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No European Shake-Up This Year

By | 5th May 2009

carewWith Aston Villa defeating Hull City 1-0 last night, Premier League fans had to settle once again for an ordinary season at the top of the table. While a few of the places are a bit different (Liverpool ahead of Chelsea?), once again the normal culprits have all locked up European spots.

Even as a United fan, the dullness and predictability of the top half of the table is a bit disheartening. One of the most exciting dramas of the season was the resurgence of an Aston Villa side full of young English talent. Ashley Young in particular won over many hearts this season (prompting my colleague Taylor Fisher to run out and buy an Ashley Young shirt), and for a large part of the season Arsenal fans were worried that it would be the Villans who would wrap up that fourth Champions League spot. A terrible second half of the season, though, leaves Villa far behind the Big Four, and normal order has once again been restored to the Premier League.

And how about the other side of this most recent Aston Villa result? Hull City were the cinderella story of the season. It was the first year in the Premiership for the Tigers, and Phil Brown and his side showed admirable desire in the opening months, even being as high as the top of the table for a while! Since then, the Premier League newboys have dropped at an equally amazing rate, and the Tigers now find themselves on the brink of relegation. This doesn’t give much hope for teams entering the world’s greatest league – Wolverhampton beware!

Even then, following the 1-0 result of last night, it’s encouraging to know that Aston Villa will have another chance to do England proud in Europe. With Manchester United and Arsenal squaring off in the Champions League semifinals later today and Chelsea hosting Barcelona in the other semifinal, English football can take heart in the fact that no other nation in the world exhibits such footballing dominance (on the club stage, at least). Aston Villa, joined with Everton, should enjoy great success in next season’s Europa League.

Aston Villa clinch a spot in the Europa League, but will Hull be playing in the Championship? Have your say in the comments section below!

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