EFL Team of the Week: Jack on a Roles at Cambridge

After the latest round of EFL fixtures, Gabriel Sutton (@_FootbalLab) names his Team of the Week.

Jack Roles, on loan at Cambridge United from Tottenham, gets a special mention.

Goalkeeper: Nathan Trott, AFC Wimbledon

The West Ham loanee had the difficult task this season of replacing Aaron Ramsdale, who was at AFC Wimbledon last season and is now playing in the Premier League.

Trott though is growing into the role and made several key saves as the Dons beat Portsmouth 1-0.

Right-back: Lewie Coyle, Fleetwood Town

Coyle did not quite make the grade at Leeds United, but he seems to be finding a home at Fleetwood, where he has played 83 games in loan spells across the previous two full seasons.

The 24-year-old would be hard-pushed to keep Luke Ayling out of the XI if he returned to Elland Road, but is proving one of the most complete right-backs in League One.

Centre-backs: Bambo Diaby, Barnsley Matt Miazga, Reading

Barnsley looked very disorganised at the back just before the international break, when they lost 5-1 at Preston.

A return to central defence for Bambo Diaby, who has brought power, physicality and aerial prowess, proved a welcome boost as the Reds produced a solid display in a 1-1 home draw with Swansea.

Another team who have rediscovered the defensive basics after a manager’s exit is Reading, who kicked off Mark Bowen’s stint in charge with a 1-0 win over Preston North End.

Matt Miazga was a commanding presence in a rear-guard that limited North End to very few chances – he scored the injury-time winner, too.

Left-back: Jake Forster-Caskey, Charlton Athletic

Technically, Jake Forster-Caskey played at left wing-back for Charlton in their 3-0 win over Derby on Saturday – but we will give him the left-back spot in our TOTW.

The Addicks do not possess the biggest squad, so Lee Bowyer will have to convert players into new positions as the season goes on.

Forster-Caskey, a technical, creative, central midfielder by trade, looked surprisingly at home in his new role; he got up and down the flank well and produced three strong challenges.

Central midfielders: Kalvin Phillips, Leeds and Josh Sheehan, Newport

Kalvin Phillips was arguably Leeds United’s most consistent player last season, at the base of the midfield, and he will be crucial once again to their promotion push.

The 23-year-old had an influence on the midfield in the first half of Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Birmingham, scoring the winner late on.

Josh Sheehan, meanwhile, has been arguably Newport’s most consistent player since the start of last season.

Sheehan’s creative qualities often win him the man-of-the-match award on the We Are Exiles forum – the 24-year-old scored a belter in the 2-1 victory over Scunthorpe, too.

Right-wing: Jamal Lowe, Wigan Athletic

Some Portsmouth fans criticized Jamal Lowe for making a perceived sideways step to Wigan in the summer, suggesting that the two clubs would likely swap divisions this season.

Lowe may not be regretting his move to West Lancashire though, because Wigan are currently 23 league places above Portsmouth – and the speedy wide forward scored the winner in a 1-0 victory over Nottingham Forest, ending their opponents’ nine-game unbeaten run.

Attacking midfielder: Ebere Eze, Queens Park Rangers

QPR fans mocked the fact that Eze was left out of the EFL’s official Team of the Week after scoring a hat-trick in a 3-2 win at Hull.

In fairness to the decision-makers, Eze is very often the Championship’s stand-out player – and they have to give other attacking midfielders a mention some weeks!

Eze won the two penalties he scored and went on some delightful, jinking runs, shaking off defenders with ease.

Big future ahead.

Left-winger: Jack Roles, Cambridge United

Tottenham Hotspur’s squad has reached the point of stagnation, so their supporters may want to keep half an eye on the performances of Jack Roles.

The 20-year-old, on loan at Cambridge United, has been one of the most creative, exciting young talents in League Two this season and bagged in a 4-0 victory over high-flying Exeter.

Dele Alli was producing a similar standard of performances in the division above at a year younger in 2014-15, then had that break-through 2015-16 campaign.

Without putting too much pressure on Roles, there is potential for him to rise in a similar way – but maybe with a year on loan in the Championship in 2020-21.

Striker: Paddy Madden, Fleetwood Town

Fleetwood’s 4-1 win over Burton Albion was a scoreline not entirely reflective of the balance of play, because the visitors created some good chances in the first half.

Fortunately for the Cod Army, though, they have a clinical striker in Paddy Madden who scored a second half hat-trick, taking each of his goals with ruthless incision.

Fleetwood do not need to dominate for 90 minutes to win games, because they have a striker who often only requires one chance.

Manager: Glyn Hodges

It has been an awkward interim period for AFC Wimbledon, due to the suspension of club legend Wally Downes.

Glyn Hodges, though, has done superbly as a caretaker manager, winning three of his four matches in charge and furthering the progress of young wing-back Paul Osew.

The club have thought it best to part company with Downes, a decision that has divided supporters somewhat, but Hodges has Wimbledon on a run that massively boosts their chances of staying up.


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