Premier League – Team of the week


Good news for tens of El-Hadji Diouf fans, while there’s a distinctly Royal flavour to this week’s flops.

FOOTBALL El Hadji Diouf - 0


We tot up the marks out of 10 awarded in five national newspapers – The Sun, The Mirror, The Mail, The Times and The Guardian – to create a total out of 50. The top player in each position will be rewarded with a spot in the Team of the Week, while the worst scorers will be named and shamed in our Flops XI.


Bolton’s lovable striker Diouf leads the line after an all-singing, all-dancing performance against Sunderland, which went a long way to saving Gary Megson’s entertaining outfit from the drop. He’ll be off in the summer by all accounts, presumably to further his pantomime villain status by spearheading an attack that benefits from rather better service – Barns Green reserves of West Sussex Division Five Central perhaps? Meanwhile, Joe Hart continues between the sticks after another solid showing against Liverpool, while champions-in-waiting Manchester United provide both full-backs, whirling dervish Carlos Tevez and the laughably good Cristiano Ronaldo. Wigan’s impressive two-goal hero Luis Valencia makes his debut, alongside team-mate Paul Scharner, who is thriving in his new role at the back. Michael Ballack joins Hart as the only players to retain their place from last week.

1. Joe Hart (Manchester City) – 39

2. Owen Hargreaves (Manchester United) – 35

3. Patrice Evra (Manchester United) – 35

4. John Terry (Chelsea) – 37

5. Paul Scharner (Wigan) – 40

6. Luis Valencia (Wigan) – 39

7. Michael Ballack (Chelsea) – 40

8. Jimmy Bullard (Fulham) – 36

9. Carlos Tevez (Manchester United) – 39

10. El-Hadji Diouf (Bolton) – 40

11. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) – 39

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Fancy an outing with our flops XI? If we’ve learned anything this season it’s that a ridiculous red card all but guarantees your berth. Manchester United’s Nani may have apologised for his feeble headbutt, but not before Sir Alex gave him the verbal equivalent of a Glasgow kiss in his post-match press conference. The Portuguese winger will probably spend this week cleaning youth team boots. The recipient of said headbutt, Lucas Neill, has also made the team to make for an interesting dressing room atmosphere. Elsewhere, Steve Coppell’s Reading provide an impressive five players following their 1-0 defeat at home to Tottenham, while Derby confound their critics with just one representative.

1. Robert Green (West Ham) – 25

2. Nyron Nosworthy (Sunderland) – 24

3. Nicky Shorey (Reading) – 20

4. Lucas Neill (West Ham) – 24

5. Ivar Ingimarsson (Reading) – 24

6. Tyrone Mears (Derby County) – 22

7. Liam Miller (Sunderland) – 23

8. James Harper (Reading) – 24

9. Dave Kitson (Reading) – 22

10. Leroy Lita (Reading) – 23

11. Nani (Manchester United) – 19

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TEAM OF THE SEASON (minimum 19 starts)

With one week to go it appears the ubiquitous Ronaldo is assured another gong as our player of the season, especially with Wayne Rooney struggling for fitness ahead of United’s final match at home to Wigan. Brad Friedel‘s place is less secure, however, with Newcastle’s Steven Harper one game away from being eligible and currently ahead by 0.15 in the standings. Blackburn’s David “the next Beckham” Bentley has edged Ashley Young out at the penultimate hurdle, but with the pair just 0.05 apart there’s still everything to play for.

1. Brad Friedel (Blackburn) – 33.27 average

2. Nyron Nosworthy (Sunderland) – 31.81

3. Joleon Lescott (Everton) – 33.78

4. Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea) – 33.55

5. John Terry (Chelsea) – 33.5

6. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) – 34.72

7. David Bentley (Blackburn) – 33.95

8. Frank Lampard (Chelsea) – 34.20

9. Fernando Torres (Liverpool) – 34.06

10. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) – 35.5

11. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) – 35.67

– – –

FLOPS OF THE SEASON (minimum 17 starts)

The fantastically exciting Jay McEveley revival gathers pace. Derby’s full-back needs to make up just 0.04 points on his team-mate Claude Davis to avoid the wooden spoon. He just might do it. One change from last week sees Michael Chopra replace Kenny Miller upfront. With Alan Smith and Robbie Savage in midfield, our flops XI are sure to prove the team everybody loves to play.

1. Paul Robinson (Tottenham Hotspur) – 29.55

2. Chris Baird (Fulham) – 27.74

3. Jay McEveley (Derby County) – 26.85

4. Claude Davis (Derby County) – 26.88

5. Younes Kaboul (Tottenham Hotspur) – 27.52

6. Robbie Savage (Derby County) – 28.36

7. Alan Smith (Newcastle) – 26.93

8. Craig Fagan (Derby County) – 28.12

9. Benni McCarthy (Blackburn Rovers) – 27.9

10. Michael Chopra (Sunderland) – 28.56

11. Eddie Lewis (Derby County) – 27.24

Will Tidey / Eurosport