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The Mail Bag

Assessing our chances of finishing 4th

Comments (17)

After my initial disappointment and frustration with the disallowed goal and final result on Saturday, I have come to the conclusion that we have a squad of players capable of finishing in 4th place and going on a long run in the Uefa Cup.

With 3 of our top players missing , because of the AFCoN, we dominated a good Blackburn side. Also, give Fernandes a couple more games to attain match fitness and he will be a force to be reckoned with, particularly on set pieces ( he hit the post on Saturday). I believe we have a better squad than Villa (whats the fuss over Carew ?- he turns about as fast as a double decker bus), Man City, Portsmouth, Blackburn and West Ham ( we beat them twice in one week recently on their ground).

The only potential stumbling block is the crowd across the park. However, they have a tougher schedule than us to cope with. They have still to go away to Chelsea, Man United and Arsenal and ? talking about tough games ? a trip to a revived Tottenham. By comparison, as regards the "Big 3", we have Chelsea at home and Arsenal away . The only other tough looking away games we face are at Man City, who look like they are fading, and , of course, the derby game at Anfield. IT COULD ALL COME DOWN TO THAT ENCOUNTER ON MARCH 30!

All in all, its shaping up to be one hell of an exciting finale to this season. COYB!
John Horan, Calgary, Canada     Posted 04/02/2008 at 21:10:11

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Martin Cutler
1   Posted 05/02/2008 at 03:38:58

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Despite a poor start to the season (not counting the first Spurs game), despite all the poor refereeing decisions that have definitely cost us points, despite the poorly-timed ANC tournament and in particular not having The Hungry Yak, despite the injuries (notably Vaughn, Cahill, & Baines)...........despite all of that....we are STILL fourth......the RS have a game in hand but when we beat them that will be canceled what’s the problem?
It IS basically in our hands.........we have to give up that 4th spot for somebody else to get’s nothing to do with games in hand or points (except the RS game)......if we can continue to do well for the remainder....we can do it!
Especially if we beat Man City away and Villa at home (Villa were awful yesterday).
Plus a UEFA Cup Final appearance!!

peter bourke
2   Posted 05/02/2008 at 04:25:36

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Yep Agreed.
I too took a look at the remaining games and i believe it is in our hands. We don’t have to rely on other results.
Brett Bradshaw
3   Posted 05/02/2008 at 12:07:33

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I think we will need to be in 4th position by a few points at least, come the last four games of the season!

We have Chelsea, Villa, Arsenal and Newcastle as the final four games with the possibility of 2 UEFA semi final ties in between!

I would take 6 points from those and hope for 7. Which would be dropping 5 or 6 points. I just hope the rest drop more!
Neil Humphrey
4   Posted 05/02/2008 at 12:08:17

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Dear John

You must be new to this site my friend. Such unrestrained positivity will only draw harsh reactions from the clinically depressed majority who all claim that the season is over every time we don’t win and that Moyes has taken us as far as he can.

In all seriousness, I couldnt have summed up my feelings baout our chances any better. We have an easier run-in than the RS, we are running into form again (unbeaten in the league this year, only 1 goal conceded) when others are starting to fall apart (the RS, Man City), and we are about to be boosted by the return of 3 of our best players. COYB!!!!
Dave Lynch
5   Posted 05/02/2008 at 12:31:14

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In all seriousness.
We need as many teams as possible to be contesting 4th place.
Reason ?
Liverpool HAVE to get that CL spot or they are in it DEEP.
They rely on the money it generates every year and the debt they are currently saddled with means they need it more than ever.
If we don’t make it it will be our own fault. It is there for the taking.
But if not. Pray Villa or someone get it. I have heard people state that LFC are in league with the Devil.
Well the Devil always collects.
Maybe ? Just Maybe ?
Chris James
6   Posted 05/02/2008 at 12:23:45

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Good post John, I certainly agree that we have a fair shout at 4th (along with 4 other teams).

Had hoped/expected for 4 points from the last 2 games and in truth we deserved that, but I think the real work has to be done in February/March.

Although we’re probably not going to get much joy out of Arsenal and Chelsea in April/May all the other games are eminently winnable and we’d have to expect at least 10 points from the last 6 (even allowing for a draw at home to Villa) putting us on 54.
In order to have a real chance at 4th though I think we’re going to need at least 68 points or 70 to make sure, so that means 14-16 points from the Feb/March games.
Now I’m confident we can win our home games against Reading, Pompey and West Ham and come away with 4 points from Sunderland and Fulham but then we’re still going to need something from either Citeh or Anfield.
If we could into March having beaten Reading and City then I’d be very confident although clearly the derby will still be a massive game.

As for the UEFA, well our absence from the FA Cup is certainly going to help there and February is almost perfectly set up for us to push on there without distracting from the league and I certainly fancy our chances of pushing onto the Quarter finals at least.

All in all then, even after being robbed of points (again), there’s plenty to be positive about...COYB!
Brian Harrison
7   Posted 05/02/2008 at 12:44:29

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With a fully fit squad I’d have us down to beat Chelsea at home!
Tom Rowe
8   Posted 05/02/2008 at 13:41:30

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We say the merseyside derby is a big game, but also, with a a full squad to pick from, I see it as a very winnable game.
I also see the next two rounds of the UEFA cup as must win games, as they are both very winnable. Fiorentina are not the team they were.
Realistically Id like to see us in a final and finish in fourth, but I would take either or. I think we have come a long way this season, and either of those would be great. Even better would be watching the snides over the park going under.
Simon Jones
9   Posted 05/02/2008 at 14:50:45

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I’d love it if we finish 4th, but I’m a little sad that this is the pinnacle of our achievement. Last time we finished 4th we had dropped from being as high as 2nd and I was dreaming of us being champions!! This time we have fought our way back from a mediocre start to the season to be in contention with at least 3 other teams. So while 4th is without doubt a massive achievement, don’t give up on the dream of winning the league one day.
John S
10   Posted 05/02/2008 at 17:06:58

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The good thing about striving for 4th is that if we really challenge but fail we will still probably qualify for the UEFA Cup again.
kieran fitzgerald
11   Posted 05/02/2008 at 18:01:10

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Definately agree that we need to take as many points as we can from Februay and March. However, if both Arsenal and Chelsea are still involved in the CL and/ or the F.A cup come April, it might put extra pressure on them.

kieran fitzgerald
12   Posted 05/02/2008 at 19:15:24

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John S: absolutely right. Our expectations have risen dramatically as the season has gone on. While it would be bitterly disappointing not to finish fourth, qualifying for the UEFA cup would be a very nice result. It would be a very nice feeling to know that that was the minimum achievement we were starting to produce at the end of each season.
Dave Wilson
13   Posted 05/02/2008 at 20:36:20

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I agree John, Spurs are having to come from a mile off the pace and wont do it, I dont think the others can sustain their bids, its down to us to do the Dark side out of the 4th CL spot and the financial rewards it can bring
david Moore
14   Posted 05/02/2008 at 21:03:26

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I think that the arse away is a pretty tough game don’t you or do you not
Colin OKeeffe
15   Posted 05/02/2008 at 22:23:51

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For what its worth i was sad enough to predict the results for the rest of the season on the BBC predictor software and we finish 4th on 73 points, 2 clear of Liverpool. This is despite losing the Anfield derby 1-0 in controversial circumstances (again). The fact is we are the form team of all those who are battling for Europe including the RS and we’ll continue to pick up the points consistently. As regards the Uefa Cup, we’ll proabably get to the final and lose to Bayen.
david pilling
16   Posted 05/02/2008 at 22:34:48

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apart from the RS, I think our main danger to 4th place is Portsmouth. Look at their fixtures, and with Jermaine Defoe, they may solve their home scoring form.
17   Posted 06/02/2008 at 16:00:00

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Well there’s one thing lads, if we do manage to finish 4th and Liverpool are 5th [by the grace of God!!], then there is no way this time that they will sneak into the Champions League from that spot as they did last time!! That will wipe their eye!!

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