Friday, March 27, 2009


Get it? Ugh...

Welcome to List Day on UF! If you're looking for coherent thoughts strung together with transitional phrases-- all in support of some unifying thesis, well... you've come to the WRONG PLACE! Sumpin' may slip through the cracks here or there, but mostly we're just going to name a bunch of shit, in some particular order, by some chosen standard, then watch like mad scientists as you debate it-- or should I say, as we debate our own decisions, with your scathing commentary fueling this shared fire. So look out for the UF Best XIs-- we each picked one, and all by different measures-- and if I can plug myself here Ed: Go on, son, a Top Tenner of "Spurs' Worst Transfer Moves since the Dodgy Lasagne Incident of 2006." You'll see both later in the afternoon.
For now though, please enjoy our 18th power poll in the last 15 days. We've bumped this one up in accordance with international week. And because soooome of us just could not wait another minute to vote ManUre into the 3rd or 4th slot. As always, the Facebook vote has been factored in with all the UF "staffers."

1) Barcelona - 1.4 (1st, 1.2)

No shock here. The Catalans hold on to the top slot. In a week when United fail to bounce back from the Anfield Incident, Barca douse Malaga in their champagne best. Lingering has given me shit in the past for wearing a Barcelona shirt-- as I'm a known delinquent Spurs supporter-- and I try to explain that, ya know, "mes que un club," and stuff. When they are at their best, they are a credit to the game. They are what separates, in form and function, football from baseball and other more staid endeavours. (That said, if Spurs and Barca ever competed for something, I'd root for Messi's fat legs to snap like twigs during the morning trot...)

2) Liverpool - 1.6 (3, 3.4)

If Barca conjure up ideals of football Renaissance, angels' wings, and potpourri, then Liverpool-- Viva Los Rojos!!-- are Guernica. They are fucking assassins. Madrid, United, and now Villa. Three snuff films. Rafa and 'Nando flying bombers over Dresden. Paul Castellano had a better chance than Villa. Fergie looked like Moe Green during his [final] rubdown.
Of course, it's all prologue. All leading up to Game 38. At Anfield. The Return of Robbie Keane. Please, footy gods, please let that game be relevant to the title. One's testicles shrink in anticipation!

3) Manchester United - 3.6 (2nd, 1.9)

It truly does happen to EVERYBODY. Barca had their dry run. Liverpool edged toward it, then fell off the cliff at Middlesbrough-- after being nudged for months... and now it's United's turn. Have they hit a wall? They were winning, but never filling the net. The Inter encounter was probably a little too close for comfort. They are, at present, a team that can be held. I mean, Spurs did it for 120 minutes against their 3/4 strength Carling Cup squad. Ditto for Fulham at the weekend. Could Liverpool have set off The Crack-Up of '09. Cos that's what it'd be.

4) Inter Milan - 5.1 (5th, 5.5)

Followed their close-but-not-really-that-close swipe at United with consecutive clean sheets against Fiorentina and Reggina. They haven't conceded in three matches in Serie A play. So basically, for Inter in 2008-09, it's new manager, old results. Some clubs would be happy with their problem. Looking at you, Liverpool.

5) Hertha Berlin - 6.6 (6th, 7.0)

I recalculated this two times. But the figures are correct. Even with a loss, Hertha remain in the top half of our poll. They do lead the Bundesliga, and have for a bit now. So credit there. And I think we all like them a bit because they're not Bayern... and all that stuff about what they meant to the East Germans during the Berlin Wall years (see: Simon Kuper). Or maybe we're just idiots...

6) Chelsea - 7.2 (4th, 5.2)
There's nothing like being right. And I was right on this one.
Allow myself to quote... myself (from March 18):

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.

Hence, fourth to sixth place.

7) Real Madrid - (unranked)

Like Inter, except not winning their League. They recovered nicely from the Liverpool debacle to win two straight in La Liga and stay within a grito of Barca for the Spanish title.

8) Bayern Munich - 9.6 (T-7, 8.8)

Bayern like to bounce around this region of the poll... in and out and up and around. The questions remain. Can they do it against the big boys? Karlsruhe and Bolchum ain't the big boys. Thankfully, they'll be sorted out-- one way or another-- in the next round of the Champions League. Should be fun. Goals Goals Goals!

9) Arsenal - 12.7 (t-7, 8.8)

So they're here.

Question: I've become a bit obsessed of late with reading about and watching video of the Dutch WC team from 1974.. Cruyff and Michels' squad who lost to the Germans in the final, etc. I've even bought in, to a degree, to the idea that despite being outscored (details!) they are the great squad of the tournament. Actually, I think a lot of people would agree with that sentiment as it's just been articulated. So the question is-- does feeling this way mean I'm starting to think like a Gooner? Like, as long as ze football eez beautiful, ve can never loooze fair... Dey keeked us! Etc...? I don't think so, but I'll keep an eye out...

10) Porto - 14.3 (unranked)

Just edged Villareal on the "still in the Champs League so I guess I'll put them tenth vote." But let's leave it on one more question: If Spurs had a home-and-home with the Dragons, who would the bookies favor? i think it'd be Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. But that's just me :)

Dropped - AZ Aalkmar, AC Milan

In the mix - Juventus, Villareal, Spurs (two 10th place votes!), Wolfsburg,


The NY Kid said...

Confession time: I baked the lasagna.

And I'm not sorry!

The NY Kid said...


van Nistelrooy ( middle) doesn't play for 'Pool!

Andrew said...

Any Power Poll that includes references to Pauly Castellano, Guernica, Dresden, and 'Total Football' is a good Power Poll. Well done, LL.

What 'Pool has shown over the past few weeks is that they are capable of a treble this season.

Is the Kuper book good?

Magnakai Haaskivi said...

I don't know why, but for some reason Keane's return to Anfield being the last day of the season never occurred to me. Shit.

Goat said...

I was expecting a picture of Ivan Putski. By the way, Dodgy Lasagna Incident sounds like a good name for a jam band. Thus concludes my contribution to the UF Power Poll debate.

phil said...

As far as I know, because Keano is eligible for a winner's medal, if "Pool are still in contention, he cannot play in the match.

I await the Spurs transfer post with baited breath. Because I haven't had enough time to complaing since that damn lasagna (and Benayoun) felled our CL dreams.

The Likely Lad said...

pressure! i'll have it up by early tonight (lotsa competition!)

@Andrew.. thanks mate... the kuper book, "Football Against the Enemy" is required reading. His other-- "Ajax, the Dutch, the War" is also great if you're into... uh... football? Recommend both.

The Likely Lad said...

i should say, football and holland and europe after the war, and during the war, and the dutch Jewry... did i mention it's great?

Mike Georger said...

Would've been nice if you asked to post that picture of me, you know.

amy said...

!viva los asesinos rojos!

Andrew said...

@LL: Not that it relates to football entirely, but "Postwar" by Tony Judt has a great section on how footie explains the EU, etc.

/no Franklin Foer

Judt's critique on Dutch reconciliation for their war crimes against the Jews is very, very harsh, as well it should be.

The Likely Lad said...

i will 100 percent have a look (provided i can find the book)... but yea, both Kuper and David Winner (in Brilliant Orange) make a point of the Dutch and their overblown memory of resistance.. the inner workings of the Ajax board after the invasion seem, by my understanding of this stuff, to be a microcosm of the country's reponse to occupation-- that is, they weren't happy about, some (non-jews)stood up against it when it threatened their own interests, but all in all, people basically played along

The NY Kid said...

Georger, you're oilier than Ronaldo in that pic!

Andrew said...

@LL: I only recently - in the past year or so - began to read football literature. Not to dictate to the UF editorial board, but a post, or a series of posts if you are so inclined, on good footballing books would be much appreciated by me (and I suspect others in our commenting community). The first footballing book I've ever read is "22 Foreigners in Funny Shorts" by Peter Davies before the '94 WC. Still holds up.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Andrew: I will do that for you, next week!

30f said...

Wha?!? No Fulham?