Who’s been ballin’ so far? MFF August Premier League Team Of The Month
The 2021/22 season is upon us. This means it is time for the first MFF team of the month. Only 3 games were played, but as always we have some of the top performers of the month for you. We many good contributions from forward players; this months top heavy team takes on a 3-3-4 formation.
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)
In the aftermath of becoming a World Cup winner in 2018, there have been some question marks over whether or not Lloris is still able to consistently perform at a high level. Lloris however has had an accomplished start to the season and Tottenham ended August as the only team in the Premier League to have not conceded a goal. Lloris stood firm as Spurs beat Manchester City in the first of 3 1-0 victories in the month. His most key moment was in their second game when he made a great save with his legs to deny Adama Traore as they scraped past Wolves. The Frenchman made 12 saves in the month to earn his three clean sheets.
Shane Duffy (Brighton)
Irish international Duffy was surplus to requirements last season and was sent on loan to Celtic. However with Ben White sold for £50m to Arsenal he has been welcomed back by Graeme Potter and has had an imposing start to the new season. Brighton came from behind to beat Burnley 2-1 in their opening fixture, and then in the Seagulls’ second game Duffy headed them in front en route to a 2-0 win at home to Watford. In a 3-man Brighton central defence; Duffy has looked the sharpest and is 2nd in the league in clearances with 19. He is 1st in headed clearances (14) and is joint 3rd in blocks with 5. His form may well save Brighton some money.
Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
Chelsea’s captain may not be as dynamic as he once was but at 32 he is still a huge part of Thomas Tuchel’s plans. The Spaniard has kept it solid at the back along with Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger. The Blues’ backline was not breached in open play, as the only goal conceded in August was a penalty by Mo Salah in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool to close the month. The Blues defended well after losing a man at Anfield and Azpilicueta’s leadership was key. Azpilicueta is joint-top of the league in tackles won with 15 thus far as well as being joint-14th in clearances with 12.
Japhet Tanganga (Tottenham)
Back in the 2019/20 season when Jose Mourinho was in charge of Tottenham, he gave Tanganga his debut and he showed great promise. Now 22; the versatile Tanganga who can play anywhere across the backline has began proceedings well at right back as Spurs top the Premier League. Tottenham are still yet to concede a goal. Outside of having some vulnerable moments against the uber-rapid Adama Traore in Tottenham’s 1-0 triumph at Wolves, Tanganga has not done much wrong. His best performance was in the game before as they edged past Manchester City. Nuno Espirito Santo has brought in Emerson Royal from Barcelona but he may not go straight into the team if Tanganga continues to play well at right back. Tanganga made 10 clearances in August.
Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
While Pogba’s future remains unsolved, right now he is producing some of his best form in a United shirt. The French international has so far has been mainly used in an inverted left midfield role and has been flourishing recording 5 assists already in 3 games. The Red Devils ran riot on the opening weekend of the season beating Leeds 4-1, and Pogba supplied 4 of the goals with some sublime passes. The pick of his assists was a perfectly weighted ball to Mason Greenwood to put United 2-1 up. Pogba was to assist Greenwood again as United got a point away at Southampton in their next fixture in a 1-1 draw. Ole Gunnar Solksjaer will hope Pogba does not pass up signing a new deal.
Pablo Fornals (West Ham)
Fornals has quietly been solid for West Ham since signing before the 2019/20 campaign. The Spaniard had a goal contribution in each game in August as the Hammers scored goals for fun, the 10 they amassed was only replicated by Manchester City. Fornals set up Aaron Cresswell for the equaliser against Newcastle before David Moyes’ men went on to win 4-2. Fornals opened the scoring; as West Ham found the net 4 times again after linking up well with Said Benrahma in their home win over Leicester. He ended the month opening the scoring once again at home as West Ham drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace after combining with Michail Antonio to complete a breakaway.
Said Benrahma (West Ham)
Benrahma has continued his excellent pre-season form into the start of the Premier League campaign. He was in and out of the team in his first season with West Ham when he was on loan from Brentford, but the deal was made permanent and currently he seems to be one of the first names on the teamsheet. The Algerian had a very efficient 4 goal contributions in August. In the Hammers’ 4-2 win at Newcastle he scored a header from a Michail Antonio cross and then returned the favour as Antonio crashed in the fourth after a great counter attack. David Moyes’ men scored 4 again as they beat Leicester, and Benrahma laid on the first goal for Pablo Fornals, he then scored himself to put them 2-0 up.
Mason Greenwood (Manchester United)
Despite being the tender age of 19 Greenwood is already one of the better natural finishers in the Premier League. He has started the season in his favoured position as a number 9 and has been clinical scoring in all three of United’s August contests. First up United crushed Leeds 5-1 at Old Trafford, and Greenwood collected a lovely pass from Paul Pogba and drove the ball in off the post. He was at it again scoring a deflected goal as the Red Devils salvaged a point at Southampton in their second game. He was the hero in United’s last match as he scored the winner in their rather fortunate 1-0 triumph over Wolves at Molineux. Greenwood was switched out wide when Edinson Cavani came on and because of this was able to cut inside and drive across keeper Jose Sa. That goal against Wolves made him the first teenager since Robbie Fowler in 1994 to score in the opening three league games of the season.
Heung-Min Son (Tottenham)
Son has collectively had better months, but the fact of the matter is Tottenham only scored 3 goals in August and he got 2 of them as they top the table with an 100% record. Spurs overcame the champions Manchester City and Son was the match-winner with a brilliant solo goal, finishing left footed into the bottom corner just when it looked like the chance had gone. In the away win at Wolves he was denied a goal by Jose Sa and was later replaced by Harry Kane. The month climaxed with another 1-0 win for Nuno Espirito Santo’s men and Son was the hero once more. The Korean got a bit of fortune when he bent a free-kick into a dangerous area and no one got a touch on it as it flew straight in.
Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)
With all the talk around Manchester City trying to buy Harry Kane; some found it bizarre that the one striker they did have in Jesus was left on the bench when they began their campaign with a defeat at Tottenham. Jesus was to start the remaining two games in August and he took up a wide forward role that he has worked well in at international level. In those two games, which were both at home; City accumulated 10 goals and Jesus was a huge part of the reason why with 4 goal contributions. His great work led to an own goal to open the scoring against Norwich. He then assisted Jack Grealish’s first goal for the club. In the second half he assisted again, this time for Raheem Sterling in a 5-0 victory. City then won 5-0 again, as they dealt with 10-man Arsenal. Jesus supplied the first for Ilkay Gundogan before scoring himself in the second half.
Michail Antonio (West Ham)
Antonio has had his fitness issues since joining West Ham, but when he is on the pitch he delivers. Antonio was the only man to score and assist in all three Premier League games in August as West Ham took 7 points from 9. West Ham won 4-2 in their first matchup at Newcastle and Antonio assisted the second goal for Said Benrahma. He then missed a penalty (where Tomas Soucek scored the rebound) but he bounced back with an emphatic finish to make it 4-2. Antonio bagged a brace in the next encounter as the Hammers beat 10-man Leicester 4-1. The two goals meant Antonio is now West Ham’s all-time leading Premier League scorer. Antonio also assisted the first goal for Pablo Fornals. He topped off his impressive start to the campaign with another goal and assist as David Moyes’ men drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace.