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The Mail Bag

Uefa Cup Qualification

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Coming home from the Chelsea game it was mentioned on Radio Merseyside that if Portsmouth finish 5th and win the FA Cup then Cardiff would enter the Uefa Cup!!! This left me outraged. Why should the FA be allowed to change their rules midway through a tournament just to suit one set of supporters? Never mind the Everton and Villa supporters who are going to lose out by this. All of a sudden Cardiff have gone from having no place in Europe to having a guaranteed wild card - and not the one offered by Platini either!

Yet according to the BBC sport website on their page of rules this would not be the case, if Pompey finish 5th and win the FA cup then the 6th place team would enter the Uefa Cup place. This is far more encouraging because IF (and its a big if at the moment) we somehow beat Villa then they cannot get more points than us before the end of the season. a further point from the next 2 games (and by that I mean vs Newcastle) would see us guaranteed 6th. And should Pompey finish 5th and win the FA Cup another European season to look forward to.

But forget about all of the confusion of what Cardiffs position on European qualification will do to us and do not blame all the referees who have not only cost us a CL qualification spot but possibly a Uefa Cup spot as well - WE HAVE A SAFETY NET! As it stands Everton are 4th in the EPL fair play league behind Spurs, Man U and the RS. England are also currently 2nd in the overall Uefa fair play standings where the top 2 nations as of 30/04/2008 will gain an extra Uefa Cup place to the team top of that country's individual fair play league.

So in other words if we were to lose against Villa, by the time we play Arsenal we would know if England did gain an extra Uefa Cup spot, then the mentality against Arsenal and Newcastle should be "Do not foul at any cost - confirm our position at the top of Englands fair play league and get into Europe!" Easy.

For once, let's make sure the FA and UEFA's stupid rules actually work for us once and not as it always seems against us.
Jack Calvert, Liverpool     Posted 20/04/2008 at 13:07:37

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Adam Doyle
1   Posted 20/04/2008 at 15:10:15

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I was curious by what the OS said about disciplinary standings, so I went on the Premier League website, and we are top of the league (i.e. the least amount of discipline points) which was a nice thing to see. I’d still prefer to get into Europe by our points for wins and draws rather than being the ’nicest team’ in England
Brian Waring
2   Posted 20/04/2008 at 15:38:30

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Tell you what we should actually do Jack. We should go out in the remaining games, and try and play some decent football, and win them. But, I can just see it against Villa, Moyes with a defensive line up, playing for a draw.
Peter Pickles
3   Posted 20/04/2008 at 15:51:39

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Never mind all that, here come Villa..!!

The rules are the same as they were at the start of the season - win as many games as you can by as many goals as you can, whoever does the most gets to be the winner.
Rich Hamster
4   Posted 20/04/2008 at 17:05:26

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Brian and Peter - it does actually say that if we do pick up points in the remaining games we?ll be ok any way. It just also mentions that if we were to lose next Sunday all is not lost as there may well be a different way in to what we first thought.
Just think though the shocking desicions (RS Blackburn and West Ham) won?t have just cost us a CL place but possibly a Uefa Cup place as well by the end of the season - maybe the ridiculous amount of injustice we have suffered has affected the players too...
Chris Briddon
5   Posted 20/04/2008 at 18:09:36

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Adam - The fair play league is not the same as the disciplinary table.

The fair play league takes into account other things such as respect to officials / opponents etc as well.

In that league we are 4th, but the 3 teams ahead of us are all qualified for europe already (Man Utd, Spurs and Liverpool). 5th are Arsenal and 6th are Man City.
Peter Pickles
6   Posted 20/04/2008 at 18:48:58

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Mr Hamster,

What about those games were Arteta took a dive on the edge of the area and converted a lovely freekick for a 1-0 win, were the opposing manager had every right to feel mugged. All this dodgy refereeing swings both ways. The refs are crap and everyone is getting ripped off. Its a level playing field. We have to take our chances when they’re offered, just like everyone else.


But Clattenburg IS a tosser though.
Eddie Grinley
7   Posted 20/04/2008 at 19:33:44

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Just remind me which games they were that "Arteta took a dive on the edge of the area and converted a lovely freekick for a 1-0 win". In fact if you could remind me of a game where he beat the first man with a corner I?d be grateful.
Eric Holland
8   Posted 20/04/2008 at 21:55:18

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Peter, not a level playing field there is always winners and losers in the Prem,
Have a look here www.rightresult.net.
Eddie how dare you say one of our players dives.
He just falls over a easily. you are right about his dead ball kicks this season though abysmal.
Mike Allison
9   Posted 20/04/2008 at 22:32:48

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Peter Pickles you are having a giraffe. We’ve been denied between five and ten points this season by referees and linesmen.

Also, the bad news is the European fair play table. Only the top country (Norway I think) gets a guaranteed place, then all the others with over 8 ’points’ in their system are put in a lucky dip. This currently gives us a one in seven chance. Not much a safety net. So when you watch Liverpool, Chelsea and Man United in the Champions League, just hope that a spirit of fair play rules and none their players gets booked!
Simon Dunne
10   Posted 21/04/2008 at 00:04:38

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Can't believe I'm now wondering this? But did we apply for the intertoto? And where do we have to come to get there? 7th will do will it??

Its usually a handy enough two-legged game these days isn't it?

Patty Beesley
11   Posted 21/04/2008 at 09:30:25

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The rules were changed for Liverpool to get into the Champions League when we finished 4th, why shouldn?t the FA therefore change them to accommodate Cardiff? They bend the rules to suit themselves!!! Anyway, its our own fault, by that I mean the players and the Club, that after a fantastic season we are now in this worrying position.
Chris Fisher
12   Posted 21/04/2008 at 09:42:06

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i dunno what your all worried about we will finish 5th simple as that. Villa (3points) Arsenal (1point) Newcastle (3points) and man shity did us a favour yesterday so no worries!
Harry Meek
13   Posted 21/04/2008 at 09:37:22

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Maybe it wouldn`t be a bad idea to put one Uefa Cup place up for competition for the clubs who just miss out. Most of my neighbours are Wolves fans and their only topic of conversation lately is about the likelihood of `making the play-off`. Were a similar scheme introduced for second-tier Premier League clubs, then a place in the top half of the table might, as Doddy used to say, be `good`. Wyness would love the extra lolly and we might get a big day at Wembley after all!

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