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Bundesliga Team Of The Week: Matchday Seven

In goal, I’ve got Wolfsburg’s Diego Benaglio. If it wasn’t for him, Borussia Monchengladbach may have walked away with three points against Steve McClaren’s side. Benaglio is always a reliable player, but he stood out this weekend for his side.

At right-back, I’ve got Bayern Munich’s Philipp Lahm. The Germany captain was assured in defense, and quite impressive going forward. He always puts in a shift, and despite Bayern Munich’s loss to Borussia Dortmund, Lahm played well.

In the center of defense, I’ve got Borussia Dortmund’s center-half pairing of Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic. I think in those two players, Borussia Dortmund have the strongest defensive partnership in the league. While both of them are still very young, they play with maturity and composure and are rarely caught out of position. They kept a clean sheet against Bayern Munich this weekend, and they’ve done a fantastic job together so far this season. Hummels is really making a case for a spot on the national team, and I don’t think it’ll be too long before he gets it.

At left-back, I’ve got Nurnberg’s Andreas Wolf. The Nurnberg captain hit the winner for his side just 5 minutes before the final whistle against Schalke, and the goal capped off an already strong display. He was tough in defense, and marshalled his back-line well despite conceding a Klaas-Jan Huntelaar goal.

On the right-wing, I’ve got Mainz’s Lewis Holtby. The young star put in another scintillating performance down the wing for his side, and had a hand (or a foot) in nearly every attacking move Mainz had on the weekend. Schalke will be delighted with the youngster’s progress, but will be disappointed that they didn’t retain his services for this season. They really do look like they could use him.

In the center of midfield, I’ve got Hoffenheim’s Gylfi Sigurdsson. The Icelandic youngster was signed in the summer to replace the outgoing Carlos Eduardo, and has so far performed very admirably. The youngster scored a stunning free-kick from long range, but couldn’t secure three points for his side who were well beaten in the end by Mainz.

Next to Sigurdsson, I’ve got Dortmund’s Nuri Sahin. The Turkish international just keeps on ticking, and has been one of the Bundesliga’s best players so far this season. Sahin’s ability to pull the strings from midfield and score goals in volume makes him a top player, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there were big bids made for him at the end of the season by Europe’s top clubs. He really does look like one of the rising stars of the European game. It’ll be interesting to see how he does against Germany at the national level this week.

On the left side of midfield, I’ve got Jan Rosenthal of Freiburg. The attacking midfield player took his first goal with great skill, and then got lucky with the second one after it deflected off of his head and into the back of the net following a sweet volley by Felix Bastians. A strong performance from the midfielder, whose performance thoroughly deserved the three points.

Up top, I’ve got Papiss Demba Cisse. The Freiburg man just can’t stop scoring, and he got on the scoresheet again for his side this weekend to win them all three points against Koln.

Next to him, I’ve got Mainz’s Sami Allagui, who scored a cheeky back-heel this weekend to open the scoring for his side. He, like Cisse, has been in top form and has been scoring very regularly. Allagui and Cisse look to be the two in-form strikers in the league. Who would’ve thought it, with all the talent the Bundesliga has to offer!

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. vermaelen5

    October 9, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Nice selection of Dortmund’s center halves. Subotic had one or two hairy moments, but other than that the two were flawless. Piszczek actually looked pretty darn good as well, a vast improvement over Owomoyela if you ask me.

  2. David

    October 7, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    You may well be right, Diriye, I just think he’ll be given every last chance, & then some, since his tentacles seem to be so firmly gripped around the entire club, & I’d think they’d need a fistful of €€€ to usher him out the door. Plus did they pay compensation to Wolfsburg to get him?

    So to make a short post long, to beat a dead horse, to over-elaborate, to repeat myself ad nauseam…for a team still claiming to be short of money (the reason given for letting Westermann go,) I can’t imagine them taking the large/huge financial hit for firing him unless things look very, very dire. And it’s far to early for that to be the case…

    …unless they’ve already spent the money they assume they’ll get for reaching the CL knockout rounds. Then they could do a Stuttgart & hope to rescue that. I just think Magath’s still got a lot of credit in his account for last season’s performance.

    Regardless of my inane ramblings, this will continue to be the most interesting off-field topic as the situation develops.

  3. Diriye

    October 7, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Dylan

    There is talk of Neuer looking for an exit in the January transfer window, If it happens I don’t see how Magath can continue. It tells you how bad things have gotten. Magath is a great coach but his style of management is not good fit with Schalke’s culture.

    Midtable turn around ?

    Schalke have to distance themselves from the relegation zone before the January window to attract quality defenders and a play maker. On the top of they need to keep Neuer happy. Not easy thing to do.

  4. David

    October 7, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    If it were just down to performance I’d agree, but haven’t they allowed Magath an iron grip on the place (and it’s finances?) I’d think it would be expensive in the extreme to let him go. He’s got a good track record. I’d bet on him coming good sooner rather than later, (especially after I’d invested so much in him!)

  5. Diriye

    October 7, 2010 at 12:17 am

    David

    Definately Holtby is better off in smaller club with less pressure. Almost the same as Ozil when he left Schalke. At Schalke, the 06-07 season + the first half of 07-08 season Mesut only had two goals and six assists. His first year at Bremen he had 23 assits and five goals. Second year, 2009-10, he added 9 goals and 26 assists. In his first seven games at Mainz he already has 6 assits and two goals, a great achievement.

    But it is difficult to say he wouldn’t have grown with the pressure. At least in Mesut’s case he was starting to make an impact in Schalke’s Champions League campaign just before he was traded. Holtby may have been the playmaker Schalke is missing right now.

    • Dylan Thomas

      October 7, 2010 at 8:19 am

      Do you think Magath will last the season? I don’t. It’ll be interesting to see how things end up at Schalke at the end of the season, and how Holtby fits into their plans next year under possibly new management.

  6. David H

    October 6, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Maybe it’s just my imagination, but 10 years ago I don’t remember seeing m(any) backheel flicks for goals. The only one I can think of is Zola’s. Now they seem to be a weekly occurrence (Ibra had one last week or the week before.) Surely they are cheeky, but I’m still amazed & enthralled when I see one, because I think it takes a tremendous amount of skill to do that in such a tight space, but these days it’s hard to make a case for one being the goal of the year when they’re are so many.

    I was thinking about Holtby & how Schalke could really use him. But if he’d stayed behind he probably wouldn’t have got nearly the playing time he’s getting now, and under Magath may not have continued to develop as he is now, with a team under no pressure & a risk-taking manager (under little pressure.)

    Mainz is the perfect place for a talented young player to get some needed experience, whereas the relative pressure cooker at 04 maybe isn’t. Young players need to play, preferably at a place where there’s less pressure to perform right away.

    We’ll see how much he enjoys his football next season. I think it’s the rare footballer who immediately thrives at a big team under pressure to perform. Most get their experience elsewhere, then move on.

  7. Hendry Wijaya

    October 6, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Wolfsburg was against Borussia Moenchengladbach, not Dortmund! And I don’t think Subotic played that well, in first half against Bayern, Gomez did cause some damage to him. Luckily enough for him, Gomez poor finishing help Dortmund to gain a clean sheet.
    Adam Szalai maybe a better option than Allagui upfront, he scored one and assisted one, while Sven Bender certainly deserved being on this team, maybe over Sigurdsson. To be honest, I didn’t watch Mainz vs Hoffenheim game, but has watched BvB vs Bayern game, I’m impressed with Sven performance, especially in such young age for a defensive midfielder.
    I believe you can’t use any kind of human-made-logic / formula to rationalize Loew selection. Hummels is being ignored again and again. Helmes was snubbed despite score some goals while Klose, Gomez and Cacau goal record is as good as Daniel van Buyten goal record this season (or maybe DvB is better, I don’t know…). Beck also deserved to being called-up, at least as a backup to Riether (eventhough IMO he is better than Riether)

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