Date: 28th August 2017 at 9:18pm
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Liverpool 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 Joel Matip, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in the four nil victory over Arsenal at the weekend at Anfield 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 trio as part of his team but explaining his choice he told the BBC.

Matip:

‘I don’t think that Matip is the answer to Liverpool’s long-term prospects at the centre of their defence but against Arsenal he put himself on the line for his team and you can’t ask for more than that. He saw off Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck, Alexandre Lacazette and Olivier Giroud all in one afternoon. That his team scored four goals against the Gunners, which is a major achievement, but also kept a clean sheet in a match of such importance was impressive. Matip was at the heart of that accomplishment and it deserves some recognition. Arsenal were poor against Liverpool and I can’t work out the reason for such a woeful performance in such an attractive fixture. What I did learn was how to manage your emotions in a post-match interview. As abject as Arsenal were, manager Arsene Wenger was absolutely masterful at not blasting his team publicly, instead offering quiet reflection and allowing time for him and his players to put things in their proper perspective. I agree, Arsene. Wait until Monday. And then rip them to shreds.’

Mane:

‘Those of you who regularly read my team of the week will know how much I think of Mane’s Liverpool team-mate Philippe Coutinho. However, with Mane looking so impressive at the moment it makes you wonder why Liverpool are deliberating over Coutinho’s proposed move to Barcelona. It seems to me that Mane is the perfect replacement to take over from the Brazilian as Liverpool’s main man, never mind that £100m-plus is simply too good to turn down for any player, never mind one who only cost you £8.5m in the first place. Liverpool are a wonderful club with a magnificent stage and they are very capable of finding another Coutinho. In fact, I already think they have one and his name is Sadio Mane.’

Salah:

‘I saw this lad play for Chelsea and I got the distinct impression that he was certainly good enough, but I think the move came a tad too soon and he wasn’t given enough time to make an impact. Coming to terms with a big stage is one thing but when that club is fighting on all fronts you have to hit the floor running. His time with Roma, however, gave him the chance to grow as a footballer in readiness for the challenges ahead. Liverpool has come at the right time for Salah. He is an exciting player with bundles of ability. He also quick with an eye for goal, a point that was rammed home when the Egypt international robbed Hector Bellerin of the ball on Sunday while still in his own half, ran half the length of the pitch and still no-one in the Arsenal team could catch him. Then, without even breaking stride, he coolly stroked the ball past a helpless Petr Cech. Salah’s arrival on to the scene at Anfield is further proof that the deal for Coutinho is simply too good to turn down – so get on with it.’

It’s always good to see the club represented in this way, and well played to all three for their recognition, but the most important thing about the weekend was of course the win.

Full Team:

Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Joel Matip (Liverpool), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Matt Ritchie (Newcastle United), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Tammy Abraham (Swansea City), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool).

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