Southampton Duo In Team Of The Week (5/2/18)
Southampton are represented in the latest Premier League team of the week that has been selected by BBC pundit Garth Crooks following the clash with West Brom.
Actually Garth is now down as a 'Football Analyst' these days, a posh term for a pundit then!
The performances by Jack Stephens and Mario Lemina in the three two victory over West Bromwich Albion at the weekend at The Hawthorns 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.
'It was a deft touch from Jack Stephens that produced a quality finish for Southampton against Brighton in midweek. At West Brom, it was a very different goal, not to mention performance, that provided his manager Mauricio Pellegrino with a stay of execution. It was a wonderful glancing header matched only by Stephens' movement towards the ball against an Albion side starting to run out of road. The Saints, however, on the back of a fabulous 3-2 win, must decide whether they are a feeder club for the top-four sides or are going to try to win something themselves. An FA Cup triumph, perhaps, or even a period in Europe, will provide stability. They have certainly produced the players over the years to do both. What they are doing - and have done for far too long - is flirting with relegation. When you flirt with relegation, the inevitable always happens.'
'This lad is playing for the wrong team. Seriously. Mario Lemina is an Arsenal player if ever I have seen one. For far too long in my opinion, Arsene Wenger has faffed around with the likes of Mohamed Elneny and Francis Coquelin. Wenger should have invested in Lemina during the summer and got in there well before Southampton did. Lemina is wasted at St Mary's. Sorry, Southampton fans, but you just do not have the class of player to bring the best out of this lad. His performance against West Brom was immense. Admittedly, we have not seen enough performances like this - but you would if you put him in a proper outfit.'
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.
Ederson (Manchester City), Jack Stephens (Southampton), Ben Mee (Burnley), Danilo (Manchester City), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal), Mario Lemina (Southampton), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Fousseni Diabate (Leicester City), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton).