One week on from the restart of the Premier League, and my beloved Arsenal have only embarrassed themselves twice on the pitch. But fear not, here at Top Bins we try to look on the brighter side. So for the first seven days, we take a look at seven players who have shone in different ways since the restart.
After impressing at left back, left wing, and right wing, Bukayo Saka added a promising spell at central midfield to his repertoire against Brighton at the weekend. Hitting the woodwork, frequently crossing the ball into dangerous areas (cheers Lacazette), and finally teeing up Pepe’s absolute corker (Busquets-esque playmaking), this was truly a strong showing.
In what is undoubtedly a muted season for Arsenal, this young man may very well be the bright spot. Whilst it took me a while to be comfortable with a player born a year after me already eclipsing my life achievements, I really can’t state how much I love watching Saka play.
Whilst Watford v Leicester was largely dominated by the absolute chaos that was the last five minutes, Capoue is certainly worthy of a shout-out just for some of the absolute beauties of through passes he was serving up. In one particularly memorable moment, he put Sarr clean through, and no doubt would have been frustrated not to get an assist. For a pass to stand out in a game with an absolute rocket from Chilwell and a bicycle from Dawson, it is worth recognising the efforts of Capoue.
Like many, I was sat in the hope that Paul Pogba would get brought on to inject a bit of excitement into the cagey affair that was Spurs v Manchester United, and boy did he deliver. The finesse and guile that Pogba plays with is truly one of the most aesthetically pleasing styles in the league as far as I’m concerned. Whilst he did win a penalty, my favourite moment was without doubt the cross-field half-volleyed pass to Marcus Rashford. A clear exhibition of Pogba’s incredible technique, I, for one, was happy to see him back on the pitch.
Mahrez put in one of those performances against Burnley where you almost feel bad for whichever poor sod got stuck trying to engage with him. No matter the pace on the ball to him, Mahrez played with the confidence of a player who knew his boots were made of pillows. There is a certain character about Riyad Mahrez’s game where if you were to only watch him play football, you’d be forgiven for thinking that everything is incredibly easy to do. That is, until you try to reproduce any of it yourself.
Adama Traore is a player who knows what he is good at, with a manager who also knows what he is good at. In the Premier League, Traore stakes a claim for being one of the scariest for full backs to face. With the ball, everyone knows he is going to drive down the wing and then cross, but this does not make it any easier to stop. Such was the case against West Ham. Traore came on and made the difference, and, in hindsight, this is to the surprise of absolutely no one. Sometimes a game is missing dynamism, and in a game like that you’d want Adama to be on your side.
Frequent readers (if such people exist) will already have picked up on the high praise I have for Mason Mount. Such praise that I felt was very much validated against Aston Villa. Mount did not score nor assist, but this must not be mistaken for a lack of impact. Mount created issues early with a strong left-footed effort, and in the second half, drove forward with the ball in the build-up to Giroud’s goal. I’ve spoken before about how Mount seems to have unrivalled energy for trying to score, and this was once again apparent. In one way or another, Mount will always boost Chelsea’s goal threat.
That being said, he really needs to shave the chin beard.
As much as Arsenal’s loss to Brighton pained me, it does not pain me to recognise the sterling performance of Lewis Dunk. Of course he did score, but the true skill came in his defensive performance. Always first to the ball and aware of danger, Arsenal found chances hard to come by in the centre of the pitch. Dunk is very much a player I expect teams to swoop in on if Brighton get relegated. In a game where more and more technical demands are made of defenders, Dunk shines in a defence-first role.
If there’s anyone who you thought should have made the cut, let me know down below!