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Is Champions League still possible?

Comments (38)

Every team has one or two bad patches within a season, whether you're challenging for Europe or the title.

We are looking like we're on our way out of this slump: three clean sheets and 7 points out of the last three games is pretty good form, so 3 very possible points against Spurs, especially after last night, leaves us two points behind Spurs who are joint second!

I for one think it's possible if we are top 6 and within reach of fourth in January especially with our usual strong finish!

Chris  Hannon, Birkenhead     Posted 21/10/2010 at 14:54:22

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David Booth
1   Posted 21/10/2010 at 17:34:37

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Tough game this weekend, and I'd be delighted with a point.

But yes, of course it's possible.

We're only five points behind the ailing Mancs, with 30 games to go...

Made me laugh last week when I read in one of the allegedly more respectable Sunday papers that had they not beaten Birmingham, Arsenal's title challenge would have been over!

Plenty of time for us to make up for our poor start, but still going to be one or two setbacks along the way.

So just hope the 'doom & gloom/Moyes & Kenwright out' brigade don't start bellyaching again if we don't get anything on Saturday.

After the progress we have made in the last three games, it's time to take a longer-term view.

Paul Mackie
2   Posted 21/10/2010 at 18:34:31

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Ask me after the Spurs game and I'll give you a realistic answer.
Patrick Pulis
3   Posted 21/10/2010 at 18:48:01

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I think it's a little too early to start asking this question. Three weeks ago I was starting to think we didn't have a chance at a Europa League spot and I was questioning the players on the team. Now we win two games (one against a very poor Liverpool side) and I have the same concerns I did before: Where are we going to get the goals?

The Yak is looking better, but the goals still haven't came for him yet. And I still haven't heard anything about the injuries to Arteta, Heitinga, Osman, or Pienaar. I think after another couple of months we'll be able to answer this question better, especially with Rodwell and Fellaini returning.

Pat Finegan
4   Posted 21/10/2010 at 18:58:16

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I would not have said yes to this question 2 years ago. Liverpool is no longer a big 4 club. Manchester United without Rooney is nowhere near as good, not to mention that they have some serious financial problems. Arsenal aren't exactly tearing it up. The only club I would say has a guaranteed spot in the top 4 is Chelsea.

I would say it is realistically possible for us to finish anywhere from 15th to 2nd. I think we'll be somewhere between 7th and 3rd.
Jimmy Hacking
5   Posted 21/10/2010 at 19:22:44

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Yes. most definitely.

I can see the 4th place team this season only attaining about 60 points.
Jeremy Benson
6   Posted 21/10/2010 at 19:22:16

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Amazing what one week/win can do for the over-optimism!

There are more than 4 clubs better than us in the Premier League at the moment ? therefore I'm going to say No.

A single swallow does not a summer make.
Jon Cox
7   Posted 21/10/2010 at 19:17:16

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Keep our back line tight and keep the clean sheets and even 1-0 wins until January.

In fact just keep us ticking over nicely till then.

At this point DM must hassle BK for some decent money to buy a high quality stricker. Also sort out (if no money left after buying said striker) a loan deal for Landon. If pos. get the two.

If we can do that and we can get lucky with our injuries then I would say i'd go with my pre season euphoric thoughts of finishing third.

One can dream.

David Hallwood
8   Posted 21/10/2010 at 19:38:39

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Mathematically everything possible, as Bill Shankley used to say, it's a marathon.
Roberto Birquet
9   Posted 21/10/2010 at 20:08:06

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Utterly bizarre how people turn around; first four games and it's Moyes out, two wins and it's Champions League.

No Fellaini or Rodwell means Heitinga needs to improve. Otherwise, we won't dominate midfield as much.

We can only hope that the Yak is back. Had we had a strong stiker, we'd have beaten Villa by a mile. That and the daft goal conceded at Blackburn made us look a lot worse than we are. We should have 13 points.

But without a striker, there is no chance. Man City have so much, and Spurs have three or four strikers. We cannot live with that. Under Moyes we punch above our weight ? cliché, but true. Get 6th and we should be happy until we get strength in each and every position.

The emergence of Yak and Coleman in the past few games gives some hope; but for 5th or 6th, no more.
Tony I'Anson
10   Posted 21/10/2010 at 20:19:12

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Yes I think it is.
Gaute Lie
11   Posted 21/10/2010 at 20:21:14

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It is a possibility. I have to agree we still have a chanche to reach fourth. We also have a chance to win the Premier League.

All of this is theory, and we can think our way into heaven, if we want to. But to do so in real life is something else.
One can wish, fantasize and dream all day.

However, the hard facts speak of something else than Champions League. Come on. Face reality. We don't produce enough goals to compete in the top flight this year. Our squad is as almost every season hit by injuries. Top players want to leave. And there's no money man waiting with generous handouts.

I don't want to criticize Moyesy, Kenwright or the players. It's just how things are for us just now. Too many lacks generally in the club. Too many lacks when it come to reach into the top four.

And personally, I'll be hapy if we finish top 8 this year. I'll even see a top ten as a win. This is all because of the disastrous start to the season.

And I don't think our team is going to win like a juggernaut, like a team that never stops. We are just not there. Not now.

John Crook
12   Posted 21/10/2010 at 20:32:57

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I think we can do them on Saturday especially after their midweek mauling. Fair enough, Bale gave them some renewed confidence and he is a danger, as is Van der Vaart but I think we will have them.

I'm guessing the team will be the same as last weekend. Heitinga will be marking his fellow countryman and I'm sure Jagielka and Distin are capable of keeping Crouch quiet and I'm confident a right side of Neville and Coleman will limit Bale's chances. I go one-nil with the Yak to score ? and in line with the original article, yes we can make the CL.

3 points on Saturday ? then it's Stoke (home), Blackpool (away) and Bolton (home). Those 3 games are obviously winnable ? so that makes this Saturday's game as massive as last week's in terms of challenging for Europe.

Eugene Ruane
13   Posted 21/10/2010 at 20:45:13

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David Booth, you say..

"So just hope the 'doom & gloom/Moyes & Kenwright out' brigade don't start bellyaching again if we don't get anything on Saturday"

Quite right too, nothing more annoying than people being wise after the event.

So I'll try and be wise before it.

It was great to beat them (always is!) and great to get a result against Birmingham.

It would also be great to tonk Spurs (and a draw wouldn't be bad) but if we do, let's hope the 'We're going to win the League 'BRIGADE' don't go OTT like they did before the season.

You say...

"After the progress we have made in the last three games, it's time to take a longer-term view".

Agreed; here's mine:

We will have injuries, we will no doubt have the Pienaar thing again in Jan, we will have bad luck, bad refs, we'll win a few, lose a few and draw a few.

We won't go down and we won't finish in a CL place or win the League.

I hope you're right and I'm wrong but it is not being a doom and gloom merchant to look at the present situation (manager, chairman, squad, money, PL, Sky, City, etc) and come to any other realistic conclusion.

In fact, anything else (ie: every "I really think we could win the title, I've just got a feeling") is just wishful thinking.
Marc Williams
14   Posted 21/10/2010 at 21:13:55

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In a word NO ! We're too sloppy at the back & won't score enough goals.
Pienaar has his mysterious injury & will probably be gone in January anyway.
Yes, we may get Donovan then but it's too little, too late.

Could we have done it this year? Yes; but we didn't invest (as usual) and ? whilst it is a strange league at the moment ? Chelski, Man Shitty, The Arse & Spurs look too strong.
Dennis Stevens
15   Posted 21/10/2010 at 21:44:50

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If we can carry on keeping clean sheets & winning every match we could not only win the Title but the Cup as well & clinch our first Double - it's possible ......
Steve Pugh
16   Posted 21/10/2010 at 22:22:27

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If we can keep a clean sheet and nick a goal or two every game we play between now and the end of the season I guarantee at least one trophy and a top 4 finish.
Andy Crooks
17   Posted 21/10/2010 at 23:10:20

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After two wins this is starting to sound like the mind numbing pre season shite on this site. After watching Spurs is it not clear that our squad and coach are a billion miles short of champions league standard. David Moyes will do what his chairman requires,i.e keep them both in the comfortable middle ground.Can no one see that it doesn't have to be like this.
Robert Moore
18   Posted 21/10/2010 at 23:26:38

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This is how the table will finish:

1/ Chelsea
2/ City
3/ Arsenal
4/ Utd
5/ Spurs
6/ Everton

The Big Six!!!

Jay Harris
19   Posted 21/10/2010 at 23:52:44

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Chris "our strong finish" only happened last season.

Every other season we have been running on empty for the run in.

In fact the only year we got 4th we were lucky that the RS had even worse form than us on the run in.

Assessing the teams by squad strength I would have to say:

1. Chelsea
2. City
3. Spurs
4. Arsenal
5. Man U.
6. 7. and 8. a close run thing between Us, the RS, Villa and Sunderland.

We have won 2 games and kept 3 clean sheets but with the sparse squad and injuries mounting I believe our weaknesses in defence and attack may be exposed more then we would like over the next few months.

Thomas Williams
20   Posted 22/10/2010 at 01:35:10

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Weaknesses in defence? we have the 3rd best defensive record this season, an odd goal here and there and we would be in CL position now, if we start scoring more freely and there are signs in last 2 games, then we will be rather closer to top 4, and I am optimistic we can push on.
James Stewart
21   Posted 22/10/2010 at 01:43:23

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2.Man Utd

The rest is up for grabs and anybody's guess. People suggesting City will finish in the top 2 have had a rush of blood to the head!
Paul Olsen
22   Posted 22/10/2010 at 02:34:18

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Our usual strong finish? ehehe, i seem to remember us finishing almost every season on a whimper except last year.
Afzan Yusuf
23   Posted 22/10/2010 at 02:43:40

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It's good to hear talks about Europe again. But for me, it's pretty draining... we've talk about it all summer and for now... I just want to ride the season one game at the time and see where we are coming March 2011... then we talk about CL or EL or the 'R' word... COYB!!! Beat 'em Spurs!!!
Jamie Crowley
24   Posted 22/10/2010 at 02:47:55

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We're simply not consistent enough.

Top 8.

I really, really hope I'm wrong.

Here's to Hope!
John Andrews
25   Posted 22/10/2010 at 07:15:57

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If the manager can be given some money,
we can give it a go.
Lee Kidd
26   Posted 22/10/2010 at 07:45:58

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In my opinion it isn't possible. Despite the elation of the derby, the fact is we lack firepower up front and too many of our players go missing week to week.

Top 8 (as I've said repeatedly) would be a great finish for us given our team and resources.
Anthony Hughes
27   Posted 22/10/2010 at 08:06:51

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No, i don't think so, top 8 yes. As fantastic as last weekend was we just aren't consistent enough and as a few posters of said if we are hit by injuries our squad is quite thin.
Jason Heng
28   Posted 22/10/2010 at 09:00:46

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Don't we always do better with a sparse squad? Now we have that till Jan....
Oliver Molloy
29   Posted 22/10/2010 at 09:17:25

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If we beat Spurs then yes,it will really fire up the confidence in the squad,if we don't no..
Mark Murphy
30   Posted 22/10/2010 at 09:19:51

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"then it's Stoke (home), Blackpool (away) and Bolton (home). Those 3 games are obviously winnable"

Except Blackburn, Wolves and Newcastle were "obviously winnable" as well - and we had a fitter squad for those games!
We are too lightweight up front and too timid to go at the lesser teams. I'd say 6th is about right for us.

I doubt we will beat Spurs - they will have learned from past mistakes and Van Der Vart is capable of running a game like Fellaini should.

But hey, we beat the shite!
Matthew Mackey
31   Posted 22/10/2010 at 09:26:16

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Obviously i'd love to get 3 pts this weekend against Spurs, but i'd be happy with a draw and keep the unbeaten run going. They are a good team but they do have one or two defensive problems at the moment so maybe a good opportunity for the yak to play at bulldozers again!

Also, if he plays (and i suspect he will) how will Heitinga our (alleged) Dutch maestro compare to their Dutch maestro. Could be interesting.

And finally...........whatever did happen to Kyle Naughton....................such a watse.
Tom Winek
32   Posted 22/10/2010 at 09:50:43

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2 wins and everyone is optimistic! I've always said top 8, most probably 8th.

I'm bracing myself for the optimism to disappaear tomorrow afternoon with predictions of relegation again the hot topic.
Mike Allison
33   Posted 22/10/2010 at 10:26:45

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Anything is possible at the stage of the season. The depressing reality is we're likely to be the same as any other season, a good Premier League side, capable of expecting to beat most sides and maybe give the best a run for their money. I'd say we're overwhelmingly likely to finish 6th-8th, with slightly lower than that more realistic than slightly higher. It all depends on other team of course, so another comparison would be the simple number of points we earn.
Kevin Gillen
34   Posted 22/10/2010 at 12:18:18

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With a bit of luck a definite yes. We need one of the strikers to start firing though and we need to keep people fit. If we are in the hunt at Xmas I expect to see Donovan back in. I really feel the Champions League / EUFA cup demands will have a definite impact on our rivals. Not good news on Ossie though, he has been one of our best players these past few weeks. What is up with Pienaar? Gardening leave? I thought he might want to parade his wares in front of Happy Harry!
Tony J Williams
35   Posted 22/10/2010 at 14:34:31

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Short answer - No, we are not good enough.
Ernie McAllister
36   Posted 22/10/2010 at 20:23:40

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Yes lets get into a competition where we'll get twated from pillar to post week in and out. Sorry while id absolutely love us to go there, our team is far from good enough to play in it, and we have a manager who shits bricks against crap like brentford week and out too.

Best we could hope for is the Europa league, but I suggest its a rather mute point..."and how do we get there with no strikers?" rings a bell to me.

Unless we get a miracle signing come January, I think perhaps a top 10 finish is about the best we can do considering the shit we are in with the squad..seriously no strikers (yak pleeeeze that clod couldnt hit a barn door 1 yard away, Saha not interested...yes its been a very long time since sick note scored, and then we have beckford..lets beat no bushes, id struggle to put him into our reserve team).

Vaughn back in January? I dunno but we need someone back urgently. Our problem is we are relying on a non striker, to get the goals who does get injured a fair bit..when he goes who then steps upto the plate? no one until he returns or arteta shows an appearance..for me top 10 is the most realistic right now
Ernie McAllister
37   Posted 22/10/2010 at 20:31:37

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John Andrews - if he can be given some money? He was given £11m for Bily, he was given over a period of time £15m and add-ons for Fellaini... that's £26m over 2 players... wasted it on both completely.

Fella was an impulse buy to keep us quiet; he plays him out of position then out of sheer fucking luck he finds him the right position and he has a half decent season... what does Moyes do this year? Back to square one and plays him in the exact position he can't play in.

Bily, the sooner that useless muppet goes back to Russia the better... nowhere near Premier League quality.

So, yeah, let's give him another £26 million to blast on useless crap lol
Chris Hannon
38   Posted 22/10/2010 at 20:47:04

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Fellaini a waste of money? What a gobshite! He will make a profit off him guarenteed! He's a brilliant prospect! And Moyes watched him for months like he does with every player he signs! Obviously noticing he was playing defensive midfield for Liege!! He only plays behind a striker when injuries strike! Suppose Cahill, Pienaar, Arteta, Jagielka, Baines and Howard were all just lucky signings, ay!

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