Date: 25th February 2008 at 8:05am
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So that’s it. Tottenham beat Chelsea courtesy of a fortuitous Woodgate header three minutes into the first half of extra time.

Spurs have one of the three UEFA cup spots. Unless they go on to win this year’s competition that leaves only two more spots.

Many would argue that we’ve had a great season, and although we’re down in 7th position, provided West Ham win their game in hand, we’re only two points off of 10th. Being the only team to have played all of the “top four” twice, we’re obviously looking like improving on our position, but we could have a bad run at any time, and there’s not much difference in class between any of the teams from 5th to 10th. Also, Tottenham are on the up, having won the Carling Cup and being in fantastic form, they can’t be written off. Isn’t it asking a bit much for us to finish 6th, in order to get into Europe?

Hold on, we’re playing Man Utd in the FA cup quarter final. Let’s just say that we lose, then the chances of Man Utd avoiding Chelsea in the draw, and both of the teams getting through their semi-final draw, doesn’t look good for us. Unless they face each other in the draw, or we get to the final, then another UEFA cup spot is going to whoever, as Man Utd and Chelsea are pretty much gaining a European spot from the league. Which unfortunately would mean that there is only one UEFA cup spot left.

Now, the chances of us hitting bad form at some point this season are pretty high, so we shouldn’t be arrogant and assume that we will get that 5th spot. We have to work very hard to get it, or even the 4th spot. Even if we finish 6th, that’s the best finish we’ve had since we won the league, and is 3 places higher than last year. Considering that due to the Premier League winning the fair play award, an extra UEFA cup spot was awarded last year, we could have got into Europe via the intertoto cup had we applied for it (or if Poll had given that goal – but I’m not going to go into that), and that was finishing 9th. For us to finish 6th and not get into Europe is shambolic, and would be absolutely unacceptable, seeing as Blackburn entered this year’s UEFA cup, having finished 10th last year!

Furthermore, our rivals, such as Everton, Man City and Tottenham have all applied for the Intertoto Cup, as far as I know, so why shouldn’t we? It’s a back up option if the FA cup and/or league doesn’t go our way.

Harry didn’t apply last year as it’s an early start to the season, and basically we already had the Asia Trophy to contest, but he’s entered before with West Ham. We would gain much more money from being in the UEFA cup, and more players would want to join us.

So this is just a plea to all Pompey fans, to persuade our club to enter the intertoto cup, and make sure that we get into Europe (perhaps someone could set up a poll, or tell me how to?)

Written by jbaker.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

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27 Replies to “Please Harry. Enter the Intertoto Cup!”

  • i completely agree about entering the intertoto cup jbaker, and have said as much myself several times already – if we really do want europe this season then why are we not entering ‘just’ as a back-up if nothing else, if we’re not and we dont make it we cant have been that ‘keen’ to have got it…

  • we are going to beat united then win the cup so we’ll be ok anyway, but again would like that backup… one thing tho bakes, i prefer to look at it like this ‘were just 3pts from 4th’ rather than ‘a pt or 2 off 10th’ 🙂

  • Jay – Although I agree completely with your reasoning there’s just one problem – The deadline for the Intertoto Cup was 25 January and Harry didn’t enter Pompey – I know Man City and Villa have applied so even if we had entered and we would still have to finish higher than bothe those clubs to qualify so .. if the top four are the same as normal and say Everton finished in 5th we would still have to finish in 6th or better than City and Villa to qualify … I think are best chance is to stuff United and then go on a beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final 😉

  • Jbaker, I am not worried if we get into Europe or not next season. I’d sooner see stability and calm in the club but you and rug will argue that will come with Europe qualification. Europe qualification can be a double edged sword. Bolton are doing well in Europe and poorly at home because they weren’t ready for both. Pompey are the same. I think we will qualify for Europe but I think it could be our undoing at home. We just aren’t ready for it. I laughed at your comment that the chances of us hitting bad form at some point this season are pretty high. What have we hit the for many games this year? You should have said the chance of our luck running out is pretty high. I am hopeful that our players will show there true ability for the rest of the season so we will qualify by winning the cup and finishing 5th in the league but I won’t be distraught if we do neither as long as we play well.

  • Chix, i might be wrong but im not sure how ‘true’ that january 25th deadline really is/was – i had heard that too but villa refused to enter at 1st then either last week, or the week before – after that deadline – had a change of heart and applied as a backup…

  • commenting on frattonaussie’s point about not being too worrried about getting into Europe, I was relieved we didn’t qualify for this year for the reasons mentioned. In saying that I can’t help thinking that exposure to Europe next year can only improve the team, as long as the squad is large enough to cope.

  • i wanted europe last season but in the end i think it was probably best we didnt get it… its not essential this season but i really do think even if it is ‘only’ the uefa cup – i would be delighted with this, many seem to think the uefa cup means nothing? – we have a better chance of continuing to move forward… i think we can do it, and it’ll be a great thing for us.

  • I think we must apply – if we still can. Now Spurs have taken the first slot that leaves only two and with the money that has been spent we need to cover all bases are far as UEFA entry is concerned. One slight hope would be if the winner of this years competition gets a place and if that is Everton or Spurs then there could be another place up for grabs.

  • Im with chris on this, last year was to soon, but we are a better SQUAD now than we were then, we can cope with it now.

  • agreed frattonaussie, that we aren’t playing well at all, its totally true, which is why its better to look behind, at how close teams are to catching up with us, rather than looking forward, as by not entering, it might seem a little arrogant of harry redknapp, because hes talking of getting into europe, but by not applying for the intertoto hes saying that we can do this by league position. also with fans suggesting that we could nick 4th, the last thing we want is for all this talk of champions league, and then turn around and not make UEFA! if people are talking about the champions league, then perhaps we are good enough to balance out UEFa and premier league. if everton can do it, why cant we? i wouldnt say that they are better than us…

  • It’s 5hit or bust in the league & it will go to the wire. The games against Everton, Man C, A Villa & Blackburn will be cup finals. These are the big 4 to us now.

  • europe isnt essential this season but i sure as hell think it will help us to continur our positive moves forward – and will keep some players, and draw others, no matter what people say about the uefa cup it is still european football and does attract players, and will keep others… its going to be a battle but we can do it, people laugh but im not giving up on thay champions league place, liverpool will miss out on 4th this season, as matt says the games with everton, villa, citeh and blackburn will decide not only the uefa cup spots, but possibly the champions league place too…

  • europe? not essential? if we want to keep defoe, muntari, diara, kranjcar…etc then europe is essential. if we want to improve on our squad, europe is essential. i dont care all that much about the actual playing in it, but if we DONT make it, our chances of making it in the future will take a massive dip…

  • Why should we enter the Inter Toto cup? what would we really get from it apart from an early start to our season.
    We need to get into the EUFA Cup, and that should be the big incentive for the players surely?
    The squad is now bigger and stronger than ever, and we now know how to win dirty, so as long as they go out and give it their best we should have a really good chance of European Football at last

  • yes, the players should be inspired to get the intertot themselves, but with it loomking increasingly likely that there will only be 1 uefa cup spot from the legue, we are fighting a very stiff battle…even to get the intertoto place!

  • If we make Europe, I want to do it properly, no back door entry or by winning the fair play league.I wwant to finish 6th and therefore qualify on merit

  • but if we finish 6th, it may still not be enough. we shod at least have the back up – surely? last season, finishing 7th was enough to get strait in, this season, it doesnt look like it will be possible to by any means!

  • Dont worry boys wel win the uefa for u guys 🙂

    Like u say youve already played the top4 twice and i think you have a great chance of coming top6 anyway especially with diarra in and defoe up front and james playing so well.
    Think if you can get a replay against man utd u have a good chance of beating them and maybe even lifting the cup anyway and i hope u do it for defoe (although i hope campbell the judas scoundrel is injured for the final)

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