Green takes the plaudits

Robert Green has started this season in exactly the same way as he finished the last by winning the first player of the month award of the campaign.

Having been named Hammer of the Year for the 2007/08 season, the goalkeeper polled 46 per cent of the votes for August's top player - finishing ahead of Dean Ashton who scored 23 per cent. Having played his part in helping his club achieve three wins from their first four games, Green's solid form saw him recalled into the England squad by Fabio Capello for the fixtures against Andorra and Croatia.

The 28-year-old started the month with the 2-1 win against Wigan Athletic. After a relatively quiet first half he made a crucial save from Wilson Palacios' shot to keep the home side ahead. Next up was a trip to Manchester City and, despite a disappointing result, Green made a stunning save from a Michael Johnson shot just before half-time. Macclesfield Town then visited east London in the second round of the Carling Cup and, despite being beaten by an early header, Green was a virtual bystander for the rest of the game as the Silkmen only had three shots on target in 120 minutes of football.

 In the final match of the month against Blackburn Rovers, Green's contributions were much more telling. After United took an early 2-1 lead, Rovers won a penalty just after half-time. Jason Roberts stepped up and placed his effort low in the bottom right-hand corner of the goal but the England international read the kick and got down quickly to make a stunning, one-handed save.

That brought a huge roar from the home crowd but Green was not finished as he quickly rushed out to pressurise Matt Derbyshire, forcing the striker to put his chance over the bar. Then a few minutes later Green reacted superbly to smother a close-range Brett Emerton header to ensure his side stayed in front before two late goals from Craig Bellamy and Carlton Cole secured the three points.