Barclays Premier League Review – October 2014

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I did my very first Premier League monthly review last October, and opened with this line: “October is usually the month where the front runners in the Premier League emerge and the table starts to take shape.” I think that also sums up last month quite nicely, but we’re seeing a few different and surprising “front runners” this time around…

The table on October 1st
The table on October 1st
The table on November 1st (before the day's fixtures)
The table on November 1st (before the day’s fixtures)

What we can see from the table

  • Chelsea remained top of the table for the whole month, increasing the gap between themselves and the chasing pack from three points to four points.
  • The rest of the top four is the same apart from Arsenal who have dropped to fifth, and their place is taken by West Ham who were 13th at the end of September.
  • The two Merseyside clubs who I said were “surprisingly lower down in the table” in September are now both in the top half after losing just one game between them in October.
  • Newcastle have also had an upturn in fortunes as they have moved out of the relegation zone and up to 14th.
  • Their place in the bottom three has been taken by Sunderland, whilst Leicester, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa have also been sucked into trouble.

Player of the Month

Diafra Sakho – West Ham United

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Three months gone, and all three of my players of the month have been summer signings. Diafra Sakho, who joined West Ham from Metz in August, has had a fantastic start to life in East London, with October his best month to date. The Senegalese striker scored in all three of the Hammers’ wins last month, including what was effectively the winner in their shock 2-1 victory over Champions Manchester City. That strike past Joe Hart made him the first West Ham player to to score in six successive Premier League appearances, and if he keeps going at this rate, the 24 year old could end up with the most goals scored by a Hammers player in a single Premier League season. Their are queries over his current fitness, and if he doesn’t feature then West Ham could be in trouble.

2nd – Wilfried Bony

3rd – Sergio Aguero

Manager of the Month

Sam Allardyce – West Ham United

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I’ve gone for a West Ham double for October as the Hammers enjoyed a glorious month, winning three out of three. It has earned Sam Allardyce credit that he rarely gets, and proved the former Blackburn boss is still a top boss at this level. Big Sam, who turned 60 last month, guided West Ham to wins over newly promoted sides QPR and Burnley 2-0 and 3-1 respectively, but the result that stands out was at Upton Park last week when the East London side beat Manchester City 2-1. The trio of wins mean that West Ham are up to fourth in the league ahead of today’s fixtures, brushing away early season fears of relegation for the club. Allardyce also put together a prolific strike force in October, with Player of the Month Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia the key to the Hammers’ wins. The big test ahead of the boss now though is to keep the momentum going, with spirits higher than they have been in a while around Upton Park.

2nd – Alan Pardew (Newcastle United)

3rd – Jose Mourinho (Chelsea)

Goal of the Month

David Silva vs West Ham United

2nd – Samuel Eto’o (2nd) vs Burnley

3rd – Stephane Sessegnon vs Manchester United

Others worth mentioning

  • Wilfried Bony (1st) vs Leicester City
  • Ross Wallace vs Leicester City
  • Yaya Toure vs Aston Villa
  • Sergio Aguero vs Aston Villa
  • Oscar vs Crystal Palace
  • Cesc Fabregas vs Crystal Palace
  • Gabriel Obertan vs Leicester City

Game of the Month

Southampton 8-0 Sunderland

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Southampton demolished Sunderland at St Mary’s in a game which saw Santiago Vergini score one of the Premier League’s most spectacular own goals. The Argentine volleyed in to his own net from 18 yards, before Graziano Pelle and Jack Cork each scored from close range. Pelle’s well-taken second followed a Liam Bridcutt own goal and then Sunderland keeper Vito Mannone passed the ball straight to Dusan Tadic who took the gift to make it six. Victor Wanyama and Sadio Mane sealed Sunderland’s biggest loss in 32 years. It was Southampton’s biggest ever Premier League win and the Black Cats players refunded the travelling fans’ tickets in way of an apology, but not much is likely to make up for seeing your team lose 8-0 in the middle of a 640 mile round trip. Read the full report here.

2nd – QPR 2-3 Liverpool

Read the full report here.

3rd – Manchester City 4-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Read the full report here.

Managerial Sackings

Again, like September there were no managerial departures in the Premier League.

Games to look out for November

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  • Manchester City vs Manchester United (02/11)
  • Liverpool vs Chelsea (08/11)
  • Arsenal vs Manchester United (22/11)
  • Southampton vs Manchester City (30/11)
  • Tottenham vs Everton (30/11)
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