November 24, 2017

Bundesliga Fanatic October Player and Goal of the Month

As we recover from the frights of Halloween, and as Köln and Werder fans get over the horror of their side’s past few weeks, it is time to decide the Bundesliga Fanatic Player of the Month and Goal of the Month awards for October.

Borussia Dortmund took the first two player awards with Christian Pulisic (August) and Maximilian Philipp (September), while the goal of the month awards went to Bruma and Shinji Kagawa.

So just who has won the Player and Goal of the Month awards for October?

Player of the Month: Leon Bailey 

So it’s not a Dortmund player! The award for October goes to an up and coming youngster, who has had quite an impact across matchdays 8-10. Bayer Leverkusen attacking midfielder Leon Bailey had an absolute stinker on matchday 1 during his sides 3-1 loss to Bayern, so much so that he was taken off at half-time and earning a Kicker lowest rating of 5.

Since then the 20-year Jamaican has kept Karim Bellarabi out of the side with his form and has been one of the driving forces behind the Werkself’s rise, which sees them just three points off the top four.

Bailey has been increasingly deployed on the right of an attacking three by Heiko Herrlich, and with Julian Brandt on the left, Leverkusen have quite a potent thrust. Bailey was arguably the Man of the Match in the 2-2 home draw with Wolfsburg as he was involved in many of the chances Leverkusen created and was a constant danger from set-pieces.

Against Mönchengladbach in the 5-1 comeback game, he scored the goal that put Heiko Herrlich’s side 2-1 up, and alongside Kai Havertz and Julian Brandt was one of the stand out players.

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Bailey then finished the month with another Man of the Match performance against Köln in the 2-1 Rheinderby win. He scored the equalising goal with a fine finish after rounding keeper Timo Horn. He could even have scored a second, but was denied by a good save.

“Leon is a weapon! He has unbelievable speed, a strong finish, and is incredibly difficult to defend. We are very satisfied with him” said Bayer coach Heiko Herrlich following the Rheinderby.

October has shown the young Jamaican to be a master of the three T’s- technique, tempo and temperament.

Honourable mentions for Player of the Month go to Augsburg’s Michael Gregoritsch, Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka, Leipzig’s Marcel Sabitzer and also Hannover defender Salif Sané.

Goal of the Month:  Dominique Heintz 

It was another tough call this month with a number of stunning efforts to take into account, but after reviewing the finer efforts from the last month (a tough job I know), we’ve plumped for the screamer scored by Dominique Heintz in Köln’s 2-1 loss at Stuttgart on matchday 8.

The Geißböcke were trailing 1-0 to the Swabians and introduced Claudio Pizarro as a second half substitute, but it was surprisingly their centre-back Heintz, who popped up with a superb equaliser.

Fed by Simon Zoller coming in off the left, the defender received the ball a few feet outside the penalty area. He took one touch to control it, another the dummy Timo Baumgartl, before unleashing a left-foot rocket, which curled sumptuously into the top left corner of the goal leaving Ron-Robert Zieler helpless.

Honourable mentions for August’s Goal of the Month go to Lars Stindl for his goal against Werder, Mark Uth for his curler against Augsburg and Marcel Sabitzer for his effort against Stuttgart.

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Mathew Burt

A year spent living in Bremen got Mathew hooked on the Bundesliga with regular visits to the Weser Stadion getting in the way of his studies. Back in the UK now, he still keenly follows the Grün-Weißen and German football in general. Follow him on Twitter @matburt74.

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