November was another brilliant and unpredictable month in the Premier League as the season continues to take shape, and the realistic long-term objectives of certain sides begin to come to the forefront.
A vast number of players shone during a bright month for their respective outfits, with some dazzling match-winning and game-saving displays. It’s always difficult to squeeze this talent into one star-assembled XI, but below is an image of what the guys over at scores.co.uk came up with. Ignore the exact positions given to some of the players, and focus on the names themselves.
A pretty fine lineup, although there are one or two names that will cause a slight surprise as to being included as well as the shock of certain individuals missing out on a place. Scores came to Gunners Town and asked us to give our views on the selection.
Being the chief editor, I was given the task of expressing my thoughts, so below, I dissect the November Team of the Month and say who I think should and should not be in there.
Goalkeeper: Tim Krul
It’s hard to argue with this one. Newcastle had a great month, winning all four of their Premier League games and keeping clean sheets in two of them. Krul put in a world-class display at White Hart Lane to frustrate Tottenham time after time after time and make certain that all three points were travelling back up north with the Toon Army.
However, I believe that Wojciech Szczesny can feel a little aggrieved to not be in the team. He conceded just one goal which came at the home of the champions Manchester United in a slender defeat. Other than that, Szczesny kept clean sheets against Liverpool, Southampton and Cardiff City, not to mention shutting out Borussia Dortmund and Marseille in the Champions League.
Both Krul and Szczesny have been called upon a lot for their respective clubs this month, but I would give this spot to the man in between the sticks for the league leaders.
Gunners Town Pick: Wojciech Szczesny
Left-Back: Patrice Evra
While United continue to stutter, Evra was one of their brightest sparks last month. He found the back of the net against Cardiff as well as helping keep a clean sheet against Arsenal. However, United did concede twice in Wales, as well as against Fulham at Craven Cottage despite Evra’s form.
Without any bias, I honestly feel that Kieran Gibbs deserves this place. He’s been superb for the Gunners all season long and is now finely getting international recognition from England having contributed to three Premier League clean sheets as well as pulling his weight in a huge amount of Arsenal attacks.
Gunners Town Pick: Kieran Gibbs
Centre-Backs: Phil Jagielka and Per Mertesacker
I don’t believe that anybody can really dispute these two rocks being included in the team. They have both been solid as Everton continue their impressive push up the table, while Arsenal remain clear with some breathing space at the top of it.
Both men have been leaders at the back for their clubs all season, and November was no exception, with each man boasting three clean sheets to their name. West Brom’s Gareth McAuley and Cardiff’s Steven Caulker also deserve honourable mentions for their fine performances, but it’s got to be Jagielka and Mertesacker for me.
Gunners Town Pick: Phil Jagielka and Per Mertesacker
Right Back: Ron Vlaar
The good times are starting to return at Villa Park after a very positive month for Aston Villa, spearheaded by the resilient Dutchman Ron Vlaar. The Villains’ skipper bossed the backline to keep three clean sheets in November, and also helped out in attack.
While I admit it’s a shame to deny Vlaar a starting berth, I think that Mathieu Debuchy should be in the side. He has been brilliant for Newcastle in the right-back role and is starting to show the form that helped win Lille the Ligue 1 title prior to his move to St James’ Park. Debuchy was a key man in wins over Chelsea and Spurs last month; games in which he also was part of a defence to keep clean sheets in both.
Gunners Town Pick: Mathieu Debuchy
Left Midfield: Yohan Cabaye
Another Newcastle man, and why not? They had a sensational month. Despite a rocky start to the season with speculation over his off-field actions and future up in the air, Cabaye has responded in the perfect way with some top outings on the pitch. The Frenchman scored two goals, grabbed one assist and even had a pass completion success rate of 81%.
However, my left-midfield spot belongs to Chelsea’s Eden Hazard. The little Belgian has been superb in recent times for the Blues, scoring against West Brom and assist at West Ham, as well as terrorising Premier League defences throughout the entire month.
Gunners Town Pick: Eden Hazard
Centre Midfielders: Steven Gerrard and Eden Hazard
Hazard was already included in the team but, although I did say earlier that exact positions didn’t matter, I’ve moved him over onto the wing where he is at his strongest. Effectively swapping positions with Cabaye, I’ve decided that Arsenal’s Welsh wizard Aaron Ramsey was more worthy of a spot in the lineup.
Ramsey is having the season of his life, netting three times in November including a wonder goal in the win over Liverpool. It’s not just in attack that Ramsey has proved his worth, as he has also been among the division’s finest when it comes to working hard off the ball and getting stuck in.
Joining Ramsey in the middle of the park is Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard. The Reds had a mixed bag of results in November, but Gerrard continued to show his class with two assists to show for a number of strong displays. His beastly passing range was there for all to see as Liverpool’s heartbeat once again pulled the strings. Adam Lallana was wonderful again for Southampton, but Ramsey and Gerrard get the nod from me.
Gunners Town Pick: Steven Gerrard and Aaron Ramsey
Right Midfield: Jesus Navas
The summer signing is quickly becoming one of the star men for Manchester City as they strive to regain their Premier League title. Navas scored twice and racked up an assist in the 6-0 demolition of Tottenham at the Etihad, in an up and down month for City. The Spaniard is starting to find his feet in England, which is fantastic news for the club and its supporters.
Gunners Town Pick: Jesus Navas
Strikers: Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero
This is probably the hardest position to choose as there are three standout players for these two spots. Rooney and Aguero are Scores’ picks, but it’s hard to ignore the elephant in the room that is Luis Suarez. All three excelled for their clubs in November, and I’ve changed my mind several times over.
Aguero scored three goals and four assists in his three appearances during the month as well as show his dazzling quality on a frequent basis. Rooney has pretty much carried United at times this term and netted twice in an unbeaten month for the champions, with three assists to boot. And Suarez has been captivating since returning from his ban for Liverpool, and last month brought him three goals and saw him provide two more for his teammates.
It’s a hideously hard choice but, almost as a result of eeny meeny miny mo, I’ve gone for Rooney and Aguero. Sorry Luis.
Gunners Town Pick: Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero
So that’s my team, let me know yours.
Matt has been the editor of the site since June 2012 and was born into a Gooner family 21 years ago. He recently graduated from Southampton Solent University with a degree in Sports Journalism and strives to work in the Sports Media industry. As well as currently working as a reporter for Sports Mole and TIBS News, Matt has been providing football commentary for the visually impaired since 2008 at Arsenal, Exeter City and Wembley.
His earliest Gunners memory is watching the ‘Boring, boring Arsenal’ VHS as a six-year-old on repeat, to the extent where he could recite most of the commentary from that season. Matt was lucky enough to witness Arsenal lift the Premier League in 2002 as well as being present during the last match at Highbury in 2006, and at Dennis Bergkamp’s testimonial a few months later at the Emirates Stadium. Matt’s favourite players include Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Tony Adams, with the 5-3 comeback victory against Middlesbrough in 2004 the best match he has ever spectated.
Matt is an optimistic ’In Wenger we trust’, kind of guy and believes that the glory days are not too far away…
Apart from his editorial duties, Matt will also be bringing his Arsenal knowledge to a column called “Where Are They Now?” – which focuses on former Gunners.