Miasanrot Awards: Young player of the season 2019/20
The pick of Angelo Stiller was not an entirely uncontroversial one among our editorial staff. After all, there was also a certain Joshua Zirkzee available who had scored two decisive late goals for Flick’s first team last winter. But Zirkzee pulled off these special feats for the first team and not the reserves. On the contrary, his performances throughout the Hinrunde for the reserves were rather unremarkable. Even though this was in no small part due to his being played in an unaccustomed role as a withdrawn center-forward, Angelo Stiller was the more remarkable player on the whole.
Stiller has played for Bayern since the U-10, having come from TSV Milbertshofen. He quickly became the team captain of his age group and was commonly regarded as a leading player. This became particularly noticeable in the U-17, where Stiller became coach Holger Seitz’s extended arm on the field. Nevertheless, he mostly remained in the shadow of his more highly esteemed teammates. The reserves’ attack drew most of the attention, especially Oliver Batista Meier and Joshua Zirkzee as well as the then still highly regarded Jahn Hermann and Benedict Hollerbach. The team rather undeservedly lost the 2018 final of the German U-17 championship against Borussia Dortmund, but Stiller was the outstanding player of the game. He kept driving his team forward, provided structure and organization in midfield, and with his precise passing caused his team to dominate the game for long phases.
Last season, Stiller then started as captain of the U-19 again. Even before the start of the season, an early promotion to the reserves in the third division was in the offing, but in the end U-23 coach Sebastian Hoeneß decided against it. Along with top talent Torben Rhein, who is two years his junior, Stiller after a mixed start to the season became the leader of his his team again with his incredible presence in build-up play and finally recommended himself for a place in the 3. Liga reserve team. In the test match in January against Türkgücü Munich, he gave such an outstanding account of himself in his very first start at senior level that from then on he became an indispensable part of the reserve side.
Since matchday 21 Angelo Stiller has been called up to the reserves 16 times and has been on the field for all 90 minutes each time. In these 16 games, Sebastian Hoeneß’ Eleven stormed from 15th to 1st place. They averaged 2.4 points per game (12 wins with 2 draws and 2 losses). By comparison, in the 22 games without Angelo Stiller, they only managed an average of 1.2 points per game.
Angelo Stiller is the prototype of a deep-lying playmaker. Always available for a pass and with impressive vision and anticipation he gave the game of the Bayern reserves the necessary structure in the Rückrunde that had often been lacking in the Hinrunde. Stiller posseses a broad repertoire of passes. With his gifted left foot, he is able to play both defense-splitting passes in behind and long switches of the play across the pitch with incredible precision. Should his passing lanes be blocked, he sometimes tries to look for a different angle with a runs into an open space. A detailed analysis of his playing style has recently been published in the blog “Left Back Football”.
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Stiller. The fact that he has not yet been invited to train with Bayern’s first team is a clear sign that his future probably does not lie in Munich. Supposedly, several clubs from the 1. and 2. Bundesliga have shown an interest in signing him, while the alleged offer from Arsenal has proven to be tabloid media fiction. He definitely has the potential to play in the Bundesliga, even though he still has to work on his weaker right foot and his defensive skills. But he already has one or two strings to his bow that are rare in the Bundesliga. We are curious to see at which club he will be able to draw them.