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The Hazardous game

By James Boden :  18/03/2009 :  Comments (0) :
The reason for that title is because that’s what the Champions League is. It’s such a phoney competition it’s untrue. Ok, I wouldn’t be complaining if we finished 4th and won it next year but it would hardly be deserving now would it?

The trouble is that now the top 4 places are apparently reserved for only 4 teams — others are lagging behind due to financial strains. Someone needs to break into the top 4 this season I feel or that may be it. We will be playing catch up forever after that.

So, with 9 games to go, we find ourselves in 6th place on 48 points, just 4 behind 4th place Arsenal. After a terrible start, to find ourselves in this position going into the final few months is quite an achievement. Even a few weeks ago, it looked to have been way out of our reach but, due to Villa having a bad spell and us getting a few points in, it now looks a possibility. The thing is, can we really push these 2 all the way?

I would love to think we can but I have my doubts. Sure, we appear to have an easier run-in than them two but when have Everton ever made things easy? And given Moyes's record of falling apart at the end of the season, I don’t see a big deal to be optimistic about. If you look at our run-in, aside from Villa and Chelsea, all are winnable. And if we are serious about getting to that 4th spot then we may need to possibly win one of them two games.

Portsmouth on Saturday is a massive game for us; fail to win and we can forget about any Champions League push. I don’t want to hear us this “well, they are fighting relegation” bullshit. They are fighting relegation because they are shit. A lot has changed since they humiliated us at Goodison in August. Almost at the same time as it fell apart for them when Redknapp left, we started to pick up. Saturday is a must win — anything other than 3 points isn’t good enough — simple as that. Arsenal have the Barcodes so expect them to win there. Ok the Geordie Boys may be owed a win but then aren’t Pompey?

Say we and the Gooners both win... then that really puts the pressure on Villa as they are now 3 points behind Arsenal and just 1 clear of us. Although Liverpool beating them Sunday would benefit us, I will never cheer those Gobshites unless we can win the league from it, so a draw will suit me fine.

If we are still in the race by the time we play United in the Cup then you never know... it might give us massive confidence. If we can somehow win that then I could really see us pushing on from there. But if I had to choose between finishing 4th or winning the FA Cup, well I’m sorry it has to be the cup.

It’s been far too long since we won something and I think that would be a greater achievement. But that’s just me and if we could somehow muster both then we will be onto something.


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