MFF September Premier League Team of the Month
The MFF September team of the month is here. This month’s team takes on a 3-4-3 formation. Remember, the players are now in the positions that they are registered in with the official Premier League’s ‘Fantasy Premier League’.
Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace)
Newcastle’s Nick Pope kept the most clean sheets (3) in September, but Johnstone keeps him out of the goalkeeper spot. Johnstone had 2 clean sheets of his own and the fact he was kept busier aided him as Pope was a mere spectator in an 8-0 hammering of Sheffield United for instance. Palace started proceedings with a 3-2 home win over Wolves, before losing 3-1 away at Aston Villa. However, it was Johnstone’s last two performances that squeezed him into the team as he had back-to-back shutouts. Johnstone, had to make five saves for the Eagles to get a point at home against a spirited Fulham side, the pick of his saves was as he dived low to deny an effort from Willian. Palace, then got a huge 1-0 away victory at Manchester United. Johnstone was alert to second half efforts from Bruno Fernandes and Rasmus Hojlund as the Eagles held on to a first half Joachim Andersen goal.
Kieran Trippier (Newcastle)
Newcastle’s captain led by example in September as they found some form after a difficult start to the season. The Magpies recovered from a 3-1 defeat away at Brighton by keeping three successive clean sheets. It was Trippier’s creativity however, which saw Eddie Howe’s men end the month in real style. They absolutely destroyed Sheffield United 8-0 at Bramall Lane in a game that had eight different scorers. Trippier assisted three of the goals with his quality delivery. His first assist was a corner that was headed in by Dan Burn. His second was a free-kick that was headed in by Sven Botman. His last one was arguably the best, as his inviting cross was headed in by Callum Wilson. Newcastle’s last match was at home to Burnley and Trippier’s industry saw him get to ball to Miguel Almiron, whose top-draw strike from outside the box gave them the lead in a 2-0 triumph.
Joachim Andersen (Crystal Palace)
Andersen has done well at Palace since he was signed by Patrick Vieira at the start of the 2021/22 campaign after he had spent the previous one on loan at Fulham. He is a reliable passer from the centre half position, and has helped along with another Vieira signing in Marc Guehi to change the footballing culture at Selhurst Park. The Eagles leaked goals in the opening September matches but ended with back-to-back clean sheets. Andersen put in a commanding display as Fulham had the better of a goalless draw in Palace’s most recent home game. Roy Hodgson’s men then travelled to Old Trafford and beat Manchester United 1-0, thanks to a tremendous goal by Andersen, as he caught the ball on the half volley after a Eberechi Eze set piece found its way to him. The Dane is first in the Premier League with 23 headed clearances and second in clearances with 43.
Vladimir Coufal (West Ham)
As West Ham once again balance Premier League and European football, Coufal has been a mainstay at right back and the veteran Czech has been consistent. Hammers’ fans know what to expect from Coufal defensively, but it has been his forward play that have helped him get in this month’s team, as he assisted no less than three times. David Moyes’ men hit Manchester City on the break and Coufal’s cross was met by the head of James Ward-Prowse for them to take the lead before losing 3-1. They were to lose 3-1 again away at Liverpool but their equaliser was supplied by Coufal, as his cross was headed in expertly by Jarrod Bowen. He finally assisted a goal in win, as some lovely football by West Ham was rounded off by a tidy finish by Bowen for the opener in the 2-0 win over Sheffield United. Coufal’s 9 interceptions have him joint-5th amongst defenders in the league thus far.
Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
In terms of overall performance, Saka has had better months, but still without his contributions the Gunners would not have accumulated as many points, so he has to be mentioned. In the big game against Manchester United, Saka’s corner found Declan Rice who put them 2-1 up in the 96th minute before they eventually won 3-1. In what has been a tricky fixture of late for them, Mikel Arteta’s men came away from Goodison Park with three points as Saka assisted Leandro Trossard’s fine winner to overcome Everton. The north London Derby ended in a stalemate and the ‘starboy’ was involved in both Arsenal’s goals. His cross-shot was put into his own goal by Cristian Romero, and then in the second half he calmly put a penalty away. Saka, completed September with the opener in a convincing 4-0 win at Bournemouth, he headed in from a few yards out after Gabriel Jesus had hit the post.
Heung-min Son (Tottenham)
New Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou has made Son captain as Hugo Lloris is being frozen out by the club and Harry Kane has departed. The Korean started off slowly in August, but after Richarlison’s woes in front of goal, he was moved into the centre and scored an impressive hat-trick in a 5-2 away victory at Burnley. The pick of his brilliant goals was probably the first as he controlled the ball and dinked it over James Trafford. After Spurs came from behind for a last gasp win over Sheffield United at home, they got a point in the north London Derby. The ‘Lilywhites’ came from behind twice to salvage a share of the spoils. James Maddison assisted both Son’s goals as he showed great composure on both finishes. Tottenham, again left it late in a home win as they beat Liverpool 2-1, and Son gave them the lead as he passed the ball in from close range when he was found by Richarlison to get his sixth goal of a great month.
Pedro Neto (Wolverhampton)
Neto just edged his teammate Hee-chan Hwang out of this month’s team with his consistency as Wolves’ creative hub, the Portuguese is thriving after returning from a long injury layoff. Wolves, began September with a 3-2 loss at Crystal Palace, but it was Neto who assisted both their goals. The first was from Hwang, after a great delivery into the box and Neto produced another good ball in for Matheus Cunha to score what only turned out to be a consolation. Next up, Wolves were beaten 3-1 at home by Liverpool, but it was Neto who caused all types of problems in the first half before cooling off. He ran the Reds’ defence ragged, as he dribbled past their players on multiple occasions including when he assisted the opening goal for Hwang. Gary O’Neil’s men had a man sent off at Luton but still took the lead through a superb individual goal by Neto before drawing 1-1. Neto’s last contribution was to go on another mazy run before his ball in was deflected into the goal to give Wolves the lead in a shock 2-1 victory over the champions Manchester City.
Jarrod Bowen (West Ham)
Bowen, had a quiet 2022/23 campaign by the standards he has set as he only got to six goals in the whole season. The England international has bounced back well and he already has five goals this time around in just seven league games. Three of Bowen’s goals came in September, the first was a header in the 2-1 win away at Luton. After losing 3-1 at home to Manchester City, the Hammers lost 3-1 again away at Liverpool. Bowen was a threat at Anfield and got them back on level terms with a difficult header from Vladimir Coufal’s cross as he edged in front of Virgil van Dijk. He could have had a second, but he headed straight at Alisson after being left alone on a corner. Bowen’s month ended with him rounding off a slick team move to give the Hammers the lead in a 2-0 home win over Sheffield United, Bowen calmly slotted Coufal’s ball into the bottom corner after a swift breakaway.
Julian Alvarez (Manchester City)
Because of Erling Haaland’s goalscoring exploits Alavrez’s ruthlessness in front of goal occasionally goes under the radar. Now, the World Cup winner is a permanent fixture in the starting line-up he is also showing what a fine all-round player he is as he is a better passer than he is given credit for. He opened the scoring in the 5-1 beating of Fulham, he was then involved in Haaland’s first goal and won the penalty for the Norwegian’s second. In the 3-1 away triumph over West Ham; he assisted the equaliser for Jeremy Doku and had a free-kick hit the woodwork. He then produced a sublime scooped pass to Bernardo Silva, who lobbed the Cityzens into a 2-1 lead. Alvarez concluded September with a fabulous free-kick into the top corner in the 2-1 defeat at Wolves. He seems to be improving every week.
Erling Haaland (Manchester City)
Haaland is the top scorer in the league once again but as crazy as it sounds, he may be slightly underwhelmed by his September despite scoring five times. The Norwegian missed some great chances but his place in the XI this month cannot be denied, nonetheless. He fired a second half hat-trick in the 5-1 demolition of Fulham at the Etihad Stadium. He also assisted the opening goal for Julian Alvarez in this game smartly picking him out as he squared the ball when some thought he may have shot. He missed a good chance in the first half of the next game at West Ham as well as having an effort cleared off the line. He was not to be without a goal however, as he smashed the ball into the corner for the third goal in a 3-1 victory. Haaland got his last goal of the month when he headed in Matheus Nunes’ cross as City won 2-0 against Nottingham Forest.
Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)
Watkins’ work rate is undeniable, but he can sometimes be incredibly frustrating in front of goal. He is a streaky player and September saw him show exactly that as he fired Unai Emery’s men to 5th at the end of the month. After a defeat away at Liverpool, Watkins won a penalty in injury time, that was scored by Douglas Luiz to put them 2-1 up, as they went on to beat Crystal Palace 3-1. It seemed like Villa’s trip to Chelsea was heading for a goalless draw, but the Blues who were down to ten men were caught on the break and Watkins drove in the winning goal past Robert Sanchez in off the post. The England international ended the month in the most spectacular fashion as he scored a hat-trick and laid on an assist in a 6-1 drubbing of Brighton at Villa Park. His second was the pick of the goals as he cut in and shot low at the near post, he found Jacob Ramsey for the fifth and his shot was saved on the sixth as Luiz put the rebound in.