A good month for the club with 5 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat. Four of those seven games were away from home with 3 wins (Sunderland, Aston Villa and Fulham) and 1 injury time defeat against Everton (A) having led 1-0 coming into the 90th minute. Our remaining three games at home included qualification to the Europa league last 32 after beating Panathinaikos, where we will face French club Lyon for a possible meeting with Inter Milan or Romanian side CFR Cluj in the last 16.
A home win against Swansea and a draw against Stoke saw Jan Vertonghen pick up his fifth and sixth MOTM awards for the season, two more than next placed Jermain Defoe who got one in the game vs Fulham after scoring a brace. Unfortunately that’s about as good as it got for Defoe this month with two worst player of the game performances, one against Swansea and one shared against Stoke with Adebayor who in turn is the only player to have performed worse than Defoe this month with four worst player on the pitch awards in only six games and the lowest average rating with 5.86.
With only Sandro, Lennon and Defoe having played all seven games Sandro earned himself three over-7.5 ratings this month, more than anyone else, however the MOTM award for December goes to Gareth Bale who, having played more than the three required games to be in contention with four, averaged 7.52 for the month, largely helped by the highest rating of the season of 9.43 for his hat-trick against Aston Villa (A). December also saw a new highest rating of 7.53 for Clint Dempsey vs Panathinaikos (H) who has turned around poor early season form to average a very good 6.91 for the month (compared to 5.10 the previous month) to bring his season average up to 5.87.
Lennon, Naughton and Sigurdsson also got their highest ratings of the season in December, with Sigurdsson especially getting some decent form in with an average of 6.72 however Lennon and Naughton had a poor to average month initially with low ratings of 5.74 and 4.56 respectively however both ended the month on a high with their highest rated performances of the season vs Sunderland (A), Lennon notably scoring a peach of a goal in the game which proved to be the winner.
The only player to get their lowest score of the season this month was Caulker with 5.80 vs Everton (A) where he was to blame for one of their goals and although Walker is in the bottom 3 of average ratings for December this is the first month he has averaged over 6.00 with his rating of 6.50. This month also showed the most inconsistency was with Bale and Naughton and this can be attributed to Bale for his wonder performance vs Villa (A) and for Naughton for his poor performance vs Panathinaikos (H). The most inconsistent performer between games remains Jermain Defoe who when doesn’t score always earns a below average game rating and even when he does, as with Villa (A), his rating is still below the game average. He is however our top scorer for December with 4 in 7, followed by Bale with 3 in 4.
[authquote text=”A home win against Swansea and a draw against Stoke saw Jan Vertonghen pick up his fifth and sixth MOTM awards for the season”]
Finally December saw Lloris cement his place as our number one goalkeeper having played six of the seven games. Bale’s injury vs Fulham saw him miss the next three games allowing Sigurdsson get some more game time in rotation with Dempsey with five games compared to three the month before. Our central defensive rotation saw Dawson get three (down one), Gallas four (same as last month) and Caulker five (up one) games whereas Vertonghen got three games in central defence and three games as left back with Naughton also getting five games with one at right back and four at left back. The person to miss out on game time with Dembele back from injury was Tom Huddlestone who only got one game to compare with Dembele’s six. Dembele was also our most consistent performer this month averaging a very good 7.12.
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