Everton Duo In Team Of Easter (19/4/17)
Everton 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 Phil Jagielka and Ross Barkley in the three one victory over Burnley at the weekend at Goodison Park 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.
'When a centre-back scores goals in three consecutive games you have to consider whether the defender is just going through a purple patch or has a genuine knack of scoring goals. I think with Phil Jagielka it's both. The Everton defender is certainly going through a wonderful period of scoring goals and that is because he is good at it. His goal in the win against Burnley was absolutely superb for two reasons. Firstly because, more often than not, he times his run to perfection and gets his head on the ball and, secondly, because of his desire. The way Jagielka responded to the initial save by Burnley keeper Tom Heaton (goalline technology said it had gone in, by the way) was striker-like, while as a defender his ability to read situations at the back has stood him in good stead all his career. A top-class professional.'
'It is not often a player finds himself on the front and back pages at the same time, but that is what Ross Barkley has had to cope with these past few days. However, the way the youngster has coped with some of society's excesses has been more than admirable. Professional footballers dealing with the occasional confrontation from a member of the public, or a crass comment from a journalist who should know better, has been an occupational hazard for years. However, none of that seems to affect Barkley. In fact, if his performance against Burnley was anything to go by, it seemed to energise the England international. His clearance off the line from a Michael Keane header was brilliant defending. When his goal came - and it was his goal, and should not have been credited to Ben Mee for trying to do his job and block the shot - Barkley deserved it. Precisely why the experienced Mark Clattenburg had to caution the player for celebrating his goal with the fans, bearing in mind the week he's had, I don't know. It seemed grossly unfair. Was Clattenburg so blithely unaware of the sheer thrill his goal and performance would have meant to Barkley under the circumstances? Well, for what it's worth, Barkley has shown himself to be a real professional, in the true sense of the word.'
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.
Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Jesus Navas (Manchester City), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Leroy Sane (Manchester City), Ross Barkley (Everton), Ander Herrera (Manchester United), Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)