Linfield defence prove their strength: TOTW 3

Team of the Week

After the third round of matches, we have another team of the week. I may have missed some obvious candidates that should be on the team, but with only eleven spots it’s hard to choose at times. So without further ado, we’ll start the team with our goalkeeper as usual.

The goalkeeper in the team of the week for match day three is Richard Brush. The Ballinamallard stopper had a superb game against Cliftonville making numerous saves to keep the County Fermanagh side in the game, in the second half especially when the Reds started to turn the screw looking for a winner.

At right back is Chris Casement, as he helped Linfield to their third clean sheet in as many games, this time away to Dungannon. As well as contributing to what is the best defence in the league, his pinpoint cross was harder for Paul Smyth to miss on the other end of it to give the Blues the lead.

Our centre-backs are Mark Haughey and Paddy McNally. Haughey, another member of Linfield’s back five that are yet to concede a solitary goal, also scored his second goal within a week to continue what was, for a centre back, impressive goal scoring form from last season. McNally was solid defensively for Carrick as they took on Glentoran at the Oval. While possibly helped by the Glens continuously hitting long balls, McNally was the one who won most of the aerial battles in the defensive third.

Niall Quinn makes it at left back, and I may be biased, but would nearly make the team on ‘that’ goal alone, which he hit so sweetly, it would be raved about for weeks if Ronaldo or Messi had hit it. Again, being another member of the only team yet to concede pretty much confirms his place in the eleven.

I have made a bit of a change of formation this week to a 4-3-3. This is so I can fit one player in particular in, who fully deserves to be on the team and is a versatile youngster in Bobby Burns of Glenavon, alongside him in the middle of the park I would have to put Lee Chapman and Ciaron Harkin of Carrick and Coleraine respectively. Burns has been unlucky not to make this team before now and has been a standout player in what is a powerful Glenavon team. He gets about the pitch well making it difficult for the opposition as well as scoring goals as well. On Saturday Chapman did much the same against Glentoran, he troubled the defenders at every possibility and scored a good header at the start of the second half to equalise for the East Antrim side. Harkin is another player, unlucky to have to wait until match day three to make this team of the week. This week especially, he controlled the midfield and made it hard for Crusaders to play through the middle.

Our three forwards, then are Andrew Mitchell of Glenavon, Darren Murray of Warrenpoint and Joe Gormley of Cliftonville. Mitchell continued his good run of form at the start of the season, as he showed a great finisher’s instinct to bundle in from a corner Ballymena had failed to deal with. After a disappointing season last year at Cliftonville, Murray is now at a club where he can be the main focal point. He showed how good he can be with a fantastic first touch to control a dropping ball on the edge of the box before lashing home what would prove to be the winner against Ards. Gormley, though not scoring played well for Cliftonville, he always looked dangerous on the ball and had ‘keeper Brush, not been in such good form, could have walked away with a couple of goals to his name.