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The NMA Premier League Power Poll

Here at SBNation, the soccer writers (or at least a subset of them) contribute to a weekly "Power Poll" where we rate the 20 teams in the Premier League based on our perception of where they REALLY stand in the overall scheme of things (as opposed to where they sit in the actual table). We are all free to apply whatever criteria we would like in casting our votes. The resulting article on is the aggregation of the opinion of a bunch of us. Since I'm doing the work on my own, I figured I'd do two things with that work:

1) I'd post the link to the overall Power Poll so you can see what the group of us thinks in total.

2) I'd post my submission that contains my opinion of where each team stands. I base the majority of my opinion on the "Mini-league" analysis that I continue to track sprinkled with a few subjective factors like momentum, injuries, etc.

You can see my rankings and explanations after the jump.


Manchester City

Falling off their early blistering pace but the Red Devils have been more than accommodating in falling off even further.



They may technically be 3rd in the real table but based on momentum, talent, and stability (and that match in hand vs. Everton at WHL) you have to pick Spurs over United at this point.


Manchester United

All you need to know is that a guy (Berbatov) who couldn't sniff the field for the first 4 months has now started 3 straight. This group is a bit of a mess. I guess you can't win two titles in a row with no central midfield.



There were surprises everywhere over the festive period so Arsenal's loss at Craven Cottage can be filed with those until we see additional evidence that it might be more than that.



Clinging on to their Champions League spot for now but they were extremely lucky at Wolves (Lampard should have been off long before he scored the winner) and they just don't give you any confidence.



They're just so infuriatingly inconsistent. There is still a lot of talent but they rarely pull it all together - 6th seems about right for them.



I'd have them above Liverpool based on their dominating win against Manchester United this week but between the loss to Liverpool and Ba and Tiote leaving for the African Cup of Nations and an incredibly thin bench, you have to wonder about this club for the rest of January.



Sitting alone in the "no man's land" between Newcastle (the worst of the best) and Norwich (the best of the rest). They seem like they want to rise to the level of NUFC but then they draw at home with Wigan.



Massive jump for a club that is leaving the Bruce-era doldrums behind them with a flourish. The momentum is strong since MON took over and the upcoming match with listless Chelsea will be very interesting for the Black Cats.



They just continue to churn out solid results with 4 points over the New Years matches. They don't do anything remarkably well but it seems to be working for them.



Hitting their stride and now looking very comfortable in their usual role as a solid mid-table team.


Aston Villa

How do you figure these guys? A huge win on the road against Chelsea followed up by an incredibly disappointing home loss to Swansea who have been terrible on the road.



Another conundrum with a very nice road win at the death against West Brom followed up by a terrible performance against Bolton at Goodison Park on a day when their only goal at home against a relegation struggler came on a fluke from their goalkeeper.



Slowly gliding down the standings. Like Blackpool last season, people will continue to overestimate them based on 1) a strong start; and 2) the presence of some breakout stars (Vorm and to a lesser extent Graham and Rangel).


West Brom

The loss to Spurs can be excused but the combined effect of that along with the home loss to Everton and the fact that they didn't score over the two matches has to mute any enthusiasm you had for the brief revival in December.



In six matches against other likely candidates for relegation they have a grand total of 2 points. They dropped 3 more vital points to Norwich at home in mid-week. Not a good sign.



Bolton replaces Wigan as the team in the bottom four with a little momentum on the heels of their win at Everton and draw with Wolves. The question is whether it will amount to anything or just fade as Wigan's momentum did.



Unlucky against Chelsea but that's the sort of luck a modestly talented team needs to find to avoid a relegation battle. The point on the road at Bolton can be described as "OK at best" but they needed three there to start feeling more comfortable.



So much for all of that momentum.



Well, at least they'll have famous wins against Arsenal and Manchester United fresh in their memories to hold them in the Championship next season.