The final Bundesliga MatchDay 2015/2016 Team of the Week

“Why do all good things come to an end?” That is the question, as noted contemporary thinker Nelly Furtado pondered

but they do and we have arrived to the end of the 2015/16 season in which the final matchday of the Bundesliga brought us 29 goals and a lot of weird results. Bayern lifting the trophy http://imgur.com/gallery/juue6K7 and Robert Lewandowski breaking the 30 goal mark was almost a foregone conclusion , but “dogs were whistling a new tune, barking at the new moon” as Hannover’s inexperienced defense made Mario Götze look like Neymar. A hearty congrats to Mario who scored 66% of his season total today! Let us hope that BVB will not be tricked into resigning him, after picking up Dembele and getting a 2-2 draw against Cologne, which picked up two goals on just six shots. Leverkusen’s three goals on ten shots topped that feat, despite Ingolstadt outplaying die Werkself whose defense was extremely shaky, as the expected goals map shows.

The Andre Hahn horror show claimed another victim in Darmstadt, with a little help from Jonas Hofmann, and Granit Xhaka, who left to a standing ovation after six key passes. Schalke ran riot over Hoffenheim and sent Andre Breitenreiter off into the sunset with a complete performance that elevated them over Hertha and Mainz whose goalless draw did little for fans. It’s gonna be OK, Andre!

André Schürrle probably wishes he could play against Stuttgart every week and Michael Gregoritsch echoes that sentiment about Augsburg. Papy Djilobodji scored the game winner, after Felix Wiedwald made a few key saves early to lauch Werder out of relegation and into 13th against Eintracht, who managed just four shots and will have to play Nürnberg in the playoffs. Stuttgart got three of their teams relegated in one day, so we will take it easy on them.

Here are the eleven players who made our final team of the week

submit football lineup

Goalkeeper -With eight saves against Stuttgart,Wolfsburg’s Koen Casteels is the winner here, because despite making what must have seemed like his first two big saves of the season, we cannot in good faith pick Felix Wiedwald. Ron-Robert Zieler also made eight, but conceded three goals. With Benaglio struggling in the second half of the season, VfL might just have a keeper controversy on their hands.

Defenders

Staying in Wolfsburg, Marcel Schafer put in an excellent shift replacing Ricardo Rodriguez with an assist and three key passes. The veteran also added four clearances and interceptions, but Naldo and Dante, who had 13 clearances also played a key part in limiting VfB to just one big chance

(Harnik hitting the crossbar)

and ultimately knocking Stuttgart out of the Bundesliga.

Papy Djilobodji – Werder deserves heaps of praise for his all important goal, but 92 touches, four interceptions and five clearances are also great from the former Chelsea man. Santiago Garcia added eight interceptions to help Bremen to back-to-back clean sheets!!! 

Jeez, Eintracht, what was that?

Leverkusen’s Benjamin Henrichs seems to make a TOTW every time he starts and his eight tackles and eight interceptions were impressive against a tricky FCI side that produced 21 shots on the night. It was a true Jekyll and Hyde performance for die Werkself, as the right side of the defense was awful, while Toprak and Henrichs shut down the left. Henrichs’ versatility – he is an attacking mid, somehow capable of playing either wing and fullback – has been an underrated aspect of Leverkusen’s rise amidst a stunning string of injuries.

Joel Matip – Schalke ensured a proper farewell with another assist and a strong performance with three tackles, interceptions and five clearances. The Cameroonian was easily his team’s best defender all season and should do well at Liverpool.

Midfielders

Bayern’s Thiago absolutely crushes bad teams almost as often as he disappears against good ones. Case in point, the Brazilian ended up with nine tackles and three key passes against a young Hannover defense composed of guys who were toiling in the Regionalliga a month ago. Sure, he is capable of the occasional Iniesta-like 45 yard run that sets up his striker, but the Brazilian has not done it often enough.

Mario Götze has just flat-out flopped at Bayern, as he tripled his season tally with a brace here, which is both great and incredibly sad at the same time. He remains an incredibly polarizing figure, as his supporters claim a lack of trust and a chance to prove himself, while his detractors question his desire and wonder whether there might have been real reasons behind him becoming a fringe player for Munich. One thing is for sure, his next move should be chosen carefully, lest he end up the next Mario, Balotelli that is….

Leverkusen’s Karim Bellarabi continued his reign of terror by adding two more assists (eleven on the season!!) on four shots against Ingolstadt. His improvement in the spring fueled Bayer and together with the magisterial Julian Brandt, they have become one of the Bundesliga’s deadliest duos.

Michael Gregoritsch of HSV must have felt pretty upset for missing out the Austria Euro squad, despite 20 goals in 26 games for his father’s U21 side. Well, he sure took  his frustration out on Augsburg, with a great free-kick goal and a poacher’s finish.

Did you know he leads the team with two shots per game and is third in goals despite an injury-riddled campaign of just 1400 minutes? Perhaps HSV should haven just played him more instead of starting four horrendous strikers….

I do like the Bobby Wood signing, though, and Hamburg should get some credit for having the best Reddit in Germany.

Forwards

André Schürrle was the butt of many jokes after a one goal Hinrunde, but two more goals against VfB have taken him to nine on the year, good for 20th in the league. Has he been significantly worse than Marco Reus, who had his best game of the spring against Cologne?

reus1

reus2

Looks dead even to me.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar gets the last spot for Schalke in a vintage performance of five shots, a goal and an assist that brought the Dutchman to a respectable twelve goals on the year. It looks like he is set to leave the Royal Blues over the summer, and the fact that it took 34 games for him and Leroy Sane to get on the same page is an astonishing achievement.

Honorable mentions – Franck Ribéry had six key passes, 97 touches and four shots in a dominant Bayern performance

,

while Julian Weigl broke the Bundesliga record with 214 passes. Andre Hahn was once again the difference between the Foals and the Lilies, while Leroy Sané and Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting combined to put up 13 dribbles, and two goals on four shots on target.

As always, thanks for reading and stay tuned for the upcoming season reviews!

The following two tabs change content below.
Abel started out watching and playing soccer in Hungary, before falling in love with the Bundesliga in the mid -90s (thanks to Kicker and Sat1's Ran). Now, he's in the USA -- and still loving it all many years later. Abel is faithful to BVB, but also endlessly fascinated by the emergence of new teams and talents from Germany, to the point that he even started a website about it, at www.bundespremierleague.com. Otherwise, you can find him working in publishing, teaching ESL, and/or drinking craft beer - not necessarily at the same time, or in that order. Abel tweets at @VanbastenESL and @BundesPL