Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mpenza rejects potential moves

CITY striker Emile Mpenza has turned down the chance of first-team action elsewhere to stay at Eastlands.

Belgium international Mpenza, 29, was wanted on loan by a number of Championship clubs for the last few weeks of the season.

Mpenza has started just eight of his 14 Barclays Premier League appearances this season, scoring twice, and Leicester were one of the clubs apparently keen to offer him more time on the field.

Mpenza was clearly not keen on a short term move away from the club, but given his contract expires at the end of the season, with the direction the club is heading (and despite him being a fixture at the start of the season) his future is very much away from Eastlands.

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Anonymous said...

Do you know Man City could qualify for the UEFA Cup next year regardless of league position?

According to the BBC, the top association in the Fair Play League gets an extra place in the UEFA Cup.

England are currently the top association in the Fair Play league. The place goes to the team highest in the English fair play league that hasn't already qualified for the UEFA Cup.

Above Man City in the Fair Play table are:

Man U, Spurs, Liverpool, Arsenal and Everton.

All these teams have either qualified for the UEFA Cup (Spurs), will qualify for the CL or will qualify through league place (probably Everton).

That leaves Man City to take the Fair Play UEFA Cup spot...

Danny Pugsley said...

I am aware of the 'back door route' to European qualification.

The Inter-Toto route I believe we are battling with Villa and Blackburn (the other sides who have entered) so 6th place (or at least finish above those two sides) would be important for this avenue.

As for the Fair Play possibility, we are leading the way in terms of sides who have already (or who are expected to) qualify automatically. The Premier League is top of the Fair Play league at the moment but even if they do not finish top, there would still be the possibility of a draw with other nations to gain a place this way.

Interestingly, the Fair Play route would put us straight into the UEFA Cup, whilst the Inter-Toto route would see us have to qualify for the UEFA Cup.


Now, what would happen if we 'earned' both the Fair Play and Inter-Toto place? I suspect we would take the Fair Play route as a direct way in and free up a spot for the Inter-Toto?

Anonymous said...

Hi Danny,

Yes I'm sure you're right and they would award the Fair Play place, being the most valuable.

It's kind of odd to think that City's route into Europe could be decided by how well Premier League players behave themselves over the next few weeks!

Interesting to hear Marcel Desailly say on Football Focus today that England is looked to as a good example for respect towards officials. Apparently it's much worse in France!