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01/12/2011 11:27, Report by Adam Marshall
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Four up for November poll

There are four contenders for ManUtd.com's Player of the Month award - all of them with a nod to United's defensive strength in November.

Naturally, after a month when the champions conceded only five times, there's plenty of representation from the rearguard. Similarly, the attacking stats - only eight goals in six games - explain why some perennial poll favourites are absent this time around.

Here's our shortlist - please have a read before casting your vote at manutd.com/polls:

Michael Carrick: A protective screen in front of the defence who makes so many vital interceptions and starts moves from his midfield role. Clearly under-valued by many, his outstanding European form has been translated onto the domestic stage this term and the side looks a lot more secure with him in it. Impressed in all three of his starts in November and he also made a late substitute appearance against Sunderland.

David De Gea: It's remarkable that the young goalkeeper has settled so quickly at Old Trafford. The Spaniard is in the frame for the award for a third successive month after keeping clean sheets against Otelul Galati and Swansea. He could not be blamed for any of the three goals he conceded and a world-class save from Newcastle United's Fabricio Coloccini was an obvious highlight.

Rio Ferdinand: When the manager explained how the England defender needs to adapt his game, some in the press took it as a cue to write him off. Making a mockery of such rash judgments, Ferdinand has been at his brilliant best recently, producing some assured, top-class performances. He was very unlucky when the ball bounced off him for Pablo Aimar's equaliser for Benfica and of course when his excellent sliding tackle on Hatem Ben Arfa was deemed a foul against Newcastle.

Nemanja Vidic: One of the best compliments that can be paid to the skipper is how even a team as good as United clearly misses him in his absence - as was the case when he was banned for the Benfica clash (2-2). Vidic was excellent against Sunderland and Swansea and as commanding as ever in the draw with Newcastle. A full-blooded aerial challenge on the Magpies' penalty scorer Demba Ba displayed the aggression and

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