Date: 3rd January 2018 at 7:32pm
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Brighton 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 performances by goalkeeper Maty Ryan and Lewis Dunk for Brighton during their festive fixtures 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 last few matchdays.

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 the duo as part of his team but explaining his choice he told the BBC.

Ryan:

‘Ryan was outstanding during the 1-0 win over Watford and the 0-0 draw with Newcastle, helping provide four massive points for the Seagulls. I find Brighton deadly dull as an attacking force, but as a defensive unit they were magnificent against the Hornets and Magpies, and did not give Chelsea a sniff for 45 minutes on Boxing Day. They work hard as a team, are so brilliantly drilled, and give their manager everything. Ryan’s performances have been so compelling he has left Tim Krul with very little chance to come in and prove himself. In the Newcastle game the stop from Isaac Hayden that took a massive deflection en route to goal was wonderful but the save from a flicked header from Dwight Gayle was even better. I’ve been saying all season that Brighton will run out of gas, and it seemed to be happening quicker than I thought against Bournemouth on New Year’s Day. They must pick up maximum points at home against teams such as the Cherries otherwise their existence in the Premier League will be short-lived. However, neither of the two goals they conceded in the 2-2 draw were down to Ryan.’

Dunk:

‘What a result it was for Brighton to take the points against Watford on 23 December. Connor Goldson – nine months after heart surgery – produced a performance that must have frightened the life out of the surgeon that did the operation. His quality on the ball was impressive, especially alongside the outstanding Dunk. It was Dunk’s performance against Watford, and again at Newcastle, that left me thinking he is a top-four defender if ever I saw one. Whether he can mentally cope in that environment would be my only concern, but in terms of his defensive qualities I don’t think I’ve seen a better centre-back this season. I’ve seen more polished performances but nothing quite so efficient. It struck me that Liverpool could do themselves a great service by making an audacious move for Dunk. What would he cost – £35m in today’s grossly over-inflated market? Offer £45m and I’ve no doubt Brighton boss Chris Hughton would drive him to Anfield himself. Could Brighton afford to turn that down? Alongside Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool would suddenly have two towering defenders who know how to defend. They should be paying me a consultancy for this column!’

It’s always good to see the club represented in this way, so well played to both for their recognition.

Full Team:

Mat Ryan (Brighton), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal).

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