brighton logo Player of the Month - January 2012

An unbeaten start to 2012 after an extremely disappointing December has seen the Albion put themselves well into play-off contention.

Convincing home wins over Southampton and Bristol City as well as the breaking of not only the "no shots on target away from home" approach to games but actually winning on the road has been a big improvement.

Newcastle United were dispatched in an FA Cup Fourth Round shock as a number of players who have been on the fringes so far this season or simply not playing at all stepped up to the mark to breath new life into the 2011-2012 campaign.


January 2012 Player of the Month - Will Buckley (75.42% of the vote)
The 1m signing from Watford finally got fit and in the starting line up and what a difference he made, winning the Player of the Month with over 3/4s of the votes. Virtually unplayable against Southampton as he played his part in Dan Harding's early substitution from proceedings, he scored both goals in victory at Peterborough with yet another trademark late finish to go with those against Doncaster and Nottingham Forest before scoring the winner in the FA Cup Fourth Round shock against Newcastle United. If he keeps this up could easily walk away with the Player of the Season prize.
Played 7 (7 starts). Scored 4.
Second: Peter Brezovan (7.63% of the vote)
Gus Poyet raised a few eyebrows when Peter Brezovan made his first appearance of the season against Southampton but what followed was four goals conceded in seven games including a heroic performance to get the Wrexham FA Cup replay to penalties before excelling in the shoot out.
Third: Liam Bridcutt (5.08% of the vote)
Another good month from Liam Bridcutt saw him linked with a move to Premier League Norwich. He excelled against Newcastle United and kept the midfield ticking over after his return from suspension in the victory over Southampton. A key part of the recent return to defensive solidarity.


The contenders:
Peter Brezovan - Handed his first start of the season at home to Southampton and has kept the jersey ever since. Sexy Pete played a blinder in getting though both FA Cup games with Wrexham are conceding just one league goal from open play says it all.
Liam Bridcutt - Returned from suspension to put in another set of impressive performances infront of the back four. Still dictating play superbly, it was no surprise to see him linked with a move away to Premier League Norwich during the transfer window.
Will Buckley - Finally fit and firing on all cylinders. His four goals in the month including a brace at Peterborough took him onto seven for the season and his return his galvanised the side with the attacking threat we have otherwise been missing.
Inigo Calderon - Returned from injury to captain the side in Gordon Greer's absence and looked more than comfortable at right back. Opened his account for the campaign with a goal-of-the-season candidate at home to Bristol City.
Lewis Dunk - Continued his fine form at the start of the month and then showed what a strong character he is for one so young by putting in even more impressive displays at Peterborough, home to Newcastle and at Crystal Palace despite his brush with the law.
Adam El-Abd - Began the month at centre half with typically calm displays before being asked to cover at left back at the end after Marcos Painter's return was abruptly halted at Peterborough. Doesn't look out position even when he is out of position.
Jake Forster-Caskey - Announced his first team arrival with two goals in his first two starts against Southampton and Wrexham. Looks like he could be the midfield play maker that the Albion have been crying out for since Vicente took a liking to the physio room.
Gordon Greer - The skipper blotted his copybook with a stupid sending off against Southampton with his party trick of elbowing an opponent in the face. Returned against Peterborough and looked immense in the last few games of the month.
Craig Mackail-Smith - Another goalless month for the Albion's record signing. His shift against Newcastle was probably his best yet and only a fine save from Tim Krul denied him a deserved first goal since the end of November.
Matt Sparrow - Starting to nail down a regular starting berth in the midfield and highlighted how dangerous he is in front of goal with a brace against Southampton including a wonder goal from distance.