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Team Of The Week: Matchday Eight

In goal, I’ve got Frankfurt’s Oka Nikolov. The Macedonian shot stopper saved a potentially game changing penalty against Kaiserslautern when the scores were still level. While he wasn’t troubled too much other than that penalty incident, he was pretty confident and composed when dealing with crosses and through-balls.

At right-back, I’ve got Hoffenheim defender Andreas Beck. The young right-back, who was part of the Germany under-21 side that won the 2009 UEFA u-21 European Championships, had a great game down the right for his side. He smashed the crossbar with his left foot from range, he put in dangerous crosses, and he was a constant threat from out wide on the weekend against Gladbach. While he still has to sharpen up defensively, his offensive skills are really something to behold. He brings another dimension to the already super-charged Hoffenheim attack.

In the center of defense, I’ve picked Werder Bremen’s Per Mertesacker. I thought Mertesacker was pretty strong against Freiburg during his side’s 2-1 win, and he’ll be looking to build on that kind of form after suffering a facial injury that kept him out for a number of weeks earlier on in the season.

Next to Mertesacker, I’ve got Hamburg’s Heiko Westermann. The tough tackling German international put on another strong display for his side, and it’s clear to see that based on his performances Schalke are really missing him at the back. Westermann helped Hamburg stifle what has been an excellent Mainz side since the beginning of the season, and he will be proud of his performance.

At left-back, I’ve got Bayern Munich’s Edson Braafheid. The Dutchman was composed in defense and he supplemented Bayern Munich’s attacking efforts pretty handily. While he won’t feature on a regular basis for the Bavarian giants, he put in a performance that I think puts him in contention for that left-back spot that’s been so hard to fill for Bayern Munich. Louis van Gaal was looking for his players to step up and get a result, and Braafheid and others certainly did that.

On the right-wing, I’ve got St. Pauli striker Gerald Asamoah. The experienced finisher put his side ahead against Nurnberg, and was involved in the majority of his side’s attacking moves until being substituted at the 75 minute mark. St. Pauli did well getting him on loan from Schalke, and his experience and movement has been vital for them going forward this season.

In the center of midfield, I’ve got Leverkusen captain Simon Rolfes. Rolfes has only recently returned to form after a long injury spell that saw him miss the World Cup, but he led his team in fantastic fashion on the weekend against Wolfsburg. Rolfes saw his side go two-nil down, and then led his team to a fantastic 2-3 comeback win in which he scored a brace. Should Rolfes return to top form and remain consistent, he will definitely push for a place in Joachim Loew’s national setup.

Next to Rolfes, I’ve got Borussia Dortmund’s Nuri Sahin. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve left Sahin out of a single team of the week article yet this season! Sahin was again in fantastic form for the table-toppers, and scored the winner for his side after a bit of  handbags with Lukas Podolski. He’s really turning into one of the top midfield playmakers in the world. Jurgen Klopp has a wealth of talent at his disposal, but I think Nuri Sahin is the standout best of them.

On the left wing, I’ve got Hoffenheim’s Demba Ba. The pacey striker was a constant thorn in the side of Gladbach, and was involved in every attacking move Hoffenheim put together. He took his goal well, and he won a penalty for his side after being fouled in the area. Hoffenheim will be delighted that Chinedu Obasi has returned to full fitness now as well, because the two of them are astounding to watch when they link-up on the field.

Up top, I’ve got Bayern Munich’s Mario Gomez. The oft-criticized forward put on a fantastic display to silence his critics and give his confidence a much-needed boost. Louis van Gaal’s squad has recently been ravaged by injuries, so the Dutch tactician had to field a lineup full of second-string players who were given the opportunity to prove themselves, and they certainly didn’t let him down. If Mario Gomez can remain consistent and keep his spot in the team, then he will finally fulfill the potential he showed during his days at Stuttgart.

Next to Gomez, I’ve got Frankfurt’s Theofanis Gekas. The Greek hitman, who has played at eight different clubs during his professional career, just can’t stop scoring at the moment. Gekas hit another brace at the weekend and won yet another impressive three points for Frankfurt. Fans will be delighted that signing him this summer is paying off, because doesn’t have the greatest goalscoring record in the world by any means. Still, he looks full of energy and commitment at Frankfurt, and he’s certainly been very dangerous so far this season.

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  1. Luke

    October 19, 2010 at 11:59 am

    I don’t think there’s much question that Braafheid was the worst player on the pitch for Bayern Saturday. 60% passing, 1 cross attempted–there was a reason he was subbed off even when there was no other natural LB available.

  2. Michael

    October 19, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Gekas might not have the greatest goal scoring record in the world, but why demean him? Was leading Bundesliga scorer and top scorer in WC qualification for Greece.. give the man some respect

    • Dylan Thomas

      October 19, 2010 at 10:02 am

      Really? I think I praised him a number of times there, and I put him in the team of the week!

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