When perusing one of the leading football analytical tools over the past few days, I made a startling discovery: Leon Goretzka is currently rated as Bayern Munich’s most impactful player.
This particular tool (InStat — which I think is great overall honestly) measures how much a player contributes to the team’s success, how significant the player’s actions are, and weighs the level of the competition. So...if you thought Robert Lewandowski, Joshua Kimmich, Manuel Neuer, Leroy Sane, or Thomas Müller has been Bayern Munich’s best player this season, you would be wrong — at least to this tool.
Alphonso Davies ranks just behind Goretzka (which was also a little surprising), but seeing these scores made me wonder about how I have rated players using the old eye test this season.
While I think Goretzka has been very good (especially of late), I probably would have had him slated behind the likes of Lewandowski, Müller, Kimmich, Sane, and Niklas Süle at a minimum.
Regardless, if there is one flaw with the particular system, it is that it has made recent changes to its scoring algorithm, which have devalued scoring a bit (which is why Lewandowski currently resides in the No.3 slot). Still, the tool shows a comprehensive view of a player’s impact on a match and typically identifies the strongest performers.
The question remains, though, has Goretzka been that good?
My inclination is to say that the Germany international has been very good, but I am still not sure I’d rate him as the top performer on the squad. Not that it matters, though, I’m just some dope on this blog.
What I can say about Goretzka is that when he is “on” and when he is healthy, he is one of the most dynamic box-to-box midfielders in the world — and also that there are very few midfielders globally who I would even consider swapping him out for.
In fact, there is not a set of midfielders working together that are better than Goretzka and Kimmich together. I’ll go that far, even if I don’t 100% agree with how all of the analytics shake out.
Goretzka? Nah, Phil says it’s Davies
Before even looking at the analytics, though, we had a discussion on this with BFW and our guy Phillip Quinn thinks Davies has been Bayern Munich’s most important player.
Davies certainly has done well and aside of a couple abysmal showings, he has been top-notch. His ability to create offense from the left-wing has been tremendous.
The critique of Davies is not really a criticism of him, but on the responsibilities of his hybrid position (which we cover in this week’s Weekend Warm-up Podcast). In a nutshell, his presence on the wing-pushes Leroy Sane inside, which might be starting to cause congestion. In addition, Davies cannot always recover defensively in time to help thwart quick counter attacks.
More than anything, though, Bayern Munich fans should ecstatic that Davies looks to be trending upward once more. Last season, Davies was not great and while he did not regress, it is hard to say that his game got better.
Now, though, he looks to be that dangerous attacking element that the opposition really cannot contain.
As for me, I’m still saying Bayern’s most important player is Lewandowski.
Song of the Week: “Supersonic” by Oasis
Okay, Manchester City fandom aside, I’ll never forget when I started to hear “Supersonic” by Oasis on the radio. I was certain that Oasis was destined to be an all-time great band. If I was going to buy stock in a band, I would invested heavily...and ultimately lost I guess.
This might have been the song that put Oasis on the scene, but it was quickly drowned out by other hits — and there were plenty. The problem for Oasis, however, was that Liam and Noel Gallagher could never find a way to get along for an extended period.
Oasis is truly a case of “what could have been?” if there ever was one.
Anyway, “Supersonic” was officially released in April of 1994 on the album “Definitely Maybe” and I did not catch it until about October of 1994 on WDRE (the “should have been” legendary alt-rock station in Philly that was prematurely axed). To me, it’s still the GOAT of Oasis songs. Enjoy!
The Weekend Warm-up Podcast: Season 1, Episode 25
Bayern Munich is on break, but that certainly does not mean that things have slowed down. From Germany reconvening under Hansi Flick to COVID-19 exposures to multiple injuries to German players to Leon Goretzka getting kicked in the face, there has been a lot going on.
Here is what we have on tap for this episode:
- A look at how Bayern Munich closed out SC Freiburg before hitting the break, including some concerns about the offensive spacing.
- A quick look at Germany’s week at training camp under Hansi Flick.
- The rumors that Chelsea FC could be making a player for Karim Adeyemi, while FC Barcelona could try to bring in Timo Werner.
With no Bundesliga games this week, I can only lament the poor showing I had last week. I felt like I was “on” a few games, but didn’t go far enough to following through on making the picks (example: picking Stuttgart to draw 1-1 with Bielefeld when Bielefeld actually pulled the game out with a 1-0 win. I felt like it was a good spot for Bielefeld to win, but didn’t think they would get a clean sheet).
Here is where we are at:
Last Bundesliga Match Day record: 4-5
Overall Bundesliga record: 49-41
DFB-Pokal record: 1-1
DFL-Supercup record: 1-0
Champions League record: 4-0
Overall record: 55-42
Guest prognosticator record: 0-1 (Cowards)