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HR not a fan of the uefa cup...

...I think we knew that already though...

Although to be fair I might be being slightly misleading here with my title and opening line, as Harry Redknapp has not exactly said that he is not a fan of the uefa cup, he has merely told sky sports news that he is not a fan of the format and would prefer a straight knockout competition: 'well there is a lot of games and I would rather have knockout home and away and the best team gets through.

'Really it is an awful lot of fixtures.'

I do not think there are many of us that would disagree that the uefa cup, and the European cup - or 'champions league' as it is now - should be a straight knockout competition, but by doing it the way they do it rakes in more cash - even if teams do no see much of it in the uefa cup!

The bonus, from a Pompey fans point of view, is that we at least ensure we get to take in a few different cities - even countries whilst following the European tour with this format, which is something we might not have got in a straight two legged knockout...

Redknapp also spoke about the gruelling schedule we have coming up again - with Braga starting a run of 4 games in 9 days: 'we have got a busy schedule now. We play here on Thursday, then we play Fulham on Sunday then Liverpool next Wednesday and then come back for Wigan on the weekend.

'Between Thursday and the following Saturday we have got four games and it certainly makes it difficult.

'The league is all-important at the end of the day and you have got to make sure you get a good position in the Premier League as it is a tough league again this year.

'But we want to carry on in this competition and do well if we can.'

That is the price you pay for success though, if we want this you will play even more games. Whilst positive elements of not being so successful appeal to me, all in all would I want to go back? Nope!

We will learn from this seasons uefa cup if nothing else, and should we get it again be stronger - although Redknapp will like it even less next season if we do as the format is changing to one more in line with the champions league, as you play each team in your group home and away...


Talking of sky sports, they are reporting, using that notorious line 'sources have confirmed', with these 'sources' said to be in South America that Christian Benitez wants to come to England - and Pompey are one of several said to be courting him...

Benitez is a 22-year-old Ecuadorian forward who is playing in Mexico for Santos Laguna and was recently voted the best Ecuadorian outside of his home country - and there are a fair few star names plying their trade outside of the South American county in Europe, so he cannot be bad!

As well as us it's 'claimed' Blackburn, Wigan, Birmingham and Reading also want him and Villarreal, Sporting Lisbon and Benfica have all enquired about him.

So, what's he like?

To be honest I do not know, but have found this video of him on YouTube. It takes a while to kick in with the action but the Thundercats image at the beginning brought back a few memories while I waited...

From this video he looks tasty and can play, and score with, his left and his right boots as well as his head! As always it comes down to money though - not to mention where would he fit in? If he is a winger then we could be on to a winner... As always we just 'wait and see what happens' though.

Thoughts on all of the above please guys...


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday October 22 2008

Time: 4:34PM

Your Comments

The UEFA Cup is a massive drain on most club's resources. So many games, when doing well in the Premiership is such a high priority as well. But clubs have no choice any more. To attract and keep top players you have to be playing in Europe.
Yes Rug, your headline was slightly misleading. I was already to say "I wish HR'd make his bl**dy mind up, it wasn't long ago he said he wanted to do well in the competition". Having read your article, I won't say that now.
What is out aim. To finish as high as we can in the prem?!. If we do and assuming we don't break into the top 4, what do we get 6th or 7th. Which is what? UEFA Cup football. It's a vicious circle but it beats everything else I can realistically think of. As I am going to Braga I hope we give it everything. I am not using up holiday time, some serious cash & 48 hours of my life to watch us lie down & die. As for the man from Ecubore. Didn't the scummers sign 2 from there. The tin man & his boyfriend. What a pair of flops!!!
I reckon if the money was there he would be a bigger fan, it really is peanuts
Its silly that the UEFA cup has more games than the Champions League. Unless you break into the top 4 i dont see why you shouldn't concentrate more on the UEFA cup.
The players are trained atheletes and should be capable of playing 4 games in 9 days. That's what they train to do and get paid A LOT of money to do. STop the whinging Harry.

Do we need another striker? We can't get all the ones we have got already playing. Just more rubbish rumours. I do like the youtube inbedment though Rug. Nice job!
It is a lot of matches and it is a strain, but its such a big adventure for us Pompey fans and I think we're all loving it. If we qualify again next season or in a couple of years' time it might not be such a big deal for us, but for now it is - so lets try to do both. After all the players proved they were up to it in the Stoke City match. Wish I was in Braga!
well said tracy! lets do them, im well up for this!
I think I'm in Harrys camp on this.. would prefer a two-legged knock out rather than a league.. but hey .. Let's not complain we are in EUROPE !!

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