European Football: Three Conclusions

18.09.09
Will Evertons new star Bily help Russia shine in South Africa?

Will Everton's new star 'Bily' help Russia shine in South Africa?

After a full midweek’s worth of Champions and Europa League action, we should have plenty to talk about. Unfortunately, most matches involving English sides went… pretty much as planned. Still, I’ve drawn a couple of conclusions from this little lot of results, do let me know what you think…

1. Russia are going to have a cracking World Cup.

We all remember just how well Russia played at Euro 2008. I watched an awful lot of that tournament when I wasn’t moping around and wishing England were there, and the Russians were brilliant. Not only were they technically good, but they just seemed to run and run and run and then, for a change, run some more. They work incredibly hard, have great discipline and are a very effective team. Plus, they were managed by Mr. Magic himself, Guus Hiddink.

Click through for the rest of this, plus two more conclusions…

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Fair Play: A European Adventure

20.03.09
Man City: taking advantage of UEFA's stupidity.

Man City: taking advantage of UEFA's stupidity.

Man City overcame AaB Aalborg on penalties yesterday after slumping to a 2-0 defeat in the second leg. The club-formerly-known as a yo-yo club and now derided for being the World’s Richest Club came very close to being Eliminated from the UEFA Cup, and indeed any travelling fans must have thought they’d blown it when Evans conceded a late penalty. But it is a wonder they are there at all, when you think about it.

Manchester City were, according to the final Premier League table, the 9th best team in English football last season. The ‘big four’ took the four Champions League places, Everton and Villa finished 5th and 6th respectively, qualifying for the UEFA Cup, and Portsmouth won the FA Cup (and finished 8th) to secure their passage in European competition. Blackburn Rovers, who finished 7th in the Premier League last season, didn’t qualify for the UEFA Cup.

Click through for the full article…