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  1. #1781
    Big news, Man City have been banned from Europe for two seasons for breaking FFP rules. I wonder if this means (I assume it does, but you never know) that should Man City finish in the top four, the final CL spot will move down to the team who finish fifth. Hopefully we can get into the top four and make it a moot point, but it could give a big unexpected bonus to the team finishing 5th. My ideal world would see us finish 4th with Sheffield Utd 5th

  2. #1782
    There are elaborate rules in place for CL qualification and the Premiership apparently is only allowed a maximum of five teams in whatever circumstances. So if Premiership teams win both the CL and EFL, which automatically qualifies them for the CL group stages the next season, it could mean only the top three positions in the Premiership will be eligible.

    The rules state that if they both finish in the top six the next highest placed team will qualify. In the right circumstances that could mean fifth place qualifies too.

    How the thing works when a team, likely to finish in the top four, is banned who knows? We'll have to wait and see.

    The criteria for qualification page I found states this:-

    "Please note UEFA reserves the right to change the conditions of the access list so these criteria can be subject to change"
    Last edited by fallenangle; 16-02-2020 at 01:42 PM. Reason: spelling

  3. #1783
    Yeah, some possible but unlikely ways for the lowest qualifying spot in the league to miss out. Unlikely we'll ever see it happen, but if we do, I'd bet a lot of money on Spurs being the ones who missed out Stuff like that seems to have a habit of seeking us out.

    I have seen it confirmed now though that the UEFA rules say that if a team is banned from Europe, and finishes in a European qualifying position, their spot goes to the next highest placed team in the league. So in normal circumstances, assuming Man City finish in the top four and don't have the ban overturned, 5th place will get you into the CL this season.

    Regardless of all that, let's hope we can go on a good run and get as high up the league as possible. No jaw dropping performances, but we've won 4 and drawn 2 of our last 6 in all competitions, so we're starting to get results again, hopefully we can keep the momentum going with a win against Villa.

    Edit: Get in!!! Thought that was going to be a big two points dropped today with the sheer number of really good chances we passed up at 2-2, but thankfully we got a bit of luck right at the end and finally put the ball in the back of the net instead of straight at the keeper. Phew
    Last edited by EJG1980; 16-02-2020 at 03:03 PM.

  4. #1784
    Talk about doing it the hard way.

    Can't wait to see this on MotD: two goals for TA (a rare event getting even one) unfortunately the first an OG. Then it goes to the 90+4 mins before we get the winner from Son.

    Stats for the match suggest it was pretty well balanced but it's interesting we had significantly more shots on goal. That's good and bad but however profligate that suggests I'll take any win as it comes.

    One point behind Chelsea and they have MU to deal with then Spurs. I think two games from now we could be two points ahead in fourth place, which would be nice.
    Last edited by fallenangle; 18-02-2020 at 12:15 PM. Reason: correction

  5. #1785
    Toby's goal (the one at the right end!) was actually a really really good finish. A top striker would have been proud of it, let along a centre-back.

    It was a bit of a strange match, as we never looked properly secure at the back and Villa caused us some worry (especially from set pieces) but at the same time we created so many chances that if we'd had our shooting boots on we would have won by a decent margin.

    Even if we were having an off day with the finishing, it was a positive to see us create so many chances, and some of the attacking football we played was really lovely. Many times in the past year we've played against lesser teams and struggled to create decent chances, so it's a bit of movement in the right direction.

    What do we want in the Chelsea vs Man Utd match? A draw would probably be the best of both worlds; we could still overtake Chelsea by beating them and we keep a nice gap to Man Utd behind us. A Man Utd win would be alright too, so I'll take any result that isn't Chelsea winning!

  6. #1786
    Just watched MotD and Dele Ali had at least three good chances and should have put away at least one of them. But, yet again, he tried to be too clever with two of them hitting it with the outside of his right boot to try a curl it in for the first case and curl it over and away from the advancing keeper in the other. He seems to have aversion to simplicity and certainly in the second case just needed to leather it like that, indeed, very good TA goal or do what Son did for the winner, another excellent finish.

  7. #1787
    Playing Dele's advocate (sorry ) he wasn't the only one who was poor with his finishing yesterday. There were so many I doubt they showed them all on the highlights but Son missed at least three or four good chances, and there were a couple each for Lucas and Bergwijn too.

    I think you're right though that Dele is over-complicating things. The others were (generally) doing the right things with their shots but were just poor in execution, whereas Dele's misses came from choosing the wrong option. He does it with build-up play too, when he's not in the best of form, he'll try a blind back-heel when a simple pass that could keep the move going is a better option.

    I think it's because he's desperate to contribute and help the team that he might think he needs to do something special, but I think he'd be better served by sticking to the basics for a while to recapture his consistency. When he's in more consistent form his instinct of when to try the special flick or shot becomes much better.

    Edit: good result for us with the Man Utd win tonight, so once again weíre going into a match against Chelsea where a win will let us move ahead of them in the table. Letís hope itís a better result for us than last time! Small matter of the Champions League before that too.

    Edit edit: Son fractured his arm against Aston Villa, needs surgery, is expected to be out for several weeks.

    Ffffffffffff.....
    Last edited by EJG1980; 18-02-2020 at 10:34 AM.

  8. #1788
    So good and bad news then - the MU result gives us a real chance of getting ahead of Chelsea but we are now two primary strikers down.

    Ffffffffffff........... = understatement

    EDIT
    Could have been worse, much worse and luckily kept RBL down to one goal and could have scored at least one ourselves from the sound of it. Chances are we would have had to score in the away leg anyway and one goal still puts us right back on equal terms.

    But yet again Spurs start off lousily and it takes a spark from Lamela and Ndombele to get them going in the final 20 minutes. Certainly not CL winning form.
    Last edited by fallenangle; 20-02-2020 at 01:42 AM.

  9. #1789
    Quote Originally Posted by fallenangle View Post
    Could have been worse, much worse and luckily kept RBL down to one goal and could have scored at least one ourselves from the sound of it. Chances are we would have had to score in the away leg anyway and one goal still puts us right back on equal terms.

    But yet again Spurs start off lousily and it takes a spark from Lamela and Ndombele to get them going in the final 20 minutes. Certainly not CL winning form.
    It was a real shame we gave away the penalty. They were the better team and still on top at that point, but gradually we had been coping better with their attacks and reducing the frequency and quality of their chances, and then we basically gift them the goal.

    I have sympathy with the attackers struggling at the moment as the injuries and lack of rotation options means they're really being worked to the bone, so it must be tough to find your best form in those conditions, but we've got more options at the back so the defence have got less excuse.

    Lo Celso continues to shine, another superb display, he's far and away our best player at the moment. Having him in an injury free, fully fit, in form side is something I'm really looking forward to. Might have to wait a while for that!

    Third game in six days against Chelsea at the weekend (thanks TV schedulers for moving these matches to give us the least possible time off, way to help the English teams in Europe) so the players are going to have to really dig deep and somehow find a big performance. It'd be such a psychological boost if we could leapfrog them back into the top four.

    Saturday edit: Ah well, no boost. The late goal gave hope of a smash and grab point but we didn't really deserve anything from the game. We kept possession better for periods in the second half, but aside from one moment where Ndombele made a great run through and then took an extra touch when he should have shot, we didn't really create any clear cut openings during those periods.

    Some big matches coming up in March against teams around us in the league like Wolves and Man Utd. Gonna be tough to make top four but it's still doable.

    If you look at points gained since Mourhino became our manager, only Liverpool and Man City have picked up more points than Spurs, despite the fact that we've been well below our best for most of that time. So we're capable of putting together a run and grinding out the points, and all the teams around us are well capable of dropping points. The task is much harder now with no Kane AND no Son, but, you never know. Just gotta keep on going and hope for the best!
    Last edited by EJG1980; 22-02-2020 at 01:53 PM.

  10. #1790
    Damn!

    Didn't want to follow this whilst it was being played but curiosity got the better of me rather than waiting for MotD.

    Looking at the stats Spurs had more possession, better with their passing but the main thing was clearly we were lacking effectiveness up front. They had over twice as many shots on target. Sounds like a defensive set up which simply didn't work; let in two goals and the one we did get was an OG.

    Still not a disaster but I was hoping for at least a draw.

    EDIT
    Results today not good for us; MU winning 3-0 pushes Spurs down,1 point behind and from the look of it Wolves are going to do be doing the same.

    The Wolves match on 1/03 and MU on 15/03 could be critical now.

    EDIT 01.03.20

    Another very important game today against Wolves in regards to our final Premiership position. Then on the 15th we have MU, another biggie.

    Chelsea drawing yesterday was a useful result. A win against Wolves and we'll only be 2 points behind them and we could do with Everton spanking MU today as well.

    LATER EDIT

    Bugger.

    More shots, more possession, twice in the lead and twice the number of completed passes yet Spurs end up losing 2 -3.
    Last edited by fallenangle; 01-03-2020 at 02:58 PM.

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