Despite the change of manager in the summer, record German champions Bayern, have still managed to hold the number one spot in the Bundesliga. After 10 matches, the Bavarians are leading the league with 24 points, ahead of second-placed RB Leipzig by goal difference. Many players have seen improving under previous coach Pep Guardiola at Bayern and the tradition goes on with Carlo Ancelotti as well. Let us figure out the top three performers for the Reds this season.
3. Arturo Vidal
Even under Pep Guardiola, Arturo Vidal played a pivotal role in Bayern’s midfield since arriving from Juventus two seasons ago. This season, however, the necessity of the Chilean midfield has been more than ever under Carlo Ancelotti. The Bavarians tend to suffer without the presence of Vidal in midfield, as they lack a real ball winner apart from the 29-year old.
Indeed, the record champions have suffered in particular games where the former Juventus didn’t feature from the start. Games against Cologne, Frankfurt and HSV, where Bayern failed to cope with the opposition pressure in midfield. Particularly against Hoffenheim and Cologne, Carlo Ancelotti’s troops seemed toothless by high-pressing.
Giovanni Hernandez, who played alongside Arturo Vidal at Colo-Colo, says the Chile midfielder is one of the world’s very best players.
“Vidal is on the level of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi,” the 40-year-old told Radio ADN. “As a kid, he knew the potential he had and knew how to exploit it. He’s one of the best players in the world.”
With experienced midfielder Xabi Alonso getting older and lacking mobility and the ability to tackle, Vidal is a key cog in Bayern’s midfield.
2. Thiago Alcantara
Before the season started, very few could have expected Thiago to stay at Bayern, following the departure of his beloved coach Pep Guardiola to Manchester City. The Spaniard was constantly linked with a move away from the Allianz Arena. However, the former Barcelona midfielder, chose to stay put, as he decided to try his luck with new coach Carlo Ancelotti.
Now with 10 match days already played, very few could argue about the Thiago’s decision. Simply because he has been one of the best midfielders of the Bundesliga this season if not the best. New coach Carlo Ancelotti had faith on the 25-year-old and rightfully offered him the chance to shine under his new boss – which he did repay.
In the newly crafted (not really) 4-3-3 formation, Thiago sits as one of the three midfielders, whose main job is to carry the attacks with the likes of Arturo Vidal and Xabi Alonso taking charge in behind the offensive lines, a challenge Thiago is currently relishing upon. Indeed! Thiago has been the best player in the Bundesliga per whoscored with a rating of 7.86. Averaging 3.1 dribbles per game, Thiago has made 13 chances for Bayern this season, only David Alaba and Thomas Muller have achieved more.
The charismatic midfielder has completed most passes than anyone else in the league, not really a surprise is it? But the fact that he also made 34 interceptions (fourth-best in the league) certainly comes as a shocker. It proves Thiago’s worth in the newly tormented Bayern squad not just as an attacking midfielder but an all-round figure as well.
1. Franck Ribery
Of all the Bayern players, Franck Ribery has profited the most from the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti. The Frenchman superstar suffered with injuries for the entirety of the Pep era and the incursion of youngsters Kingsley Coman and Douglas Costa, Ribery’s value dropped in the Bayern squad.
However, the 33-year old was not the one to give up and made full use of the early opportunities in the pre-season. The French midfielder has been in great form for his side this season, bagging himself two goals in nine appearances.
The 33-year-old has also managed to notch five assists in five Bundesliga fixtures, despite an injury disrupting his progress. He recently opened up about his career at Bayern and raved about Coach Carlo Ancelotti saying, “When I’m free of injury and healthy I can focus 100 per cent on playing football. I feel like a child when I’m on the pitch.
“I’m just so happy out there and always want to play.
“Another thing that is very important for me is the good relationship I enjoy with the coach [Carlo Ancelotti] and his team.” – he added per Bayern’s official YouTube channel.
For the meantime, Ribery is nearing his return to the field after the injury which hindered his progress this season and has been expected to feature in the all-important “Die Klassiker” in the next match day after the international break!
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