September Player of the Month Award.
The Premier League returns this weekend and the two week break has given everyone a chance to reflect on the season so far, especially with the nominations for the Barclays player of the month award being announced.
Here is who made it, why they made it and in my opinion, who has had the most impact.
Mile Jedinak – Crystal Palace
After the Tony Pulis debacle that saw him leave the club, many believed Palace would struggle. With Pulis gone the Eagles needed players to stand up and be counted. Step forward Jedinak. A big, solid midfielder whose power and passion creates a barrier that is hard to break down. His box to box game and two goals saw Palace gain seven points out of a possible nine in September and keep two clean sheets on the way.
Morgan Schneiderlin – Southampton
Having made it clear he wanted to leave this summer, how would last season’s player of the year react to not getting his wish? Once the season started there was no pouting on the pitch, he simply just got better and better. He remains the key to how the Saints play, and helped his side to a perfect three wins out of three during this month. His performances have not only helped Ronald Koeman’s side to third place in the table but led to his first full 90 minutes at international Level.
Angel Di Maria – Manchester United
Possibly the most exciting and gifted signing this season, Di Maria looks like his quality alone can pull United through this slump. After last season this side needed a pick me up and despite a poor start, Van Gaal’s side got its lift when the Argentine winger arrived. Quick, tricky, creative and, as his goal against Leicester proved, a flair for the outrageous. Despite losing that game, a Di Maria inspired Red Devils side won two games out of three this month, and continuing into October this club allegedly in crisis sit pretty in 4th.
Leonardo Ulloa – Leicester
Few gave Nigel Pearson’s newly promoted team a chance of staying up. Prior to the signing of Esteban Cambiasso, Leicester were a team with few big names, therefore, the pressure fell on £8 million summer signing Ulloa to step up a level. His three goals in September may have only resulted in one victory, but his goals inspired the incredible comeback win over Manchester United and has given the Foxes belief they can survive in this league.
Diafra Sakho – West Ham
Sam Allardyce is under pressure to make West Ham play more attractive football. As a manager renowned for substance over style, this could prove tricky. His attacking line up was strengthened heavily this summer, and it is Sakho who has made the biggest impact. Lively and with a willingness to run all game, he is proving a handful for Premiership defenders. Early signs of a great understanding with Stewart Downing, Sakho’s game is thriving in East London and making the Hammers exciting to watch. Three League goals this month led to four points out of the nine available.
Graziano Pelle – Southampton
Filling Rickie Lambert’s boots was never an easy task, but the Italian showed in Holland he knows where the goal is and hasn’t taken long to adapt. In a Saints team flying high and playing attractive football, Pelle has the enviable job of being up front in a very creative team. The chances are flowing and he seems happy to finish them. Three goals during the month took Southampton to a 100% record and himself to a debut cap and goal for his country.
Six players all deserving to win it, each one with stats that back up their performances. Only one can win it, and while I believe Di Maria will probably get it for lifting United, from my point of view, the player with the most impact on his clubs performance and style of play is Diafra Sakho.