01/05/14, 09:52 by A-I EditorThe Albion Index player of the month is powered by our in-house Albion-Index Report Statement [A-IRs] that looks to numerically rate player performance in a first-team fixture involving West Bromwich Albion. The West Bromwich Albion and opposition player with the highest total A-IRs rating over the month is awarded player of the month for that period.
WBA Player of the Month: April 2014
The Albion-Index.com player of the month for April 2014 is Morgan Amalfitano.
A successful period for Albion saw the Baggies lose only one of their four fixtures during the month to help ease any relegation concerns. 29-Year-old Amalfitano, who is nearing the end of his season long loan from Olympique de Marseille, claimed his second monthly award for the 2013/14 season with 222 points. The Nice born midfielder played every minute of Albion's fixtures in April and had a key role in games that saw Albion claim points during the month. Amalfitano's strike from the edge of the area proved the winning goal away to Norwich City in a critical 0-1 victory on the 5th of April. Amalfitano then went on to create the opening goal in the 3-3 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at the Hawthorns on the 12th of April before once again playing a key role in claiming the assist in The Baggie's 1-0 victory at the Hawthorns against West Ham United on the 26th of April in the final game of the month.
Amalfitano's total of 222 points on the A-IRs index sets a high monthly total for the season so far.
In second place during April 2014 is Stephane Sessegnon with 196.94 points. Albion's joint record signing followed-up third place in March 2014 with another strong month to help ease Albion's relegation fears. During the month the 29-year-old attacking midfielder recorded a goal and an assist. However, this does not sum up the important factor Sessegnon's overall performances have proved during the month, with the Benin International showing possibly two of his best displays in an Albion shirt this season at home to Spurs and West Ham United on the 12th and 26th of April respectively.
Finishing third in April 2014 is goalkeeper Ben Foster with 195 points. The West Bromwich Albion stopper, who turned 31-year-old during the month, has not been outside the top three performers for Albion this year. That consistency was further demonstrated with the former Manchester United and Birmingham City goalkeeper keeping two clean sheets during the month, with an outstanding series of first-half saves proving critical in the 1-0 victory over West Ham United on the 26th of April. Foster, who seems certain to be part of England's squad for the World Cup in Brazil this summer, has played every minute of every game under manager Pepe Mel since his arrival at the Hawthorns in January.
- Morgan Amalfitano: 222.00 Pts
- Stephane Sessegnon: 196.94 Pts
- Ben Foster: 195 Pts
Opposition Player of the Month: April 2014
The Albion-Index.com award for opposition player of the month for November 2013 goes to Sergio Aguero of Manchester City. Despite being substituted in the 63rd minute, the 25-year-old striker scored an impressive 25-yard goal and created the opening goal in a 3-1 home victory for The Citizens on the 21st of April, in turn netting the Argentina international 74.50 points and the monthly award.
It is interesting to note the former Independiente and Atletico Madrid forward has notched up four goals and four assists in five games against West Bromwich Albion, despite never completing a full 90 minutes on the pitch against The Baggies. Albion have never recorded a victory over a side Aguero has appeared for with the City striker boasting an 80% win ratio over Albion.
Considering Manchester City were the only opposition side to beat Albion's in their four games during April 2014 it is perhaps understandable the top positions for opposition player of the month are dominated by players from Manuel Pellegrini's side, with only two Spurs players breaking into the top ten performances for the month.
Finishing in second place with 70 points is Pablo Zabaleta, also of Manchester City. The 29-year-old full-back scored the opening goal in City's victory on the 21st of April and in doing so produced a second display of high quality during the season. While the former Espanyol defender may not have been part of a Manchester City defence that kept a clean sheet against West Bromwich Albion this season, a goal and assist during two victories for City does underline the quality of his offensive play and work rate that has made him a strong candidate to make the right-back position his own in opposition team of the year.
In creating two of the three goals in Tottenham Hotspur's comeback to snatch a 3-3 draw at the Hawthorns on the 12th of April 2014, Aaron Lennon achieves third position in the A-IRs ratings with 66 points, a score that represents the winger's best ever performance against The Baggies. While the 27-year-old had made eight previous appearances against Albion, surprisingly the former Leeds United player had never created or scored a goal in previous encounters with the Baggies and has a win ratio of less than 50% against West Bromwich Albion.
- Sergio Aguero: 74.50 Pts
- Pablo Zabaleta: 70.00 Pts
- Aaron Lennon: 66.00 Pts