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Roker Report Player Of The Month: November 2016 - Who Won?

In a month where Sunderland strangely had many stand-out performers, one rose high above the rest - but who?

Sunderland v Hull City - Premier League Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Who Had A Poor Month?

Considering that we only played three games in November, winning two of them, it seems strange that we would pick out anyone in particular for playing badly when, really, we had a decent month all things considered.

That said, Lamine Kone was given a rating of six in both of our wins this past month - against Bournemouth and Hull - and I suppose that, if anyone, he was probably our most underperforming player across the three games. John gave Lamine a five for his performance at Anfield, citing "(his) attitude is still wrong, just doesn't look bothered. Did what he had to do but frustrating when we've seen him do so much more."

Steven Pienaar was given a four for his showing down at Bournemouth, and rightly so - he got himself recklessly sent off for a second bookable offence on the hour mark with the game tied at 1-1.

Then. having served his suspension for the Hull City win, he came back into the side at Anfield on Saturday and was awful, with pretty much every Sunderland fan watching the game conceding that he should have been taken off at half time, such was the level of his performance.

Who Had A Good Month?

Duncan Watmore has had his critics in recent months but he strung together a couple of very decent performances in November and had a hand in almost all the goals we scored against Hull. Here's hoping he can show further improvement against Leicester City on Saturday.

Jermain Defoe scored twice in this past month, a penalty against Bournemouth and then a tremendous solo effort against Hull City, and the strike against Mike Phelan's side was the ex-Tottenham Hotspur forward's 150th Premier League goal.

One player that has gone under the radar in November is Billy Jones. Having regained his place in the side in October he has gone from strength to strength and has played fantastically on the right side of our defence, achieving scores of seven, eight and seven.

And The Winner Is...

As we do every month we took the top performing players - in this case, they were Jordan Pickford and Victor Anichebe - and put it to you lot in a poll over on Twitter, one which was open for six hours.

The winner by some margin, of course, was big Vic.

Jordan Pickford had an absolutely outstanding November and it's really quite unfair that he doesn't win this time around but Anichebe's rise to prominence has been nothing short of staggering and the hope now is that he can maintain this level of form - Sunderland are undoubtedly a better football team with him on the pitch.

Pickford's role in the win against Bournemouth was every bit as important at one end of the pitch as Anichebe's was at the other, and then against Hull he pulled off a truly world-class save from a Curtis Davies header and kept his first clean sheet of the season. He also won our man of the match poll down at Anfield at the weekend, despite conceding two goals.

Anichebe was a revelation against Bournemouth at the beginning of the month, a performance which led Skysports pundit and ex-England international Paul Merson to say, "You won’t see a better performance from a centre forward that’s paid to hold the ball up and bring people into the game, and make themselves a nuisance through the match - nobody will play as well that. I don’t care who they are, that is good as it gets."

He maintained that level of performance after the international break with two superb goals against fellow strugglers Hull City, and then again at Anfield this weekend he was a nuisence for the Liverpool defenders, winning more headers than any player on the pitch.

Here's to many more, Victor - you've set the bar incredibly high!

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