February Premier League Team of the Month

In a new segment here at Music Football Fatherhood, we will give you a monthly Premier League team with the best performers. February starts things off, never an easy month, as it is the shortest one in the calendar, and with the traditional allocated FA Cup weekend, teams were restricted to only three or four league games, however here are the best of the bunch. 

Let us know if you agree with our team of the month and who you would have included!

Formation: 3-4-3

Goalkeeper

Tom Heaton (Burnley)

Since getting the number one spot back in January; Heaton has been in fine form and this continued through February. Burnley won twice, drew once and lost once in their four league games and they have moved up to 15th in the table, in what has been an underwhelming campaign, but his presence in goal has brought some much needed resistance. Heaton was solid throughout, but his  standout performance was in Burnley’s 3-1 win away at Brighton, where he made some top class saves to keep them from going behind.

Burnley’s Tom Heaton celebrates after his great display at Brighton, but can he get back into the England after a long injury layoff? Picture from ‘dailymail.co.uk’.

Defenders   

Victor Lindelof (Manchester United)

Lindelof’s improvement actually started before Ole Gunnar Solksjaer took over at United in December, and he has sustained this form and now looks more like the centre half United thought they were getting. He missed United’s 3-0 win away at Fulham, but was good enough in their other three league games to gain his place in this months side. United kept two clean sheets in the games he played in and despite United showing vulnerability at set pieces, they look that bit better defending in open play. Lindelof looks settled and assured now and is looking more and more as  Solksjaer’s first choice centre back.

Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

The big Dutchman is a primary candidate for this seasons’ Player of the Year, this really illustrates the impact he has made, as defenders rarely get a strong mention when it comes to the award. Liverpool dropped points against West Ham and Manchester United in their pursuit of the title, bar a lapse in concentration against the Hammers, he has stood firm and lead the line. Despite not being captain he is vital to the side’s communication. He concluded the month perfectly with a clean sheet and a brace in the 5-0 home win over Watford with two tidy headers.

Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City)

Laporte has had an impressive season, and the month of February saw no difference. Now settled in the country, he has been accomplished defensively, and has emerged as Pep Guardiola’s first choice defender. Laporte has not just helped defensively; he also contributed to the team going forward, as he has been used on the left hand side of the defence against Arsenal (home) and Everton (away), games in which he assisted and scored in respectively. His regular inclusion in the French national team is surely not too far away in this form.

Aymeric Laporte celebrates his goal against Everton with John Stones, he is now a huge piece for Manchester City. Picture from ‘talksport.com’.

Midfielders

Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

French World Cup winner Pogba, has come into his own since regularly starting again after Jose Mourinho’s departure. Everything United do well going forward seems to run through him, and the much faster pace the team know lay at, has complemented him. His range of passing and ability to time his runs into the box make him a Fantasy Football players dream, accumulating numerous points since Solksjaer has been at the helm. Pogba, finished the month with 2 goals and 2 assists in United’s four league games. He created Marcus Rashford’s goal in the 1-0 away win at Leicester with arguably the pass of the month.

Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

Though Sterling only started in 3 out of the 4 league games City had, his consistent season rolled on. His finishing has improved and his industry continues to cause defences nightmares, and this has opened up spaces for his teammates. Sterling is one of the first names on Pep Guardiola’s teamsheet, which shows how well he has done, as Pep can surprise with his team selections. Sterling assisted in the 3-1 win over Arsenal and scored twice against Chelsea in a 6-0 romp, as well winning the penalty that provided Sergio Aguero with a hat trick. Sterling will feel aggrieved if he were not to a win an individual award as he is eligible for the Young Player of the Year, as well as the main award.

Son Heung Min (Tottenham Hotspur)

A player with a decent case for the overall player of the month, Son came back from the Asia Cup early as South Korea were eliminated prematurely in the quarter final, and Spurs were very thankful this happened. Son scored the winner in a tight game to start the month at home to Newcastle, and he scored the all important third goal on the counter attack to beat Leicester 3-1,a s the game look destined to finish in a draw. He did not finish the month as well as he started it but his contribution was so significant he makes the cut. Some journalists have touted him for Player of the Year, but he will probably fall short, due to a slow start to the season.

Declan Rice (West Ham)

Rice has had a solid season in a deep laying central midfield role, despite pundits like Gary Neville, believing his future will be as a centre half, a position he also knows well. Ironically, February saw Rice pledge his international career to England rather than Ireland who he has already played for in non-competitive games. Rice started all West Ham’s games this month, but he was the best player on the pitch in the home games against Liverpool and Fulham, breaking up play and recycling possession. Rice continues to grow and West Ham may have difficulty holding on to him in the future.

West Ham’s Declan Rice pictured here battling with Fulham’s Alexsandar Mitrovic is maturing with every game and has chosen to play fir England over Ireland. Picture from ‘whufc.com’.

Forwards

Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

Mane carried Liverpool through a testing February, a month in which they temporarily surrendered their lead at the top of the table. Mane was in inspired form bar a poor showing away at Manchester United. Mane scored in the away draw at West Ham and bagged the opening goal at home to Bournemouth. The Senegalese international was at the double in the 5-0 victory over Watford to conclude the month in superb fashion, his backheel for the second goal could steal goal of the month too. He now has 14 Premier League goals, just 3 less than Liverpool’s star man Mo Salah and he has not scored any penalties. Liverpool need him to be consistent however, for the rest of the season if they are to lift the trophy.

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

The Argentine hitman was so prolific in February; he is now the Premier League’s top marksman with 18 goals, leapfrogging Mo Salah, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Harry Kane with his exploits. Aside from a terrible miss against Chelsea (a game he scored a hat trick in anyway), everything he hit seemed to go into the back of the net. Aguero, rounded off the month with a sensational 7 goals in 4 games, which was more impressive when you look at the opposition. This included two hat tricks, in the 3-1 win over Arsenal and the aforementioned Chelsea game. He also added a penalty to beat West Ham 1-0. Aguero has fully embraced starting consecutively in the league, and Gabriel Jesus will have a hard time displacing him when he gets fit.

Ashley Barnes (Burnley)

This could have so easily have been Barnes’ teammate Chris Wood who matched Barnes with 3 goals in the month, however, Barnes gets the nod for his resolve and holding his nerve in clutch situations. He began the month with an injury time penalty to rescue a point at home to Southampton. Barnes, then scored another important penalty, as Burnley won 3-1 in an end-to–end game away at Brighton. He then got the crucial late winner as they shocked title chasing Spurs at Turf Moor 2-1. Barnes’ goals were incredibly vital and he deserves his place ahead of Wood, Burnley have climbed out of the relegation zone after looking doomed after their surprise seventh place finish in the 2017/18 campaign.

Burnley’s Ashley Barnes cannot hide his emotion as he scores the winner to beat Spurs 2-1. Picture from ‘standard.co.uk’.

Daniel Dwamena

@DubulDee

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