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Arsenal Or Villa: Who Is Your Favourite In The Race For Fourth Place?

With the title race effectively coming down to just three realistic contenders now, there is only one spot remaining for qualification into next season’s Champions’ League. Currently, Aston Villa are sitting fourth on 48 points, with a nice five point gap separating them from Arsenal who are in fifth. Although Villa have accrued the same number of points as Chelsea, I just don’t see them being able to last the distance and put in a genuine title challenge. Although it would be nice for a wildcard like Villa to shake things up at the very pinnacle, I think it’s too soon for them to be contenders.

So back to the original point, Aston Villa remain in pole position to take the last Champions’ League spot from seasoned campaigners Arsenal. Domestically, it would be fantastic to see someone else muscle in on the big four but would it be beneficial for the Premiership’s European status? Currently the league stands as the best in the world as the Premiership’s four regular competitors for Europe’s elite prize have all reached the final in the last three years. In comparison to other leagues, where Real Madrid (the world’s most successful club arguably) struggle to make the quarter final stage each year and Italian sides feature on a sporadic basis at best, the Premiership provides serious challengers season after season.

The inclusion of Aston Villa in the Champions’ League at the expense of Arsenal could have a detrimental effect on England’s dominance of Europe. Whereas English teams stroll through to the latter stages, Villa could be drawn against an experienced European side (Valencia for example) in the third round qualifying stage and subsequently find themselves in the UEFA Cup, much like Everton did in 2005. And then, even if they did qualify for the group stages (which for the record would be a massively commendable achievement), I fear that they would struggle to make any impact on the competition.

Arsenal being in the UEFA Cup wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing as they would probably be considered among the favourites to lift the trophy, should they still have their current crop of players. However, would their stars like Fabregas, Adebayor, Van Persie, etc, really want to hang about when a host of top European sides could offer them an escape, and could Arsenal turn down big offers without the financial rewards that come with Champions’ League football? I doubt Arsenal would sell these players to domestic rivals so other leagues would then reap the benefits of their clubs purchasing some of the Premiership’s most exciting players.

All I’m getting at is that a team such as Arsenal not qualifying for the Champions League could have long term consequences, not just for themselves, but for the Premiership as a whole, as a spectacle. Would someone like Adebayor really want to stick around at Arsenal for a season that doesn’t involve playing in the biggest European competition? The prospect of this happening would really test the loyalty and allegiances of a Fabregas, a Van Persie, who could have their pick of clubs across the continent. I for one would like to see Villa break the top four this season, but not at the longer team expense of the quality of football and footballers that are witnessed each week in the Premiership. However, if Martin O’Neill were to sign all of Arsenal’s top players in the summer and keep them in England, then by all means Villa, go and win the league for all I care. Now that would be impressive.

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  1. gooner

    February 25, 2009 at 10:46 am

    aston villa will waste everyones time in the champions league coz they will be a small fish in a very big pond. They will probs go out in the group stage and end up were they belong in UEFA cup. They will have no place in the Champions League…big clubs only

  2. benni

    February 9, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Villa in the CL would be detrimental to English clubs dominance how? Considering this is a team who have gone toe-to-toe with all of the top four sides in england this season, losing only to Chelsea – before their apparent implosion – and holding both Liverpool and Man Utd to goalless draws….I fail to see your argument. If you had said that Villa are likely to draw a bigger club and be unlucky, I would understand, but you are implying that they are an inferior side. This is simply not true. Liverpool, currently second in the league, went to Villa Park to play for a draw. Arsenal were outclassed at the Emirates, and largely outplayed at Villa Park. Chelsea were played off the pitch at Villa Park last season, and matched blow for blow at christmas at Stamford Bridge. Furthermore, having another side besides the usual suspects in europe would actually be beneficial to English clubs overall due to the increased number of UEFA Co-efficient points, and implication of more strength in depth in terms of the number of strong sides. The only detriment to Villa at the moment is their lack of UEFA co-efficient points due to their failure to qualify for europe lately. This will probably change after this year’s UEFA cup, where they appear to be in good stead to reach the latter stages, possibly even win it. Too many people are writing off a team which they have no reason to write off at the moment, if I were a Villa player I’d be furious.

  3. AA

    February 7, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Errrrrrrrr 6…..Dickead

  4. Matt

    February 7, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Arsenal finishing “first behind utd” would be ace mate. I've got a bet on them finishing in 0th place. Hope they do!

  5. Weasel

    February 7, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    and as much as I hate to admit it, Dr. Demento has a one of the most solid sides I've seen in recent memory. No one will touch them this year, either here or in Europe. They deserve 1st place, even if they do have the ugliest, divingest front line in human history.

  6. Weasel

    February 7, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Nice comment, 'specially about Sp*rs. Villa deserves to be in the top 4 the way they're playing n I suppose the debate is due to Arsenal fans like me being a bit worried about making it back to the CL, a place we seem to be built for more so than the EPL, at least right now. Frankly, I'd rather have Villa there than Utd or the Soviets. Pool ain't so bad, but they're boring and their manager has no idea how to handle a lineup. Cheers, so long as we make it, if Villa does too, then good for them.

  7. Scotty P

    February 7, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Ok, I am a Villa fan and admit I am enjoying the ride…how can I not?

    I must admit that reading some of these posts have made me laugh, made me scratch my head and some have just made me think “what the hell are you on about?”.

    In defence of Villa, I am a little unsure how the Club can be claimed to have “no class”. Surely the move replace a commercial sponsor with “Acorns” – a childrens' hospice disproves that suggestion. Sure, some of our supporters lack some “class” but that some charge can be levelled at the supporters of any football club?

    Also, yes, we ARE foreign owned but that just means that the company is foreign owned…the football club IS English because (a) We play in the English Premier League (b) our supporter are predominantly English…as are Arsenal's/Man Utd's/Liverpool's etc (c) a majjority of the players on the pitch are also English. Hopefully that clears that bit up!

    Also, claims that Martin O'Neill is a “cheque book manager” I find, quite frankly, ridiculous! As a previous poster stated – look at his previous record at the likes of Wycombe, Leicester even Celtic…he was spend-thrift to say the least.

    It is true that he has spent a fair amou nt since arriving at Villa Park but, in fairness when you look at the dross that he was left by David O'Leary, it is hardly surprsing that he's had to rebuild! But surely, if you actually look at what Wenger has spent over a period of only a few years…you could level the same claim at him too!

    Meanwhile…I can only put those stupid comments regarding whippets/pigeons…I just put that down to the fact that you're just attempting to be funny…so I can ignore that (not worth rising to!).

    Anyway, my point is this. Villa DO deserve to be where we are AT THIS POINT IN TIME. Many Arsenal fans who were at both games are honest enough to admit we have been the better team but…I am realistic enough to understand that there are 13 games to go and, if the truth be knwo, I expect us to fall short and sneak 5th ahead of Everton.

    The reason is this…it has nothing to do with injuries etc – Villa and Arsenal have suffered injuries to key figures this season but Villa have a more character and more fight that a majority of Arsenal's players (except for Van Persie who seems the only player who gives a sh*t) – it is because Arsenal have been there, done that all to often and it is that experience that will probably tell.

    I have absolutely no grievance with Arsenal. For a number of season's I've enjoyed watching them – most neutrals do – and would much prefer to see Arsenal's flair succeed ahead of Liverpool's humdrum, low-tempo drivvel…but of course I'd still love us to pip the Gunners.

    However, for the writer of this article to state that he would find Villa's qualification into the Champions League, I'd have to question his sanity. For me, the Premier League is becoming a non-competitive spectacle to a large respect. Surely it is more hurtful to English football for other clubs – whether it be Villa, Everton, Spurs..Wigan!?! – to challenege the established order? The national team will never amount to anything whilst our International players are not given the opportunity to compete on the bigger Club competition stages?

    Tonight's England squad prives one thing – that largely (yes, I realise that Terry/Gerrard/Rooney/Ferdinand are exceptions to the rule but these are exception to the rule) the England squad is now made up of players from the “also rans” – Villa/Man City/West Ham etc. Is this the ideal? There was a time – not all that long ago either – that the top clubs provided a majority of the International call-ups but this is no longer the case as big money “classy” foreigners make up the ranks of the Big 4.

    If Michael Timbury gets his way, English Clubs will continue to dominate in the Champions League but, come the World Cup and European Championships, the summer of 2008 will become an all-too come event.

    For me? Come May – whether Villa do finish to p4 or not, I know that it;s been a great season for us…if only because the media began to remember that there were other clubs in the league other than the Big 4 and Tottenham (who, for some strange reason STILL take up more column inches than their attainment really deserves whilst cluns like Everton continue to be no more than a footnote)

  8. che guevarra

    February 7, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    i am a foreigner n thats y i support a foreign team- Gunners he he he he, so how nice will it be for the foreigners to conquer enland again, after all they have always .lolcome ,seen n conquered

  9. ben

    February 7, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    sorry… chequebook manager
    how much did u spend on arshavin?
    sorry £17m… thats more than we've spent on any one player
    chequebook manager

  10. ben

    February 7, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    we've had injuries as well
    carew out for a couple of months, laursen now out for a couple of months, cuellar a month, reo coker the list goes on
    stop making excuses..
    arsenal are wank

  11. ben

    February 7, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    3rd place actually

  12. ben

    February 7, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    fuck you..
    sorry how many englishmen do you have in the england squad???
    ahem NONE
    foreign loving wanker

  13. ben

    February 7, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    yes mate they do…

  14. Shreyas

    February 7, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Among these two, Arsenal is surely the favorite, as Viila are going to finish 2nd, not 4th.

  15. J terry

    February 7, 2009 at 10:40 am

    We should Forget Aston Villa and Arsenal battling for fourth and talk about chelsea dropping down to 5th!

  16. Weasel

    February 7, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Villa have played great this season, no question. The predominant ownsership at Arsenal is English. Yes, we have others on the board, but the majority of the board are keeping those cu*ts out. As for managers, O'Neill's done afine job, but who would you rather have on the bench, Frenchman or not. As for me, I'm from Somerset. By the way, Villa's kit is bloody awful; horrible mix of Scot colours. Arsenal colours = England. Agree that “pool can fall, maybe even Chelsea (would love that even more). At any rate, even if both sides are at full strength, Arsenal's fixture list is a bit less daunting. Cheers,

  17. tom kelly

    February 7, 2009 at 7:57 am

    By the end of the season, the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool will look behind them and see nothing to worry them, then when they look ahead, they will see aston villa, smiling right back at them. The days of the top four is coming to an end.

  18. tom kelly

    February 7, 2009 at 7:55 am

    And villa have already won it before. Arsenal fans, you've had enough cracks of the whip. time to let the former european champions take a chance at retaining it. (that previous sentence has never been said by any arsenal fan)

  19. tom kelly

    February 7, 2009 at 7:50 am

    another fickle arsenal fan. May I point you in the direction of wycombe wanderers and Leicester City, teams he built on nothing. At Celtic he inherited a team he changed their style of play and only now at villa has he made shrewd signings with a few big money transfers.

  20. tom kelly

    February 7, 2009 at 7:48 am

    Arsenal have a russian and an american on the board. the gaffer is french, the players are foreign except for one englishmen (same as the board) and the fans are foreign (maybe one or two are english).

  21. tom kelly

    February 7, 2009 at 7:46 am

    I watched the final and arsenal deserved to the win game even with 10 men so as a villa fan I can safely agree there weasel.
    Arsenal have a Russian and an american on the board amongst many other nations, a representation of the squad and fans. Villa, true to the word, have just one american owner. We have a northern Irish manager, again true. Who's the manager at arsenal? no wait here's a better question, who do you prefer, a frenchman or an irishman?
    If you're an arsenal fan and you answer french, I reckon you're french aswell, in that case, go back to supporting St Etienne or whichever french town you orginate from

  22. hopkins

    February 7, 2009 at 6:56 am

    sorry guys im a gunner fan but if not qualifing for europe means the departure of ADEBAYOR then villa you have my vote!

  23. Lorenzo

    February 7, 2009 at 6:55 am

    Quite how does a midfield of Rosicky Nasri Fabregas and Arshavin get the ball? You'd be lucky to get 10 tackles a season out of the lot of them combined. Still, if Mr Wenger wants to carry on playing fantasy football then that's fine. They'll probably finish 6th or 7th, even if all their players come back from injury OK, because if you look at the teams around them, Villa, Everton etc, they've all got a similar amount of injuries but they've got players with a bit of fight in them, rather than the bit of petulance Arsenal get when they're losing which doesn't win them games, it just gets them cheap bookings. The team's been created in the image of their manager, they're a bunch of spoilt brats.

  24. waz

    February 7, 2009 at 6:42 am

    im a gunner fan but the way we're playing im surprised that we'r even 5th! OK but the 1 and only reason for this is our injuries..lets look at our current midfield

    nasri, diaby, denilson, eboue. fuck me.. where do i start… the only player in our midfield capable of anything is nasri! eboue, diaby and DENILSON are fuckn useless together!

    NOW lets look in 6weeks time when we have all our players back from injury

    rosicky, nasri, fabregas, arshavin in midfield plus walcott super sub!!
    with van persie and eduardo upfront!

    now you see much difference villa fans?

    just the sight of that attack would make any deffence quIver in fear!!

    dont worry my fellow gunners all will be well.. and as wenger said

    GUNNER FOR LIFE!!!!!!!

  25. Aston Frazer

    February 7, 2009 at 4:51 am

    PNE ha ure comments mean nothing.Go an watch your shitty northern team and leave your comments to what concerns you, which is the championship


    Villa under martin o neil wil onli get stronger. Look what he has done so far?? assembled a team with good spirt and passion for the villa without spending huge sums of money on hyped up individuals. Once the depth of the squad is adressed we wil b even stronger. Most of the players we have arenowher near their peak and will onli improve further under Martin.

    Up the villa
    Down the gunners enjoy
    Lol and it will b funny 2 c all of your starts wanting out including Mr wenger. He prob pissed with your broke as foreighn legion of a club


  26. chrisb

    February 7, 2009 at 4:20 am

    Arsenal are quietly crapping themselves. If Villa finish 4th you'll be calling for Wengers head you fickle lot. Villa deserve and I doubt anyone outside of North London would begruge them.

  27. pete the preston fan

    February 7, 2009 at 4:15 am

    Im a PNE fan so have no axe to grind but can only say from a footballing point of view give me Arsenal every time.Aston Villa are pure kick and rush and would be an embarassment if representing the English league in Europe.I dont think the rambling O/Neill is all there as evidenced by his interviews and appearances as a pundit.

  28. Villa Gez

    February 7, 2009 at 2:55 am

    I've been attending Villa matches for more than 30 years now and I'm afraid to say that any Arsenal, Liverpool or Chelsea supporters are hoping this is a flash in the pan will be sorely disappointed.

    The squad put together by O'Neill is the real deal.

    My prediction is that we will finish 2nd to Man Utd. this season, which brings automatic qualification to the group stage of the CL and we'll go into that competition as UEFA Cup holders.

  29. Lorenzo

    February 7, 2009 at 2:30 am

    Come to think of it, why not the title? As unlikely as it is, there's not been a better time for years: None of the top 3 are playing as well as the Villa have been for the last 2 or 3 months, and although they've all got bigger squads it's only about the 11 on the pitch if you're lucky enough with injuries.

  30. chico

    February 7, 2009 at 2:19 am

    For all the Gooners who think O'Neill is 'Irish', he is in fact British, being born in Kilrea in N.I. There is a difference. O'Neill likes British players, though not averse to a class overseas contribution. Good for him and good for the British game.

    Now, Villa have not had a full strength side for months, (see above posts). Villa are now getting the full side back together, so 'bum clench' time for the Gooners I think, as Villa are not going to fade. Now who from 'Pool, Arse and Chelski will blink first? Villa to finish second.

  31. Lorenzo

    February 7, 2009 at 2:02 am

    On the teams performances this year does anybody really think Arsenal are a good side who'll be challenging for anything this year or the next? Honestly? Can you think of 3 games where they've played well and looked like title challengers? Wenger might know how to spot an exciting young attacking player, but unless he works out what makes a good defender, or a balanced team for that matter, then he's never going to be succesful in europe. At the moment it looks like he's refusing to buy a tough tackling midfielder out of principle when it's as clear as can be that the team's got no steel to it.
    Villa rising to the top has gone to show what an astute manager O'Niell is. He's not gone out and bought megastars, he's simply addressed the needs of the squad, made adjustments where necessary and the whole team's reaping the benefits. There's more Arsenal players who'd benefit the Villa side than vice versa, but Arsenal would be challenging for the title if they'd got themselves somebody like Reo-Coker, as limited as he is. It's all about addressing the weak points in a side, Wenger's not done that, and rarely in his time at Arsenal has he done so.
    And for the record, O'Niell's not Irish. He's got a British passport, he's from County Derry, part of the UK. Ireland is a seperate country.

  32. avdom

    February 7, 2009 at 1:51 am

    goon's have had enough years in it now to try n win it n fail miserabley every year

  33. avdom

    February 7, 2009 at 1:46 am

    ooh who tickled ur pickle, just coz u aint as good as us shouldnt been you should give it large 😉

    we can put a squad of 11 englishmen out 😉 in the ENGLISH premier league, u can get about 1 or 2, now 'we dont want english players coz they aint good enough' or w/e you'll say this is were i go

    4th Aston Villa
    5th Arsenal

    Aston Villa 2-2 Arsenal
    Arsenal 0-2 Aston Villa 😉

    and to the dreamers that wreckon theyve have injurys n we aint …

    laursen a month round xmas and now 8 weeks now
    Cuellar a month around xmas to
    Carew has just come back from 3 month injury
    ash young supsension
    Bouma hasnt even played a league game this season through injury

    and there all coming bk ;] Laursen maybe a bit later ;] but i love the excuse the deluded arse fans are making up 'just getting lucky' only luck i see we're getting is the fact arsenal are SH*T

  34. mk

    February 7, 2009 at 1:41 am

    I am an Arsenal supporter and I would love for my team to come fourth but they don't deserve it. The reason why Villa is up there is because they are playing. They deserve it more than us. But also if they made CL it wouldn't be great on English Football. Only three teams would qualify for the second round after all these past seasons were all the english teams make through to the quaterfinals at least.

    We will see what happeneds. We can't say Villa is going to take it or Arsenal. There are still like 13 matches?

  35. mk

    February 7, 2009 at 1:10 am

    Haha no!

  36. Gompedyret

    February 7, 2009 at 12:59 am

    Must say it is genuinely entertaining to read the views from gooners.

    To claim that the club has no class, that is just beyond commenting. Neither have we a reason to be envious or (sic) frightened. We're in joint third, 5 points ahead of L'Arse, who really are more dependent of the CL money than us. Only now Villa is coming towards full strength, with Carew and Bouma on their way back, both essential players having been out most of the season. Expect Villa to score more and concede less from now on!

    Having Villa in the CL is detrimental to England's dominance in Europe? What a pile of crap statement.

    Seemingly the writer isn't capable of imagining a world without the Sky4 at the helm. If Villa are good enough to capture a CL spot, then they are good enough to play there as well, and with repeated attempts at the CL Villas international rank will become better. Besides, what's best for the national team; having a team of foreigners representing England in CL or a Villa team stuffed with English prospects?

    Saying this I will however admit that despite some of their fans being out of touch with reality I really like Arsenal. Wenger has put together cracking teams playing wonderful football at times, often without breaking the bank. It's only this year you have lacked firepower. I would prefer to pip 'pool or Chelsea for a CL spot, but if Arsenal isn't up to it I'm more than happy to finish above you guys as well. 😀

  37. tom kelly

    February 7, 2009 at 12:26 am

    I have nothing but respect for the team referred to as arsenal. Never have I seen a team who's inhabitants represent the fans…a bunch of foreigners talking wonderful poetical utter nonsense.
    I can tell you one thing arsenal fans, we have a european cup, have you?
    Time we go back to the competition we belong in.
    Also I can tell you're a foreigner because you think anything out of Landaaan is north.
    One final note, although another fickle arsenal fan has annoyed me, I still believe it will be liverpool to fall out the top 4

  38. tom kelly

    February 7, 2009 at 12:22 am

    just like the players, a foreign fan.


    February 7, 2009 at 12:22 am

    I'm an Arsenal fan and despite the Frenchmans developing paranoia and the teams current lack of skill and belief we will still win the league and the kids from the provinces will eventually crack under the pressure of our much higher profile and god given right to be in the Champions league. Sadly the deluded Brummies will not reach europe and have to stay behind in their grubby little City and watch us on the box or tend their whippets/pigeons or what ever else they get up to in the uncivilised and undeserving north. Up the Arse!

  40. tom kelly

    February 7, 2009 at 12:19 am

    I am a villa fan and I adored this comment. we have only just welcomed back carew and ashley young in the fa cup replay just gone. bouma is fit too. villa are now almost full strength. I love nervous arsenal fans. by any chance have villa been lucky aswell? thats been another popular arsenal theory being thrown around.
    although some fickle arsenal fans have annoyed me I must not fret as I have nothing but admiration for the teams playing style. I still believe it will be liverpool to fall out the top 4

  41. Scott

    February 6, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    wow, you idiot! vila are owned by americans, making them now an american company with a irish manager! NOT AN ENGLISH CLUB!

    the 6+5 rule you muppit! is yes! homegrown players but if you look in to the rules deep enough you will see arsenal are fine as them home grown players dont have to be ENGLISH! aslong as they have been brought thru the ranks.. “Regardless of nationality”

    you tardy villa fans think you know everything, you dont know squat!

    but you should know this! you are above arsenal as a TEMP status! come end of season you will be falling behind and letting the big boys take care of business!!


  42. tom

    February 6, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    i am an arsenal fan and i see aston villa claiming fourth, but at whos expense. not arsenals. i can see arsenal finishing second or first behind utd, where as liverpool and chelsea will have to watch themselves as atson villa will finish in the top four

  43. adamski

    February 6, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Kelson I am a fan of Chelsea and have to say you're deluded if you think O'Neil is a cheque book manager. Most of your success under Wenger has come from the cheque apart from the defence and Dennis Bergkamp which he inherited, every player you have used has been bought untill recently when you have started to have youths come through. Oh yeah how is that working out for you this year 5th is it. O'Neil is just a good manager has been where ever he has gone

  44. fastbackace

    February 6, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    arsenal im sorry but your time is numbered. half your team doesnt eve seem to want to play for you, excluding rvp, and wallcott, who is out.
    this article is faulted, basically saying that villa isnt good enough, then y bring up the topic you muppits.
    ALL YOU GUNNERS who say villa is a foreign team go eat some co*K, just cuz thier manager is Irish, and owner is American means zero. we have more england internationals this year, than you have for the past like 7 years.
    and when the new 6+5 fifa rule comes out, your fucked.
    its all about home grown talent. not big check books, bringing in forgien players.
    Y has england not done well nationally, cuz you dont help produce good young talent.


  45. Weasel

    February 6, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    'scuse me, but Arsenal were leading the final with 10 men until Eto'o scored with 10 minutes left. Not embarrassing at all. The sides they defeated to get there were second to none. Certainly Villa weren't up to it that year. And scuse me again, but AV has Yankee ownership. Arsenal colours are true…England…AV?

  46. Kelson

    February 6, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    o'neill is a chequebook manager and is vastly overrated and has friends in the media but Arsene will put him and the deluded villa crowd in their place. UP THE GUNNERS!!!!

  47. elbondo

    February 6, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Arsenal should make up the points and get ahead of Villa at the end of the season. Simply because Villa is ahead now with a full-strength squad and Arsenal have a few top players coming back from injury. But Villa is pretty much complete. Arsenal have Eduardo back this month, Walcott late in the month, Fabregas at the end of March and possibly Rosicky around the same time. Plus Arsenal have been there- if Villa get close they will probably get the shits like Spuds did. If Villa makes the CL spots, I think it will be at Chelsea's expense, or Liverpool's if there one and only striker gets injured.

  48. Eddie Yak

    February 6, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Aston Villa's 4th placing is only a temporary parking lot when the owner return they will be tow away. It's a club that have no class – refer to their sulking of the Ashavin transfer they are just envious, jealous and frightened. Poor buggies.

  49. Alex Z

    February 6, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    If Arsenal can make the last 16 of the Champions League this year, and Aston Villa proves to be better than Arsenal, why can't Aston Villa make the last 16 of the CL next year? If Aston Villa is a better team than Arsenal, than their inclusion in the Champions League would only help, not hurt, the premiership's position in that competition.

  50. Scott H

    February 6, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    English clubs dominant maybe, but the majority are foreign players. id like to see villa in the champions league and their english players gettin the experience at the highest level possible can only bode well for the national team.

  51. MARCO

    February 6, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    im at a loss here. “The inclusion of Aston Villa in the Champions’ League at the expense of Arsenal could have a detrimental effect on England’s dominance of Europe”. so arseall hav been in champ lge last 14yrs in row.
    wot do they show 4it – embarrasing 1sided final v barca. how can we b any worse, – entered 2 comps, won1, pretty good strike rate 2me.
    wud b nice 2see 1st genuine english prem club ther as well.
    the worm has turned, ur gooner mercenaries r finished, liv wiv it, altogether now, UP THE VILLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  52. Grimbo

    February 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Villa English throughout? Irish manager – American owner? Hypocritical fans it would seem.

  53. goonermichael

    February 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    everyone loves villa though?

  54. goonermichael

    February 6, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Would we give a shit if Adebeyor went?

  55. ben

    February 6, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    villa mate
    english throughout
    no one likes arsenal

  56. Burt Reynolds

    February 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Prediction: Villa gets food poisoning on the last game of the season, play horrible, and Arsenal claim fourth.

  57. Raatzie

    February 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    I think most neutrals would dig Villa making the Champions League.

    I simply hope it's not at Liverpool's expense.

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