Opta Player of the Month
By Rob Bateman
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Frank Lampard tops the Opta October rankings, thanks to his energetic displays.
Frank Lampard tops the Opta October rankings, thanks to his energetic displays in the heart of the Chelsea midfield.
Despite his central midfield role, the former West Ham star has proved to be The Blues' most potent attacking weapon, having a hand in five of Chelsea's nine Premiership goals this month, scoring one and providing the assist in four others.
Lampard also hit seven shots on target, second only to Arsenal striker Thierry Henry and racked up a league-high tally of seven blocked shots in October.
The England man's distribution was also impressive. The England international hit 194 accurate passes - the fourth highest total in October and his eye for a pass was particularly evident when he broke forward, with the 26-year-old finding a team-mate with 72 passes in the final third, more than anyone else in the division.
Scooping the runners-up prize is another Hammers old boy - Shaka Hislop. Fresh from an impressive display against Manchester United, the Portsmouth goalkeeper has been in inspired form for Harry Redknapp's side, conceding only three goals in October.
Only Chelsea and Crystal Palace conceded fewer.
Indeed throughout the month, Hislop was busy in the Pompey goal, making 23 saves - more than any other keeper. 15 of those saves were made from close-range, again the highest tally in the top tier. Overall, the Trinidad & Tobago international saved an impressive 88% of shots fired in on his goal, a ratio only bettered by Crystal Palace's Gabor Kiraly.
Despite league leaders Arsenal enduring a difficult month, Henry's swashbuckling forward play earned him the number three spot in the Opta rankings.
The flying Frenchman racked up four goals in October, a tally equalled only by Chelsea's Eidur Gudjohnsen and Crystal Palace's Andy Johnson.
Henry also fired in more shots on target than anyone else, hitting a total of nine accurate attempts on goal. The former Juventus man also spent yet another month tormenting defenders with his non-stop running, setting off on 25 dribbles, the fourth best total of the month.
The only defender in the top five this month is Manchester United's Mikael Silvestre, ranking at number four for the second time in two months. The French international, who has formed a solid defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand, made 146 accurate passes in October, with only four other defenders bettering this total.
Making up the five is Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing.
The left-sided youngster enjoyed a superb October under the tutelage of Steve McClaren. The 20-year-old was directly involved in half of Boro's goals last month, hitting two himself and providing two assists.
Downing also fired in 23 crosses, the fifth-highest total in the Premiership last month.
| Player|| Team|| Opta Index Score|
| Frank Lampard|| Chelsea|| 1718|
| Shaka Hislop|| Portsmouth|| 1622|
| Thierry Henry|| Arsenal|| 1613|
| Mikael Silvestre|| Man United|| 1553|
| Stewart Downing|| Middlesbrough|| 1414|