With October finished, it is time for another MFF Premier League team of the month. There were only three matches for each team with there being another international break, but we have still ground out the best performers in the third month of the season. For this months’ team we will be going with a 3-4-3-diamond formation. And here is a spoiler; two men who scored hat tricks in October have not made the cut.
Ben Foster (Watford)
Now it would be easy to look at this, and think that Watford are languishing at the bottom of the table, so how can their keeper make team of the month, but quite frankly without Foster things would be even worse for the Hornets. Despite them not winning a game yet this season, they did draw all their matches in October, and Foster was a key factor in that. The only foot put wrong by Foster was when he mishandled the ball away at Spurs, which led to a controversial equaliser by Dele Alli. Outside of that however, Foster was ‘Mr Safe Hands’, keeping clean sheets at home either side of that Spurs match against Sheffield United and Bournemouth. The latter of those games, saw Foster claim man of the match as he made important stops from Diego Rico and Arnaut Danjuma.
John Egan (Sheffield United)
Sheffield United are stubborn opposition, and currently have the joint best defensive record in the Premier League with leaders Liverpool and third placed Leicester, having only conceded eight goals. All their three centre halves have done exceptionally well, but Egan continues to be a consistent performer, and it can sometimes go under the radar. United’s 44.1% possession is the third lowest in the top division, so they have to be on their toes defensively, and as a team, they have made the most clearances in the league, and Egan is a huge part of why. The Irish international has made 59 clearances, which is third in the league at present and his 36 headed clearances have him currently first. The Blades enjoyed an unbeaten October, which included a huge win at home to Arsenal, and their defence is a huge reason why they have proved so hard to be beaten thus far.
David Luiz (Arsenal)
David Luiz is much maligned, but Arsenal knew what they were getting when they purchased him. He has had a couple of his usual erratic moments to start his Arsenal career, but as Arsenal have struggled for goals, it has been his work at the other end of the pitch that has been surprising, and it has turned out to be vital. Arsenal started the month with a 1-0 win at home to Bournemouth and Luiz headed the winner from a Nicolas Pepe corner. Luiz, completed the month scoring again at home to Crystal Palace, as Arsenal blew a 2 goal lead in the London derby. With top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang not finding the net in October, any goals Arsenal could find were more than welcomed and the brazilian did his part offensively, although the Gunners as a whole let themselves down at the back.
Diego Rico (Bournemouth)
Rico, had been rotated with Charlie Daniels at left back to start the season for Bournemouth, but after Daniels was injured at home to Manchester City in August, he has made the position his own. Good going forward and quite accomplished defensively, he and keeper Aaron Ramsdale, have been the Cherries’ star men of late. Bournemouth are a side known for having exciting end-to-end matches, but after losing at the start of the month to Arsenal, they had unexpected back-to-back goalless draws. Firstly, they drew at home to Norwich and then they got a point at Watford, the latter being a game Rico almost scored in. Rico’s activity up and down the left hand side is vital for Eddie Howe’s men, as well as his good delivery from set pieces, and he is now a key figure for them.
Youri Tielemens (Leicester)
After quickly acclimatising to the demands of English football after coming on loan from Monaco in January, Tielemens started his first full season slightly slower than some thought. One thing that cannot be faulted however is his work rate, but he is now causing more problems going forward along with Leicester’s wide men Harvey Barnes and Ayoze Perez. Barnes got three assists in October and Perez scored a hat trick away at Southampton, but Tielemens passing and ability to carry the ball from deep, is what has helped create the space for the wingers to cause damage. The month started with defeat for Leicester away at Liverpool, but they bounced back, and came from behind to beat Burnley 2-1 at home where Tielemens bagged the winner with a thumping drive in off the bar. Leicester ended the month with a 9-goal hammering of Southampton where the Belgian was on the scoresheet again as well as assisting Ayoze Perez’ first goal.
David Silva (Manchester City)
The spotlight always seems to mainly be on the wonderful Kevin De Bruyne, but David Silva is still a pivotal part of Manchester City’s midfield, and now in his last season at the club, though he will soon be 34, he will still take some replacing. Silva is still every bit the majestic player that first came to the league in 2010, he is meticulous and has the ability to change the pace of any game he plays in. City had a shock result at home to Wolves to begin October, and Wolves kept Silva quiet for the most part, although he did smash the woodwork with a free kick. The Spaniard was in better form as City won away at Crystal Palace in their next game, scoring a tidy volley after a lovely chipped ball from Raheem Sterling found him. Silva was to grab another goal in the 3-0 home win against Villa to end the month with a delicate touch from a De Bruyne ball into the box.
Jack Grealish (Aston Villa)
When you are the club captain, you need to lead by example, and that is exactly what Jack Grealish has been doing lately. Grealish, was heavily linked to a move away to Spurs last season, but he ended up staying at Villa Park and helped lead them to promotion. Now back in the top flight, he a ended a record run of playing in 20 consecutive Premier League defeats when Villa beat Everton, and he has not looked back since. Grealish began the month with a tidy finish in the 5-1 rout away win at Norwich. Then, after they fell behind in their second match at home to Brighton, he took the game by the scruff of the neck and scored the equaliser, before setting up Matt Targett for the winner in injury time. Villa lost to Manchester City in their last match of the month, but Grealish’s influence in their wins was huge, and he may soon alert England manager Gareth Southgate if he continues this kind of form.
Mason Mount (Chelsea)
Some worried that Chelsea would have problems finishing in the top four this season, with some players playing in their first season in the Premier League, and Frank Lampard managing in the top division for the first time, in only his second season in management. Mount, is one of Chelsea’s youth products, who did the routine loan move to partner club Vitesse Arnhem in 2017/18 and it set him up well and matured him. After being on loan at Derby last campaign under Lampard, Mount has remained a key figure for Lampard, and has repaid his manager with a fine start. Mount scored in Chelsea’s 4-1 away win at Southampton to start October, and he was only denied by a smart stop by Martin Dubravka from giving Chelsea the lead at home to Newcastle in their next match. Mount assisted Christian Pulisic’s hat trick goal with a lovely cross in the 4-2 away win at Burnley to end the month, showing it is not just goals that he offers, already in the England team his ceiling continues to rise.
Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
Mane has beaten off hat trick heroes Ayoze Perez and Christian Pulisic, for his involvement in getting Liverpool home wins in October to keep them unbeaten and aloft the Premier League table. Mane scored the opener in the 2-1 win at Anfield against Leicester, and then won the injury time penalty, which James Milner scored to seal the win. He would have had an assist in Liverpool’s trip to Old Trafford in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United, had Roberto Firmino not shot straight at David De Gea. He was also denied a goal in the same game because of a harsh handball decision. To conclude the month, Mane was in the thick of the action again, winning another penalty as Liverpool edged out Spurs 2-1 at home to stay six points of Manchester City.
Lys Mousset (Sheffield United)
Some raised their eyebrows when Sheffield United went in for Mousset for £10m from Bournemouth. Mousset, had shown in glimpses in the last couple of seasons that he had a bit of ability, but he had been starved of playing time under Eddie Howe, because of the goalscoring exploits of Callum Wilson and Josh King. Now, in his fresh start, despite starting the season as the fifth choice at the Blades behind Callum Robinson, David McGoldrick, Oilver McBurnie and Billy Sharp, he is now paying back the fee as he has been given more pitch time. Mousset was the only man to score for United in October, as they took five points from a possible nine available as they went unbeaten. He only had limited time off the bench in the goalless draw at Watford, but then he scored the winner in as he started in the massive result at home to Arsenal. He then scored off the bench as they recused a point at West Ham to conclude the month.
Jamie Vardy (Leicester)
Since Brendan Rodgers took charge of Leicester In February, no player has scored more goals in the Premier League than Jamie Vardy. Vardy has 18 goals in 20 matches under former Liverpool manager Rodgers, and he has embraced getting more service in an attacking system, after being hampered under the pragmatic Claude Puel. Vardy’s four goals led the league in October and he now is top of the scoring charts all alone on nine goals, with Tammy Abraham and Sergio Aguero tied on eight. Vardy, was not able to find the net away to Liverpool in the first match of the month, but he scored a header to level things up in the 2-1 win at the King Power Stadium over Burnley. Vardy bagged a hat trick as the Foxes ran riot in a 9-0 thumping of Southampton, and does not look like slowing up any time too soon