Contento offers a lot more going forward than I remember him in, say, 2010. Maybe it's because he's been featuring against weaker opposition. In any case his defensive positioning is still as bad as ever but like Boateng, his speed makes up for it.
Petersen didn't impress me though. Like you said, he'd do well in a 2-striker formation, because he can keep the ball up well and lay it off to his fellow striker. Basically a target man in the making. But he lacks Gomez' aggressiveness in the box when fighting for positions. Too often did he not pursue some avenue in the attack and it fizzled out. Basically, for now I'd rather make Olic Gomez' backup rather than Petersen.
Alaba was already this good in Hoffenheim this season, but it is very good to see that he can keep it up here. He really looks like he'll be a successor to Ribery in the long-term - they've already got some mentorship thing going. However, Alaba, if I can get away with the cliche about (semi-)African players, is a lot stronger and more physically fit. Of course that means that his center of gravity is a tad higher and that he can't achieve the same measure of ball control as Ribery, but on the other hand, he can use his strength to keep the ball. Instead of a trickster we have a bulldozer - and I'm sure Heynckes with his "everyone defends" mentality loves it.
Usami seriously looks like the one with the most raw talent, though. He isn't even CLOSE to being a finished product, but his vision when creating chances together with his technical ability make him a must-keep as a future playmaker. In fact in that respect he's a lot more like Ribery than Alaba is.
In fact, I'd like to see the attacking line-up of Alaba-Usami-Müller with Olic in front at some point. Usami's poor work rate can be nullified by the three workhorses surrounding them. Or if we're going for broke in the "distance covered" category, throw Kroos instead of Usami, and follow up by the double pivot of Schweini and Gustavo.
I liked yesterday's game, but not because of the scoreline, rather because I got to see where our young players are at right now. And I was only disappointed by Petersen - he, like Kroos, doesn't seem to benefit from the current tactical shape. Of course, Kroos has a lot, LOT more raw talent to make up for it. Still, I'd like to see Kroos as a Schweini backup/rotation sub instead. Really, looks like he's gone through the Schweini-transformation in the year he was with us without Jupp realizing it. He's lost his goal threat and let's face it, his set piece abilities, but covers a lot more ground and fights for the ball much more tenaciously. I think both he and Petersen would benefit from a 4-4-2, but it wouldn't be worth it considering the rest of the squad. Still, I'd like it if Jupp started to use him as a CM instead, resting Schweini every now and then, and gave more chances up front to Alaba and Usami and Olic.