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Thursday, 15 March 2007

4278: Squarefootball Zeitgeist: Top

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by : Antony Melvin

Again we look at the people that our visitors spent the most time hitting this month - although with Duncan Ferguson at number eleven, we have to be careful to confirm that the hits weren't literal. The top ten is littered with the usual suspects with only two of last months top ten - Wayne Rooney and Darren Bent - dropping off the radar. New faces at the top table to replace Rooney and Bent are Anthony Stokes - Irish and at Sunderland, go figure - and the injured Joe Cole. The continuing presence of Harry Kewell is a mystery as are some of the names bubbling under the top ten - Duncan Ferguson, Mateja Kezman and Gianluca Festa have all had significant hits.

1. (1) Rafael Benitez (Liverpool)

In a flat sprint to the finish Rafa Benitez outpaced Cristiano Ronaldo - which is an unlikely mental image. Liverpool were involved in a series of high profile matches in February boosting the architect of the Rafalution. Benitez was also number one in January - but was pipped by Ronaldo in December.

Rafa Benitez

2. (5) Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

Edged out of top spot by a short head by the ever popular Benitez; Ronaldo must be looking at top spot in March. The revelation that Ronaldo is the only player at Old Trafford with his own changing room mirror probably had no bearing on his placing.

Cristiano Ronaldo

3. (10) Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)

After nearly slipping out of the top ten last month, Gerrard has reacted strongly in moving back onto the podium. Again Liverpool were the top club in February - helping to boost the ratings of Liverpool's talismanic skipper.

Steven Gerrard

4. (2) Thierry Henry (Arsenal)

With Arsenal making strides towards four trophies the Gunners captain's page was a heavily visited one. Towards the end of the month the wheels started to come off Arsenal's charge - but the injury-recovery-injury-etc status of their skipper was excercising minds.

Thierry Henry

5. (-) Anthony Stokes (Sunderland)

Didn't get the chance to make it at Arsenal because during a loan spell at Falkirk he proved such a success that Arsenal didn't think twice once the bidding got over £2m. Joined Sunderland in January 2007. Sunderland's charge to promotion has helped the rating of the Irish forward - but he did fade in the second half of the month.

Anthony Stokes

6. (-) Joe Cole (Chelsea)

Joe Cole is often pushed forward as part of a relatively short list of Chelsea absentees that have threatened their title bid - but as his injury problems mounted so has interest in the player.

Joe Cole

7. (4) Harry Kewell (Liverpool)

The arthritic Australian is down a little on last month but still riding high in the charts. In March he is currently off the radar.

Harry Kewell

8. (3) Andriy Shevchenko (Chelsea)

The lack of further spats with Jose Mourinho has pushed Shevchenko down the chart - Shevchenko has fallen off the chart so far in March.

Andriy Shevchenko

9. (7) Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur)

Three consecutive months in the top 10 for the Spurs flyer and with Spurs involved in a number high profile cup games the injury status of Lennon was of grave concern.

Aaron Lennon

10. (8) Morten Gamst Pedersen (Blackburn Rovers)

The return of the Blackburn winger was keenly anticipated as Blackburn had interest in the FA and UEFA Cups - plus an improving league record to consider. Top 10 regular on the zeitgeist.

Morten Gamst Pedersen

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