After 24 matches, and 24 times to rank their performances, the Bavarian Football Works community has their complete hinrunde performance rankings. Who was hot? Who was not? And who was just hanging out somewhere in the middle?
The Top Performers
Last week, Arjen Robben won the Bavarian Football Works Player of the Hinrunde, vastly outstripping his fellow Bayern Munich teammates not only in Man of the Match awards but also in his aggregate rating. However, coming up behind him was a dense collection of performers from all over the pitch reflecting the quality and important of the entire team in Bayern Munich's dominant hinrunde.
Manuel Neuer finished a deserved, yet distant, second while Xabi Alonso's 3.88 aggregate seems the most impressive given the lack of a pre-season and his immediate integration into the team. Franck Ribery excelled after his return from injury and was among the top performers despite never winning a community Man of the Match award. Jerome Boateng, Philipp Lahm, and David Alaba brang up the rear of the group with their excellent and consistent play.
The Solid Contributors
Ranking in the 3.00 to 3.75 range, the vast majority of the Bayern Munich squad were solid performers that did their part. Longtime Bayern Munich stalwarts Thomas Müller and Bastian Schweinsteiger were among the best of that group followed closely by Robert Lewandowski in his first season with the team. Holger Badstuber was an excellent defensive option prior to his injury while Mario Götze can easily probably be cast as the most enigmatic performer on the team in the hinrunde. Juan Bernat has quietly grown into one of the most potent leftbacks in the league and I think it's fair to say his early season grades reflected both the time necessary to fit into this team as well the expectation that pushing David Alaba out of the leftback spot came with. I fully expect his rückrunde performances will catapult him into the realm of top performers for Bayern Munich.
While Mehdi Benatia, Rafinha, and Dante rounded out the solid defensive crops, Sebastian Rode and Gianluca Gaudino won more plaudits than Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg finishing much higher than the still developing Danish international. Hojbjerg just barely broke the 3 mark and his time away at Augsburg should be a chance to really carve out significant minutes for himself.
Longing for Improvement
Below the average threshold lurked the misfits or the aging. Or Mitchell Weiser. While Mitchell Weiser was injured for much of the hinrunde, his recent performances in training are showing a player on the rise with a fresh sense of invigorated play, despite his somewhat less than average hinrunde performances (all two of them). Claudio Pizarro played to the tune of the depth personality that he is and too the age that he is while Xherdan Shaqiri's poor performances and need for consistent playing time and development saw him move to the greener pastures of Serie A and Inter-Milan.