Top of the Morning

Welcome to Top of the Morning, The Other 87’s very own series of personnel Power Rankings. We take a look at all the action of the last month, and attempt to pick the players who made the best of it.

These are not the five best players in the world, or even the players who performed the best in the last 28 to 31 days. These are the players who improved themselves in terms of perception in the public eye, who made their managers smile, or whose legacy got a nice polish, on the field or off the field,  spiritually, ecumenically, grammatically, whatever.


1. Lionel Messi + Fabregas = Mebregassi, Barcelona
The little Argentine and the slightly larger Catalonian have, to put it simply, done work this season in La Liga. Messi has five goals, five assists. Fabregas has four goals, four assists. Barcelona has only scored 17 goals so far. Sheesh.

2. Wayne Rooney, Manchester United
Rooney had a goal in the butt-whooping of Chelsea at the weekend to continue his strong season-starting surge (nine goals in five games). His renaissance just goes to further prove that the best players can decide to be good or poor whenever they decide. If only they functioned like the automatrons that have won me 10 straight league titles in FM 2010.

3. Edison Cavani, Napoli
At this moment in time, he’s as lethal around the net as Bruce Lee’s fists or the G0lden Gun. Megged Joe Hart for Napoli’s one goal in a thrilling draw with Man City, and lit up (no, that’s not a Thomas Edison joke…yes it is) AC Milan earlier in the week with a hattrick. In other words, its been a good fortnight for the Chilean.

4. Mario Gomez
Nine goals in five games isn’t bad, and neither is eight goals in six games, and that’s what Mario Gomez has. Bayern are currently top in the Bundesliga with a goal difference of 17. 18 scored, one allowed. Sheesh. Is Gomez also playing defense?

5. Roberto Soldado, Valencia
Well how ’bout that Soldado kid. Where’d he come from? Kidding… He’s single-handedly put Los Che on his back (joint leader for most goals in La Liga) and carried them to second place after four games played. Who’s in first, you might ask? None other than erstwhile candidates for the worst name in La Liga award, Real Betis (man, we’re gonna get so much hate mail…).

Bonus Ranking: Current TV Shows
(note: In keeping with our TV Week theme, we’re ranking American TV shows as to how they are performing at this moment. Sorry, Brits: we don’t watch enough British TV to make that work. So, if you don’t see 30 Rock, it’s not because we don’t like it, but because it’s not coming on for another month. Also, we don’t claim to be TV experts. If you think other shows than these should be in the top five, comment here or on Twitter).

1. Modern Family
Hard to argue with an Emmy sweep…I hadn’t watched much of the show before this week’s season premier, but I must say, I really enjoyed it. About as funny as a family comedy that’s not called Arrested Development will get.

2. Breaking Bad
There has been some debate among my friends and some blogs this season as to whether or not the show is starting to fall off. Personally, I don’t see it. The last episode I saw (“Salud”) is about as emotionally raw as you can get. Gripping.

3. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Big Mac and the gang are back for round seven and they’ve brought all the yucks are we’re used to. Although there’s been an increased amount of blood spilled in the first two episodes, the fat Mac jokes more than make up for it.

4. Curb Your Enthusiasm
Like a fine wine, Larry David only seems to get better with age.  The awkwardness-cum-assholeness is as hilarious as ever. If you aren’t watching, shame on you.

5. The Office
A controversial pick here, considering it’s the first Office since the Michael Scott era ended. So, they chose Andy. You know what? Ed Helms didn’t do so badly in his first crack at Regional Manager. The writing seemed inspired compared to anything out of the last season, and Pam particularly shone.

Honorable Mention: Two Broke Girls
Watched the pilot. Funny. I won’t weigh in other than to say I’ll definitely be watching in the future.

The Friday Predictions

Eric: Lyon 1-1 Bordeaux.  A tepid match, with the deadlock only briefly broken by Bordeaux before Lyon responds.

Adams: Lyon 2-1 Bordeaux. Gomis bags a late winner.

Wes: Although they still trail the Mighty Montpellier, Lyon have accumulated 14 points this season to Bordeaux’s 7. They have all the momentum, so we’ll go Lyon 2-0 Bordeaux.

The Friday Recommendations

Eric: New York-Portland 7:30 ET Saturday. Portland may have drawn San Jose 1-1 midweek, but last Friday night they blew the hell out of New England, putting on one of the most impressive displays I’ve seen all year in MLS. In a game full of chances, my favorite wasn’t one of the goals, but instead this one: I can’t for the life of me figure out how he took that ball straight down while running at full speed. I literally leaped off the couch. Philly-KC tonight should also be a solid game.

Now they face a New York that’s been reeling for longer than Don Flamenco  Portland’s one point ahead of the Red Bulls in the slow and steady race for the last wild card spot, so this game between two mid-table teams should be hard fought.

Adams: Sevilla-Valencia. Two of Spain’s most exciting teams will continue to push the two-horse envelope in a fixture that features Spanish international strikers Alvaro Negredo and Roberto Soldado. Who will wear the crown as the national side’s most underrated forward? Saturday, 12p est.

Wes: It’s Emory University Homecoming this weekend, so what better way to celebrate (around the world) than by watching a webcast of delightful D-III soccer. Emory hosts Barry College at 1:30p. You know you’ll watch it.

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