With three match days to open the first month of the New Year we have seen plenty of impressive performances from the Bundesliga’s finest as well as some stunning goals. The time has come then for us to reveal our player and goal of the month awards…
Player of the month: Marco Friedl (Werder Bremen)
It rare that the player of the month award doesn’t go to an attacking midfielder or a striker as they are the ones that usually grab the attention at the top end of the pitch, but here at the Fanatic we don’t underestimate the contributions of the more defence-minded and our choice for the award this month is Werder Bremen captain Marco Friedl.
Werder have made an unbeaten start to 2024 with the away win over Bayern Munich the highlight. Friedl only made one first-team appearance during his time with the Bavarians, but he showed them what he was made of with a sterling performance to help shut out Harry Kane et al at the Allianz Arena and help secure Bremen’s first win there since 2008. He was outstanding defensively as the Grün-Weißen’s game plan was executed to perfection.
He understandably made Kicker’s ‘Team of the Week’ and then repeated the feat this past weekend following another top display as Werder beat Freiburg 3-1 at the Weser Stadion to move up to ninth. His displays are also reportedly on the radar of Austrian national team coach Ralf Rangnick and Friedl will be hoping he can force his way into the Austrian side for this summer’s European Championships being held in Germany.
Honourable mentions: There were of course plenty of others who were in contention with Dortmund’s Donyell Malen and Ian Maatsen having good Januarys. Ermedin Demirovic of Augsburg and Justin Njinmah (Werder) also put themselves in contention.
Goal of the month: Patrick Osterhage (Bochum v Werder Bremen MD17)
There were a whole host of stunning goals in January, but after the onerous task of re-watching goal after brilliant goal, it is Patrick Osterhage who gets the nod this month for his goal against Werder Bremen for VfL Bochum on matchday 17.
Goalless just after the hour mark at the Vonovia Ruhrstadion, the midfielder found himself in space midway inside the Werder half and called for the ball. Once he received the ball from Kevin Stöger, the 23-year-old was urged to shoot by the crowd, so shoot from distance he did. His left-foot strike from 20 metres flew like a rocket into the top right corner to leave keeper Michael Zetterer with no chance.
Honourable mentions: Picking a winner is always tricky and some superb goals have to miss out but they’re still worth a mention here, Jamal Musiala’s individual effort against Hoffenheim, Robin Hack’s strike for Gladbach versus Heidenheim, Mitchell Weiser’s goal to beat Bayern and Maximilian Beier’s thunderous effort against Freiburg all came close to getting the vote.