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Uefa Cup 2008-09


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Now the silly group stages are done, we're into the proper part of the competition:

UEFA CUP LAST 32 DRAW

Paris St Germain v Wolfsburg

FC Copenhagen v MANCHESTER CITY

NEC Nijmegen v Hamburg

Sampdoria v Metalist Kharkiv

Braga v Standard Liege

ASTON VILLA v CSKA Moscow

Lech Poznan v Udinese

Olympiakos v St Etienne

Fiorentina v Ajax

Aalborg v Deportivo La Coruna

Werder Bremen v AC Milan

Bordeaux v FC Galatasaray

Dynamo Kiev v Valencia

Zenit St Petersburg v VfB Stuttgart

Marseille v FC Twente

Shakhtar Donetsk v TOTTENHAM

UEFA CUP ROUND OF 16 DRAW

Werder Bremen/AC Milan v Olympiakos/St Etienne

ASTON VILLA/CSKA Moscow v Shakhtar Donetsk/TOTTENHAM

Lech Poznan/Udinese v Zenit St Petersburg/VfB Stuttgart

Paris St Germain/Wolfsburg v Braga/Standard Liege

Dynamo Kiev/Valencia v Sampdoria/Metalist Kharkiv

FC Copenhagen/MANCHESTER CITY v Aalborg/Deportivo La Coruna

Marseille v FC Twente v Fiorentina/Ajax

NEC Nijmegen/Hamburg v Bordeaux v FC Galatasaray

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Rob, what is happening to your Tottenham, not that great of a first part of the season.

UEFA CUP LAST 32 DRAW

Wolfsburg

MANCHESTER CITY

Hamburg

Sampdoria

Standard Liege

CSKA Moscow

Udinese

Olympiakos

Fiorentina

Deportivo La Coruna

AC Milan

FC Galatasaray

Valencia

Zenit St Petersburg

FC Twente

TOTTENHAM

UEFA CUP ROUND OF 16 DRAW

AC Milan

CSKA Moscow

Zenit St Petersburg

Standard Liege

Valencia

MANCHESTER CITY

Fiorentina

Hamburg

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We sold our two best players this summer (who are both playing pants for their new clubs), had a manager who couldn't communicate with the players, had a director of football who wasn't really up to the job of buying players we needed and morale slumped.

2 points from our first 8 games and a poor start to our UEFA cup campaign led our chairman to get rid of everyone in the management team and replace them with Harry Redknapp, who had done a great job at Portsmouth.

So far it's been a very good move. Since the change, our form in the league has been an average of two points per game. We'd be third in the league if our first 8 games were as good as our second 8!! We should now finish comfortably in the top half of the table. We're also only two matches against Burnley away from our second league cup final in a row (which will likely be against Man Utd) and, as you can see, are in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup again. On top of that we've just released plans for a new 60,000 seat stadium! It's been a real Jekyll and Hyde season so far.

An interesting fact which I only realised the other day; we've played all of the so-called big four and haven't lost! We've played out draws against Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal, and we beat Liverpool. I don't suppose any other club in the league can claim such a good record this season against those clubs! Very strange stat given our season so far.

And even weirder, after giving us our worst league start in our 126 year history Ramos is now manager of Real Madrid! You couldn't make it up!

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Man City should get through without too many headaches. Villa and Spurs will find it tougher. Redknapp, unlike Ramos, has stated that the UEFA Cup this season is at the bottom of our list of priorities. The biggest indication of this on the pitch is the fact that our crocked captain is rested for these matches rather than league matches, whilst under Ramos it was the other way around.

I'm just pleased the second leg is at home for Spurs as it's not unlikely we'll be at Wembley a few days later for the League Cup final! Wouldn't want a midweek game in Ukraine and then a cup final in the same week. Even a home tie and a cup final is asking a lot of the players.

Faster, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see four or five second-string players playing in the second game against Shakhtar Donetsk so we can rest our best players for (touch wood) the cup final. So predicting Spurs going through is a brave move.

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I'm just not convinced by Manchester City at the moment. They need a couple of results pretty quickly in the League before they worry about Europe. Villa are doing ever so well domestically, but they've got one of the toughest draws they could have got, as have Tottenham. Unlike the Champions League, I don't have high expectations for this competition.

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