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Dynamo Kiev aim to revive glory days

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Phil Minshull | 11:50 UK time, Wednesday, 9 March 2011

At least in comparison to recent seasons, the last 16 in this year's Europa League seems to be loaded with clubs who have an illustrious history.

CSKA Moscow, Porto and PSV Eindhoven are names that immediately catch the eye - and Manchester City's next opponents, Dynamo Kiev, are no exception.

The pair meet for the very first time in a competitive match on Thursday, when they take to the field at the chilly Valeriy Lobanovskiy Dynamo Stadium, named after the Ukrainian side's famous former player and coach. Lobanovskiy - who died in 2002 - was at the helm when Dynamo won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1975 and 1986.

The triumphs also resulted in Dynamo strikers Oleg Blokhin and Igor Belanov being voted the European Footballer of the Year in the same year the club won their trophies.

However, like City, it has been a long time since Dynamo achieved something of real significance in a continental competition.

Admittedly, they made the Champions League semi-finals back in 1999 and got to the Uefa Cup semi-finals two seasons ago. But losing that match to local rivals Shakhtar Donetsk, who went on to beat Werder Bremen in the final and become the first Ukraine team to win a European trophy since the break-up of the Soviet Union, compounded the feeling in the Ukraine capital that their past glories were exactly that.

Despite the fact that to make any sort of further progress will require beating some other big names, this season there is the feeling that Dynamo can turn back the clock to when they were one of the dominant teams of the old Soviet Union and feared across Europe.

Andriy ShevchenkoAndriy Shevchenko is enjoying a late-career flourish. Photo: Getty Images

Unbeaten in six Europa League games, Dynamo have become increasingly impressive. One of the reasons for the general feeling of optimism is that Yuri Semin has returned for a second stint as the club's coach.

He was appointed at the end of December as the permanent replacement for Valeri Gazzayev, who threw in the towel in October after a poor start to the season left Dynamo floundering at the bottom of their Europa League group and lagging a long way behind league leaders Shakhtar.

Former Arsenal and Wolves defender Oleg Luzhny then took over as the caretaker coach and had an immediate impact, turning things around quickly, apart from an initial 2-0 loss at Shakhtar.

However, once Semin became available after being sacked by Lokomotiv Moscow at the end of November, it was almost inevitable Luzhny was going to be asked to stand aside.

Semin remained a favourite with most Dynamo fans after his first stint at the club, which resulted in the club winning the Ukrainian title in 2009 and reaching the last four of the Uefa Cup that season.

Since taking over, Semin has not let the Dynamo faithful down - with Luzhny seemingly happy to stay by his side as a loyal assistant.

The recent demolition of Besiktas was followed up with a 2-0 win at Metalurh Donetsk on Saturday to provide a good start to the second half of the Ukrainian season after the country's long winter break.

It was also a reminder to Metalurh's richer neighbours that although Shakhtar have a massive 12-point lead in the Ukrainian Premier League, Dynamo have not given up the chase for their 14th title just yet.

"We are now very well prepared. I wanted us to win the match in the last round against Besiktas in impressive fashion, and it was especially important that we won the first match away from home. We did that and now we go on. It was good preparation for the match against Manchester City. I think we'll be even sharper against them and I'm optimistic that the result may be good," Semin told a local TV station on Sunday.

He hardly predicted that Dynamo would romp their way to the trophy but, for the often-cautious Semin, it was almost rampant euphoria.

Another cause for optimism is that Semin seems to have found the right touch and invigorated the evergreen former Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko, who scored in both legs against Besiktas.

Earlier in the year, the man who was instrumental in Milan winning the 2003 Champions League - not only for his winning strike in the penalty shoot-out against Juventus but also his efforts in the earlier rounds - looked, at 34, like he was losing his interest in the game and appetite for goals.

At one stage, there was even speculation that he would retire at the end of this campaign rather than carry on until next season, which culminates in Ukraine and Poland co-hosting Euro 2012 - at which Shevchenko has previously said that he is desperate to play.

Perhaps as big a danger to City though is Ukraine international right-sided midfielder Oleh Gusev, who hasn't attracted as much attention as Shevchenko as he has not played outside of his native land.

Like Shevchenko, he also scored twice against Besiktas, although scoring isn't his main attribute. The 27-year-old's speed and accuracy when crossing the ball could pose a huge threat to City's often-erratic defence.

Gusev, who has been at Dynamo since 2003, is believed to be keen on a big-money move this summer - and could be using the Europa League to state his case.

But perhaps one of City's biggest fears will be the conditions on the night of the first leg. The famous 12th man for the Bilo-Syni (White-Blues) is not the 16,000 baying Ukrainians packed into the compact Valeriy Lobanovskiy - but the temperature, which will be at least five below zero when Thursday's game kicks off. The mercury level will be a shock even to England goalkeeper Joe Hart, let alone the snood-wearing Argentine Carlos Tevez.

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  • 1. At 1:40pm on 09 Mar 2011, Mikey wrote:

    5 below.. I am sure the players will have played in this type of conditions a few times before..

    Having watched City this season in Europe I don't think it would take a lot for them to be dumped out. Lethargy and at times a possible lack of interest is evident

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  • 2. At 2:05pm on 09 Mar 2011, HayateSuperexpress wrote:

    That late 90's Dynamo team was a joy to behold. I loved watching them. They had the class of Belketvitch & Husin in the middle of the park and the razor sharp cutting edge that Shevchenko & Rebrov (before his free-fall at Spurs) provided. I remember them giving Arsenal a footballing lesson at Wembley - yet only managing to get a draw with an injury time equalizer. I think in the return game, Shevchenko hammered in a rocket of a free kick.

    They played brilliant technical football, pass and move with purpose. I was willing them on in the Champions League semi against Bayern Munich, but unfortunately they came up just short. If they can get back to that kind of style, it would be nice to see the coming again of Dynamo Kiev.

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  • 3. At 2:14pm on 09 Mar 2011, weekirky wrote:

    I can see City going out. Too many ego's in the current side and a lack of interest will be there downfall against Kiev who are a very dangerous side on there day, like most Eastern European sides who progress far in Champions League/Europea League. You just have to look at Shakhtar over the two legs against Roma and I can a similar outcome for this tie.

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  • 4. At 2:36pm on 09 Mar 2011, markanfield wrote:

    I remember when Shevchenko missed his penalty in the shootout loss to us in Instanbul!

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  • 5. At 2:42pm on 09 Mar 2011, Unkel Fill wrote:

    Good luck City, after seeing UEFA officials go out of their way last night to ensure at least one English side didn't make it to the next round of the CL (although Gunners would have lost the Barca tie anyway, even with 11 men on the pitch IMO) I want nothing more than an English double in CL and EL this season - don't care who the winners are as long as they're English. Up yours UEFA!

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  • 6. At 2:46pm on 09 Mar 2011, Irishrebel88 wrote:

    I watched Kiev in the highlights of their first game and the full match in their second game vs Besiktas and they were very dangerous when moving the ball around.

    They switched the ball from player to player with ease and were very potent going forward, as the final score suggested.

    Man City won't have an easy game of it and I fancy Kiev to take it at home although I'd hope Man City would be up for the second leg otherwise their 'favourite' status for the EL will mean nothing and then they'll only have one trophy aim for the season..

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  • 7. At 2:56pm on 09 Mar 2011, JamTay1 wrote:

    5. At 2:42pm on 09 Mar 2011, Unkel Fill wrote:
    Good luck City, after seeing UEFA officials go out of their way last night to ensure at least one English side didn't make it to the next round of the CL (although Gunners would have lost the Barca tie anyway, even with 11 men on the pitch IMO) I want nothing more than an English double in CL and EL this season - don't care who the winners are as long as they're English. Up yours UEFA!
    ------------------------------
    Yawn. This tired old nonsense that UEFA has an anti English bias has to stop. Perhaps if you broaden your perspective and get away from the Tabloid media and Talksport you will realise that there is nothing of the sort going on.

    Alternatively go on believing the nonsense that UEFA is trying to stop the English clubs, and believe that right up to the Champions League final which is at Wembley!

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  • 8. At 2:56pm on 09 Mar 2011, Bertie Button wrote:

    Good article.

    It will be a tough game for CITY. Kiev are rested and come into this game fresh. CITY will need a lot of guile and a strong defensive effort from Kompany and Co. I believe CITY will take this game seriously, Mancini wants to win this trophy, I have felt that right from the get-go.

    The conditions?? No-one likes the cold, even the Russians so I don't see that being an advantage.

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  • 9. At 2:59pm on 09 Mar 2011, Bertie Button wrote:

    Unkel Fill:

    I agree with your comments. The sending off of Van Perse was a joke. I thought Wenger handled it well under the circumstances.

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  • 10. At 3:53pm on 09 Mar 2011, Manuel Marinho wrote:

    @5 They don't have anything against the English, what they do is protect the Spanish and, to a lesser degree, the Italians. Those are still the strongest countries in UEFA.

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  • 11. At 4:05pm on 09 Mar 2011, 2xDiamond wrote:

    I see Dynamo as the favourites for this tie. City may well lose it in the first leg, unless they do the sensible thing and turn out the first team with instructions to make sure it's still 0-0 at half-time.

    I'd love to know where this idea that City are favourites for the competition comes from - every other country in Europe has Porto as favourites, with City fourth or fifth on the slate. I'd certainly want 3 times the odds that are on offer before I considered a punt.

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  • 12. At 4:06pm on 09 Mar 2011, Drooper_ wrote:

    Is City's defence so 'erratic' these days Phil? Probably partly because of Mancini's negative mindset, but only Chelsea, by one goal, have let in fewer goals in the league, having played one game fewer. Looks like Toure is out for...who knows? Kompany has been out recently with a hip injury, but might play against Dynamo. Lescott has been playing better recently. Micah Richards was player of the month for February.

    I think this is going to be City's toughest game yet in the EL, and I'm not feeling confident. No Adam Johnson really has limited City's potency, and I don't think Carlos Tevez is at the top of his form at the moment, but he's the kind of player that could get a hat trick tomorrow. Dzeko is still finding his feet, and while I like a lot about his play, his first touch and lack of pace worry me. Up front, that leaves the super enigma, Super Mario. You just don't know what he's going to do. He might win you the game single-handed, or it could go all skew-whiff and he gets sent off leaving City in the...mire. Will City get overrun? I'm not sure who's playing in midfield, but it'll probably include Barry, Yaya Toure and David Silva. Nothing to worry about with the latter, but I think Yaya's got his brother's predicament on his mind, and I often think he only does just enough. I thought he'd got over it, but Gareth Barry seems to be back in the habit of giving the ball away, which City can do without tomorrow. I disagree that City are not interested in this trophy, and it will be Dynamo,and not Reading on Sunday, who are the priority.

    I remember Lobonovskiy, Shevchenko and Dynamo murdering Arsenal at Wembley and George Graham typically still manage to get something from the game. Great to see them back, but hope they're not quite the same team.

    If I were Arsenal, I would get recordings of all the games that Swiss referee's officiated in, and see if any of the players kicked the ball away, and if he did anything about it.

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  • 13. At 4:29pm on 09 Mar 2011, Isa-Villain wrote:

    Manuel Marinho,

    Have you not been following football for the last decade? Italian football is nowhere near being the best league in Europe. In fact, many people believe that Germany has probably overtaken it even.

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  • 14. At 4:48pm on 09 Mar 2011, Seb wrote:

    @ 8 - Dynamo are Ukrainian not Russian, massive difference. Also to Phil and the BBC in general, the correct Ukrainian spelling is Kyiv, the official, internationally accepted way. Kiev is the English translation of the Russian spelling which is Kiev. I have flagged this up a few times now it's so frustrating, please stop.

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  • 15. At 5:03pm on 09 Mar 2011, 2xDiamond wrote:

    @14 - Seb, in Spain London is 'Londres', in Britain Koln is 'Cologne' and in Australia Loughborough is 'Loogaborooga'. I don't suppose the people of Kyiv will mind too much if we refer to their city as 'Kiev'.

    And back on the subject, I forgot to say earlier that I think the temperature will be a majot advantage to Dynamo in the first leg. They're much more used to such low temperatures than the City players. Goodness knows how Carlos is going to get by next season without his snood.

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  • 16. At 5:27pm on 09 Mar 2011, Seb wrote:

    At 2xDiamond - You completely miss the point I make. I agree that from language to language there are direct translations. This issue here is that this blog all translates from the Russian spelling and not Ukrainian which is incorrect.

    Also try not to comment on things you are not too sure about. I have family in KYIV and other areas of Ukraine that are not only frustrated but offended by this spelling that brings back so many painful memories of the brutal suppression of the Ukrainian language and culture by Russians.

    Dynamo will beat city and prove they are the true Ukrainian flag flyers, not Shakhtar

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  • 17. At 5:53pm on 09 Mar 2011, 2xDiamond wrote:

    Seb - okay, point taken! Jeez! And no need to talk down to me - you'll note that I referred to Kyiv using the correct spelling. I don't know much about the recent history of Ukraine, but I do know my wife's family in Spain annoy me by insisting I use Spanish names for Spanish places, yet refuse to use English names for British places. I don't have a cow about it though.

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  • 18. At 6:46pm on 09 Mar 2011, kippax1977 wrote:

    When City got drawn against Aris, people were all over various blogs and forums saying how Aris were going to destroy City, well that didnt happen did it?

    Kiev/Kyiv will be a tough game no doubt, but City are not 3rd in the Premier League through luck, sure enough they may not have played Ole football at all times this season, but what they have done is get results.

    This is a different City team now, having watched them for 25 years, I am very qualified to comment. The days of being everyones 2nd favorite team have gone. We are starting to look like the genuine article now and are only going to improve season after season.

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  • 19. At 7:07pm on 09 Mar 2011, Bertie Button wrote:

    kippax1977 wrote:
    When City got drawn against Aris, people were all over various blogs and forums saying how Aris were going to destroy City, well that didnt happen did it?

    Kiev/Kyiv will be a tough game no doubt, but City are not 3rd in the Premier League through luck, sure enough they may not have played Ole football at all times this season, but what they have done is get results.

    This is a different City team now, having watched them for 25 years, I am very qualified to comment. The days of being everyones 2nd favorite team have gone. We are starting to look like the genuine article now and are only going to improve season after season.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I agree. We seem to have a stronger mentality. I believe this is down to mancini, he talks about that side of the game on a weekly basis.

    Remember the bad all days of trips to: Halifax, Shrewsbury, Doncaster?

    Now we go 1-0 down at Notts County and Lecister and we still believe we can win.

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  • 20. At 9:30pm on 09 Mar 2011, Aarfy_Aardvark - bring back 606 wrote:

    Also try not to comment on things you are not too sure about. I have family in KYIV and other areas of Ukraine that are not only frustrated but offended by this spelling that brings back so many painful memories of the brutal suppression of the Ukrainian language and culture by Russians.

    --------------------------------------

    I assume your family live west of the Dnper then, sorry Dnipro (don't want to evoke memories of the pogroms.)

    How come you aren't bothered about 'Shakhtar' being a Ukrainian spelling of the team, despite the fact they come from a predominately ethnic-Russian and Russian speaking area?

    Seriously, you pro-Europeans in Ukraine amuse the hell out of me with your hypocrisy. Especially when the fans in Kiev/Kyiv/Kiew/Kijów sing songs in RUSSIAN.

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  • 21. At 10:46pm on 09 Mar 2011, 2xDiamond wrote:

    Didn't realise my innocent, albeit facetious, comment would stir up a hornets' nest re. modern Ukrainian history!

    To get back on the subject, I'm shifting towards a view that City will win the tie, drawing in Kyiv and winning in Manchester. My dear old Dad always said I was too optimistic to be a City fan. It just makes life more painful.

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  • 22. At 10:47pm on 09 Mar 2011, The United Way wrote:

    Sheva was such a great player in his pomp. Dominated Europe himself. How Milan would love to have someone like he was again... instead they have the ineffective but technically talented Robinho, Ibrahimovic and Pato.

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  • 23. At 10:49pm on 09 Mar 2011, Seb wrote:

    If you want to be pendantic, let's. The correct Russian spelling for the river is Dnepr.
    The reason I haven't mentioned Shakhtar is because the club was formed by a Russian which took his name. Over time this name evolved but using the Russian language and thus established strong ties with the ethnically Russian population that have always been present in the eastern oblasts particularly the Donets basin.

    Why Polish and German translations are mentioned I've know idea. Also if you read and understood my previous posts maybe your point about russian singing would be valid. The older generations could only speak Russian due to Ukrainian being suppressed. Only since 1992 has Ukrainian language seen a resurgence therefore in Kyiv all can understand Russian, but believe me, no-one under a certain age speaks or sings it as a first language.

    Anyway back to the football, city are lucky Aliyev is inelligible, he would have caused serious problems now back at Dynamo and supplying Sheva and Milevskiy with quality.

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  • 24. At 10:57pm on 09 Mar 2011, 2xDiamond wrote:

    I'm watching a TV show about sailing an Egyptian style sail-boat to the land of Punt. That's got nothing to do with this blog either.

    Come on City!

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  • 25. At 11:35pm on 09 Mar 2011, JamTay1 wrote:

    Erm I'm about to go eat a Chicken Kiev, but i'm really not sure that is what it's called anymore!...... ;)

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  • 26. At 00:03am on 10 Mar 2011, 2xDiamond wrote:

    JamTay1 - I'd go with 'Garlic Chicken' as a safe bet. I'm told it's actually a Russian dish, not Ukrainian. Best to leave the Kiev/Kyiv bit out completely. Or you could just have a Waldorf salad - lettuce, cucumber, a few Waldorfs.... (my homage to Basil Fawlty)

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  • 27. At 01:03am on 10 Mar 2011, AA4142CA wrote:

    Can I just correct a few things on the subject since I live in the city of Kiev and I can see the great Lobanovskiy/Dynamo stadium from my window.

    8. You would be surprised but, freezing condition will be the last thing that will benefit Dynamo players. First of all we have a massive winter break. All this time Dynamo team spend their time training and playing low profile friendlies at the club's training camps in Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Spain. In the winter you hardly see them in Ukraine. The biggest advantage for Dynamo is that they are more fresh and picking up the form from the winter break.

    12. It was Arsene Wenger, not George Graham if you refering to the game at Wembley in the 98/99 CL season.

    14.
    16.
    23.
    I'm very surprised to find posts such as these here on BBC. I'm not going to argue on the spelling and the rest of the stuff that concernes the politics and nationalism. All I can say is that FOOTBALL is the REAL and most universal LANGUAGE that has no barriers. And I hope it will stay that way.


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  • 28. At 05:15am on 10 Mar 2011, fraise wrote:

    4. At 2:36pm on 09 Mar 2011, Scouseatheart wrote:

    I remember when Shevchenko missed his penalty in the shootout loss to us in Instanbul!
    --------------------------
    Awwwww.. congratulations!

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  • 29. At 07:22am on 10 Mar 2011, bmimam wrote:

    "The triumphs also resulted in Dynamo strikers Oleg Blokhin and Igor Belanov being voted the European Footballer of the Year in the same year the club won their trophies."

    who among them (Blokhin and Belanov) won the European footballer of the year. I do think EFY is one person not two.

    Anyway nice report in general. And i do hope Shevchenko do his old magic again.

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  • 30. At 09:29am on 10 Mar 2011, AA4142CA wrote:

    29. At 07:22am on 10 Mar 2011, bmimam wrote:
    who among them (Blokhin and Belanov) won the European footballer of the year. I do think EFY is one person not two.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    It means 1975(Blokhin) and 1986(Belanov).

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  • 31. At 10:17am on 10 Mar 2011, tomefccam wrote:

    The column refers to Shevchenko as the man to cause problems. I'd agree with this to some extent. However i'd also highlight the ability of Artem Milevskiy who is a brilliant striker, and someone i'm surprised has not made a bigger move so far in his career. If any mid table PL team was looking to improve their striking options, this guy would definately be your man.

    He is similar in many ways to Dzeko, i'd argue just as good but you'd probably pay a tenth of the price for him

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  • 32. At 10:22am on 10 Mar 2011, markiyan wrote:

    Just a quick note, I am part English, part Ukrainian and it really winds me up when journalists and other people use terms like 'the first Ukraine team to win a European trophy since the break-up of the Soviet Union, compounded the feeling in the Ukraine capital that their past glories were exactly that.'

    Why would it not be 'the first Ukrainian team' or the 'Ukrainian Capital'? We wouldnt say 'the first England team' or the 'England Capital'.

    I know this sounds petty but just doesnt make sense to me!

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  • 33. At 10:51am on 10 Mar 2011, arronooi wrote:

    *26 2xDiamond
    Best to leave the Kiev/Kyiv bit out completely. Or you could just have a Waldorf salad - lettuce, cucumber, a few Waldorfs.... (my homage to Basil Fawlty)

    ========================

    WOW Fawlty Towers reference.... well done mate!!!!!

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  • 34. At 10:56am on 10 Mar 2011, JamTay1 wrote:

    26. At 00:03am on 10 Mar 2011, 2xDiamond wrote:
    JamTay1 - I'd go with 'Garlic Chicken' as a safe bet. I'm told it's actually a Russian dish, not Ukrainian. Best to leave the Kiev/Kyiv bit out completely. Or you could just have a Waldorf salad - lettuce, cucumber, a few Waldorfs.... (my homage to Basil Fawlty)
    --------------------------------------------------
    To avoid controversy, I changed my order to some of Manuel’s Paella! Just stay clear of the kippers.......

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  • 35. At 11:23am on 10 Mar 2011, Spigz wrote:

    I'd have to ask whether winning Europa league games or even being involved in the Europa league can constitute 'glory days' - a competition full of 'also-ran' teams, including the drop outs from the CPL. It's right up there with the League Cup. Glory days are winning the old European Cup/Champions League, your domestic league or domestic cup surely?

    I say that as a West Ham fan whose club did manage to a UEFA Cup Winner's Cup back in '65, but I wouldn't change my opinion if we won it next year (yes I know fat chance! :))

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  • 36. At 12:25pm on 10 Mar 2011, hackerjack wrote:

    It's Kiev. British site, British spelling, no matter whether it was via Russian, Ukrainian or Peruvian go-betweens.

    If you don't like the British version of the name then kindly go somewhere else to find your football news.

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  • 37. At 1:16pm on 10 Mar 2011, Drooper_ wrote:

    27. At 01:03am on 10 Mar 2011, AA4142CA wrote:

    12. It was Arsene Wenger, not George Graham if you refering to the game at Wembley in the 98/99 CL season.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    I stand corrected.

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  • 38. At 1:16pm on 10 Mar 2011, Susanna_Reid_is_nice wrote:

    I think a big problem for Man City won't just be the temperature, but also the time. They don't kick off until 22.05h local time. That's aleady after my bedtime. Add on two lots of injury time and the final whistle will sound about midnight! They've then got to get changed and get back to the airport for a long ca. 3.5 hour flight home. Great news if you're a Reading FC fan! Why doesn't UEFA schedule all their ex Soviet-block matches for late afternoon / early evening kick-offs?

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  • 39. At 1:21pm on 10 Mar 2011, tomefccam wrote:

    @35 'Spigz'

    I'd argue that furthermore, your assertion is impossibile. The UEFA Cup Winners Cup is now defunct, so West Ham nor anybody else will be winning a competition that has failed to exist for more than the last decade.

    The Europa league however can provide to glory days to clubs who are unlikely to contest winning the UEFA Champions League. Clubs who have won the competition in the past have used this as a platform for further success. Liverpool in the 70's started their European dominance with a UEFA Cup victory. Porto won in 2003 and followed it up a year later with a Champions League win. Liverpool in 2001 with very much the same squad achieved Champions League success in 2005. There are many other examples.

    I'd guess that the team to win it this year, will go onto have a successful Champions League campaign within the next couple of years.

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  • 40. At 1:41pm on 10 Mar 2011, SwissColony wrote:

    I don't know about the correct spelling of the city in which Dynamo plays, but I do know that Turkey shouldn't be in Uefa...

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  • 41. At 2:24pm on 10 Mar 2011, Czechmate wrote:

    "I want nothing more than an English double in CL and EL this season - don't care who the winners are as long as they're English. Up yours UEFA!"

    Pathetic. There is no anti English campaign in UEFA only an anti UEFA campaign in England. Even if there was I wouldn't blame them, time and time again the english media and general public boast about english football, then declare everyone is against us when they don't deliver. Notice how Barcelona had a perfectly good goal ruled offside at the Emirates, these things happen, but when they happen for English clubs they are glossed over.

    If the premiership was a team it would be Chelsea, money, money, money, then look down on everyone else and say you arn't as good.

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  • 42. At 4:04pm on 10 Mar 2011, JamTay1 wrote:

    41. At 2:24pm on 10 Mar 2011, Czechmate wrote:
    "I want nothing more than an English double in CL and EL this season - don't care who the winners are as long as they're English. Up yours UEFA!"

    Pathetic. There is no anti English campaign in UEFA only an anti UEFA campaign in England. Even if there was I wouldn't blame them, time and time again the english media and general public boast about english football, then declare everyone is against us when they don't deliver. Notice how Barcelona had a perfectly good goal ruled offside at the Emirates, these things happen, but when they happen for English clubs they are glossed over.

    If the premiership was a team it would be Chelsea, money, money, money, then look down on everyone else and say you arn't as good.
    ------------------------------
    So very, very true. However, I fear your message will be ignored by the vast majority of 'sky washed' Premier league fans.

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  • 43. At 5:13pm on 10 Mar 2011, Irelands Secret Weapon wrote:

    I'm Irish (as you can tell by the name) I absolutely love the EPL and for this reason I would like EPL teams to win Europe's 2 trophies. I agree totally with posts #41 & #42, it's not a blame game, you get nowhere by mouthing off it was his/her fault this and that, quite petty actually, Arsenal were beaten by the better team unfortunately (which i don't believe is EUFA's fault unless the draw was fixed which I very, very much doubt).

    Also why do folk always turn these blogs into political minefields, this surely is Citeh's hour, let the Citeh' fans enjoy their success without harping on non footballing BS!

    Come on Citeh and Liverpool!!!

    A Toon fan in peace

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  • 44. At 5:53pm on 10 Mar 2011, 2xDiamond wrote:

    Irelands SW - agree entirely re. the blame-game being a stupid waste of time.

    Thanks for the cheer for MCFC. However, Citeh is spelt 'City', just as Kiev is spelt 'Kyiv', apparently.

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  • 45. At 11:11pm on 10 Mar 2011, coreynz wrote:

    lol city got deystroyed outplayed in every aspect of the game, 30 more years of nothing....

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  • 46. At 09:26am on 11 Mar 2011, Strange_UBoat wrote:

    Very famous names in this trophy yes, and because Rangers are there, some infamous ones too!!!

    Seriously, very good result for Rangers last night, the best of the UK clubs and well done to them. Will they re-name Rangers 4-5-1!? Just a thought.

    Kiev have produced some very fine players over the years and I have always associated them with quick attacking football mainly due to the influence of the coaching giant that was Lobanovsky. And always the mainstays of the old USSR team. What a great coach Lobanovsky was.

    But in their present version, delighted to see them triumph over the money of Citeh. Hope Kiev go through. Citeh are not 3rd in the premiership on luck but for all the money they have I can't say I find them an attractive side to watch.

    And #5 no more of this tired old 'the world conspires against Engerlund' nonsense!! UEFA don't hate you, they like you, you are one of their 'big 5 country' pets! Can't comment on how the rest of us feel though!!





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  • 47. At 7:02pm on 11 Mar 2011, Rob04 wrote:

    #35
    a competition full of 'also-ran' teams, including the drop outs from the CPL. It's right up there with the League Cup.
    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Not at all. Its the only European competition that teams outside the big 5 countries can win. And like the old UEFA cup it can throw up some very good games between evenly matched teams. Unlike the CL stroll through the group stages for the usual suspects. Outside of Arsenal v Barca this week the CL is largely a snore.

    Yours can only be a view from the greed league EPL.

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  • 48. At 9:32pm on 12 Mar 2011, Paul Rodger wrote:

    Thursday night showed that Sheva still has it and Kiev are a good side. As for Man City, I will be surprised if they progress. Mancini and his players have a tough job ahead of them. If Kiev notch another goal in Manchester then I think its fair to say that its all over for City (and perhaps Mancini).

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