Football365 weekly awards: February 7

Date published: Wednesday 8th February 2017 1:03

Premier League player – Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
When he’s in the mood, Lukaku is unplayable and Bournemouth picked a bad day to face the Belgian, who scored four in Everton’s 6-3 triumph. John Aldridge said of Lukaku that he doesn’t do much outside the box but not only did he create James McCarthy’s goal – Everton’s second – Lukaku also played a major role in the build-up to his first, third and fourth goals. For his own second, he capitalised on Simon Francis’s brainfart, but still applied a wonderful finishing touch.

 

Football League player – Tom Lawrence (Ipswich)
Lawrence is on fire at the moment, with his brace taking his tally to eight goals in eight games since the turn of the year. Not only is the Ipswich midfielder impressing with the quantity of his goals but some of the quality has been of the very highest standard. His first against Reading on Saturday came after a jinking run at the visitors’ defence before smashing one in off the bar, and any goal that crashes in off the underside of the bar is the better for it. The second came after an intelligent run between the central defenders before a cool finish.

 

European player – Dries Mertens (Napoli)
The Belgian scored another hat-trick as Napoli demolished Bologna 7-1 to move up to second in Serie A. That’s now 14 goals in nine games for Mertens, who is finally showing what he can do at Napoli, thanks largely to an extended run of games. The winger-turned-forward has two hat-tricks and another four-goal haul in the last two months. His hat-trick on Saturday consisted of a 20-yard free-kick and two brilliant one-on-one finishes.

 

Best goal – Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Olivier Giroud and Andy Carroll’s first-time finishes seem to be the popular contenders for the Goal of the Season awards but Hazard’s 12 touches between picking the ball up in his own half and beating Petr Cech deserve to be held in similar high regard. Laurent Koscielny failed twice to stop the Belgian while Francis Coquelin was swatted away with ridiculous ease. It looked a simple finish, but Hazard could claim that he ‘topped’ his shot intentionally, so as to bounce over Cech’s long barrier, and we’d believe him.

 

Best pass – Ross Barkley (Everton)
Despite being in and occasionally out of the Everton team this season, Barkley has still been the most creative English player in the division. That imagination was on display as Everton extinguished Bournemouth’s hopes of a fightback with their fifth goal, scored by Lukaku but made possible by a perfectly-weighted backheel through the heart of the defence.

 

Best save – Eldin Jakupovic (Hull)
Vito Mannone would have taken this award but after going through frame-by-frame, the panel still can’t decide whether he or Jason Denayer turned Jason Puncheon’s drive from the edge of the box over the bar from underneath it. So we’ll give it to Hull keeper Jakupovic, not only for diverting Jordan Henderson’s 20-yard drive away from the roof of the net, but also for the celebration after. Why shouldn’t keepers celebrate picking one out of the top corner?

 

Best tactical move – Jose Mourinho (Man Utd)
United and Leicester engaged in some harmless flirting for the first 30 minutes at the King Power on Sunday before Mourinho moved Marcus Rashford to the left and Henrikh Mkhitaryan into a more central role to add some penetration. Gratification was quick, with the Armenian pouncing on Chris Smalling’s flick to scuttle through the Leicester half before finishing with a flourish.

 

Worst tactical move – Eddie Howe (Bournemouth)
Bournemouth started with a back three for the first time this season and Howe’s cunning plan was foiled within 30 seconds after James McCarthy and Lukaku combined, with the Belgian capitalising on the space he was afforded to score Everton’s quickest Premier League goal. At 3-0 down, Howe reverted to a back four at the break and though the visitors grabbed a couple in reply, they also shipped another three at the other end.

 

The Izzy Brown Premier League loan player of the week award – Izzy Brown (Huddersfield)
After coming off the bench and two minutes later putting Huddersfield ahead against Leeds, Brown now has three goals in six games for the Terriers. The boss loves him and I like being paid at the end of the month, so congratulations again, Izzy.

 

Vehemently not a dick move of the week – Ross Barkley’s celebration
Had Barkley completely f***ed up by somehow not rolling the ball into an empty net from a few yards, then you could say his premature celebration was a dick move. But he didn’t so it’s not. Instead, anyone who was offended by the Everton midfielder enjoying himself probably needs to try experiencing that emotion for themselves sometime. Those lonely, joyless individuals can share this award.

 

Actual dick move of the week
“They’re my values; humility, respect and class, and I don’t think he [Wagner] showed that,” was Garry Monk’s explanation for his actions below. What he failed to add is that if someone doesn’t reciprocate said values, he will start a multi-man melee before backing away himself. Bloody sh*thouse.

 

Boyhood dream of the week

Robbie Keane grew up waiting for this moment.

 

Dembele of the week – Moussa Dembele
The Celtic striker returned from a Deadline Day trip to London to score a 24-minute hat-trick after coming off the bench with the Bhoys 2-1 down at St Johnstone. His third goal wasn’t half bad either…

Ian Watson

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