Liverpool player of the month - November

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Who was LFC's best player in November?

I was going to start this article off with the assertion that just like in last month's vote, November's best of the bunch would be heavily dominated by our fab back four. However, when you consider that among the five games played in November, we conceded five goals, leading to two defeats and a draw, perhaps our defence hasn't been as imperious as we might have thought.

The two defeats (vs Red Star and PSG) were important ties which could prove costly to our chances of European silverware and likewise the draw against Arsenal cost us vital points in the Premier League. How much of the blame for those results lies with which of our players though is not immediately obvious. We defend as a team and so our defenders themselves cannot take all the blame, just as our attackers cannot take all of the credit for the wins versus Fulham and Watford. In both of those games, as well as scoring a combined total of five goals, we also kept two cleans sheets.

With a slight improvement from our attackers and a slightly less impressive set of defensive results, player of the month this time then could perhaps come from anywhere on the pitch but I put forward the following topical notion:

The area for us to firstly consider and in my view rule out, is the one which links the two aforementioned sets of players. That area being our central midfield. Now whilst I find it difficult to decide which one of our defenders has been best and likewise which one of our attackers may have been November's top dog, I have zero hesitation in taking our entire central midfield out of the running.

Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Keita - have any of them set the world alight? - no, nothing there to trouble November's fireworks whatsoever and whilst we're ruling players out let's add our keepers to that melting pot as well. Mignolet, of course - he thinks therefore he is, and possibly always will be. Alisson though has also played well during the month in question but for my money and probably yours too, not well enough to take top honours.

Can we rule out any others? You betcha we can - ladies and gentleman I give to you Dejan Lovren. A worthy performance or three this last month from our Croatian centre back but as with the previous month's shoot out he simply hasn't played enough minutes to take top spot and even if he had - better than VVD? unlikely.

Daniel Sturridge can join Dejan and for the same reasons, not enough minutes and similarly not as good as VVD (you may at this point be noticing a trend developing)

Okay then, unless I've forgotten anyone what we're left with is this: TAA, VVD, Gomez and Robertson vs Salah, Shaqiri, Mane and Firmino. I invite you to stare at each of those names in turn for a moment or two and then come to the same conclusion as me: VVD has simply been a better player, reaching higher levels of playing perfection for more of the time, in more of the games than any of the others.

Barring Shaqiri, all of our attackers have had moments, or even whole matches of 'meh' and Shaqiri himself, who edged VVD out to take top spot last month with 23% of the vote vs 20%, hasn't had enough minutes to be in contention this time around.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has played well overall and had a motm performance vs Watford which included his superb, goal scoring free kick. In other games though he has been less consistent.

Robertson gives VVD a damn good run for his money and some, particularly those named Jock, may give him the nod but I believe he's made the very occasional error in November where Virgil has not and so for his continuing, week in week out, top class performances, Virgil Van Dijk is my choice for November's player of the month.

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The question now though is, do you agree?

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