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4th place may not be enough for the Champions League

Posted on April 25th, 2012 | 115 Comments |

Newcastle may not qualify for the Champions League even if they finish 4th.
4th place may not be enough
Newcastle United could suffer if Chelsea prevail with their European ventures this season. It might mean that only the top 3 positions in the Premier League qualify for the Champions League.

There are those who would tell you that there’s no such thing as luck and that its all down to averages and subjective determination. I can however reveal exclusively to readers that this is not the case.

With the aid of a particle accelerator in my kitchen – some would call it a blender – I have discovered a couple of subatomic particles. One is called the ‘chancion’ and, as every particle has its antiparticle, the other is called the ‘antichancion’. These particles stream towards Earth from the centre of black holes – and indeed vast astro-blenders – and it’s the antichancions at work when you stub your toe, when the day your car breaks down is the only day in the last year you forgot your mobile phone, and when the clear sky that was there when you started your walk turns apocalyptic at exactly the furthest point from home and you have to hitch a ride back on Noah’s Ark. And so on and so forth.

Thus I fear that St James’ Park is under siege from antichancions at the moment, possibly because Stamford Bridge has all the chancions. I am of course talking about Chelsea’s progress in this season’s Champions League.

Despite some astonishing statistics in Barcelona’s favour and despite going down to 10 men, Chelsea have prevailed over the Spaniards and made it to the Champions League final. They will now go on to play either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich in the final, depending upon the outcome of tonight’s game. If Chelsea should win that final it will have knock-on effect for us.

The Champions League winners are automatically qualified for next season’s Champions League and, if they haven’t otherwise qualified for the Champions League by virtue of their Premier League finishing position, it’s at the expense of the 4th place slot. So if we did finish well and managed 4th place, which would normally qualify us for the Champions League for the first time since 2003-2004, we’ll find ourselves dumped out of it and into the Europa League anyway.

In such circumstances England do get an additional Europa League spot – meaning 4 teams instead of 3 will qualify for it – but even if we didn’t finish 4th it could have an effect on which round we qualify for in the Europa League. The team that did finish 4th would take the best qualifying spot from the team finishing 5th and everyone else would drop down a slot. Or at least I think that’s the way it works.

Of course the simplest way to be certain of qualification for the Champions League is to brush Arsenal aside and take 3rd place. They’re currently just 3 points ahead and we have a match in hand over them so they’re certainly not out of reach.

If truth be told I’m just pleased that we are where we are but if we did manage to finish 4th we’d have to don our Spanish or German hats and hope that Real Madrid or Bayern Munich prevail over Chelsea in the Champions League final. Otherwise we could find ourselves rather cruelly deprived of a Champions League place, which in my opinion would be nothing to do with Chelsea’s tactics or quality of play – it’s all to do with subatomic particles!

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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115 Responses

  1. Correct me if i’m wrong but,
    didn’t this all come about when liverpool complained royally about winning the CL then finishing 5th behind local rivals everton in the league, then using their not inconsiderable weight on fifa/uefa to get a ‘backdoor’ entry the following year?
    Surely, the precedent was set & now they’ve changed it again, so therefore the precedent has been set that precedents can be set whenever/whomever/why ever?


    Oh! Thought not.

    surely there’s still a way that liverpool can get a CL slot, not least, for just being liverpool.

  2. There are so many co-incidences here that suggest your theory is spot on, Hugh….

    I mean “Chancion” isn’t really all that different to “Champion”, “chancions” and “Champions” as in “Champions League”

    And Chancions, Champions and Chelsea all begin with a “C” and Munich also has a “C” in it…..

    And Jose Mourinho used to Manage Chelsea and erm Real Madrid hasn’t got a “C” in it…

    oh wait….

  3. The antichancion hurtling its way towards NUFC right now is the Mother of all Antichancions, in the sense that should we exceed everyone’s expecatations and brilliantly secure fourth spot in the league, Chelsea go and completely bugger us up by winning the Champions League. I would like to see a British club win, but not at our expense.

  4. I don’t think chelsea will be able to beat bayern or Real ….. But then again I didnt think chelsea would get pass barcelona,,,,,, all this stress is killing me !!!

  5. Well, there’s a wee bit of telly money involved. What’s the diff between 4th and 5th in that respect?

  6. Chelsea have consumed a lot of karma to get to the final. Barca should have slaughtered them. And a team probably needs a lot of luck against Barca… fair play to Chelski there. But it would be astonishing if they continued in that vein, though I guess there’s only one match to decide it now… pity it’s not another tie so wear them down further.

  7. sounds more like the Champignons league to me (something to do with being kept in the dark then covered in merde – ask one of our french players)

  8. The difference will be that Real or Bayern won’t spend 80% of the game short-passing the ball without shooting, and only playing one way with no Plan B.

    I couldn’t believe how ineffective Barca were in that second leg – they looked like a poor version of Swansea

  9. UTD,

    the pundits only ever remember & recount, ad infinitum, ‘so called’ great teams good points.
    barca always looked poor at the back, despite puyol, & terrible if a team ‘turns’ ’em.
    ramirez’s goal was sublime yesterday & shocked the heart out of barca.
    But to go to Camp Nou & play with 10 men for almost an hour is an achievement in it’s self.
    This season has wiped a few smug grins off of a few smug pundits clocks & no mistake.
    Loving it, just for that!


  10. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    April 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    “didn’t this all come about when liverpool complained royally about winning the CL then finishing 5th behind local rivals everton in the league, then using their not inconsiderable weight on fifa/uefa to get a ‘backdoor’ entry the following year?”

    Scousers have always been good at slipping in through the back door though, Clint.

  11. Superman @ 8 – Hilarious!!

    UTD111 @ 9 – I’m sure Barca have been called many things in their time but never a poor man’s Swansea!

    My other concern, if Chelski go on to win this pesky thing, is that besides Mike missing out on his pot of gold, it will likely be a big blow to our star players who, having come so close to Champions League football and seen Chelski go loo-loo, they may have their heads turned in favour of joining them or some other money-rich club in the post-season.

  12. Yeah was definately a surprise, especially after they went ahead (Barca)
    The Ramirez goal was a thing of beauty, a perfectly weighted lob, that just destroyed poor old Barca, up untill then they could almost taste victory.
    These things happen in games, i mean when was the last time you saw Messi miss a penalty ?

    As for UTD111’s remark Barca. spent 80% of the game short passing the ball without shooting and only playing with no plan B.
    Errrmm !
    Barca. Possession- passes – completed – shots on goal
    72% 782 87% 24
    Chelsea 28% 194 62% 5

    I think this disproves the above statement and brings a little reality to the subject.
    Lets face it, luck played the major role in this game.
    But then again Chelsea were robbed a couple of years back, by a referee’s decission, so what goes around, comes around.
    Have to say i’m surprised by the number of posters on here who criticise the passing/possession game, played by Barca and our very own Swansea.
    These were two games that were abberations, (NUFC vs. Swansea, Barca vs Chelsea) simply due to bad shooting, nothing else.
    But are used by some to disparage that particular style of football, by a luddite like group, who in fact may prefer hoofball.

  13. What is all this football talk? I thought this was a Building Society rate comparison website.

  14. Chelsea getting through could work to our advantage… It’s an extra high pressure game on their timetable. It could affect their league games / form and perhaps they will rest some players in league games which would help rule them out of the top 4 league places….

    As long as they don’t go onto win the champs league. I really can’t see them beating Bayern or Real in the final especially no with Terry, Ramires, Ivanovic and Mereles suspended.

    Anyway if we win our 4 remaining games (a tough ask with the games we have left) then we have a good chance at 3rd since Arsenal seem a little bit inconsistent lately.

  15. Chuck:

    There is a big difference in quality of finishing between Barcelona and Swansea. Messi, Alexis, Villa, Pedro would score goals in any system.

    I am still hugely impressed by how Swansea with a lot of ex lower league and journeymen players can make so called elite players chase them around the pitch.

    I don’t know exactly what I am saying, maybe that until Swansea get a Papiss Cisse their pretty patterns will often come to nowt?

  16. chuck says:
    April 25, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    “i mean when was the last time you saw Messi miss a penalty ?”

    I’ve seen him miss more than one, Chuck. Actually, he isn’t a great penalty taker at all. Run up isn’t great, tends to look at the ball as he’s kicking it and give the game away direction wise. Of course, he couldn’t even hit the goal yesterday but Cech guessed it anyway. Matt le Tissier could teach him a few lessons.

  17. Terry acting like the cnut (anagram)he is – then trying to lie about it when he didn’t realise millions of people saw it on the telly and in slo mo……

    Yep – that’s going to help his “I’m not a racist” stuff….

    He’s an utter waste of space

  18. The bad thing for us about last night is:
    When we roll up to stamford bridge the players that won’t be playing in the CL final through bans will play against us, so their team will almost pick it’s self!


  19. UTD,
    terry is an ‘A’ Class git, not to put too fine a point on it!

    With his glassy puppy dog eyes!


  20. Let’s face it, Chelsea will not win the Champions League. They must be drained mentally and physically now, which will perhaps help us next wednesday.

    There is also more controversy over the weekend for Brave John Terry when they play QPR.

    I am not sure if he should have been sent off, but it was monumentally stupid of him to give the officials the chance. Maybe, some in the dressing room will start to doubt his “leadership”? Anything that gives us an edge in the run in will help.

  21. I bet alex ferguson will ‘just love it’ if we get something from manc.


  22. I reckon Chelski took a leaf out of our book after watching us against Swansea. Same scenario but bigger budget is all. However I do agree that Chelski have now used all the luck beans and their jar is upside down and empty now. A few key players missing the final, (at least one had his buzz killed in a cruelly funny way by Mr. Shreeves oh my word…awkwaaard!) and their opponents will not fart around like Barca after watching that sad display. The Catalans couldn’t get past their FB’s, couldn’t get a cross into the box, and couldn’t shoot at any distance. What’s that all about?

    We will probably finish 4th, Chelsea will lose the CL final, Updated European Sat Nav maps may be ordered now. Keep on the lookout on Milan, you never know, one day there may be one there, although probably lost after trying to get to Mansfield.

  23. Hey we still might be in luck because with the amount of games they have (one more now) chelsea could be drained further. Don’t care if they win the fa cup or not but I’m fully certain that real madrid will tear them apart and if not real madrid then bayern will be dying to prove a point and win the cl on their home soil. I’m just taking it as it comes but we’ve already far exceeded anyones and our own expectations. I’m more than happy to cheer my side on in the europa league next season but don’t get me wrong, I’d love it for us to get into champions league. And if the final goes our way then great but if not then so be it. Were still on the european stage and its still a great step from where we were 3 years ago.

  24. So……

    who’s watching the game tonight?

    Who d’you think is gona win?

    Got to be Real and The Special One – yes??

  25. I’m going to try weakly NOT to watch it. Can’t promise anything though. Real to win, especially if Captain Picard and Quasimodo have to play with their eyes half closed through slapping each other.

  26. Tsunki – why do you not want to watch? Looks like it might be a better game that Chelsea v Swansea last night LOL!

  27. UTD111 – because truth be told, although I am a man and not scared of many things, the sight of Captain Picard’s stork neck and the horror that is the hunchback Ribery really do make me want to hide behind the sofa like I did when the daleks were on TV …..a few months ago. :) Although Ronaldo is quite pretty……

  28. Soh ! guess i learned summat to-day ?
    1,Terry’s a git n’ a waste of space!
    2,Messi aint worth a shit when it comes to penalties!
    3,Until Swansea get a “Cisse”, they’l never score!
    4,That perhaps Shola should give Messi penalty lessons!
    5,There’s a difference between Barca n’Swansea,(no shit!)
    6,It’s allways open season on scousers.
    7,Barca are a poor version of Swansea, whaaaat ?
    8,Even Matt LeTissier,could give Messi penalty lessons.
    9, Barca apart from Puyol are poor at the back!
    10,Chelsea has consumed a lot of karma.
    11,Perhaps they have also consumed a lotta champignons.
    Hey its all there, check it out.

  29. Adrian Chiles must be drinking in the Last Chance Saloon jobwise the way he’s shouting and waving his arms about….

    Got chucked off breakfast TV for being boring – he seems to reckon shouting and waving his arms about will make him look like he’s got a personality??

    I’d rather look at Christine Bleakley meself LOL!

  30. Chuck – I believe you are finally ready for the exam. No, not that kind.

    You could add that the Ugly Stick is worn out and splintered from over use on the squads of Bayern and Liverpool.

  31. Most of it tongue in cheek, Chuck. And you forgot that hunchbacks and starship captains will be playing in a few minutes and are scary.

  32. Must argue with your mis-quote at No7 though Chuck….

    The quote was that Barca looked like a poor Swansea LAST NIGHT


  33. Don’t know how many people remember Clement Freud but I believe Adrian Chiles should check with this mam and dad as to whether they are his real parents or he was found in a lay-by.

  34. UTD111 @29:

    I hope I don’t jinx it but I would prefer Real to win so I can watch the Mourinho show. I have watched Bayern a few times this year and they blow hot and cold. I think Chelsea would have a better chance against Bayern even though they would be at home.

  35. chuck i disagree with the No. 5 you have there

    Barca no different to Swansea. if you dont let them run at you they cant score.

    chelsea obviously watched us play against Swansea and played the same way we did. they werent ashamed to sit back and get 11 players behind the ball to defend.

    they werent ashamed becasue we werent either. it shows that there is more to achieve than playing football, 3 points or a win are often more important than an entertaining game.

    we would be in the same position as chelsea if we had not played the way we did against Swansea, (out of touch with the rest)
    now thanks to 3 points we are two point from Arsenal in 4th spot. that Swansea game, was one of the most tedious ive ever watched. watching it was like watching kids pass a ball around during play time.
    but it achieved something great, if there is any a time in the league when we have missed out on points and we think “we should have won and we would be A or B” then this was a game we could say gave us 3 points we didnt deserve. we stole them.
    we should have beat Norwich but the done us 4-2 away. a game we should have and did expect to win. a kick in the teeth kind of game.

    but chelsea and ourselves gave a performance to be proud of to gain 3 points or a win. and it was a perfomance that has secured out future for the better. just like Chelsea did last night.

    so Chuck to answer your number 5, if you dont let them run they cant score. they played the same way as Swansea did against us, down the wing and across, and very rarely got anything to penetrate and very little crosses.

    Barcelona the new Swansea, Cracked open for everyone to see.

  36. GS says:
    April 25, 2012 at 7:51 pm
    How was that a penalty?

    It wasn’t – ball to hand at 70mph!!

    As a commentator would say “but I’ve seen them given….”

  37. don’t say that clint if bayern pull off a chelsea they will get done in the final. I want real to win dont jinx it!

  38. A Muslim was sitting next to Paddy on a plane.

    Paddy ordered a whisky.

    The stewardess asked the Muslim if he’d like a drink.

    He replied in disgust “I’d rather be raped by a dozen whores than let liquor touch my lips!”

    Paddy handed his drink back and said

    “Me too, I didn’t know we had a choice!”


  39. Paulosio says:

    “Chelsea getting through could work to our advantage… It’s an extra high pressure game on their timetable. It could affect their league games / form and perhaps they will rest some players in league games which would help rule them out of the top 4 league places”

    I agree. Either they run themselves ragged prior to the FA Cup and CL or play their second string in the last few league games. Abramvoich will probably gamble that with a one off game against Real they could do what they did last night and come home with the CL but we’re talking Jose and Real Madrid here :)

  40. Stephen C
    Thats just a lotta wishfull thinking!
    If in fact you watched both games, it was never a case of we let em keep possession, for either NUFC or Chelsea.
    We were, as was Chelsea, badly outplayed, unable to string more than three passes to-gether, and gave up running after Swansea in the second half,and parked the bus.
    Then defended desperately.
    If you check the stats, you will see both sides (us and Chelsea) were out shot by seventy five percent and with those numbers, one would expect to win, just a case of poor shooting and bad luck.
    I think you are indulging in a bit of self delusion here
    Sorry dont get what you mean by if you dont let them run,
    they cant score ?

  41. The ‘Special One’ will make it his business to drop one on his former employer. Although I have a sneaking admiration for DiMatteo atm. Makes me laugh at how much Roman has spent on big time managers,

  42. Bayern have probably had the better of it but Real more clinical. A bit like Swansea vs Newcastle!!!!!!!!!!

  43. We let Swansea tippy-tappy in non-danger areas – why chase after them when they weren’t harming us?

    Pretty but ineffective.

    Pardew got it spot on.

  44. UTD111
    Thanks for the info, never heard of the guy!

    Anyone watch El Clasico on the w/end, looks like Barca are in deep shit and Guardiola’s stock is falling.
    Not much homage given to Catalonia, in the last few days.
    Perhaps time for a revamp both on and off the field.
    Whereas, the great ones stock is soaring, a La Liga title combined with a Champions league win and the world’s his oyster.
    See what he can do with a moribund Citeh next season, though perhaps i’m jumping the gun and things could in fact turn brown ?
    Who knows ?

  45. Unt111

    i agree pards got everything right.

    they couldnt get through the middle, the couldnt build up enough momentum to take a powerful shot.

    and what i mean by “if they cant run at you they cant score”

    taking a shot on goal is a physicaly ability that takes a little momentum, if that momentum is reduced then the power of the shot is effected.
    so if they cant run they cant score.

    secondly a player like messi scores his goals by running through the defenders and/or dribbling, if you cant run you cant dribble what you going to do? walk through defenders twice your size? no chuck no wont be abel to do anything, like was proven at Swansea and Bathalona last night.

    so im sure everyone will agree(except you my psychiatric degree holder) if you cant run you cant score.

  46. chuck says:
    April 25, 2012 at 8:23 pm
    Thanks for the info, never heard of the guy!


    As you probably gathered from glancing at the link – you hadn’t been missing much not knowing the fella! LOL!

  47. UTD111
    Given a choice between what you refer to as tippy tappy football and the hoofball style, we played for the most part.
    I’le take tippy tappy !

  48. But Chuck…..

    Everybody likes to see a team pass the ball – but it has to be effective and actually get them somewhere??

    Any team can pass it around at the back or in the middle – with a view to keeping the ball. But the less they attack and threaten the opponents goal, the less chance they will score goals and/or win the game.

    Look where Swansea are in the legaue with all their possession play??

    I rest my case.

  49. UTD111
    Nah ! we get McManaman as a color commentator for ESPN, here, who’s fairly intresting and of course Warren Barton for the Fox network between halfs commentary.
    Apart from that the usual Sky bunch of both play by play and color commentators that vary in quality.
    Have to say some are excellent in their analysis of whats happening and make for a better show, while others you can just turn the volume control to off.
    Is what it is.

  50. UTD111 @70:

    M’Lud, the table never lies! Worky will have something to say about that.

    As I said earlier, I think Swansea need a better striker.

    It is funny how this became the ISA and Swansea forum.

  51. Chuck @71:

    You don’t get Gol TV with Ray Hudson? I never used to like him because he sounds like an old woman but have completely changed my mind. He is funny as f@ck.

  52. chuck – what’s a ‘road goal’ what does it mean when a game is tied at zero apiece and when is the second period going to start?

  53. And Chuck: nobody could be worse than Tommy Smyth, remember he did the world cup games, he was painful to listen to and always wrong.

  54. Chuch – if “Guardiola’s stock is falling. Not much homage given to Catalonia” – then next season should he should take the road to Wigan ? or become a down and out with PSG?

  55. I was confident Real would win, I was also confident Barca would beat Chelsea… If we finish 4th and the unthinkable happens…

    Please win Bayern.

    On a more positive note, cheers for that Graham Taylor doc link Worky, watched it the other night, proper funny.

  56. UTD111 says:
    April 25, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    “Look where Swansea are in the legaue with all their possession play??

    I rest my case.”

    UTD111 says:
    April 25, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    “Don’t know which way this game is going, but one thing is certain – they would both beat Swansea LOL!”

    UTD111, what’s with all the bile about Swansea all of a sudden?

    Along with Norwich, they have the two cheapest squads in the Premiership by some distance, their whole squad is worth about the same as Wayne Rooney, and yet they are a mid table side. You don’t have a case to rest.

  57. Does anyone know where i can get a decent seating plan for Chelseas stamford bridge?

    im trying to find out where im sat

  58. Aye will,
    that probably means chelsea will win then, hey?

    Whomever the pundits big up, bet against!


    Nice site, keep it going mate.

  59. to be honest i think Chelsea being where they are at this point in the season and know we play them in a few days.

    the last game they will be worried about is ours.

    once they have this weekends game out of the way our trip down there will surely interrupt their preparations for the FA cup final.

    so is it me or do you think the league will be the least of their worries.

    im expecting to play a second or third string side on wednesday which, if we do the job against wigan will lift us right in to the boiling pot.

    so the more games chelsea have to play the better.

    great time to play them me thinks.

  60. Maybe Stephen,

    although they’ve had some big decisions go there way in the league too. Just look at the wigan game.

  61. yeah.

    but look at the Wigan game.

    the words on everyone lips were “how many bad decisions are given to teams in the top 4?”

    they have had to up their game now and i think the referees have to start showing a little bit Equality to everyone except us.
    all the controv could go our way. simply because they wont give anything. and to prove they arent giving preference to chelsea we might get rub of the green.

    i tell you ive got a good feeling in my bones.

    might be cos ive just drank a pint of milk like.

  62. clint any idea where i can find a decent seating plan for Stamford bridge.

    most of them seem pretty vague.

  63. Stephen C says:
    April 25, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    “Does anyone know where i can get a decent seating plan for Chelseas stamford bridge?

    im trying to find out where im sat”

    There’s one on the Chelsea site, Stephen. Click on “view gate numbers” link on the bottom if you want to find where your seat is.

  64. i did worky it was still vague.

    although i did manage to work our roughly where i was im still not sure if im right.

    on the website the rows go from 1 to 16 if you look on the website you will see.

    im guessing that there are 4 rows in each block
    but for some reason there is a row 16 infront. i wasnt sure what that was all about

    im gate 1 shed lower row 6

  65. Guess it all turned brown for the Spanish giants .
    We were supposed to have an all Spanish final in Munich.
    Not only that, but a bit of fear and loathing, creeping in.
    Here we were riding a six game streak, until the upsets accured, now having almost tasted european football there’s a possibility of not actually making it.
    What would be the result of our losing all four games, which by the way is a distinct possibility, a reality check so to speak.

    History repeats itself !
    See where AP is now taking credit for everything Sansom does (A HBA repeat)having sat the guy for most of the season, for god knows what reason, he has now given him a start.
    The same old nonsense, he was’nt ready.
    He was ready enough to play for Milan in seria a and for the Italian U21 side ?
    Thank goodness for AP, he knows exactly when to inject players into the side to get the best results, what a guy!

  66. chuck says:
    April 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    “See where AP is now taking credit for everything Sansom does”

    He’s taking credit for everything Kenny Sansom does? Why on earth would he be doing that, Chuck? :-)

    Isn’t he some kind of pot bellied pundit on Yank telly now?

  67. I didn’t think kenng samson played for Milan either.

    This chuck guy is either just a deluded as i am or is just making the rules up as he goes along.chuck we weren’t seperated at birth were we?

  68. Supermac @29 #
    Yeah, aint been to Wigan Pier since 1984.
    Right after being down and out in Paris and London, had to then, come up for air, before visiting the animal farm.


    Deluded i may very well be, ermmm! what rules we talking bout ?
    As for seperated at birth, i certainly hope so, the further the better.

  70. workyticket says:

    “All down to Bastian Pig Supervisor in the end.”

    If you know your german it could be bastard supervisor !!!

  71. “With Hatem, you’ve got to let him have his world,” said Pardew, before adding, “It’s his world when he has the ball, my world is when he hasn’t.” It’s compromise, Ben Arfa is an individual, his desire to wear the No. 10 is a clear indication of how he views himself, the creator”

    Which is why we had him playing as a winger ????????

  72. chuck says:

    “History repeats itself !
    See where AP is now taking credit for everything Sansom does (A HBA repeat)having sat the guy for most of the season, for god knows what reason, he has now given him a start.
    The same old nonsense, he was’nt ready.
    He was ready enough to play for Milan in seria a and for the Italian U21 side ?
    Thank goodness for AP, he knows exactly when to inject players into the side to get the best results, what a guy!”

    Much though I support your sometimes wayward views Chuck, I’m having difficulty with the above ??? Was it past Amstel time ? :)

  73. Yep! basically agrees with my theory, AP refused to play him, because first and foremost he did’nt realise what he had.
    He played both a no finish product Obertan, then a mediocre Raylor on the right wing, because he wanted to have eight men defending.
    SBR had a similar situation with Robert, who failed to track back, difference was SBR kept him in the side because his ability to score and get assists, was more important than his playing defence.
    Now that the penny has dropped for Pardew, he makes hay out of it by taking credit for it.
    Claiming he was’nt ready untill now, yeah right.
    Same story with Santon,claiming he has to be able to recognise the nuances of a more physical EPL, yeah right !
    You believe that?

  74. If you walked into a bookies this week before the games took place and asked for odds on both Barca and Real not making it to the CL final and then asked what if both Messi and Ronaldo missed penalties in those games ?

    I’m guessing 1000/1 :)

  75. With Newcastle’s formation changing in recent weeks to 4-3-3, Pardew has also found a way to finally accommodate his best players — in particular Ben Arfa. His standout game against West Brom on March 25 highlighted his strengths with two assists and a well taken goal. His form of late has even seen him enter contention for France’s Euro 2012 squad, something Pardew has championed him for via the media.

    Yet just as the bandwagon begins to gather momentum I have to admit I’m struggling with this as well !

    “Pardew cautions that ability and focus are what Ben Arfa requires. Talent has never been the issue for Ben Arfa. As a consequence Pardew has forbidden any more interviews for the rest of the season”

    Anyone care to elucidate ? Not you worky :)

  76. AndyMac says:
    April 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    “If you walked into a bookies this week before the games took place and asked for odds on both Barca and Real not making it to the CL final and then asked what if both Messi and Ronaldo missed penalties in those games ?

    I’m guessing 1000/1”

    I’m guessing that if someone put a big bet on all that and won, they’d start off the biggest match fixing investigation ever, Andy.

  77. WT says:

    “I’m guessing that if someone put a big bet on all that and won, they’d start off the biggest match fixing investigation ever, Andy.”

    My local booky wont pay up !!!!!! Claims I must know someone on the (former) NOTW :(