(This is part of our three part series. Read our first part of the lower table Team of the Season. Our final part will be an overall Team of the Season.)
In every part of the Bundesliga table, there are quality players. Not every Team of the Season list reflects that. Caught behind players from Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, and other top clubs are some fantastic footballers who deserve their moment in the sun.
That’s what this project is all about. We’re here to take a look at the best players in the whole league in three parts. In this, our second Team of the Season, we look at the best players in the sides who finished 8-14.
At the end of our picks, we have one for the readers to fill out! Make your selections, and we will reveal our so-called BPW Fan ToTS for each category.
If you want to know how we came to our selections at specific positions, you can read them here.
GK: Florian Müller — Freiburg
We faced a dilemma right off the bat.
After we conducted our poll, there were four positions that were unclear and needed to be determined in some other manner. Three of them only needed a coin flip. This one was different.
In order to determine who our ToTS goalkeeper would be, we had to come up with a very scientific kind of way to make our selection.
We came up with making a spinning wheel online to determine who we would pick. We spun the wheel 10 times and went with the keeper who got the most results. The wheel showed no love for Oliver Baumann. There was a three way tie for second with Jann Sommer, Alexandar Schwolow and Rafal Gikiewicz all getting two spins each.
That left four spins, and the victory, to Freiburg keeper Florian Müller.
Others receiving votes: Oliver Baumann — TSG (1), Jann Sommer — BMG (1),
Rafal Gikiewicz — FCA (1), Alexandar Schwolow — BSC (1)
RB: Stefan Lainer — Borussia Mönchengladbach
Lainer’s 3G/7a lands him at the top spot in our list. His defensive efforts will look to improve next year, but his time in BMG’s attack was crucial to their success. Lainer dominated the right side of the field, routinely snuffing out attacks and helping players like Marcus Thuram and Jonas Hoffman get forward as quickly as possible.
Others receiving votes: Jonathan Schmid — SCF (1), Peter Pekarik — BSC (1)
CB 1: Matthias Ginter — Borussia Mönchengladbach
While we did show that there are some close decisions, this was not one of them. We had no unanimous picks this round, but we had 5 different selections break 80/20. This is the first of those. Matthias Ginter has had a strong run in the last few seasons in BMG’s defense. His mark of two goals and one assist gel nicely with seven clean sheets in a full 34 game season.
Others receiving votes: Stefan Posch — TSG (1)
CB 2: Nico Elvedi — Borussia Mönchengladbach
Our first coin flip decision came down to a battle between Mönchengladbach’s Nico Elvedi and Stuttgart’s Marc Oliver Kempf.
For this process, we flipped a virtual coin 5 times. In our virtual coin flipper, heads (Kempf) came up once.
It makes statistical sense for Nico Elvedi to be on this list. In addition to being tied for the most goals, he has more assists and more clean sheets than his counterparts. This list might seem very favorable to BMG and the end of the table may not reflect that but recall this: in their first 10 league games, they only gave up 16 goals. That’s a pretty decent start for a mid-table side.
Others receiving votes: Marc Oliver Kempf — VfB (2), Dedryck Boyata — BSC (1)
LB: Christian Günter — Freiburg
Our second coin flip decision came not so long after the first.
This was a much closer decision, with the 3-2 split going in favor of Freiburg’s Christian Günter. Though, Borna Sosa deserves a lot of credit. Of all the selections on this list, this was one of the toughest. Does one go with the player with a high amount of goals and the most clean sheets in Günter? Or, do you choose Borna Sosa, who is the only defender with double digits in any category?
The coins chose Günter, and in the end, that’s all that really matters.
Others receiving votes: Borna Sosa — VfB (2), Philipp Mwene — M05 (1)
CDM: Florian Neuhaus — Borussia Mönchengladbach
This was not a close decision. The second of our five 80/20 splits saw the Bavarian midfielder take the crown here. Despite strong performances throughout the season from other players in the same category as him, nobody could beat Neuhaus’s 6 goals/6 assists in 33 games.
Others receiving votes: Baptiste Santamaria — SCF (1)
CM1: Florian Grillitsch — Hoffenheim
This one almost required another spinner, but Grillitsch managed two votes and that proved to be enough. His partnership in Hoffenheim’s midfield with Christoph Baumgartner pushed the team up the table from their low points early on in the season. Two goals and two assists are nice, but it’s his buildup play and sharp passing that earns him this spot.
Others receiving votes: Nicolas Höfler — SCF (1), Hannes Wolf — BMG (1),
Vladimir Darida — BSC (1)
CM2: Lars Stindl — Borussia Mönchengladbach
The mercurial second striker helped BMG in the points of the season where they needed him most. He bagged two assists for the team in their 3-2 upset of Bayern Munich early in the season. But his statistics show his true dominance. In a team with Breel Embolo, Alassane Pléa, and Marcus Thuram, Stindl leads the team with 14 goals. His 10 assists are good for 2nd on the team behind Jonas Hoffman.
Others receiving votes: Christoph Baumgartner — TSG (1)
RW: Silas Wamangituka — Stuttgart
One of the most promising attackers to come out of Stuttgart since Mario Gomez makes his way onto the list. The Bundesliga Rookie of the Year shot out of a cannon this year bagging himself 11G/5a in 25 games. His unique blend of creativity, vision, and pace made him one of the most exciting players to watch this season. If it weren’t for a late injury that put him out for the season, we probably would see that stat line go up.
Others receiving votes: Jonas Hoffman — BMG (1)
LW: Matheus Cunha — Hertha Berlin
This was our last required coin flip of this list.
Despite the fantastic season that Freiburg’s Vincenzo Grifo had, the coins fell 3-2 in favor of the Brazilian from Berlin.
Cunha has been one of the brighter spots on a drab Hertha Berlin side that only escaped the clutches of relegation on the penultimate match weekend. Cunha’s seven goals and six assists are both tied for the lead at Hertha - an undeniable affirmation of his quality. For Hertha to stay up next season, they need Cunha to perform at a similar level. This year proved that shouldn’t be an issue.
Others receiving votes: Vincenzo Grifo — SCF (2), Marcus Thuram — BMG (1)
ST: Andrej Kramaric — Hoffenheim
The fourth highest goal scorer in the league (behind Lewandowski, Andre Silva, and Haaland) locks up the final spot on our roster. Kramaric has been the best player on Hoffenheim for the last three years. His efforts helped the team reach the Europa League last season, and he’ll look to try and get back there this coming season. With a lot of questions surrounding the stability of Hoffenheim from the defense to the coaching staff, they can rely on Kramaric to be consistently scoring up front.
We are allowed seven subs, and we give those spots to the players who received votes elsewhere. They are:
- Marc Oliver Kempf — Stuttgart
- Borna Sosa — Stuttgart
- Baptiste Santamaria — Freiburg
- Vladimir Darida — Hertha Berlin
- Christoph Baumgartner — Hoffenheim
- Jonas Hoffman — Mönchengladbach
- Vincenzo Grifo — Freiburg
Finally, here’s a visual look at the team
Now it’s your turn! You can submit your picks for our BPW Fan Teams of the Season! Just fill out the form below and we will reveal your picks next week. Submissions close June 8th at 11:59pm ET.