Football365’s weekly awards: November 30

Date published: Wednesday 30th November 2016 7:00

Premier League player – Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Football365’s early winner and player of the week – truly the double every footballer dreams of. It’s all very well blaming Arsene Wenger for not resting Sanchez, who has played an average of one game every 5.8 days since joining Arsenal, but can you honestly say that you wouldn’t get him on the pitch at every possible opportunity? He runs, he scores, he runs, he creates chances, he runs, he tackles, he runs, he beats his man, he runs. We swoon.


Football League player – Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest)
There is plenty of unjustified favouritism towards Nottingham Forest, Huddersfield Town and Mansfield Town on these pages, because we’re biased against every one of your clubs, but Lansbury is a deserving winner of this week’s award. The midfielder scored his first career hat-trick at Barnsley on Friday, the first a free-kick, second a wonderful header and third a penalty. Lansbury loses a point for not taking said penalty with his left foot, thus achieving a perfect hat-trick.


European player – Giovanni Simeone (Genoa)
Before this weekend, Simeone Jr’s most notable achievement was a haircut of spectacular abhorrence. On Sunday he scored two goals to give Genoa a 3-1 victory over reigning Serie A champions Juventus. Interestingly (as ever, that probably deserves to be placed in inverted commas), that’s the first time that a player has scored twice in a league game against Juventus since October 2013, Guiseppe Rossi for Fiorentina. That’s a run of 120 games.


Best goal – Pedro (Chelsea)
I’m a little bit in love with Christian Eriksen’s sweet left-footed swipe to open the scoring, but Pedro’s equaliser was the goal of the game and the weekend. From the intricate turn to create space on the edge of the box to the calmness in setting himself and the wonderful curled finish that followed. Vote for Pedro.


Best pass – Loris Karius (Liverpool)


Best save – Darren Randolph (West Ham)
Look, I’ll level with you. usually create a ‘saves of the week’ compilation for the Premier League, which is very helpful. They didn’t produce it this week. So, if any goalkeeper made a wonderful save in Southampton vs Everton, Hull vs West Brom or Leicester vs Middlesbrough, I’m sorry, I didn’t watch your games. Instead it’s Randolph the red-nosed goalkeeper who wins the gong, for tipping Jesse Lingard’s close-range shot around the post. And I got to make my first crap festive pun.


Best tactical move – Claude Puel (Southampton)
Ronald Koeman might have made himself look stupid by admitting his ignorance of Josh Sims, but Southampton’s current manager is certainly all too aware of the midfielder’s ability. Sims got his first assist 42 seconds into his Premier League debut.

One of the reasons for appointing Puel was his development of young players at Nice, and Southampton are already feeling the benefits. The list of domestic players under the age of 23 used by Puel this season: Sims, Matt Targett, Sam McQueen, Harrison Reed, James Ward-Prowse, Nathan Redmond, Olufela Olomola, Jake Hesketh, Jack Stephens.


Worst tactical move – Alan Pardew (Crystal Palace)
You’ve scored six goals in four games, but shipped in 12. You look weak at set pieces, and your left-back (Martin Kelly) is struggling to the point that you feel like running onto the pitch to give him a cuddle and tell him it’ll be alright. Do you:

a) Change things, going three at the back and playing with wing-backs to surprise Swansea?
b) Change things, picking actual left-back Ezekiel Fryers instead of Kelly?
c) Change things, playing with a safety-first strategy rather than an optimism that long jumps over the line into naivety?
d) Change nothing, and hope that everything will be ok?

If you picked d), commiserations. You are Alan Pardew, and no amount of self-promotion will save you.


Famous last words of the week
“I’m delighted to be at Rotherham. I’m delighted to join and it didn’t take either of us very long to work things out. It’s a poor position and we’ve won one game out of the first 13 but the good news is there’s a enough to play for and the best part of 100 points to play for and that’s a lot” – Kenny Jackett, October 21.

Unfortunately, Jackett only hung around for 39 of those points.


More famous last words of the week

Give it two minutes, Deano…




Defending of the week – Burnley vs Manchester City


Premier League loan player – Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City, on loan to PSV)
Zinchenko has struggled for minutes on loan in the Eredivisie, but played 90 minutes against Den Haag on Saturday and received a glowing report for his performance. The Ukrainian assisted the third and final goal with a gorgeous pass, which is nice.

NB – Zinchenko looks unacceptably young for a professional footballer. He looks like a minor character in Neighbours who gets in a fight with one of protagonists at Erinsborough High School. Or something. 


Proper Football Man quote of the week
After accusations from Jurgen Klopp that Sunderland were “the most defensive team I ever saw”, David Moyes hits back:

“Maybe if I was a foreign coach I would’ve been praised for that. We don’t have the same quality as Liverpool. I knew we had to come here and defend. They won 6-1 here the other week so we didn’t want to come here and get rolled over that easy.”

As a rule David, nobody gets praised for losing, foreign or otherwise.


Dembele of the week – Moussa Dembele
No not that Moussa Dembele. Or Mousa Dembele. This Moussa Dembele plays for Red Bull Salzburg’s youth team, and he scored the final goal in a 4-1 win over SV Ried. Just hope he didn’t over-celebrate it, or Jose Mourinho will be fuming.


Compiler of the week – Daniel Storey

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