MFF February Team of the Month 2022/23
February’s MFF team of the month takes on a 5-3-2 formation. And this month’s spoiler is none of the players from the league leaders made it. Nine different teams are represented this month. Remember players are now listed in their positions in the ‘Official Fantasy Premier League’.
Bernd Leno (Fulham)
After being displaced as Arsenal number one last season by Aaron Ramsdale many wondered what the future would be like for Leno. Fulham returned to the Premier League and scooped him up in the summer. Marek Rodak played two games in goal and then Leno was made number one. Leno has kept seven clean sheets since and three of those came in four February games as Fulham enjoyed an unbeaten month to stay in 6th place in the league table. Leno now is joint-4th amongst keepers in clean sheets after his solid month. Leno’s alertness had more than been needed as Marco Silva’s men have faced a plethora of shots this campaign. Leno has made 93 saves in 23 outings, only Brentford’s David Raya has made more. 11 of those saves came in February including no fewer than 7 away at Brighton as Fulham scraped a fortunate 1-0 victory.
Emerson Royal (Tottenham)
Emerson’s time in England has been much maligned but February was easily his best month in a Tottenham shirt. Spurs began the month with a 1-0 win over the champions Manchester City and Emerson’s marauding caused City all types of problems, making Jack Grealish have to do more defending than attacking. Spurs were then smashed 4-1 away at Leicester but they bounced back with two impressive 2-0 London Derby victories at home. First up, they beat West Ham, and Emerson scored the opening goal when he found himself in space in the box and slid the ball into the bottom corner. They then triumphed over Chelsea and Emerson almost gave them the lead when his shot was saved, the attack eventually saw Oliver Skipp open the scoring.
Craig Dawson (Wolves)
Since being signed by Wolves for £3.3m in January, Dawson has been in inspired form and has duly elevated Wolves after moving from West Ham. The veteran was a surprise purchase but has so far justified his move. Dawson has taken the place of Nathan Collins in Wolves’ back four and Julen Lopetegui’s men took 7 points from a possible 12 in February. They could not have started the month any better as they embarrassed Liverpool 3-0 at Molineux. Dawson has always been an aerial threat at set pieces in his career, but it was a powerful right footed strike that put Wolves two ahead against Jurgen Klopp’s team. With Dawson being 32 now it may be a short-term fix but so far he is looking like an astute acquisition.
James Tarkowski (Everton)
Everton began the season statistically well defensively but then started conceding at an alarming rate which saw Frank Lampard lose his job. Sean Dyche came in and this saw him be reunited with Tarkowski as they had been together at Burnley. Dyche’s first game in charge was at home to leaders Arsenal, and Tarkowski headed the winning goal in a classic Dyche 1-0 masterclass. Tarkowski’s set piece threat was evident again but ironically it was the catalyst to them conceding. His header against Liverpool hit the post and the Reds’ raced up the other end to take the lead in a 2-0 win. Everton responded with another clean sheet at home as they edged past Leeds 1-0 and Tarkowski almost scored again as he had a header saved. They lost at home to Villa to end the month on a sour note however Tarkowski made his mark. Tarkowski leads the league in blocks made with 49 and is 3rd in headed clearances with 75.
Luke Shaw (Manchester United)
Erik ten Hag is looking like a genius. Tyrell Malacia was brought in the summer and was first choice left back to start the campaign, but since Shaw has been given a chance, he has relished the competition. Shaw has been consistent as he continues getting nearer to his best. The England international filled in as a left-sided centre half post-World Cup as Lisandro Martinez had a prolonged break, but only played there once in February away at Leeds as he has now got his natural left back position back it seems. Malacia was substituted in that game at Leeds, and Shaw when switched to left back crossed for the opening goal by Marcus Rashford. Shaw had earlier begun the month assisting Rashford as United won 2-1 at home to Crystal Palace. In the game before the trip to Leeds, United also played them at Old Trafford and came from 2-0 down to salvage a 2-2 draw. The equaliser came from Jadon Sancho, Shaw was involved in the move which took a deflection before finding Sancho.#
Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)
Liverpool’s season has left a lot to be desired. Frequent errors in defence have led to them conceding far more goals than they usually do, and they have continually left their goalkeeper Alisson exposed and he lies 4th in the league in saves made because of it. Robertson started the campaign very slowly and then picked up an injury before returning in October. Out of their back four he has been their best performer since his return and through some sloppiness by the Reds he was the one who stuck to his task. Robertson defended well and was regularly an option going forward. Jurgen Klopp’s men were battered 3-0 away at Wolves to start the month however they recovered to keep three consecutive clean sheets. Newcastle had a man sent off but still provided Liverpool toughest test after Wolves and Robertson was the Reds’ standout player, he should also have found the net in this encounter.
Manor Solomon (Fulham)
Despite only playing 86 minutes in February, Solomon scored in three straight games to help Fulham’s bid for European football. With some great finishes he is making a real push for getting into the starting XI. His run began in Fulham’s second contest of the month against Nottingham Forest. Forest were threatening to get a point, but two minutes from time Solomon made the three points certain with a clinical finish to make it 2-0. Next up Marco Silva’s men travelled to Brighton; they rode their luck but Solomon who had only been on the pitch for six minutes scored in the 88th minute once again. He produced a sublime low finish on his weaker left foot to seal the deal. Fulham trailed at home to Wolves and then Solomon came on at half-time. The Israeli international cut inside and bent a lovely effort into the bottom corner to get the Cottagers a point.
Rodri (Manchester City)
This season thus far we may not have seen the Manchester City we have come accustomed to but Rodri for the most part has kept up his good play. Rather than his usual midfield anchor role Pep Guardiola has also used him in the defence on a couple of occasions too and he has still maintained his standard. City lost to Tottenham to start the month but bounced back with a 3-1 home victory over Aston Villa. Rodri opened the scoring as he crashed in a header from Riyad Mahrez’s corner. His ability to read the game and his high ball retention make him pivotal to the team. Rodri leads the Premier League in passes completed and in touches with 2,159 and 2,442 respectively. On top of this he is 9th in aerial duels won with 58. The Spaniard is also joint-6th amongst midfielders in tackles won with 51. His 14 blocks have him joint-4th amongst midfielders.
Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
Calling Rashford’s current form a hot streak would be an understatement. The man just cannot stop scoring. Rashford got the vital goal to put United 2-0 up as they won 2-1 against Crystal Palace to begin proceedings. In their next home game, they came from 2-0 down against Leeds and Rashford headed in well from a fine Diogo Dalot cross. Rashford came up clutch with another header as United then went and won 2-0 at Leeds, this time it was Luke Shaw providing another good ball in for him. The Red Devils had a tricky start to their home game against Leicester but responded with three goals which included a brace for Rashford. The Foxes’ high line was exploited on both Rashford’s goals. The first came from a great pass by Bruno Fernandes and Rashford ran through and finished with ease. His second saw him produce another straightforward finish as he was just onside before firing low past Danny Ward.
Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester)
Leicester still continue to be inconsistent but in their two February victories Iheanacho was key. In the Foxes’ 4-2 win at Aston Villa, he set up the equaliser for James Maddison after Villa were caught out trying to play it out from the back. The Nigerian international then scored himself as more slack defending saw him ease through and find the bottom corner from the edge of the box. He then fed Tete to put Brendan Rodgers’ men 3-2 up at the start of the second half. Leicester then crushed Tottenham 4-1 at the King Power Stadium and Iheanacho was at it again. His alertness in the box allowed him to assist Maddison again, before he scored himself for his fifth contribution of the month as Spurs’ poor defending was punished. He has waited patiently behind Jamie Vardy and is fully taking his opportunity.
Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)
Watkins has taken awhile to get going this campaign but now under Unai Emery he is flourishing. Watkins scored in all four of Aston Villa games in the month as they continue their fight to make the top half of the table. He opened the scoring early on against Leicester at home only for Villa to be beaten 4-2 as he followed in after Emiliano Buendia struck the bar. The Villans then felt the wrath of Manchester City in a 3-1 defeat, and it was Watkins who got the consolation goal, firing into the bottom corner when City were caught high up the pitch. He opened the scoring against Arsenal with a good run and a thumping low left footed finish but Villa capitulated and lost 4-2 at home once again. He concluded the month scoring a penalty in a 2-0 win at Everton.