Date: 13th February 2017 at 12:04am
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Southampton 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 Ryan Bertrand and Manolo Gabbiadini in the four nil victory over Sunderland at the weekend at the Stadium of Light 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.

Bertrand:

‘This lad has lovely quality on the ball. A defender’s first priority is to defend but it makes all the difference if he can deliver quality balls into the box for strikers to attack and defenders to fear. Ryan Bertrand set up Southampton’s first goal and created the third, all because he has quality on the ball and therefore is not afraid to put his ability on the line, by getting in positions that will expose him if he hasn’t got what it takes. Bertrand has come a long way since his days at Chelsea dreaming of being the next Ashley Cole. By leaving Stamford Bridge for Southampton, the England international has done something far more rewarding than that. He’s actually found himself which is far more worthwhile than trying to be someone else.’

Gabbiadini:

‘Boy, do I like this striker. His goal last week against West Ham made me sit up and take notice but his two against a battered Sunderland were moments of predatory genius. Make no mistake, if Gabbiadini doesn’t get a touch on the ball that comes off Lamine Kone’s head the ball doesn’t enter the net. However, his second goal was sensational and reminiscent of his Italian countryman Filippo Inzaghi at his best. There is so much about Gabbiadini’s game that reminds me of Inzaghi – not least his finishing. Meanwhile, there is something very troubling about Sunderland’s inability to capture the momentum they created after their victory over Crystal Palace last week. The Black Cats looked like they were caught in the headlights waiting for the inevitable to happen – and it did of course. The bench looked more disillusioned than the team.’

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 points.

Full Team:

Petr Cech (Arsenal), Eric Bailly (Manchester United), David Luiz (Chelsea), Alfie Mawson (Swansea City), Martin Olsson (Swansea City), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Juan Mata (Manchester United), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal).

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