We do love a cheeky combined XI. No matter how fair you believe you have been, you will always have people telling you that you are a complete and utter moron who should be sacked on the spot.
The Premier League fixture of the weekend is obviously Tottenham v Liverpool. Both teams have started the season very well and remain unbeaten in the league. Will one side come out victorious or will Spurs get another draw out of a tricky opponent?
Last weekend’s Arsenal – Tottenham combined XI got a lot of people talking. Here’s hoping this one doesn’t rattle as many cages. Actually, fingers crossed it rattles even more cages…
GK: Alisson (Liverpool)
Guglielmo Vicario is enjoying life in the capital but it will take a lot for him to be widely regarded as a superior goalkeeper to Alisson.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Every Spurs combined XI is going to give us the same debate when their in-form stars miss out, it would seem. Pedro Porro has been great in a full-back role, especially considering he was signed as a wing-back, but even with all of his defensive frailties, you cannot pick the Spaniard over Trent Alexander-Arnold.
CB: Cristian Romero (Tottenham)
Romero was one of the harsher exclusions from our north London derby XI, so it felt right to give him the nod this time around, which does mean a very good Liverpool defender misses out.
We all know the Argentinean is a bit erratic, but there is no doubting his ability as a ball-playing centre-back. There are not many better in Our League. Hell, he might be a bit biased but Lionel Messi recently said Romero is the “best defender in the world”. Decent praise, that.
CB: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Another player who divides opinion, Van Dijk has garnered his fair share of critics over the last year or so. He might not be the player he once was, but he is still a very capable footballer. Leaving him out here would have been awfully harsh.
The ‘very good Liverpool defender’ who misses out is Ibrahima Konate.
LB: Andy Robertson (Liverpool)
The Scot has started the season very well and was included in our Premier League XI of the season, so leaving him out here would be silly.
As Winty mentioned, though, Spurs’ Destiny Udogie is coming…
DM: Yves Bissouma (Tottenham)
What a start to the season this man has had. Wow. Bissouma is second in tackles made, fourth in interceptions, and second in completed dribbles. Stats don’t mean everything, but they help you realise how impressive a player has been if you haven’t been able to see much of them in action.
Bissouma is a man possessed under Ange Postecoglou now he has been freed from Antonio Conte’s shackles.
CM: Dominik Szoboszlai (Liverpool)
It is not easy to adapt quickly to the Premier League, but Szoboszlai has made it look like a piece of cake thus far. Excellent with both feet, a wonderful striker of the ball, and someone with an incredible engine, Jurgen Klopp might have found his perfect midfielder.
CM: Alexis Mac Allister (Liverpool)
Mac Allister is another player who fits this Liverpool system very well. He has the energy required but is superb technically and could end up being the signing of the season. Any of the three players in our midfield diamond are proving their worth in that award category, to be fair.
AM: James Maddison (Tottenham)
The Spurs team seems to be built entirely around Maddison, who looks like he has been in that side for years, not a couple of months.
You do get the impression that where Spurs finish in the league relies on Maddison’s fitness. If he is available for all 38 games, there is no limit to how high they should aim…
ST: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
There is always going to be someone who complains about rejigging the formation and having someone play out of position. We are here to tell you… we don’t care.
Do we need to justify Salah’s inclusion? No. No, we do not. He has replaced Harry Kane wonderfully.
ST: Heung-min Son (Tottenham)
Another exclusion from our NLD team that got me pelters, Son is another player loving life under Postecoglou having struggled under the management of Conte.
I might have got that one wrong. Sometimes it is admirable to hold your hands up and say that is the case. Please forgive me.