reading which was inspired by Cazorla’s hat-trick. The little Spaniard has been impressive all season and he did early damage in the first half when he scored two goals in as many minutes then followed up his heroics on the hour mark to seal his first triple in an Arsenal shirt.

Adel Taarabt (Queens Park Rangers)

QPR manager Harry Redknapp handed Taarabt a more advanced role against Fulham at the Loftus Road on Saturday and it worked a treat. Played just in behind the striker, the Moroccan international excelled and hit the Cottagers for two goals as the R’s emerged from the contest as 2-1 winners – their first win of the season after 17 attempts.

Anthony Pilkington (Norwich City)

Pilkington put in another stand-out performance for the Canaries against Wigan as he and fellow forward Wes Hoolahan continue to shine for the in-form club. A brilliantly-taken goal was the crowning moment of the Englishman’s afternoon, while his cross also set up Hoolahan for the second of the 2-1 win at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Robin van Persie (Manchester United)

12 goals in your first 17 Premier League games for a new club seems like a reasonable return doesn’t it? Even if you do have a £24 million price tag on your head. In United’s victory over Sunderland the Dutchman was instrumental, capitalising on John O’Shea’s mistake to score the opening goal. And in an ominous sign for Premier League defences everywhere, he again linked up with Wayne Rooney to secure a third.

Christian Benteke (Aston Villa)

Benteke has been one of the signings of the season and was influential to Villa’s surprise win at Liverpool, producing a star turn for the Midlanders as he netted a double, dealing a blow to Darren Bent’s hopes of ending his stint on the bench. The Belgian also provided the assist for Andreas Weimann’s strike with an audacious backheel.

TOTW GW 17

Advertisements

The Best Arsenal And Tottenham Combined XI

Ahead of Saturday’s mouth-watering North-London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium, we here at IntoTheTopCorner have decided to make the best combined XI using both the team’s players.

In goal, Spurs’ second choice keeper Hugo Lloris takes the place in between the sticks ahead of Brad Friedel, Wojciech Szczesny and Vito Mannone. The defence is formed of Tottenham’s Kyle Walker, along with Gunners central defensive pairing of Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen, and Jan Vertonghen at left back – where he has played admirably in the absence of Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

The midfield is dominated by Arsenal with Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere in the middle with task of driving forward and putting in some killer passes. Finally, the forward line is a brilliant combination of pace, width and finishing. Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale would stretch the play and trouble the full-backs with their speed, while Jermain Defoe – who gets the nod ahead of Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Emmanuel Adebayor – will lead the line.

Premier League 2012/13 Team Preview – Tottenham Hotspur

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

Manager: Andre Villas-Boas.
Captain: Michael Dawson.
Stadium: White Hart Lane (36,230).
Last season: 4th.
Leading scorer (PL): Emmanuel Adebayor (17).
Odds: Title 25-1. Relegation 200-1.

In: Gylfi Sigurdsson (£8.8m, Hoffenhiem), Jan Vertonghen (£11m, Ajax).

Out: Ben Alnwick (Free, Barnsley), Vedran Corluka (£6.1m, Lokomotiv Moscow), Ryan Fredericks (Loan, Brentford), Heurelho Gomes (Released), Oscar Jansson (Free, Shamrock Rovers), Ledley King (Retired), Bongani Khumalo (Loan, PAOK Saloniki), Niko Kranjcar (£6.1m, Dynamo Kiev), Massiomo Luongo (Loan, Ipswich), Luka Modric (£30m, Real Madrid), Ryan Nelsen (Free, QPR), Steven Pienaar (£4.5m, Everton), Louis Saha (Free, Sunderland).

Kits

Key Man – Gareth Bale
With Luka Modric expected to join Real Madrid in the near future, Bale will be more important to club than he was last term. Andre Villas-Boas’ arrival should see the Welsh superstar play in a more advance role than he did under Harry Redknapp, a switch he is likely to love. Fresh from signing a new deal, the winger could inspire his team to major honours this season, as well as establising himself as one of the world’s best.

Opening Fixtures
18-Aug – Newcastle (A)
25-Aug – West Brom (H)
01-Sep – Norwich (H)
16-Sep – Reading (A)
23-Sep – QPR (H)
29-Sep – Man Utd (A)

Probable Formation (4-2-3-1): Friedel; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto; Parker, Sigurdsson; Lennon, Van der vaart, Bale; Defoe.

Verdict: Harry Redknapp paid the price for failing to deliver Champions League football, but former Chelsea boss Villas-Boas will be pushed to do the same in the first year of his new project at White Hart Lane. Highly critized by the Chelsea fans after nearly getting them knocked-out of Europe and derailing their title-bid, he is out to prove himself with their rivals Spurs. He has strengthen his squad by bringing in the Ajax skipper Jan Vertonghen at the back and the Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson in the middle. Villas-Boas needs to bring a new striker before the transfer window closes as he has just Jermain Defoe at his disposal, if he fails to do so then Spurs may slip out of the top four this season.

Prediction: 5th.

Hodgson Names Euro Squad – Ox, Carroll, Terry & Ruddy In; Ferdinand & Richards Miss Out

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a shock inclusion by Roy Hodgson in the England’s 23-man squad for Euro 2012 which also includes former captain John Terry, uncapped Norwich keeper John Ruddy and Liverpool duo Andy Carroll & Stewart Downing but Rio Ferdinand misses out.

The Arsenal teenager who has made just six Premier League starts this season in his first full campaign at Arsenal has won his first ever senior England call-up ahead. The 18-year-old told Arsenal’s official website:

“I’m obviously delighted, to be picked for your country at any stage is a massive honour and to be at a huge tournament likes the Euros is such a bonus. I think I play with no fear, I run at players regardless of who they are and try to make a difference. I have a youthful enthusiasm and I am so excited about this that I will try and take any opportunity with both hands. I will just try and make things happen, although I know there are other players who can do that. It will just be nice to get the opportunity and I will see what I can do.”

John Terry who has a pending court case after the Euros is also in the squad ahead of Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand – whose omission was highly anticipated last night. Reports suggested Ferdinand was left out because of his personal issues with the Chelsea skipper but Hodgson denied it by saying ‘it was purely a footballing decision’:

 “It was purely a footballing decisionRio is a man that I both respect as a player and as a person. I don’t know him well personally, but I have seen enough of him over the years to realise what a fine footballer he is and what a good person he is. But I had to make a footballing decision and to decide on the basis of what I have seen in recent months, and it was influenced to some extent by the fact that Rio hasn’t played so much since the World Cup and has only played once for England in the last year. So it’s purely a footballing decision and it was a hard phone call to make because you hate to disappoint people, but I hope Rio can accept my decision and understand that it was based purely on football and nothing else. I have spoken to both of them, I had to do that. I left the decision to talk to both of them until after the final game of the season because there may not have been a need to talk to either of them because there might have been an injury or whatever. But in the last couple of days I have spoken to both of them and explained to them why I came to this decision.”

Speaking about the Chelsea skipper who has guided his team to FA Cup glory and a Champions League final this season, Hodgson said he picked Terry purely on his form in the second half of the season and has no worries about the pending court case:

 “If we take the court case first of all, that’s obviously very unfortunate for him but at the moment we must emphasise that he is an innocent man until such time as proven guilty. As a result, my decision with John Terry was again based purely on footballing matters. I was given a free hand as to the squad I picked and I realised that when I selected him there would be people who raised their eyebrows, but that is the decision I have made and that’s the decision I shall live with. I believe that John Terry, especially in the latter part of the season, has played very well. I know you are going to come back and say he shouldn’t have done what he did in Barcelona, but I am looking over a longer period than that and I think he has played well. I think he has played an important part in Chelsea’s FA Cup final victory and an important part in them reaching the Champions League final. Therefore, I selected him because I think he is the man for the job. I’m hoping and believing that he will help us win matches.”

Micah Richards failed to win a ticket to Poland-Ukraine despite his excellent form for Manchester City in their title winning season, while Phil Jones was selected as a backup right-back for Glen Johnson as Kyle Walker and Chris Smalling were ruled out due to long term injuries.  Hodgson said about the keeper’s marriage & the absence of Richards:

“I was considering Kyle Walker before he dropped out. In Phil Jones I have a player who is capable of playing right-back and centre-back. It was going to be one of Phil Jones or Micah Richards and I chose Jones.”

John Ruddy who is another uncapped player in the England squad along with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, will provide goalkeeping back-up to Joe Hart and Robert Green after staking his claim for a place in the squad with a series of assured performances between the posts for Norwich. Hodgson said:

“We don’t have so many English goalkeepers to choose from but I think John has had an excellent season and Norwich have had an excellent season. They have really taken the Premier League by storm and he has been a very important part of that team, so when I was looking for somebody to back up Joe Hart, who is the obvious No.1, and Robert Green, who is the obvious No.2, I turned to John Ruddy.”

The inclusion of the Liverpool striker Andy Carroll ahead of the likes of Peter Crouch, inform Grant Holt and Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge raised a lot of eyebrows, but Hodgson said he has no worries about Carroll:

“He is a different type of player to the others in the squad. He is able to hold the ball up and has that aerial ability which is very useful. He also has the ability to make those runs behind defenders and use his strength and power. I spoke to Kenny at great length about him because I don’t know him particularly well as a person. One can easily be tricked by perceptions of players and what you hear or read about them, but Kenny was absolutely convinced about the players’ ability and his personality and his seriousness as a professional. When I heard that it meant I had no further reservations.”

The rest of the England squad has no surprises as regular internationals like Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole, Joe Hart, Wayne Rooney, Gareth Barry, Ashley Young, Gary Cahill, Joleon Lescott, Glen Johnson, Jermain Defoe, and James Milner are in the side for their country’s first Euro appearance since the Euro 2004.

Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck was also included in the squad following his outstanding form for the Red Devils in his first full season at Old Trafford, while Everton’s left-back Leighton Baines is in the squad as a backup for Ashley Cole.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was appointed by Hodgson as the England skipper for the Euro 2012 finals in Poland-Ukraine. The former Fulham manager who worked with Gerrard during his short managerial time at Anfield said:

“In my opinion, he is the man who merits this award or distinction. I know him, of course, as a player. I know him as a person. I know how committed he is to the England cause. He was delighted last night when I told him of my decision. I will be counting on him to help me as much as he possibly can to build the type of team unity and the type of environment that I think is going to be very necessary for us to thrive in an important tournament.”

Roy Hodgson’s England will play a couple of friendlies against Norway and Belgium before they travel to Ukraine finals of Euros 2012 and face France, Ukraine and Sweden in Group D.

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Man City), Rob Green (West Ham), John Ruddy (Norwich)

Defenders: Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Man United), John Terry (Chelsea), Joleon Lescott (Man City), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Leighton Baines (Everton)

Midfielders: Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Stewart Downing (Liverpool), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Gareth Barry (Man City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Scott Parker (Tottenham), Ashley Young (Man United), James Milner (Man City)

Forwards: Wayne Rooney (Man United), Danny Welbeck (Man United), Andy Carroll (Liverpool), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham)

Standby: Jack Butland (Birmingham), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Johnson (Man City), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea).

Premier League 2011/12 Season Review – Part 2

Wow!! What a season it has been. It surely goes down as one of the best seasons ever of the Premier League since its formation 20 years back. We witnessed some epic battles for almost every position in the league. Was it the fight to be crowned the Champions of the country or was it the fight to stay up in the Premier League we were entertained till the very last minute.

Will the Blue half of Manchester celebrate their first ever league win since 1968, we have decided to review the complete season in two parts. Here is Part Two.

Player of The Season – Robin van Persie

The Arsenal skipper has been in the form of his life this season. The PFA Player of The Year and Football Writers’ Player of the Year has almost single-handedly carried his team’s goal threat this season with a remarkable number of 37 goals in 47 appearances – only Theo Walcott is the other Arsenal player who has managed to score more than 10 goals this season. With Champions League football guaranteed for the next season and some good players joining the Gunners in the summer, the Dutch striker might just sign a new contract at the Emirates.

Manager of The Season – Roberto Mancini

Many would have gone for Alan Pardew or Roberto Martinez for their brilliant work with Newcastle and Wigan respectively this season. But for me it has to be Roberto Mancini. He has done a tremendous job at the Etihad this season. Yes, yes, he had loads of money to spend and had the best squad in the Premier League at his disposal but that didn’t make his job any easier. The Italian had to make the big-name players play together as team and also at the same time had to deal with a lot of the big-egos in Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez. He kept the squad motivated when United were eight points clear at the top in early April and looked like running away with the title.

Match of The Season – Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal

This has been the toughest choice of all. We have witnessed so many entertaining and memorable matches this season but in the end the 10-goal thriller at Old Trafford topped them all. United inflicted total humiliation on Arsenal, who recorded their worst ever defeat since 1896. Gunners came into this match with several players in defence and midfield either injured or suspended, while Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri had left the club for Barca and City respectively. Wayne Rooney was United’s inspiration with a hatrick, but Ashley Young also bagged a brace of two stunning goals. Danny Welbeck, Park Ji Sung and Nani also got their names on the score-sheet. Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie got very little consolation for the Gunners, while David De Gea saved a first half penalty and Carl Jenkinson was sent-off in the second half.

Goal of The Season – Papiss Cisse (2nd Goal) v Chelsea

The Senegalese striker had already given Newcastle the lead at Stamford Bridge with a left-foot volley in the 19th minute and when the game went into the 10 minutes of injury time, he topped that with a stunning shot from the outside of his right foot. Shola Ameobi touched down a throw into his path. The striker controlled it with his chest before striking a swerving angled shot that curved cruelly from left to right and ended up into the top corner, leaving Petr Cech helpless.

Signing of The Season – Papiss Cisse

The Senegalese international striker has been in red hot form since his January move to the Sports Direct Arena and he just edges out his compatriot and Newcastle teammate Demba Ba because of the incredible impact he has had. Many players take time to settle down with their new clubs but Cisse has settled in quickly at his new club and has managed to score a record breaking 13 goals 14 league appearances this season. He is probably one of the reasons why Newcastle have had such a successful season.

Flop of The Season – Stewart Downing

Liverpool paid a huge amount of £20m to get the England winger from Aston Villa in the summer. Everyone including Kenny Dalglish thought Downing could be the perfect player to get best out of Andy Carroll but it didn’t work out. Downing, an England hopeful and will probably always remain one, has made 36 appearances for the Reds in the league this season and has – wait for it – zero goals and zero assists to his name. Liverpool fans can argue that he was the Man of the Match in the Carling Cup final against Cardiff City but you can’t argue to the fact that he has been a complete waste of money and the flop of this season.

Team of the Season

PFA Young Player of the Year Nominees

It’s awards night today!! The PFA Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year will be announced tonight and so Into The Top Corner has a look at the nominees for both awards. 

Sergio Aguero

Following his £38 million switch from Atletico Madrid last summer, the Argentine did not take long to adapt to his new surroundings, scoring twice on his Premier League debut against Swansea City before grabbing his first hat-trick in English football just two games later against Wigan. Much like team-mate David Silva, the 23-year-old may not have been as prolific throughout the winter months, but has returned to form of late, scoring seven goals in his last five games.

Gareth Bale

The current holder of the PFA Player of the Year award has already surpassed his return of seven goals from last season with 10 in the current campaign, as well as contributing eight assists in a Tottenham side which briefly threatened to challenge for the title. While Spurs have gone off the boil dramatically in recent weeks, the Welshman has continued to threaten, and if the north London club do fail to qualify for the Champions League, the 22-year-old will be top of the list of summer targets for a host of Europe’s elite.

Kyle Walker

The 21-year-old has firmly established his place in Tottenham’s starting XI this season with a series of impressive performances at right-back, with his overlapping runs from deep proving a key weapon in his side’s attacking style. The ex-Sheffield United man’s form even forced Vedran Corluka to move to pastures new in search of first-team football, while Walker has also made the step up to the England senior set-up with appearances in friendlies against Sweden and Spain back in November.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Having made just 13 league appearances this season, with eight of those coming as a substitute, the 18-year-old is somewhat of a surprise inclusion in this year’s PFA nominations but has nonetheless looked impressive whenever he has featured for Arsenal. The wideman’s promising displays have often led to calls for him to replace fellow former Southampton man Theo Walcott in the Gunners starting XI, with Oxlade-Chamberlain also opening his league account with a double in February’s 7-1 rout of Blackburn.

Daniel Sturridge

The 22-year-old has managed to transfer his goalscoring exploits from last year’s loan spell at Bolton Wanderers back to parent club Chelsea this season, despite being deployed in a wide position which the striker has regularly noted his displeasure at. Although he has not featured in his favoured role, Sturridge is the only Chelsea forward to reach double figures in the Premier League this season, and is also likely to be handed the chance to impress on the international stage for England at Euro 2012 this summer

Danny Welbeck

Also benefitting from a loan spell, Welbeck has already bettered the six goals he scored for Sunderland last year with eight in the current campaign, with the 21-year-old keeping established forwards Javier Hernandez and Dimitar Berbatov out of the side. The striker’s touch may be found wanting at times, but his fantastic movement has allowed him to form a potentially devastating partnership with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Antonio Valencia at Old Trafford as the Red Devils remain on course for their 20th Premier League title.