TEAMtalk's Top Men: In good Kompany

With two players each, Manchester City and Norwich lead the way in TEAMtalk's Top Men, our elite Premier League XI from the weekend.

Last Updated: 08/05/12 at 11:54 Post Comment

Kompany: Takes a breather at St James'

Kompany: Takes a breather at St James'

Every Tuesday, we pick our Premier League team of the weekend, explain our selections and then invite you - our loyal army of readers - to pick your team of top men. We're looking for the players who caught your eye with dazzling displays or powerful performances from Saturday May 5 - Monday May 7.

You can choose any formation and there's no limit on how many players you can pick from each team - so have a think, then get involved.

TEAMtalk's Top Men (4-2-3-1): Ruddy; Alcaraz, Kompany, Coloccini, Bardsley; Sandro, Yaya Toure; Hoolahan, Dembele, M Petrov; Cisse.

Selected by Jon Holmes and Pete Hall


John Ruddy (Norwich): Playing with the freedom of a team now mathematically safe, Norwich's performance at the Emirates won rave reviews, but without a string of fine saves from Ruddy, Arsenal could have been out of sight long before Steve Morison fired the visitors' late leveller. With the Canaries keeper in such a rich vein of form, he may have to put his wedding plans on hold this summer as new England boss Roy Hodgson surely can't ignore performances like this. Despite conceding three goals, Ruddy actually kept his side in the game throughout the 90 minutes. The pick of his saves was a crucial late close-range block from a Robin van Persie effort that surely would have won the game for the Gunners. PH


Antolin Alcaraz (Wigan): Having scored the goal that confirmed Wigan's Premier League status for yet another season, Alcaraz will go down as a Latics hero, but there was much more to his overall performance that many will not remember in the weeks to come. The Paraguayan centre-back dominated throughout, and thoroughly deserved his man-of-the-match award. With 16 goals this season, Blackburn's Yakubu has been a handful for many a defence but Alcaraz - who touched the ball 60 times, almost twice that of Rovers' leading man - kept him at bay throughout the 90 minutes, and left keeper Ali Al-Habsi with an unusually uneventful evening. PH

Vincent Kompany (Man City): Sheikh Mansour has so much money and other interests that it's difficult to imagine him even reflecting too much on the £1billion he's shelled out on Manchester City and all their star names. But if he is present at the Etihad on Sunday for their expected trophy presentation, he should seek out Kompany for special thanks as he won't have spent a better £6million in his life. The big Belgian centre-back produced another outstanding display in the 2-0 win at Newcastle, subduing the in-form Papiss Cisse and skippering City impressively on a day when their title dream could have died. JH

Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle): The Magpies may have conceded twice to Yaya Toure at St James' Park on Sunday, but Coloccini kept champions-elect City at bay for most of the contest. Making seven clearances in total, six of which went to a team-mate or out of play, he's worthy of a spot alongside opponent Kompany in our Top Men team. JH

Phil Bardsley (Sunderland): Everyone knows Black Cats left-back Bardsley has quite a shot on him, but his sumptuous strike from distance to open the scoring at Fulham on Sunday - following a neat lay-off by Ji Dong-Won - was a beauty even by his standards. Sunderland have seriously lacked goals in recent weeks; it's a shame Bardsley's team-mates in more advanced positions haven't been able to deliver for Martin O'Neill. JH


Sandro (Tottenham): In case you missed it a couple of weeks ago, here's a link to the video of Sandro going round to play darts at Bobby George's house - one of my off-field highlights of the Premier League season. The Brazilian's enthusiasm is infectious, and he was eye-catching for Spurs at Aston Villa too on Sunday - winning an equalising penalty off Richard Dunne and recording a 90% pass accuracy rate. JH

Yaya Toure (Man City): I've already written at length about Yaya Toure for our Prem Picks feature - so I'll just list three of his stats from City's win at Newcastle for your delectation. He won the most aerial duels in the game, made the most passes and recorded the highest pass accuracy rate (93%). Pushing him further forward was a potentially title-deciding tactical move by Roberto Mancini. JH

Wes Hoolahan (Norwich): If Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni had made the trip to north London to watch Hoolahan in the flesh on Saturday, the Dublin-born midfielder may have even convinced the Italian to include him in his 23-man squad for Euro 2012. Alas, it wasn't to be. With a goal, one assist and an impressive 88% pass accuracy, the former Blackpool playmaker was an integral part of everything that was good about the Canaries' free-flowing display at the Emirates. A constant threat throughout, the 29-year-old will hope to take this form into the final game of the season against Aston Villa on Sunday, and end his excellent campaign on a high. PH

Moussa Dembele (Fulham): Dembele has just nudged out his Cottagers team-mate Dempsey to join his Belgium international colleague Kompany in our team. His winning goal may have been deflected, but overall he was the stand-out player with seven successful dribbles and a 95% pass accuracy rate. After finishing eighth last season, Fulham could end 2011/12 seventh in the Premier League table, despite failing to win any of their first six games. And Mark Hughes said they lacked ambition... JH

Martin Petrov (Bolton): West Brom's late equaliser has made Bolton's quest for survival much more difficult, but Petrov can hold his head up high and say that he could not have done any more after his block-buster left-wing display at the Reebok on Sunday. His expertly-taken penalty, which put Wanderers in front, coupled with his drillied cross that was diverted into his own net by West Brom's Bily Jones, were telling contributions in such a crucial game. The Bulgarian would have despaired at seeing two late goals spoil much of his good work, but if Bolton win at Stoke this weekend, Petrov's efforts are unlikely to have been in vain. This could yet be a point that helps keep Wanderers up. PH


Djibril Cisse (QPR): Perhaps a controversial selection considering that the Frenchman only came on at Loftus Road on Sunday as a second-half substitute, but Cisse's vital late strike could be the goal that saves QPR from the dreaded drop. With the game at a stalemate, and neither side really threatening, the former Liverpool hitman provided the threat that the encounter needed, and sliding in the difficult half-volley late on won the game for the hosts. Cisse's short but eventful career has had many ups and downs since his arrival from Lazio in January, but I doubt he will score a more vital goal in his time, however long that may be. PH

Post a Comment below to let us know your thoughts on our selection, and your own Top Men team!

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ou spend £200 million in one year and you say 3 years to win the title, I don't think the Man U board signed you to win the title in 3 years after shelling out that sort of cash. Spending that sort of money you should be challenging for the title in this season, not getting an early excuse in to try appeasing the fans and board.

Van Gaal has lofty ambitions


verything looks pretty when, for a short while, the sun shines through the dark clouds. For a brief moment you can forget about your last tonking or the many more to come.

Van Gaal welcomes 'new start'


guess Storey was able to cancel his planned trip to the shops this weekend. He won't need to buy any food for a while because he's really dining out on those Angel/angel puns. It's going to be a long season.

ted, manchester
Forget Falcao, United Loving Angel Instead

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