As we’ve detailed in basically every post here at Through It All Together over the last three months, it’s a good time to be a Leeds United fan. We’re in fourth place in the table, we have hope for the future, there looks to be a sale going on this week... things are good.
On top of that, we’ve had some great performances on the pitch, and as one of our staff writers pointed out this week, that makes choosing a Player of the Month really difficult. That’s a really fantastic problem to have.
This month, our writers narrowed their choice down to four options, the same four options we’ll present to you later this week for you to choose from for the Reader’s Choice award: right back Luke Ayling, midfielder Kalvin Phillips, left back Charlie Taylor, and forward Chris Wood.
From those, our winner (again by a single vote) is one who has played consistently at his position throughout this campaign, and one who has been a favorite for longer than that.
We’ll present four cases for you today to reference when you make your Reader’s Choice Player of the Month selection later this week. All four are worthy candidates, all four will likely win this award at some point this season, and all four were key to Leeds United’s success in November. But again, only one man can come out on top.
Charlie Taylor, you’re our man.... (for now). Stick around, will you?
The Case for Kalvin Phillips, by Matt Robinson, 1 vote
Kalvin Phillips deserves this award. I think he's gone from strength to strength this season and November has been his best month yet. Winning EFL Young Player of the Month in October was a testament to how good Phillips actually is: he's filled the role of Lewis Cook almost seamlessly and he has more of an attacking threat than Cook as well.
ICYMI: @LUFC’s @Kalvinphillips was this morning named October’s #EFL Young Player of the Month!— EFL (@EFL) November 21, 2016
Full story >> https://t.co/O99aAu4omm pic.twitter.com/sBWNYfH9tp
November has been an even better month for Philips than October in my opinion. With several big games this month, including the 3-2 win over Norwich, and even the losses to Newcastle and Liverpool, Phillips has proven he can control and influence the game against even the highest quality opposition.
He looked outstanding at Norwich and despite losing to Newcastle, his general composure and movement was great to watch. Easy player of the month for me and young player of the season guaranteed.
The Case for Luke Ayling, by James Mahoney, 2 votes
Luke Ayling is my POTM for November. He has been one of the most consistent players within the squad this season. However, for me, Ayling really came into his own this month. His ability to read the game and his calmness on the ball has played a major part in our current league position.
Luke Ayling and Pontus Jansson chances v Newcastle #LUFC pic.twitter.com/8464MfnWJm— #WALMOT (@WALMOT333) November 21, 2016
Even against Newcastle, when the rest of the team were poor, he played out of his skin and was unlucky not to score. He doesn’t do anything fancy, he just goes about doing his job to the highest level, and in my opinion deserves our acknowledgement for that. He’s a deserving winner.
The Case for Chris Wood, by Johnny Wakefield, 3 votes
We simply cannot come to the fourth month of the season and not give our leading goal-scorer the Player of the Month award. We cannot. Chris Wood has been the only attacking threat at Leeds United for the last three months, and again, in November, he led the team with two, scoring against Norwich and Rotherham. He cannot be denied.
Chris Wood GOAL v Norwich City #GETIN #LUFC pic.twitter.com/HTDygoDCM7— #WALMOT (@WALMOT333) November 5, 2016
Chris Wood v Rotherham #GETIN #LUFC pic.twitter.com/9IksC7TmSK— #WALMOT (@WALMOT333) November 27, 2016
Now even if those goals were created by runs from Hadi Sacko and Charlie Taylor, without Wood being in the right place at the right time and having the ability to finish, we... have... no... goal.
When Chris Wood is not on the pitch, Leeds United struggle to score. Without goals, we can’t win. Simple as that. Give him the POTM award in the third consecutive month he leads the team in scoring. The man deserves it.
The Case for Charlie Taylor, by Anatoliy Ivantchouk, 4 votes
Charlie Taylor has been on the lips of many Leeds supporters and for good reason. The dominant left back is one of the biggest threats in attack for Leeds while remaining one of their most consistent rocks in the back. Taylor has not had a "bad" game for some time now and that has caught the attention of a collection of Premier League clubs, and rightfully so. Taylor's style of play is one that has become highly sought after at the top-level of football.
We really need him: Liverpool fans on Twitter urge club to sign Leeds star Charlie Taylor #liverpoolfc https://t.co/VyYAzUt198— HITC LFC Empire (@HITCliverpool) November 30, 2016
So what has Taylor done in November? For one, he has been consistent. When the pros and cons are established, Taylor has been falling on the pros side for some key matchups, including high-profile clashes against Liverpool and Newcastle. Taylor's ability to put in good crosses and make defenses uneasy with his runs into the box could make him an MVP on the offensive side of the ball. While many would argue Chris Wood is the POTM, I argue that without Taylor, Chris Wood has about five fewer goals in his account. (See that goal above.)
And remember, he’s a left back. One of our biggest threats in attack in November and a rock-solid defender, he’s a worthy Player of the Month.
So that’s it, our November Player of the Month is Charlie Taylor. Can we all convince him to stick around? Or will Andrea Radrizzani do that for us...? We’ll find out soon enough. For now, let’s enjoy December and hope we can build enough of a case for him to stay at Leeds in the January window.
We’ll be back later today with more here at Through It All Together. Let us know what you think in the comments below, and please share our award-winner’s accomplishment on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, MySpace, Google+, and every other social media site if you agree. Thanks. MOT