When a journalist ranks the top five anything in football, there's always debate. There's often name calling. The likelihood is that the guy doing the writing wasn't even sure if he agreed. But still, we carry on.
Trying to rate Serie A's top central midfielders so far in 2012/13 is an unenviable task. There's a case to be made for including three if not four players from Juventus alone based on form, even if only one of them would make this hack's "dream" midfield from the Italian topflight.
On its website, the league itself uses something called the "Indice di Valutazione Giocatore", or Player Rating Index, to rank players.
It's described as a mark out of 30 that indicates the "quantitative contribution that the player brings to his team"...their words, not mine.
And the winner is? Zdravko Kuzmanović, who's played once for Inter since coming to Italy in January. In second? The mighty Alejandro Faurlín, of course, followed closely by Marco Benassi, Wesley Sneijder and Daniele Conti, who is the only one of the IVG's top five to have played more than five games.
For Bleacher Report, the values are a little clearer. I've picked five central midfielders who I think have performed the most consistently well throughout the season. I've chosen players whose teams look worse without them and who have all put in game-winning performances.
For the exercise, we're taking central midfielders. Those who play high up the pitch or back deep were considered, but for the purposes of being able to compare the jobs done, out-and-out defensive and attacking midfielders have been excluded (apologies to Marek Hamsik).
The number of sub-category titles for midfielders these days confuses things. That's a natural consequence of having so many different tactical systems. Need proof? Just ask Luis Enrique, Zdenek Zeman and Cesare Prandelli to describe Daniele De Rossi. Then go see what Luciano Spalletti thinks.
This is taking "central" in the broad sense. It's not solely for the box-to-boy dynamo, or the deep-lying playmaker. It's for any player who isn't solely defensive and who isn't playing the No. 10 role, or whatever they're calling it these days.
This version of the IVG isn't going to please everyone. I'll probably disagree with it myself next week. But for now, here it is.