Players - The Best Of The Best In Bundesliga

Anyone who has been following Germany's top flight this term will now be well aware of the likes of Shinji Kagawa, Theofanis Gekas, Lewis Holtby, Papiss Demba Cisse and Co., but have those headline-grabbing players really been the best statistically? Lets delved into the data banks and for the facts and who are the best performers, so far.

The art of tackling

Interestingly, the most effective tacklers in the Bundesliga this term consist are Germany internationals. At the very top, Hamburger SV captain Heiko Westermann boasts 73.8 per cent of his challenges won, while Werder Bremen's defensive chief Per Mertesacker also impresses with a ratio of 71.1 per cent. Third is VfB Stuttgart's Serdar Tasci with 70.9 per cent. Westermann's ratio becomes all the more impressive when you factor in the amount of tackles he has been involved in: The Hamburg stopper has contested 168 this season, around double the amount of Mertesacker (76) and Tasci (86).


Crossing machines

Strikers prey on crosses, and the most active supplier of those this season so far has been 1. FSV Mainz 05 left-back Christian Fuchs. The Austrian is has had a superb campaign to date, his energetic runs and expert deliveries forming an integral part of the 05ers' success story. Fuchs has delivered a total of 117 crosses this season, more than any other player. VfL Wolfsburg captain Marcel Schäfer comes in second with 101, third is Eintracht Frankfurt's Georgios Tzavellas (86). Curiously, the most highly-ranked players in this department are all full-backs, as opposed to midfielders.


Quality, not quantity

None of the abovementioned serial crossers feature among the most accurate. The most precise crosser in the league this term is in fact HSV bruiser Guy Demel, who has managed to find a team-mate with 43.3 per cent of his centres. Second in the list is another full-back, Wolfsburg's Peter Pekarik, whose balls have reached their intended target on 42.9 per cent of occasions. The top three is completed by Borussia Dortmund's Nuri Sahin (42.3 per cent), whose stats are all the more impressive as his ratio was achieved with more than double the amount of crosses (71) as Demel (30) and Pekarik (28).


Gomez rules the skies

FC Bayern München goalgetter Mario Gomez not only leads the scoring charts (along with SC Freiburg's Papiss Demba Cisse), he is also the Bundesliga's most potent striker when it comes to headers. No player has scored more times with their head than the Germany international (five). Surprisingly, the next best aerial goalscorer is Stuttgart defender Georg Niedermeier, who has already found the target with his 'noggin' four times this term. More impressive is his efficiency: Niedermeier scored his four headed goals from just seven attempts, compared to Gomez' 15. In joint third place with three headed goals are five players: Srdjan Lakic (Kaiserslautern), Theofanis Gekas (Eintracht Frankurt), Grafite (VfL Wolfsburg) and Edin Dzeko (VfL Wolfsburg - since departed) and Hugo Almeida (Werder Bremen - since departed).


Marathon men

Nuri Sahin of league leaders Dortmund was voted by his fellow professionals as the player of the season so far. The Turkish international is the motor at the heart of the Borussia machine, his unparalleled ability to initiate attack from almost anywhere on the pitch crucial to the team's success. Always available for a pass, Sahin's involvement is reflected in the number of touches he has had this term. His 1720 make him the player you will most likely have seen on the ball this season, just ahead of Bayern stars Bastian Schweinsteiger (1695) and Philipp Lahm (1582). It comes as little surprise that the trio play for sides renowned for their ability to keep possession and their general dominance of matches throughout.


Conquerors

Ball-winners are an essential part of any successful team and often the instigators of quick counterattacks. The ability to pick the perfect moment to block, tackle or intercept is what distinguishes Bayer Leverkusen's Arturo Vidal from his peers. The Chilean midfielder has been one of the chief factors in the Werkself's rise to second this season, his 180 interceptions far outweighing any other player's efforts so far. HSV winger Jonathan Pitroipa comes in a surprise second with 154, while in third is established destroyer Torsten Frings of Bremen (141).


Precision passers

Hamburg midfielder David Jarolim leads the list of most accurate passers this season ahead of two Bayern stars. An incredible 91.5 per cent of the 31-year-old's passes have found a team-mate, just a tad better than FCB pair Philipp Lahm (89.8 per cent) and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (88.6 per cent). Still, although Jarolim's quota is the best percentage-wise, Lahm has attempted far more passes this term (1210) compared to his HSV counterpart (874).


Exclusively By Christoph Gschoßmann

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