Ranking Bayern Munich's Top 5 Players for November 2015
After a couple slip-ups in October, Bayern Munich resumed their comprehensive dominance of domestic and continental football in November. The Bavarian giants lost to Arsenal and drew with Eintracht Frankfurt in the previous month but rebounded by winning all five of their fixtures in November—by an 18-2 aggregate score
It all began with Pep Guardiola and company getting revenge against Arsenal with a 5-1 victory at the Allianz Arena. They also beat Olympiakos 4-0 in the Champions League to seal top spot in Group F. Among domestic competitors, Stuttgart and Hertha BSC lost to Bayern in visits to the Allianz Arena, and the three-time defending titleholders won their only away game of the month 3-1 against Schalke.
With the month's end having come, B/R takes a look back on Bayern's top performers in November, selecting players and ranking them based on their influence in all club competitions. Click "Begin Slideshow" to begin the countdown, starting with No. 5.
5) David Alaba
David Alaba was unfortunate to have his month cut short by an injury, but his performances for most of November earn him a spot in the top five. The Austria international was arguably Bayern's best player in their rout of Arsenal, taking care of his defensive duties but also getting forward to score a goal and assist another.
Alaba also had a deflected effort from distance find the target against Schalke before an injury in that game kept him out for the final two fixtures of the month. Although he played in just three games, his heroics against Arsenal in particular make him worthy of a mention among Bayern's top five.
4) Arjen Robben
Like Alaba, Arjen Robben's minutes in November were rather limited because of injury. The Dutchman was forced off the pitch early in the win against Olympiakos and missed the final Bundesliga match of the month against Hertha.
Yet when he played, Robben was excellent. He scored the opener against Stuttgart, then assisted the goal that put Bayern ahead of Schalke in what, until that point, had been a tough fixture. The 31-year-old not only produced but did so when it mattered. And overall, a tally of two goals and two assists in approximately three games' worth of minutes isn't bad at all.
3) Jerome Boateng
Jerome Boateng has long been an underrated defender, and as of late, he's finally begun to earn the credit he deserves. Once a Manchester City reject, the Germany international has proved his doubters wrong again and again and lately has reached an even higher level.
That Boateng can defend well is no news, but this season he's taken a much more active role in possession. The 27-year-old orchestrated Bayern's second goal against Hertha on Saturday, and in midweek before that, he directly assisted a goal against Olympiakos. He was even used in midfield at the start of the Hertha game, a testament to his skills on the ball that complement his excellent defending.
He may have had a bit more rest in November than before, but Boateng nonetheless was one of Bayern's best players in the month as he delivered both in attack and defense, with his side conceding just twice. At this point, he may be the world's best center-back.
2) Kingsley Coman
Few expected much from Kingsley Coman when the 19-year-old moved to Munich on loan in August, at least initially. But despite his limited years, inconsistent playing time and variable roles on the pitch, the youngster has taken his chances brilliantly. And in November, he raised his game to the next level.
Coman was outstanding for Bayern in the Champions League, giving an assist in an all-round excellent display against Arsenal before his early substitution. He also played a big part in two goals against Olympiakos on Matchday 5. The Frenchman ended the month on a high note, scoring Bayern's second in their 2-0 win against Hertha BSC. Overall, not bad for a teenager.
1) Thomas Muller
Another month, another run of excellence from Thomas Muller. The 26-year-old seems to get better and better, and by this point he has to be regarded among the top five attacking players in world football. There just are very, very few people who can touch his level.
Muller scored in every game Bayern played in November, recording six goals and two assists during the month and increasing his tally to 20 goals and four assists on the season. Used primarily in the central role he played under Louis van Gaal in the early stages of his career, as well as toward the end of the treble-winning 2012-13 season, he's taken his game to the next level. And for that, he tops the list of Bayern's best performers for a second consecutive month.