The clocks may have turned back and the temperature is dropping, but as we move into the fourth month of this Premier League season, the action is only just beginning to heat up ahead of a busy winter schedule.
While we have to endure one final international break ahead of the chaotic but beloved end of year schedule, we can take some time to comb through all of the action that the Premier League had to offer in October. With a 100% record, Chelsea were unsurprisingly the big winners of the month and sat three points clear at the top by the time October had drawn to a close. The likes of Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers also enjoyed an excellent October to ignite their respective seasons, whilst Manchester United and Aston Villa’s fortunes took a dramatic nosedive.
After 39 matches, 2 managerial sackings and over 120 goals, it’s time to choose our October Team of the Month.
October Team of the Month – Premier League
GK: Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)
October was a month dominated by Chelsea, both defensively and going forward.
However, whilst Edouard Mendy might seem like the obvious candidate, our goalkeeper of the month is Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale, for the second month in a row.
With two clean sheets and 17 saves in just four matches, Ramsdale has enjoyed yet another fine month, as the Gunners have steadily climbed the table to the outskirts of the European places. His extraordinary performance against Leicester, in which he pulled off eight saves, was probably the greatest display of goalkeeping so far in this season’s Premier League.
Suddenly that £30 million price tag doesn’t seem too outlandish after all.
RB: Tino Livramento (Southampton)
After a slow start, Southampton’s season took an upswing in October, the South Coast side picking up seven points from a possible 12.
But whilst the Saints started to improve, young right-back Tino Livramento simply maintained the level he has been playing at since the start of the season.
The 18-year-old played every minute throughout October as Southampton kept two clean sheets, with his energetic performances a highlight for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side. Livramento even won a penalty against former club Chelsea and scored his first senior goal against Burnley.
Following another worrying summer where some key players left St Mary’s, Livramento has looked like a terrific signing so far.
CB: Trevoh Chalobah (Chelsea)
With the best defensive record in the league, it’s fair to say that Chelsea’s habit of rotating the squad’s many centre backs isn’t doing the team any harm.
But with such depth in this position, the young Trevoh Chalobah has done extremely well to slot into the XI alongside more experienced central defenders. Having broken into the side at the beginning of the season, Chalobah continued his fine form by playing the full 90 in three of Chelsea’s Premier League fixtures in October, helping the Blues achieve two clean sheets and even scoring in the 3-1 victory over Southampton.
The centre back has just signed a new contract in recent days, a concrete sign of his growing influence and importance to this developing Chelsea side.
CB: Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham United)
Chelsea aren’t the only London team in fine form at the moment, with cross-city rivals West Ham United ending October in the top four with three wins from a possible four in the month.
In some of the Hammers’ closely contested wins, the presence of Angelo Ogbonna at the back has been vitally important. Having played every minute of Premier League action in October, Ogbonna helped West Ham to two clean sheets, the team only conceding three times throughout the month.
Not only that, his headed winner at Goodison Park was the catalyst for his side to bounce back from a home defeat against Brentford, and West Ham have been on a winning run in the league ever since.
The attackers in David Moyes’ team have received plenty of plaudits this season so far, and rightly so, but it’s about time that defenders such as Ogbonna got their fair share of credit for West Ham’s extraordinary form.
LB: Ben Chilwell (Chelsea)
An injury problem meant that Chelsea’s star left back Ben Chilwell had a bit of a delayed start to the season, but his return has been a roaring success for more than one reason.
Making his first league start of the campaign at the beginning of October, Chilwell scored the third goal against Southampton, and then proceeded to score in the following two matches with belting strikes against Brentford and Norwich as well.
The England defender has also played every minute in the league since making his way back into the XI, showing no lack of sharpness by being part of a watertight defence that conceded just once in the month.
CDM: Declan Rice (West Ham United)
Just how good has Declan Rice been over the past 12 months?
Almost the embodiment of West Ham’s recent success in the league, Rice has been in stunning form throughout October, playing every minute in West Ham’s three successive wins after the international break. As well as continuing his usual role of shielding the back four and controlling proceedings from the middle of the park, a goal and assist in the 4-1 triumph over Aston Villa underlined his ability to make the difference at both ends.
Now the regular on-field captain for the Hammers, his value to the club is beyond measure and only increasing further.
RCM: Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea)
He might go under the radar sometimes, but in terms of central midfielders, few have matched the level of Chelsea’s Mateo Kovacic this season.
Three Premier League appearances in October yielded a further three stylish performances, featuring Kovacic’s usual pinpoint passing. It was these incisive passes that cut apart Norwich City in the latter stages of the month and brought Kovacic another two assists.
The Croatian has scarcely put a foot wrong for Chelsea so far this season, and his play continues to provide a perfect springboard for the league leaders to go about their business.
LCM: Youri Tielemans (Leicester City)
Leicester continue to blow hot and cold in an unusual start to the season for them, but at least Brendan Rodgers appears able to count on star midfielder Youri Tielemans, who is gradually reaching top gear again for the Foxes.
The Belgian international scored with a fantastic lob against Manchester United which inspired his side to end United’s 21-month unbeaten run in the league, as Leicester emerged 4-2 winners.
He was at it again a week later, scoring another goal out of nothing against Brentford that propelled Leicester to a narrow 2-1 victory on the road.
Other than the evergreen Jamie Vardy, Tielemans’ might just be the most important player in this Leicester squad, his recent performances certainly doing justice to that fact.
RW: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) (C)
For all the attacking talent that has arrived in the Premier League during the summer, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah simply remains a level above the rest.
In October alone, Liverpool’s world-beating winger produced enough moments of magic to fill a whole season. From an incredible solo goal against Manchester City, to another one at Watford just a week later, and a legendary hat-trick against arch-rivals Manchester United another week on, there has simply been no stopping him.
All in all, Salah has recorded five goals and four assists in October, scoring or assisting in every Premier League game. His nine goal contributions comfortably place him as our player of the month, for the second month running.
LW: Phil Foden (Manchester City)
Despite facing a delayed start to the season following a foot injury in the summer’s European Championships, Phil Foden resumed normal service in October, strolling back into Manchester City’s starting line-up with some typically brilliant performances.
The youngster shone at Anfield once again, smashing a strike into Alisson’s far post to earn his first goal of the season as City and Liverpool drew 2-2. Foden later scored two rather unorthodox goals in City’s 4-1 win at Brighton, before squaring to Mahrez in stoppage time for a simple finish to seal the victory.
Last season’s Young Player of the Year already looks back to his best, elevating the imperious Manchester City to an even higher standard.
ST: Maxwel Cornet (Burnley)
Maxwel Cornet may have seemed at first to be one of the more unexpected transfers of the summer, but few would’ve doubted the transformational impact he’d have on Burnley, a prediction that has come true following some strong performances for the North-West side.
The forward scored a fine brace against Southampton, including a stunning half-volley, and then picked out the top corner against Brentford with another brilliant strike. It’s no surprise that Cornet’s increasing goal return coincided with an upswing in form from Burnley, with the Clarets picking up five points in October.
The Ivorian’s efforts make him the final player in our team, and he completes our monthly XI on the pitch.
Manager: Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea)
We mentioned the recent success of teams such as Wolves and West Ham, but October’s manager of the month award can only go to one man.
Chelsea’s 100% record this month makes it relatively easy to select Thomas Tuchel as this month’s winner, with the Blues racing into a three point lead at the top of the table as October drew to a close. As well as the usual defensive solidity, with Chelsea conceding just once in the month, Tuchel had them playing some exciting, expansive football, scoring a total of 14 goals in just four matches. This included a 7-0 thrashing of bottom-placed Norwich City, the biggest victory in the league so far this season.
There’s a long way to go, but with form like this Tuchel truly means business this season.
Manchester City and England fan. Writer of opinion and features on all things Premier League and beyond.