Lampard still the tops
By Alan Duffy
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Frank Lampard wins Opta's Player of the Month award for the second time in a row.
With Jose Mourinho's praise still ringing in his ears, Frank Lampard wins Opta's Player of the Month award for the second time in a row.
Mourinho hailed his star midfielder as the best player in the world, and while that accolade is somewhat debatable, no-one can argue with Lampard's unparalleled performances in The Premiership this month.
The former West Ham star scored in each of Chelsea's four league games in October, including braces against both Bolton and Blackburn, to bring his total for the season to a league leading ten. Lampard's sweetly-struck equaliser against Everton was particularly important, keeping alive The Blues' superb unbeaten record.
Overall, Lampard fired in 23 attempts on goal last month, more than any other player. The England dynamo also provided two goal assists and the seemingly indefatigable star looks set to drive the Blues to more glory this season.
Taking the runner-up spot this month is another attacking midfielder - Gaizka Mendieta. The Middlesbrough schemer has endured an injury-blighted time at The Riverside, however the former Valencia man is now rediscovering the form that made him one of the most sought-after players in Europe.
Mendieta was in inspired form against Manchester United at the weekend, where he bagged two goals and an assist as he dominated the middle of the park, and through October the Spaniard has been Boro's main creative threat, creating a club-best eight goalscoring chances for team-mates.
West Brom's Chris Kirkland comes in third following another busy month between the sticks for The Baggies. The England international shot-stopper, currently on loan from Liverpool, was the star-man in Albion's surprise 2-1 victory over Arsenal, making a number of superb stops.
Overall, Kirkland made 15 saves in October, a figure bettered by only one other keeper, despite the fact that the former Coventry man was forced to miss the weekend's 3-0 defeat at Newcastle through yet another injury.
Fourth place goes to Chelsea's Didier Drogba, a player who has silenced his critics with a number of classis target-man displays. The African hit-man struck three times in October as well as providing three goal assists, more than any other Chelsea player.
Bringing up the rear in fifth-place is Liverpool's pass master Xabi Alonso. The former Real Sociedad midfielder fired in his second goal of the season against West Ham at the weekend, while the Spaniard also hit more passes than any other player in The Premiership last month (280).