Originally Posted by Top
I must say that surprises me - I don't think anyone even had him in a top 50 before January.
He started on the bench in 10 out of 19 Premier League matches before January, and of the 9 games he started, he only stayed on the pitch the entire game 4 times.
I struggle to see how he could have managed to stand out during that. To me, he was no where near Lennon, who was among the best players in the league before his injury.
But I guess that's football, different eyes and all that.
Here is his Premier League game log before January by the way - according to ESPN:
TEAM RESULT G A
A- Birmingham D 0 - 0 Started 0 0
A- West Ham United D 1 - 1 Off 45 min 0 0
H- Portsmouth W 2 - 1 On 63 0 0
H- Everton D 3 - 3 On 75 0 0
A- Manchester City L 2 - 1 On 87 0 0
A- Arsenal W 0 - 3 On 86 0 0
H- Wolverhampton W 4 - 0 Off 69 min 1 1
H- Manchester United W 1 - 0 Unused Sub
A- Bolton Wanderers W 0 - 4 Unused Sub
H- Blackburn Rovers W 5 - 0 Unused Sub
A- Aston Villa L 2 - 1 Off 84 min 0 0
H- Liverpool W 2 - 0 On 75 1 0
A- Wigan Athletic L 3 - 1 Off 51 min 0 1
H- Tottenham Hotspur W 3 - 0 Started 0 0
A- Stoke City W 1 - 2 Started 1 0
H- Burnley W 3 - 0 Unused Sub
A- Fulham W 0 - 2 Started 0 0
A- Sunderland W 1 - 3 On 75 0 0
H- Hull City W 2 - 1 Off 68 min 0 0
He started 10 games with a goal or assist every other game he started. I'd say that kind of form is enough to catch the eye. It's certainly up there with the productivity shown by Bale and Nani these last few months. As Brwned points out, his spell on the bench will have been as much down to that stupid diamond formation as much as anything else.
Anyhoo, it's all a bit moot. There's no doubt Malouda's been the best winger in the league this season. That's a sensational haul of goals since January for a wide man. Almost Ronaldoesque.
Nani has arguably put in the best individual performances I saw from a winger all season (Arsenal and Bayern) with Bale not far behind (Arsenal and Chelsea) but neither of them have been as consistently effective as Malouda, who's been a machine these last few months (understandable though, they're both yong and lernin an' all that)