For August anyway. Congratulations to David Stockdale, the first player to receive the Player of the Month Award for the 2010/11 season. And very well deserved it is too. I’ve made no secret of how impressed I’ve been with the performances Stockdale has put in so far this season, and neither has the Fulham Faithful singing England’s Number One on a few occasions now.
Stockdale’s first opportunity to shine in the absence of Mark Schwarzer was a well-saved penalty at Brentford – one of the few times he got anywhere near the ball – but the real test came on the opening day of the Premier League when we travelled up to the Reebok. A rare league appearance for Stockdale, and a clean sheet away from home. Good start. Another penalty saved against the might of Man United and some quite acrobatic saves meant the boy did himself proud. Blackpool at the end of August was full of mixed fortunes – another fine display between the sticks but David sustained an injury in the second half, which has since kept him out of not only the Fulham starting XI but also, potentially, the England squad for the Euro 2010 qualifying campaign. This award may be scant consolation for the opportunities missed but hopefully the fans’ appreciation will count for something.
In his interview with the Offal, Stockdale admits he was surprised to win the award but he’s looking to come back fighting (ish);
I’m definitely surprised I won the Player of the Month Award and hopefully now I can get fit and push Mark [Schwarzer] for his First Team place. He’s a great goalkeeper so I can’t push my luck and I’ll cover him until my opportunity comes around again.
I waited two years for my chance to come so it was really disappointing to get injured but the fans know they’ve got someone behind Mark now.
He certainly is a decent substitute. With only Schwarzer and Stockdale named in the 25 man squad, injuries to either leave us a little vulnerable so it’s good to hear that Stockdale should be back in time for the Everton game at the end of September. As I’ve said before, I hope he gets plenty of game-time this season.
Well done David!
Congratulations are also due to Moussa Dembélé and Brede Hangeland who came second and third respectively.