German soccer weekly Kicker has just put out its annual mid season list of "Tops and Flops" and Borussia Moenchengladbach's Michael Bradley made the list - the wrong one.
The annual list is complied based on interactive results from the magazine's fantasy soccer managerspiel but the results are usually pretty reliable. This week, Bayern Munich's French international Franck Ribery was named the best midfielder in the Bundesliga (the Tops) followed by Bayern Leverkusen's Renato Augusto and Hoffenheim's Sejad Salihovic.
The list of the three most disappointing midfielders (the Flops) was "led" by Hamburg's Jonathan Pitroipa, followed by Roda Antar of 1. FC Köln, and Gladbach's Bradley in third.
Bradley's ranking is largely due to his Kicker rating average of 4.75 (on a scale of 1-6) in 11 league appearances, including a match against Energie Cottbus in which he was given a seldom awarded 6 - the lowest score possible.
In the grand scheme of things, these ratings are basically meaningless since they are highly subjective and have no bearing on what a player is capable of doing in the next match. That said, consistent low ratings can help apply greater public pressure on a player to step up their game.
Over the years, less than half of the Americans playing in the Bundesliga told me they paid attention to the Kicker ratings while the rest said they ignore them altogether. Either way, let's hope Bradley can kick it up a notch this spring and re-capture the mojo he seems to have left in the Eredivisie.