28 December 2009

Team of the Decade - Final

Reina (96.2%)
Finnan (62.8%) Carragher (84.1%) Hyypia (87.1%) Riise (88.1%)
Alonso (90.6%) Hamann (35.9%)
Kuyt (46.7%) Gerrard (96.6%) Benayoun (55.6%)
Torres (86.6%)

Bench: Dudek (3.8%), Johnson (15%), Agger (9.8%) Mascherano (31.6%), Murphy (20.5%), Garcia (RM: 15.9%, LM: 30%, SS: 2.3%), Owen (6.7%)

I sort of played the bench by ear. For the most part, it's the top-vote getters that didn't make the first team. However, I had to make sure a second goalkeeper and a second center forward were involved; Reina and Torres monopolized those votes. Technically, the top-seven that didn't make the first XI were Masch, Garcia, Murphy, Johnson, Babbel, Agger, and Aurelio (in that order) – which reflected how close those votes were compared to CF, GK, or Second Striker. But we can't have four defenders and three midfielders as subs.

Surprises (not many):
• Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Ask again in three years, and I guarantee Alonso doesn't get over 90% (the highest total outside of Gerrard and Reina). Nor does he reach that mark if Liverpool isn't in the shit they're in this season. Oh well.

• I'm also a bit surprised the LB vote wasn't closer. I figured Aurelio, who's far more naturally talented and well-rounded than Riise, would put up more of a fight. Just as a solitary example, Riise could never provide the build-up and assist that Aurelio did for Torres' goal against Inter. But I reckon that adequately sums up Aurelio's susceptibility to injury. If Fabio could stay fit, he'd definitely challenge JAR. But he can't. And that's why Insua's been ever-present this season.

• Masch is super – he's Masch – but Hamann should have "won" by more.

• Finally, it's not a surprise, but I'd like to again register my disappointment that more didn't vote for Markus Babbel. If you never saw him play, Google or look up YouTube videos. You won't regret it.

My votes:
Carragher & Hyypia
Alonso & Hamann

Thanks to all who participated in the votes, and especially those like Liverpool Offside and Starting Eleven, who linked the polls.

Back with a preview of the Villa match in a few hours.

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