It seems that trying (and failing) to prevent tabloids from reporting your affairs with topless models and your own sister-in-law has a more positive influence on shirt sales than forgetting how to score goals. As (indirect) evidence of this, the annual list of the top 10 Premier League replica shirt names has been released and Ryan Giggs is on it for the first time in the four seasons the list has been published, while Fernando Torres has dropped from the top spot for the first time since 2007/08.
Here's the full top 10 for 2010/11 (via Sporting Intelligence):
1. Wayne Rooney (up 2 spots from previous season)
2. Fernando Torres (-1)
3. Steven Gerard (-1)
4. Chicharito (new entry)
5. Robin van Persie (re-entry, No. 7 in 2007/08)
6. Frank Lampard (unchanged)
7. Didier Drogba (unchanged)
8. Luis Suarez (new entry)
9. Andrei Arshavin (-4)
10. Ryan Giggs (new entry)
Rooney actually gets a sales boost from inciting the wrath of Man United fans by demanding a transfer away from the club, then changing his mind. Chicharito makes a big impact in his fantastic first season and will probably challenge Rooney before long. Torres slips, but still proves capable of recouping that £50 million transfer fee (and then some) for Chelsea regardless of his goal total. Van Persie makes a comeback as Cesc Fabregas drops out of the top 10 for the first time, perhaps because Arsenal fans are anticipating his departure. Arshavins slides because not enough realize the brilliance of his Q&As and, at 37 years old, Ryan Giggs slips into the top 10 despite all his trouble off the pitch.
No publicity is bad publicity.