Team of the Week

Team of the Week

September 20, 2009
By Chris Murphy
(Archive)

Shay Given is our goalkeeper of the week. Yep, that's right, the same Shay Given that plucked the ball out of his net four times at Old Trafford, the same Shay Given that trudged off the field a loser. But during the humdinger of a derby he made a clutch of super saves, most notably in his own personal duel with Dimitar Berbatov.

hay Given
GettyImagesShay Given makes our team despite conceding four goals. He was that good in the Manchester derby
Ashley Cole set Chelsea off on their beating of Spurs with a superb diving header after sneaking past Vedran Corluka at the back post just before Didier Drogba swung in a devilish cross. Cole has now equalled his tally of the previous two campaigns inside six games this season. He had his usual solid game at the back to boot.

How amusing that Thomas Vermaelen is Arsenal's new top scorer. He seems to possess the clinical edge that the Gunners' forward line often lacks. He demonstrated his finishing prowess with a header from a corner and a delicate curling shot-cum-chip that nestled into the top corner. Oh, and he helped keep a clean sheet. Not a bad afternoon's work eh?

Completing our three-man defence is another player who scored and kept a clean sheet. Step forward Joseph Yobo, who managed to nullify the admittedly tiny threat that Blackburn provided, while slotting his first of the season at the other end. Joleon who?

The catalysts for Manchester United's spectacular victory over City were the midfield stalwarts of Darren Fletcher and Ryan Giggs. Fletcher scored two goals with his head and again displayed all the hustle and bustle of Roy Keane in his pomp. Giggs pulled the strings expertly, none more so than his sumptuous ball for Michael Owen to pinch a winner deep into stoppage time.

James Milner will have rubbed his hands with glee at being handed a start against woeful Pompey. The former Leeds man then converted a penalty and sprayed a majestic ball to Gabriel Agbonlahor for the clinching goal.

Wolves won at home for the first time this season, thanks to a fine goal from midfielder David Edwards. He released Andy Keogh to launch the move before getting a return pass in the area that he despatched beyond Mark Schwarzer with some aplomb.

Who knew David Nugent had it in him, eh? After four goals in two years at Portsmouth he scored two belters in the space of 20 minutes at Turf Moor. The first was a textbook header, from a flashing Wade Elliott cross, the second a precise curler into the top corner from inside the area. A striker reborn.

Fernando Torres had attracted a slight amount of stick for not potting enough goals this season prior to his side's trip to West Ham but he silenced those doubters with two super strikes. His first finish was pure class, jabbing the ball past Rob Green after making James Tomkins look like a mug, then he rose above two Hammers defenders to power a header into the corner and seal three points.

Just like Given, Craig Bellamy will take little heart from his entry into TOTW folklore. He was City's most potent weapon by a mile and scored two sublime goals. His first was the very definition of a blockbuster, the second a mazy dribble and cool finish after Rio Ferdinand's mid-pitch meltdown.

As for our gaffer, Mick McCarthy gets the nod this week after steering Wolves to their first win at Molineux this season. Fulham may have been truly terrible, but they still needed putting away. Mick is a no nonsense kind of chap so I bet his players were rewarded for their efforts with a stiff handshake and a gruff "Well done." No, well done you Mick.