It was a September filled with up and down, uneven performances that didn’t present many standout choices for the best player for West Ham United in the ninth month of the year.
So it was poll time to see who you thought was the choice for the best Hammer in the second month of the season.
Who is your Hammers Player of the Month, semifinal Group 1?— Brace The Hammer (@BraceTheHammer) September 26, 2017
Who is your Hammers Player of the Month for September? Semifinal Group 2: #WHUFC— Brace The Hammer (@BraceTheHammer) September 26, 2017
Ok, they were the clear choices during the week. Now, who is your Hammers Player of the Month for September: Pablo or Chicharito? #WHUFC— Brace The Hammer (@BraceTheHammer) September 30, 2017
And the clear choice was right back extraordinaire Pablo Zabaleta.
Before looking at the numbers from his September performances, just on sheer eyetest alone, Zabaleta displayed the reliability and energy that once made him one of the best in his position globally during his great times at Manchester City. And when you look at the numbers, nine tackles and ten interceptions in September, you see the quality he displayed in the month.
That doesn’t mean the Argentina didn’t have some down moments in September, as Zabaleta was again sometimes too far up in the field against Tottenham and Swansea City, and made a bad challenge against West Brom that produced a deserved yellow card. But the 32-year-old more than made up for those few bad moments with being solid defensively, while still providing his constant threat and ability when he ventures forward. He hasn’t come close to scoring yet, but his September efforts provided several quality crosses to showcase his ability to contribute future assists.
No question that Zabaleta has become a team leader, demanding that his side show the quality on the field that they have on paper. But he is very rational, and has admitted that injuries have abetted in the team’s disappointing start to the season (a sentiment that he would indeed be correct to share).
Thankfully he hasn’t been injured, and why he has a secure hold on the right back spot that Sam Byram is resigned to being his understudy. So, after Javier Hernandez took home the prize for August, Pablo Zabaleta is the Hammers Player of the Month for September 2017.