Date: 18th December 2017 at 10:32pm
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Manchester United are represented in the latest Premier League team of the week that has been selected by BBC pundit Garth Crooks.

Actually Garth is now down as a ‘Football Analyst’ these days, a posh term for a pundit then!

The performance by Chris Smalling in the two one victory over West Bromwich Albion at the weekend at The Hawthorns was enough to earn them a place in the side alongside the other, in the opinion of the former Spurs striker anyway, most impressive performers in the topflight over the latest weekend.

I think we’ll already know ourselves, and not just based on the latest performance, why Crooks, we’ll also not argue with it, selected Smalling as part of his team but explaining his choice he told the BBC.

‘Manchester United’s win at West Brom wasn’t an easy watch for me, in fact I found much of the game rather boring. However, what I did find interesting was the captain’s armband slowly finding its way to Chris Smalling. In the absence of Antonio Valencia, who left this dull affair with a hamstring injury, I can’t think of a more likeable or committed player to give the armband to. All credit to manager Jose Mourinho – he does like to give the armband to those who don’t crave the limelight. The Christmas period is going to be very demanding, and Smalling is the sort of player who will compete and lead by example. No Eric Bailly (for at least a couple of months) or Daley Blind means United can’t afford many more injuries or suspensions to their top defenders. So having Smalling around for so long has proved to be of real value. He may not be the most gifted centre-back at the club, but he is certainly Mr Dependable.’

It’s always good to see the club represented in this way, and well played to Smalling for his recognition, but the most important thing about the weekend was of course the points.

Full Team:

Mathew Ryan (Brighton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), James Collins (West Ham United), Marcos Alonso (Chelsea), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

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