Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been named Premier League Player of the Month for September, while Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has won the Manager of the Month award.
Ronaldo has claimed the Player of the Month award for the fifth time in his career after making a fine start to his second spell at Old Trafford.
He scored five goals in six appearances – including three goals in the league in September – to win the award ahead of Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo, Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger, Allan Saint-Maximin of Newcastle, Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah and Watford’s Ismaila Sarr.
He scored twice on his debut against Newcastle at Old Trafford, and followed that up with a goal during United’s dramatic win at West Ham.
Ronaldo’s team-mates have spoken of his impact off as well as on the pitch, with Jesse Lingard saying: “He’s been brilliant.
“He’s brought so much to the team. The leadership factor, he wants to win in training, he wants to win in games and he wants to win trophies, which is the main thing. He’s great to be around to watch what he does.
“You can learn so many things from him. He’s one of the best players in the world. To have him back home is perfect for us at the moment.
“He’s really humble. He’s a positive person. To be learning different things off the field as well as on it has been really good. I think he can really help out the team this season.”
Arteta named Manager of the Month
Arteta has been named Manager of the Month after his Arsenal side won all three of their league games in September.
Their resurgence in form included an emphatic 3-1 win in the North London derby against Tottenham, as well as crucial victories against Burnley and Norwich.
Those wins have helped to lift the club to 11th in the table after a difficult start to the campaign which saw them suffer three consecutive defeats in their opening games.
“I think [this award] represents the way everyone has been together, has been working and has been positive in difficult moments and continued to do their work with the right mentality, the right ambition and with the right work and direction,” Mikel told Arsenal’s website.
“So it’s for them. I get [the award] but it’s for all the people behind it.”
Former Arsenal forward Paul Merson believes the club could challenge for a top-four spot this season under Arteta if he can keep the majority of his squad fit.
“They have set themselves a yardstick now, they’ve put the bar there, now good teams stay at that level,” said Merson.
“I did not expect them to lose to Tottenham at all, as they have been very fortunate in their results so far.
“Mikel Arteta had a lot of injuries at the start of the season and what I liked about him was he went to Burnley with a very attacking team, under pressure, and he took a chance, got the ball down when they had it and played.
“And he absolutely produced in that game and they were brilliant when everyone thought they would be bullied.”
Townsend screamer named Goal of the Month
September’s Goal of the Month award has gone to Everton midfielder Andros Townsend, for his spectacular long-range effort against Burnley.
Townsend opened his account for Everton with a superb 25-yard strike in their 3-1 win at Goodison Park on September 13.
Gary Neville described the goal as “unbelievable” on Monday Night Football, while Jamie Carragher called it “a piece of magic.”
September was a success for both Townsend and Everton, who won all three of their games last month.
The Toffees are now fifth in the Premier League following their recent 1-1 draw with Manchester United.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer started Ronaldo on the bench last weekend as they drew 1-1 at home to Everton and the player was caught making a hasty exit down the tunnel at the final whistle.
Solskjaer defended his team selection but the decision came under the spotlight and Ronaldo’s demeanour only invited further scrutiny.
Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville reflected on Ronaldo’s body language in his latest podcast and believes Old Trafford’s returning hero has put pressure on his manager.
“I watched the game and I watched him walk off. I can’t say I liked it,” said Neville.
“Is Cristiano upset when he doesn’t play? Yes. Is Cristiano upset when he doesn’t score? Yes. Is Cristiano annoyed as hell when the team don’t win? Of course.
“We know those things. He doesn’t have to prove that.
“He walks off the pitch, muttering to himself, which throws questions up in the air. What is he saying? Who is he annoyed with? It can only come back to the manager.”
Ronaldo’s Portugal play Qatar in an international friendly match on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.
Fernando Santos’ side, who top their World Cup Qualifying group after taking 13 points from five games, welcome Qatar to the Algarve in a game live on the Sky Sports Red Button (kick-off 8.15pm).