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WeAreBrighton.com Player of the Month - December 2015

December was a return to the Brighton and Hove Albion we all know and love as Chris Hughton's side surrendered top spot in the table, won only once and failed to score for three games in a row.

They weren't helped by an increasingly long injury list which now features the outstanding Solly March as well as Gordon Greer while James Wilson spent most of the Christmas period very ill which led to the quite brilliant sight of him throwing up all over the pitch live on the Sky cameras in the opening game of January.

That means that, for the first time this season, it is really slim pickings for a Player of the Month poll and much head scratching was required in even coming up with a shortlist - although the winner was pretty resounding...

December 2015 Player of the Month - David Stockdale (63.16% of the vote)
Easily the Albion's most improved player this season, David Stockdale was been vital in earning points for Chris Hughton's side and that didn't change in December even as the unbeaten run crumbled. Without him Charlton would have been out of sight by half time in the game that the Seagulls turned around from 2-0 down to win 3-2, he made vital stops at Derby and Queens Park Rangers but the best was saved for Brentford away, the only clean sheet of the month in which he produced four top drawer saves including one of the best we can recall seeing from an Albion goalkeeper.
Played 6 (6 starts). Scored 0.
Second: James Wilson (3.29% of the vote)
It was quite a coup to get him in on loan from Manchester United and the hype was well justified as two goals in the month earned a win at home to Charlton and a draw at QPR. Both were strikes of real class and United's loss is certainly our game at the minute
Third: Dale Stephens (3.29% of the vote)
Another good month for the midfielder alongside his partner Beram Kayal. He pulled the strings in the comeback against his former club Charlton and then netted an absolutely superb overhead kick to open the scoring away at Queens Park Rangers.

The contenders:
Bruno - Easily the most consistent player throughout December and in fact over the whole season, the right back had another impressive month particularly in dealing with Derby's dangerous wide men in the draw at the iPro.
Beram Kayal - Perhaps not his best month but that is hardly surprising given that him and Dale Stephens have played every single game they have been available for. Still looked a class above against Charlton and away at Derby.
Dale Stephens - Pulled the strings in the comeback win against his former side Charlton and scored an absolutely superb overhead kick to open the scoring away at Queens Park Rangers.
David Stockdale - Without him, Charlton would have been out of sight before half time and Brentford could have racked up a 4-0 win - with the save from James Tarkowski's header being every bit as good as any stop from an Albion keeper we can recall.
Rajiv van La Parra - March's injury gave the on-loan Wolves winger the chance to start and he duly took it, scoring two cracking piledrivers in the 2-2 draws away at Derby and at Queens Park Rangers to surely put himself in the frame for a permanent move?
James Wilson - Easy to see why he is so highly rated at Manchester United. The striker scored a superb individual goal to cut through the entire Charlton defence and then a brilliant volley at Derby before illness struck him down.



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