Monday, January 9, 2012

So... who wants to argue?


Doesn't that sound fun?!?!? Apparently, an esteemed panel of world soccer scribes (including a couple of NSC pals from England) thought so. They have combined to issue a ranking of the 100 best players on the rock.

Before you go nose-dive into the link to check if some American or another made the list: nope, they didn't, zero. I just happen to have a couple of very specific issues with this stat, and it may not be the ones you might intially think.

Ladies and gentleman... start your beef.





- Greg Seltzer

19 comments:

Jacob Klinger said...

I thought it was pretty much accepted that Howard is world class. That should at least put him in the Top 100. Donovan really hasn't had the best year, but neither have some of those "names." Dempsey IS Fulham and he should feel disrespected. No American journos on the panel though, what's up with that?

I'd be very curious to see an "Also Receiving Votes" section to see just how hard the US is getting dissed. Damn.

Greg Seltzer said...

Re Howard: Yeah, and what about Friedel, for crying out loud? I can see arguments both ways for Deuce and Donovan's cases. They each surely received votes.

Unknown said...

I think I counted 3 keepers on the list. All are on par or better than Howard. Our very best players are solid players for mid-tier teams. It's hard to make an argument that any of them were "snubbed". I looked myself and was disappointed at the lack of Americans but I think that's more telling of the state of our team than the quality of the list itself.

Greg Seltzer said...

Yeah, and given one game, would you go with Hart or Friedel? And for how long would have you have made this choice?

What about Howard or Reina? I do not see how Pepe is any better than Timmy. He just generally plays on a better team.

I don't think the bias is against Americans. To my mind, the bias is against players that aren't on a glamour side.

tspl said...

no way any Americans got votes. Each panelist voted for 35 players, would seriously doubt anyone considered Dempsey, let alone Howard or LD, one of the 35 best players in the world!

(fwiw, it also says Grant Wahl was invited to vote)

Greg Seltzer said...

Oh, right... only 35 votes... never mind on that. I was thinking of ballots with 100.

Brooks Staley said...

Is there even any order to this list? E.G. I would take a huge amount of players ahead of Hulk who's at 51. I mean, Kaka, van der Vaart and Benzema are really 40-odd places WORSE than him? How does that compute?

L.Aguirre said...

Subotic is on the list tho...

L.Aguirre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg Seltzer said...

Yeah, I laugh at Van der Vaart being so low. I'm just glad Huntelaar is finally getting some respect.

dikranovich said...

it looks like spain has the most players on the list, followed by brasil and argentina. makes sense, doesnt it? dempsey could make the list next time. whats with the picture of van persie.

Monarchos159 said...

Tim Howard > Handanovic

Greg Seltzer said...

Took the words right out of my mouth, Monarchos159.

Unknown said...

So yes, I would take Friedel over Hart, I would take Timmy over Reina but my EPL fantasy is still stocked with any American I can get, national teamer or just born here (Hangeland, Myhill). My lens is too biased I suppose

Desert Rat said...

I think you hit the nail on the head re. the glamour sides, Greg.

Howard is an obvious omission, in my book. There aren't three in the world that I think are better right now. He's been rock solid for Everton, giving them the chance to win games they wouldn't otherwise, and goalkeeping has been the one bedrock strength of the National Team for a couple of decades at this point, and Timmy is the latest personification of that.

The only American outfield player I could even see an argument about would be Dempsey. I'm actually fine with his omission...but he has been tearing it up at Fulham, particularly over the last couple of years.

Re. Friedel vs. Hart, Howard vs. Reina, I'm not even sure Hart would make the USMNT as a backup. And Howard is better than Reina. Put him in Reina's place, and the results would be as good or better.

Willem Krumich said...

Tim Howard at least should be on there, for sure, and toward the end of that list, Dempsey eats some of those players for breakfast.

These men bust their humps and pull off miracles on teams that have 1) no money and 2) have to truly compete every year for survival.

Beauty pageant.

jaredlaunius said...

Most egregious, I think, is Nigel De Jong being on this list at all, let alone at 71. 71! He's the only player on this list I would definitely argue is a lesser player than Dempsey. 71!

Juan from Tacoma, WA said...

I agree with the list, the US didn't do crap as a NT in 2011 and the few successes have come from mid-tier teams....what's the deal?

Jacob Klinger said...

Just by looking at the rankings you can kinda see where certain guys sort of voted along the lines of playing style fetishes. Same thing happens with some of the Balloon d'Or votes, thankfully Messi won that too.