West Ham United striker Michael Antonio has won the Premier League’s Player of the Month award for July, as his heroics in front of goal kept the Hammers in the top flight for a second season.
Southampton coach Ralf Hessenhuttel was also awarded the Manager of the Month award, while Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne claimed Goal of the Month for his stunning long-range strike against Norwich City.
It had to be @Michailantonio! ?
@premierleague player of the month for July! ??
— West Ham United (@West Ham) August 5, 2020
West Ham supporters will feel Antonio’s award is well-deserved, given his influence on the team’s escape from the relegation zone over the course of months. The 30-year-old scored an incredible eight goals in seven matches in a busy four weeks, including four in a 4-0 victory over Norwich City.
In doing so, Antonio also became the first Hammer to score four goals in a single away match in the Premier League. The striker could not hide his delight at receiving the award, claiming it was wonderful to ‘get some recognition’ but is also focused on the season ahead, as reported on West Ham’s website.
“I’m buzzing. Obviously as a professional footballer you go out there and do your best, so to get some recognition for that is amazing.
“It’s definitely the best I’ve played since I started my professional career and hopefully I can carry that over to next season.”
After going unbeaten in July, Ralph Hasenhüttl has been named #PL Manager of the Month! ?
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) August 5, 2020
Elsewhere, Southampton coach Hasenhüttl received recognition for his Saints efforts in July, as he picked up the manager of the month award.
Despite the south coast club staying safe in the final weeks of the season, the Austrian coach managed to inspire his players to remain unbeaten, and their form saw them finish third in the ‘post-coronavirus restart table’.
Hasenhüttl masterminded victories over Manchester City, Bournemouth and Sheffield United, while also picking up points against Everton, Brighton and Manchester United. It is the second time the Southampton boss has been nominated for the award, and the first time he has won it.
An incredible strike? @DeBruyneKev’s superb against Norwich wins @budfootball goal of the month for July! #PLAwards pic.twitter.com/ChhKQOdf3j
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 5, 2020
The final goal of the month for the season was also decided, with Man City’s De Bruyne hailing his thunderous strike against Norwich on the final day of the 2019/20 season.
The Belgium star found himself on the left corner of the penalty area, and after some neat footwork, he curled the ball into the far, top corner with devastating speed and accuracy. It was a brilliant goal, and was able to bring the curtain down on a dramatic season.