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Bundesliga Team Of The Week: Round 8

Hoffenheim, Bremen, and Stuttgart recorded big victories this weekend  and Schalke won the Ruhr Derby. Elsewhere, Leverkusen and Hamburg waited until late to win challenging clashes. Who were the standout performers? Read on…

Goalkeeper:

Hans-Joerg Butt (Bayern Munich)

His counterpart may have won the game, but Butt was the better goalkeeper on Saturday. The score could have easily been 3-0 in favour of Hamburg, but Butt made a majestic save from Jerome Boateng and another reflex save from Joris Mathijsen. Overall, Butt had a great game, and cannot be blamed for Mladen Petric’s winner.

Defenders:

Jerome Boateng (Hamburg)

Shutting down Arjen Robben was a huge accomplishment in itself, but Boateng did much more. Ever active in his team’s offence, he sent in a number of dangerous crosses and took a great curling shot that would have been a goal if not for Hans-Joerg Butt’s remarkable save.

Joris Mathijsen (Hamburg)

Never set a foot wrong, and was a threat from corners. The Dutch international marshalled his back line well and did what five teams before his could not do: hold Bayern’s attacking trident.

Andreas Beck (Hoffenheim)

Hoffenheim’s first line of attack and an important extra among the forwards. Beck dribbled well, co-conspired his team’s attack (along with Carlos Eduardo), and assisted Vedad Ibisevic’s third goal as well.

Midfielders:

Ze Roberto (Hamburg)

Not a tremendous individual performance, but gets a spot in the starting XI for creating the play that won his side’s biggest match of the season. The veteran midfielder was, as usual, everywhere he needed to be, and completed the match despite being fouled repeatedly.

Simon Rolfes (Leverkusen)

Scored the winner and was his usual dominant self in defensive midfield. I used to think of him as a purely defensive player, but with his last two games in mind, goalscoring is certainly another skill to add to his resume.

Thomas Hitzlsperger (Stuttgart)

Scored with a trademark long-ranged effort, hit the post with another, and dictated play in midfield. “Der Hammer” produced a real gem on Saturday, and made a serious appeal to be a regular in Jogi Loew’s starting XI.

Christian Gentner (Wolfsburg)

Ruled his left flank. Played his role in shutting down Hannover’s attack, and went forward himself. The German international scored the go-ahead goal to make it 2-1, and assisted Edin Dzeko’s goal later on.

Strikers:

Claudio Pizarro (Bremen)

Undoubtedly one of Europe’s most underrated strikers. After Aaron Hunt’s first half opener, Pizarro provided much-needed security with a late brace that sealed the result for Bremen. Could have had a hat-trick or more, but was denied by Koeln goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon.

Julian Schieber (Stuttgart)

The Stuttgart youth product scored a brace in his second league start. Not bad for a man of just 20 years, even if the goals were both preventable. Schieber also deserves praise for his passing and lead-up play.

Vedad Ibisevic (Hoffenheim)

Given his lack of goals this season, I had begun to doubt Ibisevic’s talent. Until Sunday, that is. The Bosnia-Herzegovina international was in phenomenal form against Hertha, netting a hat trick within 21 minutes.

Butt
Beck  Mathijsen  Boateng
Hitzlsperger  Rolfes  Ze Roberto  Gentner
Schieber  Pizarro  Ibisevic

Honorable Mentions:

Frank Rost put in a superb shift against Bayern, and did well to deny Arjen Robben and Ivica Olic in particular.

Carlos Eduardo was again Hoffenheim’s architect and played a great role in his team’s destruction of Hertha, scoring a penalty and assisting Ibisevic’s opener.

Stuttgart midfielder Timo Gebhart had a great game in midfield, and was unlucky not to have scored. The youngster has quite a future ahead of himself.

Wolfsburg’s Edin Dzeko also did well, overall, scoring once and providing a fine assist. Didn’t make the first team because, by his standards, it wasn’t a first class performance on the whole.

Goal.com welcomes your opinion…

Clark Whitney, Goal.com