Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Get it? Courtesy of Bigus

The Power Poll returns this week with as much movement as we've seen since it all began, way back when in January of 2009. But before we get to it, you should know there's something of an internal debate in these parts about metrics used to rank the teams. Some in the resident cabal tend to argue that we're obliged to account for a body of work ("It's not a form poll!")... others are more inclined to look at just the past game or two. But even with the dissent-- handbags, nearly-- and up-and-down movement, this newest poll offers a pretty thorough consensus. Point averages are nearly aligned with rankings and just looking at the list, for me, it's hard to find much fault.

Do you not agree?

Also: a very special UF hurrah to the Facebook voters. Champions. Everrrryone of ya.

1) Barcelona - 1.2 (4th, 3.4)
Back to their old dickstomping ways. If there was any doubt from midweek, then little Bojan Krkic's double (in four minutes) on Sunday was proof enough. But can we be sure the Catalans are over their early-late season hump? Four first half goals in Champions League play against the 374-time French champs would indicate, "yes." That those goals came from Henry (2), Messi, and Eto'o is positively arousing... Currently six points clear of Madrid atop La Liga. Do two?

2) Manchester United - 1.9 (1st, 1.2)
We'll leave this to the professionals, that is, the respected professionals:
Liverpool revived their ambitions of claiming the Premier League title in remarkable fashion as they humiliated champions Manchester United at Old Trafford.
That was BBC's Phil McNulty-- Lingering, you may now retire to the bathroom with your catcher's mitt-- who goes on in his game account from Old Trafford to use the following words to describe Liverpool's decisive performance.


Point taken, man! Damn.

3) Liverpool - 3.4 (10th, 11.7)
Speak o' the devil. Los Rojos have been positively devastating without the weight of a title race to pin them down. Since being effectively removed from Premier League contention at Middlesbrough, Rafa's niñoshave cleared their collective windpipe and battered the life out of two of the greatest clubs in world sports. Brilliant all the way around... and I'm still trying to figure how precisely Torres sliced that first ball past van der Sar. Genius.

4) Chelsea - 5.2 (7th, 7.4)
Like it or not, Guus, you're staying in London. Unless you lose a game. So, uh, yea-- Chelsea have been very good. The return of a certain Michael Essien, who's apparently a goal-scoring machine now, shouldn't hurt, especially in the next round of CL matches. It's odd to say, but this weekend at WHL has to be a bit of a measuring stick. The Blues have been good, and beating Juventus is always a feather in your cap, but have they really faced down an in-form club and dominated? Nyet. Stomp Spurs on derby day and we'll be wholly convinced.

5) Inter Milan - 5.5 (3rd, 2.9)
Other have fallen further, but none so tragically. And none with such devastating effects for the UF psyche. I won't name names (Likely Lad!), but some of us had convinced ourselves-- and done their best to convince others-- that a win, or 0-0, at Old Trafford was possible. Of course, it was no competition. Inter looked old. Like a team that was going to win another Scudetto, then watch their manager skip town for... ahh... let's save that for the summer.

And how about that Zlatan Ibrahimovic??

6) Hertha Berlin - 7.0 (6th, 7.2)
The Bundesliga leaders are our consensus champions! I mean, champions of consensus! Aside from the top two, the only thing we are more convinced of here is that Hertha Berlin, Die Alte Dame!, is the sixth best team in the world, Europe, this power poll.

T-7) Bayern Munich - 8.8 (unranked)*
Don't care who it comes against, 12 goals in two Champions League second round ties is awesome. I venture to guess that had Klose not broken his ankle (out 8 weeks), the Germans might have climbed a bit higher. Still, an exciting, attacking team, that at their best remind you of the ol' mannschaft from back in '06. How about a showdown with Barca in the quarterfinal? That might be good for a goal or nine...

T-7) Arsenal - 8.8 (unranked)
Arse clowns are back in the pack thanks to a long undefeated run in the league-- which has them back fourth after Spurs win at Villa... uncomfortable situation for all involved-- and some penalty heroics in the land of the half-hearted stabbing. Yes, yes, the Arshavin goal was quality, and yes, yes, they've done this all with Denilson being their most used outfield player, so credit where it's due: Arsenal will finish fourth, lose in one of the next two rounds of the CL, and be paid back for their cheating in yesterday's FA Cup win with a Chelski-authored thrashing in the semifinals. (Note: Optimistic Lad reminds me that it's now a Big Four FA Cup semifinal round... so another Euro spot opens up... so... whatever)

T-9) AZ Alkmaar - 12.0 (9th, 8.1)*
We've been through it already with these Dutch bastards. They haven't lost since September 13, 2008... Bush & Cheney were still in the White House. There was a half of a half of chance that Sarah Palin was headed there, too. The Dow was at about 11,400. And so on.

That said, related/unrelated: you should really watch this video right now. I was reading (ok, re-reading, again) "Brilliant Orange" last night, so I decided to find video of "The Lost Final." That clip came up first, and though we know it's an unhappy ending, if you love football in the special way we all do, you might get emotional... (don't give up, go all ten minutes! Volume up! You'll understand what I'm on about by the fifth...)

T-9) AC Milan - 12.0 (unranked)
Yawn. They were gangbusters at Siena this weekend. For what that's worth. Quite an enjoyable game actually. Not competitive by any means, but Pippo Inzaghi did notch his 299th and 300th goals, and the Brazilian Pato is a delight. Throw in Beckham's neck tat and you've got... Unprofessional Foul's 10th best team for the week!

*Bayern Munich and AZ Alkmar scooch ahead on high score, that is, their highest ranks, respectively, beat those of the club with whom they'd tied. I swear, it makes sense.

Dropped - Real Madrid, Juventus

In the mix - FC Porto, Besiktas

Not in the mix, but in really fine form - Spurs (no votes)


ü75 said...

Yes. Besiktas dropped from getting no mention to actually being listed on some ballots. Great job.

The Likely Lad said...

chill out mate, it's a typo

ü75 said...

I know. It's still fun. Kind of like Soccernet proclaiming that bids are in for a 2012 World Cup.

The Likely Lad said...

fixed. you may now untwist your testicles.

The NY Kid said...

testicular torsion is no laughing matter

phil said...

testicular torsion is no laughing matter

Just ask Felix Pie.

@TLL: I almost put Spurs on, out of sheer sentiment, but my head prevailed over my heart.

Nathaniel said...

Helo, I am Prince Ifiac Nbegway, and I am please to make your acquantinance. I have an urgent matter that requires your utmost viewing.

I am currently int he possesion of 20 tikets to the 2012 World Cup here in Nigeria, as reported by your wonderful countrys web page, Soccernet.

These tikets are quite valuable, and I would like to sell them to make many moneys. Alas, I cannot sell these tikets on my own...

Etc, etc, etc

The Likely Lad said...

i feel that, phil. wins in the next two matches and sentiment, with a pinch of reality, shall prevail!

verbal97 said...

for what it's worth, Liverpool are not in the FA Cup semifinals...

The Soccer Source said...

A valiant effort. I still like our Top 25 better. But I'm admittedly biased.