Only one Arsenal player featured in Harry Redknapp’s Telegraph Team of the Week, as the former Spurs boss unsurprisingly chose a whole host of Manchester City players following their comprehensive 3-0 home victory over last season’s champions Chelsea.
In goal he picked Chelsea’s second-choice goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. He was excellent at times and had to be in order to shut out the likes of Sergio Agüero; although he was helpless to stop any of the three goals.
Vincent Kompany and Phil Jagielka were the centre-back pairing. Jagielka was solid in helping the Toffees prevail away from home in a tough fixture against Southampton, a rare away clean sheet for Roberto Martinez’s men in the process. Kompany, who has suffered his fair share of criticism over the past year, seems to have come into his own element – two goals from two matches, as well as two clean sheets. That’ll do wonders for the big Belgian’s confidence, but time will tell as to whether he can keep that consistency up.
The full-backs were Matteo Darmian and Aleksandar Kolarov. Kolarov was a constant threat going forward for the sky Blues against Chelsea and was not afraid to put in a well-timed tackle or two.
Darmian, one of United’s summer signings, seems to have settled in well to his new surroundings. He enjoyed another impressive display, this time against Aston Villa, where he showed promising glimpses of both defensive work and attacking threat – something Rafael struggled to produce on a consistent enough basis at Old Trafford.
The midfield is, as expected, Manchester City-heavy. Yaya Touré, Fernandinho and David Silva star in a five-man midfield; the latter of which continued to weave his magic with ease as he orchestrated counter attacks at will and has already reignited his fantastic partnership built with Agüero.
Jefferson Montero, who was Swansea’s star man in a 2-0 victory over Newcastle, also earned a place in Redknapp’s team. Not only because he’s fast and knows how to utilise his pace to devastating effect, but also because the Geordies struggled to get anywhere near him.
The one and only Arsenal man within the eleven was Mesut Özil. The silky German boasted a 98% pass accuracy as he bossed the game from start-to-finish in a hard-fought victory away at Palace. He got the assist for Olivier Giroud’s stunning opener, and continues to look like the world class player he truly is.
Last but not least, the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation, was Sergio Agüero. He returned to the starting eleven and his performance reiterated just how integral he is to City’s success. He scored his first league goal of the new campaign, and could have easily got a hat-trick before the interval if it wasn’t for Begovic’s string of excellent saves.
You could argue that the official Man of Arsenal’s Match, Santi Cazorla, should have been in the side over Yaya Touré perhaps. The little maestro was a livewire throughout, and ran his socks off with a tireless display against a robust Palace side with nothing to lose. Whilst Coquelin seemed to lose composure once or twice, the Spaniard did just the opposite from the centre of midfield – going on driving runs forward when needed, and was tactically aware when danger arose.
Touré on his day is undoubtedly a great player, but against Chelsea his display was overshadowed by Fernandinho’s brilliance. Perhaps if City hadn’t won so comfortably, Redknapp would have chosen Santi over Yaya in his side.