MVP debates in every sport can often end up being very arbitrary. One person thinks it means the best player while another can think its means the player that a team could least afford to lose. Sometimes it’s the same player, sometimes not. I think a true MVP possesses a combination of these two aspects, so when looking at who is most deserving of the Dortmund MVP of the first half of the season I could narrow it down to several options, but it becomes more difficult from there. The six point lead in the Bundesliga was a product of the team as a whole firing on all cylinders and it almost does not do the team justice by singling out one player. That being said I think there are three candidates who stand above the rest competing for the title of first half MVP.
Alcacer has been nothing short of a revelation for Dortmund this season. Coming into the year it looked like the team would struggle to score, but after 17 games Dortmund has scored eight more goals than the closest competition thanks in large part to Alcacer, who has already set the record for goals coming off the bench in a Bundesliga season. Where the argument for Alcacer for MVP truly finds its strength however is his irreplaceability. At the moment, BVB has no one else who can provide what Alcacer provides. We have seen the results when Gotze or Philipp are put up front. He has a value that exceeds even his talent because of this and when combined with the ridiculous goal scoring production he is a worthy MVP candidate.
Witsel has been the definition of consistency in his first half season in Germany. At the beginning of the season it was not a guarantee from the outside looking in that he would even be a consistent starter, but those doubts quickly faded and he has become the engine of the team in the midfield. He never seems to make mistakes and his passing is essential to the style of play Favre expects. There is no one who can come off the bench and come close to providing the impact and stability that Witsel does. He does not have a clear weakness and has created a midfield that is night and day to last year’s team.
It certainly is great to have Marco Reus back. Reus has been his usually self providing 11 goals and five assists and he is the captain and leader that this team needs to complete their season as champions. Reus is second on the team in goals and assists but easily first when combined. This team has faced a lot of turnover over the past few years, and Reus has remained the biggest constant. I think he deserves ton of credit for not only his play, but the leadership it takes to help bring together a team with a new coach, new and vital transfers, and a lot of inexperienced and young talent. That is not a combination that is usually headed for such immediate success, but the team has come together with Reus leading the charge.
For these reasons I have Reus as my MVP so far this season. Sure, he plays at a position where the team theoretically has more depth if he was removed from the lineup, but he has a talent level and an impact that transcends position and that cannot be replaced. Witsel and Alcacer are both deserving and would be tough to replace, but this team goes where Reus leads it.
Who do you think was our first half MVP? I think there can be arguments made for several other players that I didn’t even mention. Sancho has been an X-factor for the team, while Manuel Akanji has been a force on the defensive side. Is there anyone you think is more deserving than Reus?