A new feature for the 2008/09 season: monthly awards. They will be for player, individual performance, and goal of the month.
Just to recap, here are the competitive games we've played this month.
Midtjylland (H) 0-1. (BBC report)
Aston Villa (A) 2-4 (my report and ratings)
West Ham (H) 3-0 (my report and ratings)
Midtjylland (A) 1-0 (won on pens) (my report and ratings)
Sunderland (A) 3-0 (links to reports)
Player of the Month
Didn't start at Villa Park, but, along with Danny Sturridge, looked sharp enough in the last ten minutes to force his way into Hughes' plans for the next game. Rewarded with a start on the right against West Ham, where he had one of his best games in a City shirt. Linked up brilliantly with Corluka (who almost won this award), setting up two goals for Elano. Stuck to his task manfully in Denmark, in difficult conditions. Kept his place in the side for the trip to Sunderland, despite the return of SWP. And he scored at the very end of first half stoppage time, and by all accounts played well throughout.
Individual Performance of the Month
Joe Hart vs FC Midtjylland
We've always known Hart had more talent and more bottle than almost any other keeper around, but he's never quite had the stage to really show us until Thursday. Having forced a penalty shoot out, he saved two penalties from the Danish team, send City through to the first round. Also made some very good saves in the 120 minutes of open play.
(YouTube won't let me embed the video, so just click here)
Goal of the Month
Elano's second against West Ham
Corluka and Ireland - the two that Cook tried to sell at the start of the month - combined down the right. Ireland skinned the defender, then put in a perfect pass for Elano to slot home.
UPDATE: Ric at Bluemoon is also doing a Player of the Month thing, but he's got a vote going. Ireland's winning, comfortably. Click here.