Stars in our eyes!
With the international break upon us, the English Premier League and Championship, likewise the Scottish Premiership, have taken a well-earned breather. That has given us a chance to take a look at the ONE GLOVE movers and shakers within those divisions so far...Embed from Getty Images
Brentford have been the team to catch the eye in the Premier League so far this season, the division’s newcomers sitting comfortably in seventh place in the table with three wins and three draws from their seven games.
While the Bees’ forward line has taken many of the plaudits, ONE goalkeeper David Raya has been superb, keeping three top-flight clean sheets along the way – against Arsenal and Crystal Palace in the opening two games, and in the 2-0 win at Wolves last month.
“It can’t be that long before he will be acknowledged for his performance so far in the Premier League,” said Brentford manager Thomas Franks after the Spaniard was instrumental in last Sunday’s 2-1 win at West Ham. “I think he’s definitely one of the better goalkeepers in the Premier League.”Embed from Getty Images
Elsewehere in the top flight, Alex McCarthy has continued his position as Southampton’s first-choice keeper under Ralph Hasenhuttl, playing all seven Premier League games so far this season – the highlight being the highly-impressive back-to-back clean sheets against West Ham and at champions Manchester City.
Alex has been ably assisted by ONE stablemate Fraser Forster at St Mary’s, the ex-Celtic man appearing in the club’s two EFL Cup games against Newport County and Sheffield United. Marcus Bettinelli, meanwhile, has swapped Fulham for Chelsea this season and made the bench for the recent games against Tottenham, Aston Villa and for the recent Champions League tie at Juventus.Embed from Getty Images
In the Championship, ONE endorsees have been flying the flag, with Reading’s Luke Southwood making the breakthrough in a Royals’ side that sit just two points off the play-off places. Since the 23-year-old made his first league start of the campaign at Peterborough last month, Veljko Paunovic’s side have won four of their last five games.
“Luke had a very good game and, with the team’s performance overall, that made him feel safe and secure,” the coach said after the 3-1 win at London Road. “His interventions in a couple of moments in the first half, and him also being calm and composed on the ball, gave us time and a chance to build a momentum.”Embed from Getty Images
Millwall sit a solitary point behind Reading, with Bartosz Bialkowski featuring in all 11 of the Lions’ league fixtures this season. The Poland international has kept back-to-back clean sheets in his last two games, while Cardiff City’s Dillon Phillips – who has made ten Championship appearances so far this term – enjoyed a four-game unbeaten start to the season.Embed from Getty Images
Heading north of the border, Dundee United have made a solid start to the campaign, sitting a point above Celtic in the Scottish Premiership, with Trevor Carson having kept two clean sheets. He replicated that form for Northern Ireland in their 1-0 win against Estonia in September.
St Mirren’s Jak Alnwick has also been something of a clean-sheet king, enjoying five shut-outs from his 11 appearances this season. “I was delighted that the boys were able to hold on and keep a clean sheet,” said boss Jim Goodwin after the 1-0 win at Livingston last week. “The lads at the back and Jak Alnwick were excellent again.”