Bayern power rankings, September 2016

The return of the Javi! Señor Martínez has been the best man on the pitch since Carlo Ancelotti took over coaching duties at FC Bayern München.

Our power rankings return with a very cool Spaniard on top of the pile.

Man of the month

Javi Martínez9: Javi Martínez

A strong start! Aerial dominance coupled with sweeping moments and frequent interruptions of other teams’ attacks make me feel like Javi is finally back. How the return of Jérôme Boateng will affect him (return to the midfield?) remains to be seen. (Last season: not evaluated due to lack of playing time.)

Going strong

Arturo Vidal9: Arturo Vidal

Everybody’s favourite box-to-box midfielder has not missed a beat although he played in the Copa América in the summer. A 87.5% passing rate, a pair of goals in the Super Cup and Pokal, plus a strong presence make me think he will have a cracker of a season. (Last season: 9)

Robert Lewandowski9: Robert Lewandowski

After being the man of the season last year, chances are that his ratings will go down this year. However, three goals scored against Bremen signal that he still has a great nose for goal. ( Last season: 9.5)

Thomas Müller9: Thomas Müller

While everyone discusses the missed scoring chances since mid-summer, I notice that Müller is playing rather well from a deeper position on the right flank and doing well in the air. His three assists against Bremen prove that he is not just a goal scorer. Fans should rethink their expectations and prepare for something different. ( Last season: 9.5)

Mats Hummels8.5: Mats Hummels

Strength in the air, strong tackling and quality passing surprise no one here. Hummels is known for having done that throughout his career and his addition has already been valuable at FC Bayern. A couple of goals from headers would be the icing on the cake. (Last season: unrated)

Manuel Neuer8.5: Manuel Neuer

The new German captain is, as always, a little difficult to evaluate. He saw little action in preseason. If you count the Super Cup, he made good saves. The beginning of the competitive season has been quiet for him. By default, he gets 8.5 for presence and leadership. (Last season: 8.5)

Xabi Alonso8.5: Xabi Alonso

A thunderstrike against Bremen and a 88.5% passing rate in a slightly less possession-oriented system look good for Xabi. It will be a long season for the old man, but his start is a fine one. ( Last season: 8)

Doing OK

Thiago Alcântara8: Thiago Alcântara

Passing accuracy and smart positioning have marked his game against Bremen, although he had little say in preseason action and the Super Cup. Although the start is promising, we know he can achieve greater things, as he did in his first two seasons in Munich. ( Last season: 7.5)

Philipp Lahm8: Philipp Lahm

After some difficult moments in his first game, he rapidly improved and netted a goal against Bremen. He is readjusting to the right-back position after being a virtual central midfielder during Pep Guardiola’s tenure. We can afford to be patient.( Last season: 9)

David Alaba8: David Alaba

His story is comparable to that of Lahm, with a twist. Given his difficult second half in 2015-16, playing well at left-back and combining once again with Franck Ribéry means noticeable improvement. ( Last season: 7.5)

Can improve

Franck Ribéry7.5: Franck Ribéry

The will is there but the solutions are not yet clear. Le roi Franck tries hard to make his mark under Carlo Ancelotti but he has lost acceleration powers in the last couple of years. Luckily, he will benefit from Alaba’s overlapping runs down the road. Give him time. (Last season: 7.5)

Unrated

Tom Starke, Sven Ulreich, Jérôme Boateng, Holger Badstuber, Rafinha, Juan Bernat, Joshua Kimmich, Renato Sanches, Arjen Robben, Douglas Costa, Kingsley Coman, Julian Green