Bayern power rankings, winter break 2017

The first half of 2016-17 was Thiago Alcântara’s. Our power rankings for a challenging but productive part of the season.

Man of the half

Thiago Alcântara9.5: Thiago Alcântara

After a slow start in the first few games, he ramped it up and played excellent football as time passed. His excellent performances in central midfield helped the team grow, and his one game as playmaker against Leipzig makes you think that a move to no.10 is long overdue. Keep it up, mate. (October: 8.5)

Going strong

Joshua Kimmich9: Joshua Kimmich

If you predicted that the young German would have scored four goals in the league and three in the Champions League before the season started, I will call you a genius upon seeing the evidence. In addition, he can play efficiently at right-back and do more than hold his own in midfield. He only played 676 minutes in the Bundesliga, but those were not wasted. (October: 9.5)

Arturo Vidal8.5: Arturo Vidal

It only is a shame that the Chilean national team failed to treat an injury suffered during one of the only-too-frequent international breaks in the first half. Otherwise, he proved himself once again as a vital cog in the machine when playing a full game. Perhaps the most vital player after Thiago. (October: 7.5)

Manuel Neuer8.5: Manuel Neuer

I maintain his default rating in the absence of games that would have allowed him to do the spectacular things that only #NeuerTheWall can do. Solid play and nice saves easily justify his title of best keeper in the world. (October: 8.5)

Mats Hummels8.5: Mats Hummels

Almost everyone saw Jérôme Boateng as the team’s best central defender, perhaps by a mile, before the season started. Hummels’ return however went better than expected and he was the anchor in the back four. Welcome back, good sir. (October: 7)

Douglas Costa8.5: Douglas Costa

Growth is the best word to describe our favourite Brazilian. From a quick runner who does little more than crossing, he has turned into a very dangerous winger under Carlo Ancelotti’s watch. He is becoming a complete package and has saved points with his brilliance. (October: not rated)

Robert Lewandowski8.5: Robert Lewandowski

After a cold spell, he finished strongly in November and December. His free kicks were a most welcome (and spectacular) revelation in the last few weeks. Added finishing touch in the penalty area would make him more fearsome. (October: 9)

Rafinha8.5: Rafinha

More than the underrated utility player people talk about. Playing as well as he does while wearing an FCB shirt doesn’t make him the best right-back in the world, but it confirms that he is solid and reliable. Start him at any time and you know he will provide quality. (October: 8)

Juan Bernat8: Juan Bernat

Is the ground shifting at left-back? We don’t know yet and we should not counting Alaba out. What we know, though, is that Bernat has grown in the last few months. A string of solid performances have sparked a debate as how often he should start. A welcome debate. (October: 7.5)

Doing OK

Arjen Robben8: Arjen Robben

With under 1000 minutes of football in his legs, it is hard to give him a better rating. That does not mean he did not play well. Still one of the finest wingers in the world and clearly one of the most important players in this team whenever he is fit. (October: not rated)

Franck Ribéry8: Franck Ribéry

A solid start followed by more quiet, but still decent performances showed us that the old man is still very dangerous, especially when paired with Arjen Robben on the wings. It’s okay if he is not a world beater anymore. Doing magic in the big games would be fine! (October: 9)

Javi Martínez8: Javi Martínez

After being the best man on the pitch in September, he slowed down a tad and made a few mistakes in central defence. However, you cannot saw that Javi played bad football in general. Still curious about how he would perform in a central midfield alongside Arturo Vidal, though. (October: 8.5)

David Alaba8: David Alaba

David had ups and downs, including a number of less-than-convincing performances. Playing well is not enough, though. With his immense talent and now a wealth of experience, he could be the team’s biggest superstar. I, therefore, declare that he can do more. (October: 8.5)

Xabi Alonso8: Xabi Alonso

If the first half showed us anything, especially the game against Leipzig, it was that Alonso was not always properly used since coming to Munich. His excellence as an attacking-minded central midfielder was loads better than what he achieved as a holding mid in a 4-3-3. (October: 8)

Can improve

Philipp Lahm7.5: Philipp Lahm

By his very high standards, he had his worst first half of a season since the youth days. That makes him better than almost all right-backs, but it shows that inevitable decline may have started. It’s time to rotate him more often with Rafinha, so that he has the legs to shine in big games in March and April. (October: 7.5)

Renato Sanches7.5: Renato Sanches

Perhaps the most difficult player to rate. Sanches was anything but convincing for most of the first half, but something happened when he bossed the midfield against Atlético de Madrid in the last Champions League game. The young Portuguese showed us a glimpse of his ability to be everywhere and do everything at once. Can we have more of that? Please? (October: 7)

Thomas Müller6: Thomas Müller

Everybody loves Thomas Müller, but he deserves the worst rating of his career. Unable to fit in on the right wing, he was better in the middle of a 4-2-3-1 but still not as good as we know he can be. He has to solve his confidence crisis because the Reds are better when he is firing. (October: 7.5)

Unrated due to lack of playing time

Tom Starke, Sven Ulreich, Jérôme Boateng, Holger Badstuber, Kingsley Coman