Bayern Munich had a big Oktoberfest, even bigger than the one in 2012 en route to their first treble. The squad looks as potent as ever, and maybe that is because the roles have shaken out differently than in past years.
Now in the third month of the season, the writers at Bavarian Football Works put together another edition of their squad rankings. Each writer has their subjective take with their list, which is ironed out when aggregated together. The assembly represents where we think the players stack up in the club's pecking order.
Bayern are going to try to keep their winning streak going after the international break, and they certainly have strong performers to do so. Here are the Bayern Munich squad rankings for the month of October.
= rank increase
= rank decrease
"–" = not ranked
When a player scores 12 goals in four matches, there is only one direction he can go in the squad rankings. Lewandowski is not only on top because of his remarkable two-week stretch; he is there because he is by far the best finisher on the team, and a team with treble aspirations need a stellar finisher. The whole system changed to accommodate his ability, and there is no reason why it should change.
For the second straight month, Bernat dropped in the rankings, but this was a plummet rather than a dip. Vicente del Bosque left him off the Spain squad for the first time in this Euro qualifying cycle, and even with the groin injury that left him out of the team against Borussia Dortmund, del Bosque had no motive to include him. Perhaps the groin issue has resulted in his dip in form, but his positioning has not been great the past few weeks. When a manager prefers to have Rafinha play your position, one must know his position in the team is in trouble.
Robert Lewandowski (Cowper's Rank: 8 | Aggregate: 2) – It all comes down to the level of critique. Is he more important than the limitless tactical flexibility of David Alaba? Is he one of the key cogs in the midfield from which Bayern’s structure and all their attacks build? Is he more important an offensive player than Müller who makes everything tick, can play any attacking position and creates and manufactures space for all of his teammates in addition to assisting and scoring? No. Is he more important than Bayern’s only healthy – and only proven – pacey attacking midfielder upon which this team has shown that it can’t manufacture the chances Lewandowski can put away? No. But is he the best damn striker on the planet? Yes.
Joshua Kimmich (Quinn's Rank: 14 | Aggregate: 15) – Kimmich has stepped into this squad and has outperformed my expectations of him so far. He's 20 years old and looks like a savvy veteran out on the pitch for FC Bayern. Yes, the midfield has a lot of players ahead of him, so it may not seem like his importance is that paramount to Bayern's success at the moment. However, the way that he has already ingrained himself into this team is a huge plus for Bayern's future. I would imagine that he'll slide down my rankings when Benatia, Ribery and Badstuber return to the side. For now, Kimmich gets my love and admiration.
Jérôme Boateng (Rudnik's Rank: 1 | Aggregate: 6) – He is one of the best center backs in the game, but now he has stepped his game up another notch. Not only is he Bayern's only healthy and fully fit central defender and exudes a quiet confidence and calm when defending (which seems to translate to the rest of the defense), but Boateng has become an integral part of Bayern's offense. He now consistently initiates attacks with his vision and accurate passing, at times bypassing the midfield entirely, but his Beckenbauer-like high-lob passes to the forwards are starting to get him compared to the Kaiser, quite a high praise indeed.
Thomas Müller (VanOpdorp's Rank: 4 | Aggregate: 1) – Müller is in my top five, so there is no evidence that I hate the guy. He definitely deserves to play when he is fit, and he is never not fit. That said, I saw Götze and Thiago preform very well behind Lewandowski against Dinamo Zagreb, and it reminded me of the several tactical contingency plans there are in the No. 10 role. That makes a small handful of players a touch more invaluable than him to me, though his loss would still be a big blow to the club as a whole.
The obvious player with the biggest growth is Arjen Robben, but a player who was not in good form before he got hurt will not be in good form right when he comes back. The player who is fit and focused already is Thiago Alcântara, and Guardiola is going to do his best to put him in a position to succeed. His passing is already elite, and he is a few key passes per game away from being something really special. His playmaking could be what drives Bayern's attack, and his presence in midfield could be too big for any team to handle.