Morning all and welcome to the start of what I am sure is going to be an interesting week. Interesting in lots of ways and for lots of reasons and I don't know them yet, but there will be a couple of changes to the site in how it looks, a new comment system and well, I've got a feeling someone is going to say something and then we are all doom and gloom and then this will be the most negative place on the internet.
Spec Spec Speculation
But, before we get to anything that is remotely linked to news, let's look at what the papers are saying and first off is the news in the Guardian that the Premier League is looking at introducing a play-off system for the fourth Champions League place.
What this means is, if a team were to finish fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh - they would be in the play-offs and I suspect they would play a minimum of two more games and possibly three - to win a chance to play in the Champions League. What this means is, you could finish fourth, fifteen points above the team in fifth and a point behind third, two behind second and three behind fourth, but find yourself playing Fulham, losing and all for nothing.
But, I think it is fair, in so much that it is potentially helping spread the wealth and it is potentially giving someone else a chance, but lets be honest - if a team finishes sixth or seventh - what are the chances they are going to get past the Chumps League qualification round?
I'm holding my hands up as I have no idea about this player. The name rings a bell I think and I have seen Benfica once or twice in the last couple of years, I know I have, but I have to say, this player doesn't stand out.
But, according to his Wikipedia page, he has scored 47 in 72 matches and is 26 years old. He was born in Paraguay and according The Sun; us, Tottenham, Everton and Blackburn are all interested.
Someone said something yesterday about the League Cup and how it had no bearing on the importance of the League and I agreed, that at the beginning of the season, the most important thing is the League and that that is how you map your progress over time, not by winning a League Cup every couple of seasons - because when you start mapping that way, you set your expectations low.
But right now, as of today, I would swap finishing 6th for silverware. Maybe that is just me, maybe football really has changed how people think about finishing fourth over winning silverware and I remember another website had a poll a year or so ago and most of the visitors of that site said they would rather finish 4th over winning the FA Cup and I thought at the time that it was mad.
For me, football, season on season is about improving but right now, while it is important to see us progress, for this season, I'd swap finishing 5th or higher for the League Cup and as we know who the man of the match is from yesterday, that is the question of the day. Would you swap doing better than last season in the league for silverware this season?
Post mortem tomorrow, I'm off to buy some Aston Villa merchandise to add credibility to my opinion.