Bundesliga – Mid Season Awards
The Bundesliga 2012/13 season is halfway with 17 rounds played and after giving away the Mid-season Awards to our Barclays Premier League winners, we move on to the German Bundesliga.
Team of the season so far: Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich’s treble loss last season seems to have propelled them to greater heights and better form this season. Their transfer dealings over the past summer, combined with improvement in the form of few key players has helped the team become arguably the strongest side in Europe, having gathered 42 points from their 17 games.
So with a nine point lead at the top of the league and twelve clear of defending champions Dortmund, the title will be theirs to lose.
Bargain Buy of the season: Rene Adler (Hamburg)
The custodian job for the German national team was destined to be his two years back but problems with injuries not only cost him his place in the 2010 WC squad, but also got him relegated to the reserves at Leverkusen.
The free transfer to Hamburg this summer has seen the German stopper enjoying a renaissance, with the player putting in some top-notch performances (70 saves and 6 clean sheets in 17 games) despite their leaky defense.
Flop of the season: Felix Magath (Wolfsburg)
Normally this award is meant for a player but apart from Javier Martinez not really living up to the hype and Favre’s foals (Xhaka, De Jong and co.) failing to make the expected grade, things haven’t gone as bad for anyone as Felix Magath whose iron fist reign didn’t do him much good as news of falling out with players, particularly playmaker Diego, and injuries to key attacking players meant he couldn’t use his best teams.
Wolfsburg’s bad form saw them drop to the league bottom and that was the final nail in Magath’s coffin as he was ultimately fired.
Wolfsburg are currently seven points clear of the relegation zone in the 15th position.
Return of the season: Rafael Van der Vaart (Hamburg)
The Dutch playmaker made his return to Germany after signing for his former club on the deadline day.
His undoubted influence and relatively impressive stats (a goal and 5 assists) have helped a struggling team to climb up to mid-table and rekindle the dreams of European football.
Manager of the season and Surprise package: Armin Veh (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Bayern Munich’s great form this season which has seen them top the league can be credited to their coach Jupp Heynckes but we can’t ignore Armin Veh and his last year’s promotion winning Frankfurt side, who sit proudly in the fourth place, dreaming of European football.
Eintracht Frankfurt have been the surprise package this season, clearly punching above their weight. Their midfield is made up of Schwegler, Rode, Aigner, Takashi Inui with goal-scoring hero Alex Meier playing an important role for the team.
Honourable mentions: Thomas Tuchel (Mainz), Christian Streich (Freiburg).
Player of the season: Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)
After a disappointing last season, there were question marks over his club future, but Thomas is back, hungrier, greedier and a whole lot better.
With nine goals and seven assists already this season, Muller is my choice for the “Player of the Season”.
Honourable mention to Frank Ribery too, who has 4 goals and 7 assists to his name.
Things to look forward to in 2013:
With the title Bayern’s to lose and only six points separating third place Dortmund and tenth placed Hannover, the race to finish in the European places will be a treat to watch.