Something Great

Arsene Wenger cobbled together starting lineups with spit and duct tape and Denilson and somehow the team dragged its ass over the finish line in third or fourth.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Europe's Power Dozen

Here at The Legend of Carl Awesome, we encourage discussion and debate. Therefore, both of us have created our own power rankings and explanations. This way you don't have one list to disagree with, but two. Enjoy.

The key - as apparently Firefox doesn't recognize arrows, is blue = on the upswing, orange = on the downswing, black = steady as expected

Jim's List

1) Internazionale. Everyone in Serie A is left chasing the dragon as Inter romp through the league. Of course, their annual Champions League choke is just around the corner.

Manchester United. Anyone (I'm looking at you, Arsenal) who saw their recent display against Newcastle should be very afraid. Very, very afraid.

Real Madrid. Two words: Iker Casillas. Apologies to Petr and Gigi, but on current form he's the best keeper in the world.

Arsenal. Wenger just took responsibility for the home draw against Birmingham. Without a convincing win on Saturday at Fulham, this team might start questioning itself.

Roma. They're keeping pace, Mancini is close to a new deal, and Totti is back from injury and scoring. Can't really ask for much more.

Chelsea. Avram Grant claims that his Chelsea are more entertaining than Mourinho's. Which is absurd. That being said, they're right in the mix and signing Anelka will be a huge boost for this team.

4Barcelona. Blinded by the lineup? So what if I am. They're within striking distance and just edged past Sevilla in the Copa del Rey. (Also, has anyone seen this? How would they ever select a team??)

Bayern Munich. Locked up with Werder Bremen in a fierce battle for the Bundesliga. No Champions League, though, so who have they played? Off the field, you've got the possibility of losing Podolski to Man City. Oh, and Liverpool might be trying to steal Klinsmann for '08. Yikes.

Porto. A convincing 4-0 victory over Braga widens their lead in the Portuguese League to 11 points over Benfica. The most important word in that sentence? Portuguese.

Lyon. Dominating a weak Ligue 1, even by recent standards. Juninho has been in fine form, and Benzema is an excellent young talent, but we'll really see what this team is made of when they face Man U in the Champions League.

Juventus. See Juan's most recent post for the details of their thrilling win over Empoli. Though it was the Italian Cup, it's sure to be a motivator. Also, David Trezeguet can't stop scoring.

4Rangers. Cruising the SPL. Smacked down rivals Celtic earlier in the season. The only knock on them at the moment is their failure to qualify for the CL knockouts.

Juan's list

1) Internazionale Roma and Juventus are currently playing this game.

2) Manchester United The addition of Tevez is like giving the Crips hollow points.

3) Real Madrid They seem quiet this year. Gut-check games upcoming against Atletico and Roma in the Champions League.

4) Arsenal It won't take much to convince me, but Jim's right, I do need convincing after a complacent draw to Birmingham. I'm most interested in the upcoming Newcastle, Man City, AC Milan games.

5) AS Roma Febuary will be murderer's row and reality check time for Roma who will face Juventus, Real Madrid, and Inter Milan.

6) Porto I ranked them so high because I respect Portuguese soccer and I think they have the best unknown player in the world in Quaresma. They're cleaning up in their league and need to show me something great against Shalke 04 in the Champions to keep them here.

7) Bayern Munich I also respect German soccer as well as Miroslave Klose.

8) Chelsea I read the story of Drogba asking to play next to Eto'o in sheer horror. To me that would be like taking a hit of cocaine while skydiving.

9) Barcelona Something is wrong with this team. I honestly don't know what it is yet but I'm on it.

10) Juventus They stole a point from Catania that they didn't deserve and thoroughly convinced me they can score if they really have to against Empoli. The defense looks really shaky and I'm worried. They can't really afford mistakes until Febuary 17th when they face Roma - the breaker.

11) Rangers This spot is certainly up for grabs. The Rangers have a perfectly manageable schedule to hold off the Celts. We'll all see if they can finish strong.

12) Lyon I'll go ahead and use this space to vent that I hate Domenech. That is all.


Ben said...

1) Man U
2) Arsenal
3) Inter
4) Real Madrid
5) Bayern
6) Chelsea
7) Porto
8) Barca
9) Lyon
10) Roma

Here's my brief explanation -

I'm blinded by Bayern, they're playing great, but I will admit, they don't have to worry about Champs league. I also don't give Porto and Lyon as much credit because besides Rafa's triumph, they usually don't fare exceptionally well against Europe. So they are slighted for the league's play. Roma is slighted because Juve will pass them. Speaking of Juve, they are slighted due to their year of relegation, thus denying them some prime talent in the transfer window. Finally, Man U and Arsenal have been playing exceptional football, so it'll take a bit to convince me that they shouldn't be 1-2. Chelsea is boring to watch, but good. Real beat Barca head to head and is tearing up the La Liga league.

Ben said...

On a related note - I must say, compiling a power ranking across Europe is quite a daunting task and should be only attempted by people with either a small readership or who are insane.

Clearly, it is one of the most difficult thing to do because it is nearly impossible to say that one team is better than another because of how they play in against the few common opponents.

However, since the top 3 or 4 are nearly always the same, it's worth the debate.


PS - What's the deal with the word verification.

Juan Fucile said...

I'm not sure the best EPL team will ever be considered better than the best SerieA team in my eyes for a few reasons:
italian soccer has to be considered better than english soccer. The world cup supports this, and the player of the year awards, along with the international attitude seems to support this as well

also, having known arsenal the best out of all those teams, i think that makes the decision easier to put teams performing similarly in other leagues ahead of them because of their star power. Comparing Fabregas, Rosicky and Van Persie to inter's Viera, Figo, Cambiasso, Crespo and Ibrahimovic doesnt seem like much of a comparison.

Ben said...

I think you are spot on with the assessment of English soccer versus italian soccer, and I do agree that people think way to highly of English soccer, but because of AC's struggles in Serie A and I see Juventes as a little weak, especially if you take in the fact that they, like Bayern, don't have Champs league, then they get slighted. Though, I do hate putting Man U number one - but I think a lot will truly unfold after February.

Jim da Silva said...

I'm not sure if I agree... the best Italian soccer is probably the best overall, but I think in terms of everyday competition, the EPL provides more depth and that league form reveals more than in other leagues. Also, who has the most teams in the knockout stage of the Champions League? And I'd take Everton, Man City, or Portsmouth on current form over the "next best" in other leagues. Even Spurs would be a hurdle if they had any semblance of a solid defense.

Trying to rank these teams is admittedly insane, but it's also pretty fun.