Thailand's Supreme Court issued arrest warrants Monday for deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife after they skipped a court appearance and fled to the United Kingdom, court officials said.
A year ago in this space, we dropped the hammer on Liverpool, which had inexplicably defied the odds and advanced to its second Champions League final in three years. But seeing as the Reds lost out to AC Milan, managed only another fourth-place finish in the English Premier League and finished the season without a single trophy, it was a tough call to leave them on the Rankings. Not even another Rafa Benítez miracle could save them.
Until recently, David Dein was one of the most powerful men in soccer. The former vice chairman of Arsenal was behind building one of the strongest brands in the game, ran the G-14 coalition of Europe's biggest clubs and, in 1996, hired a little-known Frenchman by the name of Arsène Wenger.
And we're back. We take breaks from this space once in awhile to accommodate the odd MLS or international piece, but sometimes it's amazing how much changes when you don't touch the Rankings for four weeks. Specifically, we're talking about Arsenal.
It's been a wild year. But as we close it out in Rankingsville, two things remain the same: The No. 1 team is the one that ruled the roost last December, and Manchester United is at the summit of the English Premier League.
Four months into the season, Arsenal is the story of the English Premier League. The Gunners were written off in August mostly due to their youth and the departure of ex-captain and scoring machine Thierry Henry. But Arsenal has shocked everyone and is now in first place with just one loss through 17 matches and playing some of the most attractive soccer in the world.
A big thanks to Cobi Jones for pitching in with the last Rankings, but as U2 once said, we're stealing them back. Somewhere through our post-Halloween haze, we've got our eye on this weekend's calendar for some mega-showdowns around the world.
OK, no more messing around. With this weekend's Spanish and Italian kickoffs, all the big boys will be in action. So this is the final Power Rankings in which we're allowed to have some early-season fun.
How do you explain Villarreal's inconsistency? Less than 12 months ago, the modest Spanish club tore up Europe, advancing all the way to the UEFA Champions League semifinals before a last-minute loss to Arsenal.
We're back, footie fans. It's been nearly a month since our last World Rankings (we took a break for an all-South American edition last time around), and we've just about got all the world's power leagues back on the pitch.