Premier League fans – prepare yourselves. The festive period, the part of the season we all cherish the most, will soon be upon us. With all of the fun of the festive action around the corner, the stop-start month of November already feels quite away behind us.
With only three full Matchweeks and a disruptive international break taking place in November, the fourth month of the Premier League season felt like an incredibly short one, but that doesn’t mean it went without some eyebrow-raising events. Amidst the managerial sackings, surprise results, and rapidly deteriorating weather, we’ve picked out the eleven players and one manager who stood out in November to be featured in our latest Premier League Team of the Month.
Team of the November 2021 – Premier League
GK: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)
A month that began poorly for Aston Villa rapidly turned around with the introduction of Steven Gerrard as the club’s new manager during the international break.
Whilst the Villans have picked up impressively in the final two games of this month, goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has been a consistent performer for them throughout. After a slow start to the season, the Argentine seems to be returning to his best, conceding just twice across three November fixtures and achieving a clean sheet against Brighton and Hove Albion.
Martinez recorded six saves from eight shots on target throughout the month, boasting an impressive save rate of 75%. He made some spectacular stops against Southampton and Brighton in particular.
Gerrard will be delighted to have inherited such a strong and reliable shot stopper.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Liverpool may have waved goodbye to their 25-match unbeaten run in November, but it wasn’t to be too damaging for the Reds as they ended the month just two points off the top having scored a hatful of goals.
Aside from the obvious culprits in Liverpool’s front line, the ever-impressive Trent Alexander-Arnold was unsurprisingly a key weapon in the Reds’ arsenal once again. The right-back helped his side achieve two clean sheets from a possible three, in shutouts against Arsenal and Southampton.
His most notable contributions came at the other end of the pitch, though, recording one goal and four assists throughout the month, meaning that he had a direct hand in half of Liverpool’s Premier League goals in November. As has often been the case in the last few seasons, Liverpool made the most of Trent’s world class deliveries from set-piece situations.
Another excellent month for Liverpool’s brilliant right-back.
CB: John Stones (Manchester City)
After a rocky October, Manchester City regained ground at the top of the Premier League table with a near-flawless November – an achievement largely powered by the return of John Stones to form and fitness.
Having formed a superb partnership with Ruben Dias last season, it was no surprise to see Stones pick up where he left off once he was back alongside the Portugal international. Stones played twice in November, achieving a clean sheet in both matches, as well a 96% passing accuracy stat. In particular, he did an excellent job of standing up to the test of Cristiano Ronaldo in the Manchester Derby at Old Trafford.
The competition in the centre-back position is fierce at Manchester City, but on this evidence Stones will have no trouble picking up where he left off last season.
CB: Max Kilman (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
By the timings of the fixture list, Wolverhampton Wanderers actually played four Premier League games in November, compared to most other teams’ match tally of three. Across those games, Wolves achieved two victories and two clean sheets, with defender Max Kilman at the core of their success.
Kilman’s influence has certainly grown in the early stages of this season, with the centre-back playing every minute of Premier League action in November. He scored his first ever goal for Wolves in their Monday night victory over Everton at the start of the month, and played his part as the Midlands side achieved a clean sheet and victory against a high-flying West Ham.
Wolves currently maintain one of the best defensive records in the league so far this season, and Kilman’s quietly strong performances are gradually garnering more recognition. Could an England call-up be on the cards in 2022?
LB: Joao Cancelo (Manchester City) (C)
Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo has shown a penchant for versatility over the past 12 months, both positionally and in his range of footballing attributes. Throughout November, the Portuguese fullback demonstrated this again to brilliant effect.
With Kevin De Bruyne absent, Cancelo became Manchester City’s primary conductor in recent matches, recording two assists and helping his side achieve two clean sheets. His precise back post cross against Manchester United and incredible outside of the boot assist to open the scoring against Everton underpinned the very best of his qualities.
Following three outstanding performances, Cancelo is our November player of the month and the captain of this XI.
RDM: Mathias Normann (Norwich City)
From a position of doom, gloom and week to week misery, this past month was a much brighter one for relegation-threatened Norwich City, who picked up seven points from a possible nine to breathe new life into their season.
In the centre of the pitch, on-loan midfielder Mathias Normann played a big part in this upswing in form. Regularly identified as one of the rays of light in Norwich’s season so far, the Norwegian scored his first Premier League goal in The Canaries’ maiden win against Brentford with a pinpoint strike from outside the area.
Always combative in midfield, Normann also performed strongly in the victory over Southampton, putting in four successful tackles for Norwich.
A strong month had a sour ending for the midfielder though, following an injury in the goalless draw against Wolves. You feel that Norwich will need him back sooner rather than later.
LDM: Rodri (Manchester City)
Much of the praise surrounding Manchester City so far this season has been directed at the team’s Portuguese trio of Cancelo, Dias and Bernardo Silva. But in the defensive midfield position, Spaniard Rodri has arguably been as impressive as any single one of them, and his excellent form continued throughout November.
Now an ever-present in the champions’ midfield, Rodri put in three top class performances in November, as City won all of their Premier League matches and conceded just one goal in the process. Across his three appearances against Manchester United, Everton, and West Ham, the defensive midfielder recorded a passing accuracy of over 96%.
His consistent performances were topped off with a thunderbolt of a goal in City’s 3-0 win over Everton, one of the goals of the season so far. On the back of these displays, it’s good to see Rodri getting the recognition he deserves.
CAM: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
Just how good has Bernardo Silva been so far this season?
From supposedly having one foot out of the exit door in the summer, the Portugal international has re-established his position as one of the league’s finest players, being pivotal to Manchester City’s strong recent run of results.
Bernardo lit up the Premier League in November, helping City to derby success at Old Trafford when he squeezed in Joao Cancelo’s cross from a seemingly impossible angle. Another goal came in the following match against Everton, when a deflected strike fell to him inside the area for a simple finish.
Aside from increasing confidence in front of goal, it is Bernardo’s relentlessly energetic performances that continue to mark him out as a star of this season’s Premier League. At this point of the campaign, only Mohamed Salah supersedes him as the current player of the season.
RW: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Having been chosen as our player of the month for both September and October, few will be surprised to see the brilliant Mohamed Salah make it into our Team of the Month for the third time in a row.
It was another strong month in front of the goal for Liverpool, with Salah continuing to play his part. The Egyptian forward recorded a goal and two assists in three Premier League matches, registering a goal contribution in each of his league appearances in November.
Liverpool remain the top goalscorers in the league by a considerable margin, which is of little surprise due to Salah’s remarkable consistency in front of goal. As previously mentioned, he remains the player of the season so far without a doubt.
ST: Diogo Jota (Liverpool)
With ten goals in just three games, Liverpool’s frontline was in ruthless form throughout November, and Mohamed Salah is joined by fellow Reds forward Diogo Jota in our Team of the Month.
After pouncing on a defensive error against Arsenal, the former Wolves striker danced through the Gunners backline before finishing into an empty net to put his side 2-0 up at Anfield. Jota’s fine form continued a week later against Southampton, as he scored two simple finishes to help his side achieve back-to-back 4-0 victories.
Last season Jota demonstrated flashes of what he was capable of at Liverpool in-between recurring injury problems, and this season we are beginning to see the full extent of his abilities. If he can maintain this level, he could even be in with an outside chance of claiming the Golden Boot.
LW: Emmanuel Dennis (Watford)
Completing our monthly XI is a new addition to the Premier League this season; Watford talisman Emmanuel Dennis.
Although the Hornets endured a mixed month of results, with one victory and two defeats, Dennis was brilliant throughout, bagging two goals and three assists as his side continue to demonstrate impressive ambition in front of goal. After setting up both Josh King and Joao Pedro, Dennis got on the scoresheet himself from a tight angle to seal an incredible 4-1 victory over Manchester United. In the following match against Leicester City, Dennis won the penalty from which King scored, and grabbed another goal for himself with a composed finish after a defensive error from the hosts.
One of the surprise stars of this league season so far, Dennis will no doubt be central in Watford’s effort to reach safety.
Manager: Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
Now for our manager of the month to round off this team. Steven Gerrard certainly deserves recognition for leading Aston Villa to two victories upon his appointment at the club, but this managerial accolade can only go to Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola following a perfect record in November.
Much has been said about the lack of a traditional striker in this team, particularly after City’s shock defeat to Crystal Palace at the end of October. However, the way that Pep has got this team playing without one is simply extraordinary, with City scoring seven goals in their three league fixtures last month.
The Citizens dominated United in the Derby at Old Trafford, a fixture that they’d had some trouble with in the last two seasons. A relatively comfortable win against a dangerous West Ham side was also a notable highlight of the last month for City.
When this team hits momentum, they can be incredibly difficult to stop. Based on the way Pep has got them playing recently, you wouldn’t bet against them stringing together yet another long run of victories.
Manchester City and England fan. Writer of opinion and features on all things Premier League and beyond.