October 21, 2018, 12:25:29 AM

Author Topic: The race for Europe  (Read 9033 times)

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February 11, 2018, 02:30:14 AM
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van der Meyde

Itís logical if you donít think weíre ready to compete on multiple fronts yet.
Cherry picking here, but what do you think it would require for us to be able to compete on multiple fronts?

February 11, 2018, 02:55:32 AM
Reply #1

van der Meyde

A more competitive squad, for instance we seem like we have one functioning line up for midfield this season and when we donít play certain players we donít have the depth to adequately replace them. We see already how important Walcott is to us, and itís a pretty big drop in quality right now if weíre throwing in Bolasie instead.
Do we need that added competition for places if we don't have the extra games? If we're only playing in the domestic competitions, are there enough minutes to keep everyone happy? I mean, that drop from Walcott to Bolasie is actually a fair bit better than most teams have.

A team that has proven it can compete with the bigger clubs in the PL so weíre ready for the tougher games in the Europa League.
Will we be able to attract the players needed to compete with the bigger clubs in the PL if we don't have Europa League? Say Leicester finish ahead of us in 7th, why exactly would a player choose to come to us over them? On the other side of things, I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest playing the tougher Europa League games more regularly would actually leave us better prepared for games against the top 6.

A settled/composed defence would also be nice. Likely a different manager who also has shown they can compete on that sort of level too.
Agree with these.


February 11, 2018, 02:57:32 AM
Reply #2

van der Meyde

A centre-back, a left back, and a manager who'll play the players we bought in 2017.

Same as we needed at the start of this season.  Had we got them, this season would have been completely different.
I don't see any reason to wait a whole year to do that! Might as well do it this summer... ;)

February 11, 2018, 03:16:37 PM
Reply #3

van der Meyde

These are all solid points.

On the playing time issue, do you think players if they are only playing in the EL see that as equal time to playing in the PL? I take your point in general more games, particularly for up and coming players is beneficial. I suppose overall Iím saying I want to make sure we can walk before we try to run. Get a starting XI right, which I think weíre still a a few players away from, get a solid bench that gives you options. We should have enough domestic games to keep 18-20 players happy.

As to why Leicester or us, probably only money right now. I doubt in general think the EL is anything like the pull the CL is though, itís a nicety.
Ideally I don't think it would be a case of some only playing league, some only playing Europe. Even keeping a settled side, there would be a natural level of rotation from injuries/fatigue.

I suspect I think we're a little closer to a decent starting 11 than you do though. Taking yesterday's team as a basis, I reckon we could make a decent fist of things if we just brought in a left back we could rely on and a natural midfielder to replace Rooney. There will still be plenty of room for improvement at centre half/up front, but we've found a system that works alright. The quality of our players will see us through in most of our home league matches (as we've seen this and last year).

Playing in the Europa does present disadvantages obviously, I wouldn't deny that. I think our biggest issues have stemmed not from the number of games and limited preparation for league matches, but from missing our 3 best players from last season (replacing just one of them) and an unsettled team.

I guess it would also help if people were able to estimate the costs of being in the Europa League. I don't think it costs us much at all as far as domestic cups go for example. If we're the 7th best team in the country, with quite a gap to the top 6, it's going to take a lot of luck to win something. In the league? Well, with no Europe, no cups and one of the best strikers in the world last season we won 61 points. We're on course for around 48 this season and picked up that under Martinez. If we're being really generous then, being in Europe might cost us 10-15 points at the absolute maximum. We are nowhere near close enough to the teams above us to be able to take advantage of that gap just yet.

I struggle to see Europa League as anything other than a good thing at this stage. It brings additional exposure and awareness, which translates into more commercial money. It's now beginning to bring in reasonable amounts of money in prize/broadcasting revenue. It provides us with additional opportunities to play younger players. It gives us an additional shot at reaching the CL, however far fetched that is. And if we ever were to reach the CL, it would benefit us to already having a squad/manager used to playing that regularly.

I'd love for us to get back in it.

February 11, 2018, 10:13:50 PM
Reply #4

van der Meyde

I really like the way this site combines the league table with remaining fixtures:


Given our away form, I think I'd much rather have Leicester's run in (5 homes, 3 aways against teams below them) than ours (3 homes, 5 aways against teams below us). Think we'll need to pick up a couple of away wins if we're to stand a chance of 7th personally.

February 18, 2018, 09:59:13 PM
Reply #5

van der Meyde

I hope we don't qualify for Europe because..
A: Fat head will be seen as a success and could stay.
B: It's a distraction from building for next season.
C: Currently we're not good enough to do ourselves justice.

But mainly A
If we finish 7th will fat head not have been a success?

February 18, 2018, 10:31:40 PM
Reply #6

van der Meyde

On paper but aided by other teams being shitter then us. Do you seriously think he's out future? He plans to lose some games in the hope he'll survive playing teams worse than us. Remember the West Brom, Burnley and Southampton games? Get safe, get shut.
No, I don't think he's our future. Neither do I particularly hope he's our manager next season.

I do think he'll have been a fairly successful interim appointment if he guides us to 7th though.