Ali Al Habsi wins our player of the month
Well you voted and you got the man you wanted, well the man that the slightly bigger majority wanted. I have to admit that I am surprised that Ali Al Habsi has won this months man of the month, although when you look back at how well he has played, then you can see reasons why.
I am not going to make this a post of why I believe other players deserve a mention, as that is unfair to steal the limelight from who is most likely our best ever signing. If you look in terms of what we paid for him (£4 million), and then in terms of the points we have picked up due to his outstanding saves. Then you see why we bought him.
The man is pure class and forever a legend. But what did he do this month?
Well against Chelsea for the first ten minutes, he was powerless to stop what was a masterclass by the Chelsea attacking line, as the defenders in front of him crumbled. That said the Omani international was a finger tip away from saving Frank Lampard's penalty, if only he had!
For the rest of the game Ali went unbeaten as he looked to keep the rest of his game goal free. Which he did very successively. A good catch from a Hazard shot the pick of the bunch from the second half of the Chelsea game.
Then we look at how he played against Southampton and he was up to his usual aerobatic diving saves. Dennying Paul Lambert and Adam Lallana goals which with both their efforts deserved them. The first a looping top corner header, which Ali flicked clear, while the other as a flick round the post from a long range shot.
Against Nottingham Forest Al Habsi had very little to do. But what he did he did well. Putting of Simon Cox when he was through one on one, and saving from a low Andy Reid shot in the first half. While in the second the only major shot Nottingham had Ali was powerless to do anything as Cox fired home. Yet even then the keeper was close to getting a finger to it.
Then came the game against Stoke. Which for me already contains the save of the season.
The dying minutes of the game and with it 2-2 you want you keeper to deal with everything and anything. That was what Ali did, when following a Charlie Adam free-kick there was a deflection of Gary Caldwell. The keeper managed to change his whole body position from one foot to the other, to flick the ball over the bar.
Outstanding keeping showing just what he is capable of.
Hat off to the man, and long may his rich vein of form continue. We will always wonder why we ever looked at another goalkeeper now that we have our Ali.
August's Player of the Month
Ali Al Habsi (29 votes)
Franco Di Santo (27 votes)
Arouna Kone (4 votes)
Shaun Maloney (15 votes)
75 total votes