MFF April Premier League Team Of The Month
It is that time again; yes the time for another MFF team of the month. As the season gets nearer to it’s conclusion the team this month features five men from teams in the bottom half of the table. This months’ team takes on a 3-4-3 formation.
Sam Johnstone (West Brom)
A goalkeeper getting an assist is sporadic. A goalkeeper saving a penalty is a much more regular occurrence, but is still something to be very well celebrated, and Sam Johnstone did both of these things in April. The goalkeeper of the month was tight between him and Leeds’ Illan Meslier, but the Baggies’ number one just edged it with his standout moments. The month started with Sam Allardyce’s men winning 5-2 away at ten-man Chelsea, which surprised many and Johnstone assisted the equaliser for Matheus Pereira. West Brom followed that up with a 3-0 home win against Southampton, here Johnstone saved a late penalty from James Ward-Prowse. The only blemish on the month for him came as they were beaten 3-0 at Leicester, and even here he still made 4 saves. Johnstone made 22 saves overall in four April games, including 9 in the last match away at Aston Villa where West Brom were denied a win in injury time.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
After not making the England squad in late March, Alexander-Arnold has been under immense scrutiny in the last month, but he replied in the best possible way, by doing his talking on the pitch. The right back began the month with a man of the match worthy performance as Liverpool won 3-0 away at Arsenal. Diogo Jota headed his tantalising cross in for the opening goal. He defended well here it is worthy of noting as that is the part of his game which is maligned. Jurgen Klopp’s men then came from behind as they triumphed 2-1 over Aston Villa at Anfield, and it was Alexander-Arnold with a sublime finish in injury time to seal the three points. Liverpool then drew away at Leeds and he assisted the Reds’ goal as he cut the ball back to Sadio Mane when the keeper was caught out after coming off of his line.
Jonny Evans (Leicester)
After Leicester’s collapse in the second half of last season they ended up missing out on Champions League football, this time around they are getting nearer to preventing there be any chance of a repeat of that. The Foxes ended March in third place and Evans’ experience has been more than vital, as he is part of the spine of the team. Brendan Rodgers’ men recovered from starting the month with two defeats, by beating West Brom 3-0 and Evans was on the scoresheet with a header against his old club. Leicester followed that up with another home win as they came from behind to beat Crystal Palace 2-1. Evans’ late ball into the box provided the winner for Kelechi Iheanacho. The Northern Ireland international then found the net again himself with a header as Leicester got a point against ten-man Southampton to conclude April.
Seamus Coleman (Everton)
Coleman is one of the biggest bargains in Premier League history, and he is still going strong at the age of 32. Bought for a mere £60,000 by Everton in 2009 he is a stalwart of their backline and helped them keep two clean sheets in their four April games, which was the joint-most of any team. As well as his defensive prowess he can still maraud forward when needed like he did in his pomp and he helped Carlo Ancelotti’s men to go unbeaten in those four matches. Everton now still have an outside chance of getting into the Champions League. Coleman’s month began with assisting James Rodriguez’ brilliant goal against Crystal Palace in a 1-1 draw. An injury-hit Toffees side then got a well-earned clean sheet away at Brighton, as they had to name six defenders due to their crisis. Coleman then assisted another outstanding finish, this time by Gylfi Sigurdsson in a 2-2 draw with Spurs. Coleman rounded off his impressive month by keeping Nicolas Pepe relatively quiet in a 1-0 win at Arsenal.
Joe Willock (Newcastle)
He may not have played as many minutes as others in this team of the month, but Willock has arguably had the biggest impact of anyone. The 21-year old central midfielder who is on loan from Arsenal seems to make a difference every time he comes off the bench. His contribution looks to have steered the Magpies well clear of relegation when many thought Steve Bruce’s agricultural approach had them destined for the drop. Willock’s month started with him coming off the bench to grab a late close range equaliser to make it 2-2 when Newcastle looked beaten at home to Spurs. Newcastle then won 2-1 at Burnley, before Willock was at it again in the game after. As a substitute his header was too hot for Lukasz Fabianski to handle it gave them a 3-2 win at home to ten-man West Ham. He was not finished there just yet as the month ended with him scoring a deflected goal in the sixth minute of injury time as Newcastle salvaged a point away at Liverpool.
Matheus Pereira (West Brom)
West Brom’s inevitable relegation to the Championship is being prolonged by Pereira’s offensive efforts. Whilst keeper Sam Johnstone has being doing his best at the other end, Pereira has continued to be a bright spark just like he was on loan last season when they got promoted. The Brazilian began proceedings with a double as the Baggies upset Chelsea 5-2 at Stamford Bridge. His first was a well-executed lob over Edouard Mendy. The second was a composed finish into the bottom corner. He also added two assists after his goals, the first for Mbaye Diagne and the second for Callum Robinson. Pereira won a penalty and then converted it himself to open the scoring as West Brom won 3-0 at home to Southampton. Sam Allardyce’s men then followed up a defeat at Leicester with a 2-2 draw at Aston Villa. Pereira scored another penalty at Villa Park to level things up in the first half.
Jesse Lingard (West Ham)
Lingard magnificent run of form keeps up his record of making the MFF team of the month in every full month since he has been at West Ham. The Hammers are set for European football for the first time since 2016 and he has been a major factor. There still is even a chance of them squeezing into the Champions League and Lingard’s contribution has been needed even more with Michail Antonio out injured. The England international scored a wonderful individual goal to give David Moyes’ men the lead in the 3-2 away win at Wolves. His industry helped Arthur Masuaku assist the second goal for Pablo Fornals, before Lingard assisted the third himself for Jarrod Bowen. Lingard then got a brace as West Ham won 3-2 at the London Stadium against Leicester. West Ham lost their next game against Newcastle at St James’ Park but Lingard scored again this time from the penalty spot.
Adama Traore (Wolverhampton)
Before the month began Traore had no goals or assists in the league this season but April changed all of that. When he is at his best he is virtually unplayable but he has been inconsistent this campaign. In fact if Wolves were not plagued with injuries to their attacking options then it is more than likely he would have found himself on the bench more. April saw him reply to criticism exceptionally however and Nuno Espirito Santo’s men ended the month in 12th place. West Ham blew Wolves away in their first game as they were 3-0 down but Traore’s great run and cross was headed in by Leander Dendoncker just before half-time, as Wolves eventually fell to a 3-2 loss. Four days later they travelled to Fulham, and stole a win in injury time. Traore’s thunderbolt from a tight angle got them all three points. Traore was again involved as Wolves got consecutive wins. Willian Jose headed his cross in as they won 1-0 at home to Sheffield United.
Mason Greenwood (Manchester United)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said early on in his reign that Greenwood was the best finisher at the club. But rather than use him to lead the line he mainly is shoehorned into the team as an inside forward on the left or right and sometimes he even occupies the role behind the striker. This did not stop him from making a great contribution in April as United all but sewed up second place in the league. He started the first match at home to Brighton and got the winning goal seven minutes from the end with a close range header. He then came off the bench to help the Red Devils come from behind to win 3-1 at Tottenham. His smart ball into the near post set up Edinson Cavani’s header, and then he got on the scoresheet himself. Greenwood then got a second half double as United won 3-1 at home to Burnley. His first was a clinical finish to round off a nice team move whereas his second was deflected in.
Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester)
Iheanacho continued his hot form into April to aid Leicester in their quest for Champions League football. After losing their first contest at home to Manchester City they were heading for further damage away at West Ham as they found themselves 3-0 behind. Iheanacho almost singlehandedly brought them back into it as he scored twice but they fell just short. The Foxes then won 3-0 at home against West Brom, and Iheanacho scored the last goal after some good play by Jamie Vardy. Brendan Rodgers’ men looked like they were going to drop points at home in their next game but Iheanacho was to the rescue. The Nigerian international collected Jonny Evans’ ball and then fired an unstoppable shot into the roof of the goal past Vicente Guaita to make it 2-1. He was not finished there for the month as he returned the favour to Evans whose header grabbed a point away at Southampton. Iheanacho now has 10 league goals, a very impressive tally as he has only made 20 appearances this season and almost half of those have been from off the bench.
Chris Wood (Burnley)
The New Zealand international goes under the radar. As many have taken a dislike to Burnley’s style of play he quietly goes about his business. He has now actually hit double figures every season he has been at Burnley in the Premier League and April was a strong month for him. The Clarets began with a 3-2 defeat at Southampton when they had been 2-0 up. Wood scored the first from the penalty spot and then his flick on set up Matej Vydra for the second before they capitulated. Wood assisted Vydra again as Burnley took the lead against Newcastle, only for them to let another lead slip as they lost 2-1 at home. Wood had a tight offside call to deny him a first minute goal as Burnley shipped two late goals to lose to Manchester United 3-1, but he was to finish the month in style. Wood scored a hat-trick and assisted the other goal for Ashley Westwood as Burnley crushed Wolves 4-0 at Molineux.