Which player is like a young Drogba? Check out Garth's team of the week

Which player is like a young Drogba? Check out Garth's team of the week
From BBC - August 13, 2017

Red cards, dream debuts and high-scoring encounters - the Premier League is back.

Champions Chelsea had two players sent off as Antonio Conte's side lost at home to Burnley.

New signing Romelu Lukaku scored twice as Manchester United got their campaign off to a flying start with a big win against West Ham.

Premier League debutants Huddersfield produced the perfect away performance to beat Crystal Palace but there were defeats for fellow new boys Newcastle, against Tottenham, and Brighton, at home to Manchester City.

Do you agree with my selection or would you go for a different team? Why not pick your own team of the week from the shortlist selected by BBC Sport journalists and share it with your friends?

Goalkeeper - Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield)

I thought that Wilfried Zaha missed a glorious chance to put Palace back into their game against Huddersfield. However, when I saw the television replay, it was crystal clear that Jonas Lossl somehow got his foot to the ball to divert what was actually an excellent strike around the post for a corner.

If that was not a game changer, then the header from Christian Benteke that followed was. It was vintage centre-forward play from the Belgian striker but equalled only by a superb save from the Danish keeper.

It was obvious to me that Lossl's intention was to keep a clean sheet at all costs. Lots of goalkeepers may have that intention when they start a match but it's not always matched by their performance. Lossl was sensational and another excellent addition to a side who will need a few more results like this one at Selhurst Park if they intend to retain their Premier League status.

As for Palace, losing at home to Liverpool, for example, is one thing but a 3-0 defeat by Huddersfield is another matter entirely. The newly installed Frank de Boer only lasted 85 days as manager of Inter Milan - and if the Eagles suffer many more defeats like this, the Dutchman could find himself surpassing even that dismal record and staring at another P45 very quickly.

Defender - Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

I would no have sooner paid 50m for Kyle Walker than fly to the moon but I can see why Pep Guardiola did. How else was Guardiola going to get Spurs to let this particularly athletic full-back join their rivals? Unless, of course, he was prepared to offer Tottenham something quite outrageous in order to bolster his chances of winning the Premier League title? After all that's what's at stake.

Against a courageous Brighton and Hove Albion, who defended as though their lives depended on it, Walker looked every inch the player Guardiola would have wanted: comfortable on the ball, patient in defence and in no particular hurry to demonstrate to the viewing audience that he was worth the money.

That said, Brighton did not do an awful lot to test him but that was not the defender's fault. This is a massive season for Walker, especially with him having walked out of Spurs. To win nothing now, having taken such a serious step, would be a disaster for both manager and player.

Defender - Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham)

There were a number of sparkling performances for Spurs against Newcastle at St James' Park.

Christian Eriksen practically ran the show, Kyle Walker-Peters looks like a star in the making but it was Toby Alderweireld's quiet authority at the back that set the tone for Tottenham's victory.

In the absence of marquee signings at Tottenham this summer, it must come as a relief to many that they have retained the services of the Belgium international.

Danny Rose may have been forced to apologise for his remarks regarding a lack of summer spending at the club and I have some sympathy with his position. The transfer window is not yet closed but the point has been made.

If, as media reports suggest, Spurs are to spend something in the region of 85m during the next couple of weeks, then it could be another impressive season for them. It was an impressive away victory on Sunday.

Defender - Phil Jones (Manchester United)

It was good to see Phil Jones fit and playing in a Manchester United shirt again.

He has suffered more than his fair share of injuries over the years but if Jose Mourinho intends to challenge for the title this season then he is going to need a fully-fit Jones.

The former Blackburn defender can no longer go crashing into every challenge as though his life depends on it. Of course, it's every defender's dream to leave something on his opponent but Jones has to wise up. Picking his tackles is a vital pre-requisite if he intends to be part of a title-winning team under Mourinho.

Of all the central defenders at Old Trafford, Jones is the most comfortable on the ball. Chris Smalling is a warrior and Eric Bailly a great support act but if Jones can start to play with his head and not just his heart, United could be in for one hell of a season.

Defender - Stephen Ward (Burnley)

It was an excellent performance by Stephen Ward at Chelsea.

The full-back played with a confidence and composure reminiscent of another former Burnley left-back and England international, Keith Newton.

Ward took his goal brilliantly on Saturday, in what was anything but a spiteful game; nevertheless seven players were booked and two sent off.

What this game signified to me was that players such as Newton (as good as he was) could not play in the modern era because of the inflexibility of referees such as Craig Pawson, who seem incapable of recognising a mistimed tackle as opposed to a dangerous one. Frankly, I have seen better decisions made by a Grade 4 referee on a Sunday afternoon.

Pawson could not possibly have played the game at any serious level, having made the decision to send off Chelsea captain Gary Cahill for what was no more than a clumsy challenge. A yellow card was all that was required.

While Pawson may be popular with his peers for appearing brave, his hubris has put Stephen Ward and all defenders at risk of an early bath because of nothing more than their impetuousness.

Is that the future?

Midfielder - Wayne Rooney (Everton)

Midfielder - Nemanja Matic (Manchester United)

Midfielder - Dele Alli (Tottenham)

Forward - Stefano Okaka (Watford)

Forward - Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)

Forward - Steve Mounie (Huddersfield)


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