Team of the Week – Match Day 3

The third matchday will forever be remembered for its eight red cards, a new Bundesliga record.  Other than the ejections, which included Freiburg coach Christian Streich, this weekend also gave Eintracht Frankfurt and Augsburg their first wins of the season.  Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen and Mainz all maintained their perfect records while Hamburg, Stuttgart and Schalke all face increased pressure following further disappointments at the weekend.

Goalkeeper

Sebastian Mielitz – He was on the losing end against Dortmund in their 1-0 loss on Friday but had it not been for Mieliez’s great saves and goalkeeping the scoreline would have been a lot higher.  Bremen’s No. 1 made some terrific saves, especially against Lewandowski and Aubemeyang that kept his team in the game with a chance at a point.  It wasn’t to be in the end but not due to a lack of effort from the brilliant Mielitz.

Defenders

Philipp Lahm – So much has changed at Bayern over the years but there was always one constant, Philipp Lahm.  The captain has turned in great performances week in and week out for years now and Saturday against Nürnberg was no different.  He assisted both Bayern goals and completely owned the right side of the field.  It’s hard to argue against him being the world’s best right back at the moment and his performances prove it on a weekly basis.

Nico Schulz – It could have been a disastrous day for 20-year-old Schulz had his back pass led to Hamburg’s opening goal early on but instead of putting his head down he improved his game as the match progressed. In only his second Bundesliga game, the youngster quickly adapted to the pace and tone of the game and was even able to assist Ramos’ match winner. A very mature performance.

Nikolce Noveski – Another one of those constants is Mainz captain Nikolce Noveski.  Mainz’s surprisingly good start to the season is partially down to some terrific defending from the team with Noveski very much leading by example. Noveski is still going strong as one of the oldest players in the league and without dropping in performance.  He was solid yet agains against Wolfsburg and ensured his team resumed their perfect start to the season.

Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker – What a cathartic moment for Augsburg and Callsen-Bracker.  They played well in their first two games but won neither.  Against Stuttgart they finally got their first win of the season and in large part thanks to Callsen-Bracker’s excellent defensive performances.  His goal at the end was just the cherry on top to a wonderful team and individual performance.

Midfielders

Sidney Sam – A lot of people suspected Son to be Andre Schürrle’s direct replacement but it’s been Sidney Sam who has provided the pace and direct play that made Schürrle so dangerous last season.  He scored two goals against Gladbach and assisted another in superb fashion.  His shooting technique remains one of the best around and his performances so far this season definitely merit a call up to the national team.

Marco Reus – Reus was directly responsible for 14 of Dortmund’s attempts against Bremen.  Where the rest of his teammates fell short, Reus was always a threat against a defensively well organized Bremen back line and a goalkeeper who was ready to meet everything thrown his way.  Reus eventually pierced Bremen’s green wall to set up the match winner in a truly match winning performance.

Nicolai Müller – Mainz’s in form attacker seems currently unstoppable.  Müller scored his fifth goal of the season in all competitions against Wolfsburg at the weekend and put in another excellent all around shift for his team.  Mainz have a perfect record three weeks in and Müller is most responsible for it.  He is extremely valuable off the ball, great in tight spaces and dangerous when breaking forward quickly.  Another player that deserves a national team call up.

Forwards

Stefan Kiessling – Stefan Kiessling is the man of the hour.  Against Gladbach he scored his 100th goal for Leverkusen and is now only behind legendary striker Ulf Kirsten in that category. But besides setting records Kiessling is also continuing to win games for his club.  He converted his penalty with ice cool precision and assisted both of Sam’s goals.  No question Germany’s most in form forward at the moment.

Alexander Meier – Like Augsburg, Frankfurt were looking for their first win this season and they finally found it against Braunschweig thanks to Alexander Meier. Midweek he scored twice to win them their Europa League game and his opening goal against Braunschweig gave the team the impetus they needed to go on and get all three points. It was also his 50th goal in the Bundesliga.

Mame Biram Diouf – So much speculation has surrounded Diouf this summer including a seemingly finalized move to Stoke City.  Rumors aside, Diouf remains a key component for Hannover.  Against Schalke, Diouf won the penalty that led to their first goal and scored the second himself.  He again ran himself into the ground defending his team’s lead and was a constant nuisance on both ends of the field.

Coach of the Week

Thomas Tuchel – It’s only the second time in their Bundesliga history that Mainz have started the season with three wins and that deserves some praise in itself.  Tuchel shopped smart in the summer after losing one of their biggest young talents and top goalscorer to put a high spirited and effective team together. They’re not only tough to score on but also difficult to defend against this season.

Honorable Mentions

Raphael Schäfer, Hiroki Sakai, Ömer Toprak, David Abraham, Marcel Schmelzer, Jerome, Boateng, Dante, Bamba Anderson, Marcelo, Nuri Sahin, Lars Bender, Franck Ribery, Gonzalo Castro, Jonas Hofmann, Arjen Robben, Jonathan Schmid, Kevin Volland

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Cristian Nyari

Cristian is a football writer and analyst living in New York City, fascinated with the history and study of the beautiful game and all it entails. Follow Cristian on twitter @Cnyari

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