Góð grein hjá Paul Tomkins um [sæti í Meistaradeildinni á næsta tímabili](http://www.thisisanfield.com/columnists0405.php?id=00000129):
Einsog áður þá mælum við með að menn lesi alla greinina. En fyrir þá, sem eru of latir, þá eru hér nokkrir góðir punktar:
>The FA, like Everton, spoke along the lines of “everyone knew at the start of the season that 4th would get you a place in the Champions League”. The true rule was that this would be the case unless the winners of the tournament finished 5th or below in their domestic league, if talking about one of the highest-ranking leagues. What everyone “knew” was incorrect. Everyone assumed, it would be truthful to say.
>In March, when this scenario was first on the cards, the FA should have followed the precedent set by Spain in 2000, and said “4th qualifies, unless Liverpool win the tournament”. Winners always count as more important. They didn’t.
>Liverpool have given English football a massive shot in the arm. Last week’s heroics has given the Premiership added credibility, and will make our game even more attractive to the world, given the amazing character and spirit on display in Istanbul: from both players and fans. It has brought the premier club trophy back to England for only the second time in 21 years ?? since Liverpool used to regularly win it, in fact.
>In return, the FA has given Liverpool a massive kick in the balls. To call the FA morons would be too kind to morons.
>Liverpool are the champions of Europe. The champions of Europe, dammit!
>Everton are the champions of nothing, and frankly, not even within a country mile of being the champions of anything.
>Had Everton, for example, finished just three points behind Chelsea in 4th place, and Liverpool remained 37 points adrift of top spot, it would be far harder to argue the case against the Toffees’ inclusion ?? although, as the champions of Europe, Liverpool should still have earned the right to usurp Everton. As it stands, a team who were 34 points worse their domestic champions are being given more reward than the champions of Europe.
Einnig nokkrir góðir punktar um Peter Crouch:
>Having put his stamp on the club in just one season, the manager should be afforded the utmost trust.
>If Rafa wants to keep Gerrard, rather than cash in, we should want to keep Gerrard. It’s as simple as that. No arguments about whether the money would be better than a player whose effectiveness has been occasionally called into question. If we are denied our rightful place in the top competition, then Gerrard may think twice ?? and that’s the worry: Rafa losing anyone he feels is essential to his plan. However, I don’t see any of our other heroes asking to leave: only those whose place in the side is not guaranteed, and whom Rafa doesn’t rate.
>By the same token, if Rafa wants Peter Crouch (if the reported interest is true), we should want Peter Crouch. Whatever we think about him as an individual shouldn’t count ?? after all, no player will be signed to play on his own, one against eleven. It’s the team that matters. Rafa knows why he would want a player of that ilk: and as he picks the team, that’s fine by me.
>While Rafa will also want to add some top class international players over the summer, I’d be happy to see him add some effective ‘alternatives’, especially for the Premiership. Crouch wouldn’t arrive to be first choice, he would be purchased to give a different option. With the quickest striker in the league (Cissé), it would offer a nice counterpoint to have the tallest.
>It’s about possessing a solution to every problem. You need a collection of talents: the best passers, the hardest workers, the most committed, and so on. If you can call upon the tallest and the fastest as well, it can only add to your effectiveness.