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Antonio named EA SPORTS Player of the Month

5 Aug 2020

West Ham striker wins the prize after scoring eight goals in July, with four of those coming in a single away match

Michail Antonio has been named the EA SPORTS Player of the Month for the first time after his phenomenal goalscoring in July helped keep West Ham United in the Premier League.

At the end of June, only goal difference was keeping the Hammers out of the bottom three.

But Antonio scored eight times and provided an assist in the final seven matches, with David Moyes' side winning three and drawing three to finish five points above the relegation zone.

The striker also became the first West Ham player to score four goals in a single Premier League away match, achieving the feat in a 4-0 victory at Norwich City.

Change of position

He believes his recent move up front, after previously being a winger, has been significant, even if it brings some new challenges.

“I’d definitely say the switch inspired the form because as a striker you get more opportunities and people are creating the opportunities for you," says Antonio.

"But I think playing up front is harder too, because you’re playing with your back to games.

"When you’re out wide you get the ball on the sides, you get opportunities to run at defenders so they’re on the back foot, instead of you having your back to play."

First hat-trick

Antonio achieved a career ambition with his four-goal haul against Norwich.

“I’d never scored a hat-trick before," he says. "There was one game when I was playing for Southampton [while on loan in 2009/10 League One] against Carlisle.

"I scored two goals in quick succession and Alan Pardew subbed me. He said, ‘I’m trying to sign you. I can’t afford for you to be getting hat-tricks!’ ”

Antonio topped a seven-man July shortlist also featuring Olivier Giroud, Harry Kane, Anthony Martial, Nick Pope, Christian Pulisic and Raheem Sterling.

Votes from fans on the EA SPORTS website were combined with those of the 20 club captains, plus a panel of football experts, to decide the winner.

2019/20 EA SPORTS monthly winners

AugustTeemu Pukki (NOR)
SeptemberPierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ARS)
October: Jamie Vardy (LEI)
NovemberSadio Mane (LIV)
DecemberTrent Alexander-Arnold (LIV)
JanuarySergio Aguero (MCI)
FebruaryBruno Fernandes (MUN)
June: Bruno Fernandes (MUN)
July: Michail Antonio (WHU)

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