Date: 18th December 2016 at 11:40pm
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Sunderland 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 Jordan Pickford and Patrick van Aanholt in the one nil victory over Watford at the weekend at the Stadium of Light 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 both as part of his team but explaining his choice he told the BBC.

Pickford:

‘This young man is quickly making a name for himself. Jordan Pickford’s start as a Premier League player was a little shaky but he has grown in confidence with every game. What impresses me is his cool head. He is playing under immense pressure at the Stadium of Light as the club fights for survival, but nevertheless is holding his nerve brilliantly. The save from Watford midfielder Nordin Amrabat wasn’t bad but the punch in the heat of the battle followed by the saves from Daryl Janmaat and then Odion Ighalo were simply brilliant. This is an English goalkeeper with a very a bright future.’

van Aanholt:

‘I could have gone for Danny Rose, Ryan Bertrand or Marcos Alonso, all of whom were outstanding this weekend. But I have gone for Patrick van Aanholt, who really doesn’t want to be stuck at the bottom of the table at Christmas. The stats say that if you are, you will almost certainly be going down. The run by Van Aanholt from deep in his own half into Watford’s penalty area for the only goal of the match epitomised the desire and will required to get Sunderland out of the bottom three. Since striker Victor Anichebe’s introduction into the team alongside the always-dangerous Jermain Defoe, boss David Moyes has a chance of getting more favourable results at the Stadium of Light. However, I do wish the Sunderland manager wasn’t so publicly negative about his team’s capabilities. His team might be in the bottom three but it doesn’t mean that they are not capable of special moments. What Van Aanholt produced was one of those special moments and I am sure there is more where that came from if only the manager exuded a little more belief.’

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 three points.

Full Team:

Jordan Pickford (Sunderland), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City), Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Steven Davis (Southampton), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Demarai Gray (Leicester City), Alvaro Negredo (Middlesbrough), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United).

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