Premier League Team Of The Month: September's Best XI Players

John Greely@johnwgreelyB/R UK StaffOctober 5, 2010

Premier League Team Of The Month: September's Best XI Players

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19:  Dimitar Berbatov of Manchester United celebrates scoring his team's second goal with his team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on September 19, 2010
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    September was a strange month in the Premiership. Top teams plummeted, smaller clubs notched big wins, and the league is as wide open as ever.

    That said, the league's best players came up with top-tier performances, and it's time to recognize them. If I were to pick a starting XI from the entire Premier League based on September form, these are the players that would make the cut. 

    Here it is, your Premiership team of the month:

Goalkeeper: Blackpool's Matthew Gilks

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    WIGAN, ENGLAND - AUGUST 14:  Matthew Gilks of Blackpool celebrates victory at the end of the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Blackpool at the DW Stadium on August 14, 2010 in Wigan, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Gilks came up huge for Blackpool in September. Through three games, he notched 16 saves, including a seven-save shutout of Newcastle.

    While Chelsea did drop four goals on him, it was by no fault of his own. In fact, Gilks came up with several big saves in the drubbing, as the Blues hurled 29 shots in his direction.

    He also was victimized by an own goal, but in all turned in three outstanding performances worthy of recognition.

Defender: Manchester City's Kolo Toure

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    SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29:  Kolo Toure of Manchester City in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester City at the Stadium of Light on August 29, 2010 in Sunderland, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Ima
    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Toure was as exceptional as always, leading City's dominating defense in allowing just one goal all month.

    The Citizens even shut out Chelsea's powerful offense, worthy of mention on its own. Toure and the City defense were so good, in fact, that Joe Hart was only forced to make five saves all month.

Defender: Wigan's Antolin Alcaraz

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    HARTLEPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24:  Adam Boyd of Hartlepool United rises above Antolin Alcaraz of Wigan Athletic during the Carling Cup second round match between Hartlepool United and Wigan Athletic at Victoria Park on August 24, 2010 in Hartlepool, Englan
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Wigan's defense was a positive surprise all month, allowing three goals in three games (albeit against underwhelming foes).

    The offense was a different story. Alcaraz was a major part of the Latics' defensive strength and did what he could on offense, scoring their only goal in that span. 

Defender: Tottenham's Gareth Bale

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29:  Gareth Bale of Tottenham celebrates after scoring during the  UEFA Champions League Group A match between Tottenham Hotspur and FC Twente at White Hart Lane on September 29, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Bale's numbers weren't overwhelming, but he continued his spell of phenomenal form that has gotten him interest from the world's top clubs.

    His blistering runs from the back have been a bright spot for Spurs despite their poor play to start the season.

Defender: Fulham's Brede Hangeland

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    STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 21:  Ricardo Fuller of Stoke is challenged by Brede Hangeland of Fulham during the Carling Cup 3rd Round tie between Stoke City and Fulham at the Britannia Stadium on September 21, 2010 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Pho
    Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

    Hangeland was the key cog in a Fulham defense that gave up two goals in three games.

    He played the full 90 in each, and out-muscled forwards time and time again.

    Teammates Aaron Hughes and Stephen Kelly deserve credit too, but Hangeland gets the nod for saving a goal by heading clear off the line against Blackburn.

Midfielder: Liverpool's Steven Gerrard

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 23:  Steven Gerrard of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at City of Manchester Stadium on August 23, 2010 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    It's tough at Liverpool, but Gerrard keeps producing. Despite his teammates' poor form, the captain keeps playing the only way he knows how.

    He had three of Liverpool's four goals in September, including a brace in the Reds' epic loss to Berbatov and United.

Midfielder: Manchester United's Nani

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    BOLTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26:   Nani of Manchester United celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Bolton Wanderers and Manchester United at the Reebok Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Bolton, England. (P
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    United scored eight goals in three games, and Nani played a huge part in the Red Devils' production.

    While he only notched one goal of the eight, his playmaking resulted in three assists and countless attempts.

Midfielder: Chelsea's Florent Malouda

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19:  Florent Malouda of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Blackpool at Stamford Bridge on September 19, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Malouda or Essien? Either would have been a fantastic choice from this dominant Blues side.

    Both had a brace, both are in stellar form—so choosing between the two is largely subjective.

    I'll give the edge to the Frenchman for his finishing menace (he had a couple chances narrowly diverted), but you can't go wrong with Chelsea's dynamic duo.

Midfielder: Aston Villa's Stewart Downing

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    VIENNA, AUSTRIA - AUGUST 19:  Stewart Downing of Aston Villa in action during the UEFA Europa League, Play off, first leg Qualifying match between Rapid Vienna and Aston Villa at the Gerhard Hanappi Stadium on August 19, 2010 in Vienna, Austria.  (Photo b
    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    Aston Villa had a decent month, but it was Downing's performance that should give the Villans hope.

    The midfielder notched two goals while in spectacular form, timing his runs to perfection and delivering stinging shots. He could be among the Premier League's brightest rising stars, and is certainly a player to watch.

Forward: West Bromwich Albion's Peter Odemwingie

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25:  Peter Odemwingie of West Bromwich Albion celebrates as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates Stadium on September 25, 2010 in London, E
    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Odemwingie was a major force in each game, scoring two goals and proving to be a handful for opposing defenses all month long.

    He may not be among the Premiership's biggest names, but the Baggies are certainly grateful to have such a dangerous option up top.

Forward: Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov

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    BOLTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26:  Sam Ricketts of Bolton Wanderers competes with Dimitar Berbatov of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Bolton Wanderers and Manchester United at the Reebok Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Bo
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Berbatov scored four goals in September, three of which came in a hat trick against Liverpool.

    Clearly, his intense training in the offseason has paid off in a big way. Berbatov even threw in a brilliant bicycle kick goal for good measure.

    While this list was in no way ordered by merit, it's no stretch to say that I was saving the best for last here. He's earned it—Berbatov is the Premier League player of the month for September.