Date: 12th February 2018 at 5:31am
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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 following the clash with Stoke City.

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

The performances by goalkeeper Mat Ryan and Jose Izquierdo in the one all draw with Stoke City at the weekend at the Bet365 Stadium 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 the duo as part of his team but explaining his choice he told the BBC.

Ryan:

‘What a penalty save by Mat Ryan. Charlie Adam struck it well, but a strong hand from the Brighton keeper delivered the Seagulls a valuable point against a Stoke side in greater need. Why Jese felt compelled to behave like a spoilt child when denied the chance to take the penalty only served to expose his selfishness. In my view he was lucky to be awarded the spot-kick in the first instance. If Adam is the official penalty-taker then, unless he thinks otherwise, he takes the penalty. Brighton seem devoid of such petulance, but not the kind of heroism portrayed by Ryan.’

Izquierdo:

‘He’s only gone and done it again. Admittedly his goal against Stoke wasn’t quite as fantastic as his finish against West Ham, but it still left Jack Butland clutching at fresh air. I had real reservations about the wisdom in Brighton purchasing Izquierdo but he looks like he’s starting to acclimatise to life in the Premier League and he certainly has the talent. Brighton now look odds-on to stay up. However, I hope they don’t just become perennial survivors. It’s a great place to go and watch a football match. On the odd occasion I do go, I notice their fans are capable of creating a great atmosphere. What I don’t understand is why they don’t chant Chris Hughton’s name during their games more. I really don’t get it. If fans don’t chant the manager’s name every now and then, how do you think he feels?’

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

Full Team:

May Ryan (Brighton), Pablo Zabaleta (West Ham United), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur), Jose Izquierdo (Brighton), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Marko Arnautovic (West Ham United), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool).

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