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Started the 30th July. Pretty much the same route we had. Finished 16 points above the team in 18th and nearly won something. Imagine.
You'd rather we missed European football next season so we can go full kilter at top 6? And thus achieving European football but just a season later?
You could send a squad of our best young'uns and backup players to rinse the qualifying rounds, Limassol style, with minimal disruption.Still can't believe quite how badly Koeman dealt with it. Getting outplayed by fucking Ruzumberok.Reckon if you gave Allardyce the choice, he'd want to be in it every time, and would back himself and his staff to deal with it quite comfortably.
Correlation isn't causation though. The main problem I have with your idea is that most of the British teams that have started in the earliest rounds aren't actually that good to begin with. You're talking about clubs who, in the main, qualified by fluking a cup runner's up place, finished 7th or lower, or worst of all qualified through the fair play league. Does starting seasons early every year hinder Celtic? Not really. Did it hurt Liverpool in 05-06? No. Is the Europa League hurting Arsenal? Arguably not. When it's a good (or relatively good) team starting early or being in the Europa doesn't hinder league performances all that much really. It's too easy to just blame the added games or Thursday night matches. It's more complicated than that. Added games are part of it, obviously, but they're something we'll need to learn to deal with if we crack the top 4 anyway. We came into this season missing 3 of our best players - a quarter of last season's starting line up - having not particularly replaced any of them. We had a dreadful opening run of fixtures and a manager who was still getting to grips with his best team. There are loads of factors behind our poor start. Still we've, give or take, generally picked up points in the games we'd "expect" to as well. I wouldn't let what happened this season put us off starting early again next season personally.
I agree with this, but changes deffo need to be made to the Europa League, it's farcical at the moment.
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