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WeAreBrighton.com Player of the Month - December 2011

It's the month of goodwill to all men, and a combination of the Albion's performances and some shocking refereeing saw us hand out gifts of victories to four of December's five opponents.

Only Nottingham Forest were seen off in the final month of arguably the greatest year in the clubs history and that was far from convincing with a last minute winner.

Craig Pawson wrote himself into Seagulls folklore with his officiating against Burnley and the inability to score on the road continued with blanks drawn in every away game.

Indeed, Will Buckley was the only man to hit the target in December with his 90th minute winner against the Tricky Trees.

 

December 2011 Player of the Month - Adam El-Abd (25.53% of the vote)
In his first month back after injury, Adam El-Abd claims the December award. It says much about the torrid time the Albion were given in the last month of 2011 when a man who only started three games, lost all three and scored an own goal can win the accolade, but it was in difficult circumstances that last seasons player-of-the-season returned. He completed an outstanding 90 minutes in the Burnley debacle and was solid enough despite deflecting the ball past Casper Ankergren at Reading and being on the losing side again away at Coventry.
Played 3 (3 starts). Scored 0.
Second: Will Buckley (18.09% of the vote)
Finally fit after a barrage of injury problems, Will Buckley made his mark on the side by scoring the only goal in the only win with his last minute strike against Nottingham Forest. His only start came at Reading but his substitute appearances in the other four games got him into second place.
Third: Craig Noone (12.77% of the vote)
Craig Noone returned to the top three after missing out for the first time this season last month. He had a fine game in the unorthordox position of wing back after coming on in the Burnley game and also started against Coventry there and continued to look dangerous going forward.

 

The contenders:
Liam Bridcutt - Recovered from the disaster of that Watford game with a set of performances that reaffirmed his value to the club, including an assist for Romain Vincelot against Coventry.
Will Buckley - Scorer of the only goal of the month with another super-sub performance from the bench against Nottingham Forest. Has looked lively when played now that his injury woes from earlier in the campaign look behind him.
Lewis Dunk - Helped earn three points over Forest with his clearance of the goal line and continued to impress at the heart of the defence, especially during testing circumstances when down to nine men against Burnley.
Adam El-Abd - Made his long-awaited return at the end of November and has his first starts in December. A great performance in his first ninety minutes against Burnley and did a decent job covering the injury crisis at right back.
Gordon Greer - A difficult month for the defence in which the captain again shone. Was superb against Nottingham Forest in preserving a clean sheet and impressed in the nine man display against Burnley.
Kazenga LuaLua - Finally began to make an impact on the season after his permanent signing from Newcastle. Dangerous whenever he has started and unlucky not to score at Middlesbrough with a trademark 30 yard effort that smashed against the post.
Craig Mackail-Smith - A goalless month for the Albion's record signing although the lack of service hasn't helped him. Worked tirelessly against Burnley on his own up front and continues to be arguably the most popular player at the club.
Craig Noone - A quieter month by his standards so far this season. Did well against Burnley when introduced and has done well in difficult circumstances in a wing back role he is not fully accustomed to.
Romain Vincelot - Makes the list purely for that match winning assist against Nottingham Forest when he calmly laid the ball back to Buckley. The jack-of-all-trades continues to be somewhat of an unsung hero this season with his versatility.

 


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