The Case of the Europa League

Krafty

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Do we want it? Or do we need it? Let’s examine the case of European football next season.

European football for a fourth consecutive season would be a good achievement, a solid sign of progression, and a remarkable feat given our start to the season. With the revamped Europa league, we can expect bigger TV revenues with the centralised contract. Alongside the gate receipt and sponsorship deals we can make based on being in Europe, this means money. It’s not on a par with the Champions League, but it’s better than nothing.

More money, more games, more strain our players. The scheduling of games on a Thursday often means we have very little time to prepare for league games, especially if we are travelling to Eastern Europe. Is it a surprise that our best form of the season has come when we are only playing one game a week, with a settled formation, players and tactics? Then there is the problem of King and his knee.I do not think chopping and changing the side every three days is helpful, although at times Ramos seemed to pick his line ups based on who arrived at the ground first.

However, on the flip side, we have a very big squad, and plenty of young players with potential. Whereas the depth of squad that a team like Fulham has, for example, would be stretched to its limits, we have plenty of quality that is not playing. The reserve teams of the last few weeks have shown this. If we want to keep players like Bale, Dawson, Huddlestone, Bentley et al, do we need as many cup games as possible to give them enough game time? Is the Europa League a chance to give our youngsters some valuable game time?

In my opinion, we should be able to compete on more than one front. The quality of our team, and a lot of those that will be competing in the Europa League, should allow even our ‘squad’ players to perform will and get results. The 4 team, 6 game format allows for a slip up or two, and under Redknapp I think younger players will be used if needed. Key to this is a good start to the league campaign. Start well, and both the League cup and Europa League are luxuries, matches we can experiment and if we don’t get the result we want, it is not a massive concern. Start the league badly, and not only do we need to win in the league, but we need to win in the cups to salvage something and get some momentum going.

European football will not just keep our current players content, but help attract new ones. Again, it’s not that Champions League, it’s not going to attract world class players, but it can get that next tier of player, ones who could become world class. It also raises the profile of the club, and if we do well our Uefa coefficient improves so that when, if, we get the holy grail of Champions League football we do not get a horrible draw.

In the end, I think European qualification, especially through the league and after the start to the season we had, would be another sign of our continued progression, whereas a season without Thursday night football would be seen as a step back. Perceptions can be so important in football; we need to keep moving on up.
 

DiscoD1882

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#3
"Ramos seemed to pick his line ups based on who arrived at the ground first."

Classic line! Spat my sandwich over the screen.

On the rest of the piece I was teetering with the joy\pain of getting into europe. And whilst we werent competing I felt it was a good chance to concentrate on the league and I stand by that, but if we get into Europe then also now fine with me. i do feel and it would really give us a chance to push of the top four if wee arent in europe though.............to be honest i really cant decide???? Either or. yes..... or not??? Hmmmmmm
 

llamafarmer

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#4
"It's magnificent to be in Europe and this club - a club like Tottenham Hotspur - if we're not in Europe, we're nothing. We're nothing."
 

JimmyG2

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#5
We had the same dilemma when Harry abandoned this year's Uefa cup campaign to save our Premiership status. Thing is we might well qualify for the Europa anyway, so was he right? Probably but I could still feel the splinters from the fence when I eventually got down.
You cant keep a big squad with a host of up and coming youngsters happy without plenty of games of various types and levels. But apart from the league we have two cups.
In the league we need to exploit the obvious benefits that a settled team have shown and use the cups to explore the wider reaches of the squad. The Europa offers us another platform for this.
We can't endure another disastrous start can we? Would a good start put more pressure on the manager to play his best team in the league and use the other competitions for a wider selection of his players.
We haven't qualified for the Europa yet so all this might be hypothetical. But less football if it resulted in a better league performance might not be such a step back.
As fans we love the tradition of European nights but the true test for us is the Premiership and we need to re-establish our credentials there as Aston Villa and Everton have done. Their success in Europe is limited but their reputations much enhanced by their performance in the league.
Man.City are only saved from derision by the existance this season of Newcastle and their serial 'saviours'. They are doing well in the Uefa though are unlikely to make the semi's but would swap it all for more consistent performances in the Premiership.That's what will save Sparky's job.
So distraction or inspiration? I think I could live without it next season but ultimately its where we want to be. I'm for a season of stability and consolidation before the next 'big push'.
Get off that fence fellas, its mine.
 

bigspurs

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#6
Absolutely agree with all of that. However I don't think that UEFA would like to see us cheapening their wonderful competition with our reserves in every round! They will probably fine us or something. The League Cup definitely though.
 

Woody10

Reality is only an illusion that occurs due to a l
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#7
Europe is a must if we want to continue to push on and challange the top 4!

If we didnt qualify we would have to sell alot of our squad, and we wouldnt attract any top players.
With the very good squad we have plus the odd sale and purchase in the summer we can be very good under Redknapp next season.
Europe would allow us to play our very talented Reserves/Youth team in a cup and keep the rest of the squad "fresh" for the league and Europe. A club of our size really should be looking to win the Europa league, or at least semi-finals!

Playing in Europe makes football and business sense!

COYS and really go for that 7th spot!
 

Roberts84

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#8
It's a catch 22 situation.
If we have ideas of playing CL football we need our players to get experience of playing different styles of football so Europe is a must. We also now have players who aren't playing as a result of not being in cup football. Eurpean nights are special and our 'brand' name is enhanced by being associated with these competitions.

Although it would help us qualify for CL if we only had the league to concentrate on.
 

Maske2g

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#9
Simple Maths.


A good Uefa run gives us an extra 20 million in the bank.

Dont play Ledly in Europe or cups, the extra games will keep Dawson happy.

60 games season means that Defoe and Kean can get plenty of games without trying to play them together. It is proven not the work.

Our average second string midfielders and 26 right bakcs will all get a look in.

The 20 million can fund a top draw signing.
 

yozza

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#10
Europe is vital for a club like ours, however progression in the league (4th position) has to be our overall goal.
 

Firekid

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#11
I reckon that if we do get into Europe then we should keep it seperate from the league. I.E see it as a bonus. Play a nearly complete second string. If we do well whoopie if not meh. Not sure if the players or manager would be able to have that mind set but if they can imagine that we didn't manage to get into europe then would it make much difference to the leauge. A team of gunter, dawson, (ressie cb) bale bentley, zoko, hudd, o'hara, obika, bent/defoe each europe game could easily win it. With Mason m'poku taarbat(sorry for sp) etc on the bench... Sorted.
 

Boony

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#12
Simple Maths.

A good Uefa run gives us an extra 20 million in the bank.
Are you sure of this? im sure I read once that some clubs do not even make much of a profit until they get to the Quarter finals (maybe im wrong).

Some of our games were not even on Tv, and the ones which were, were shown by channel 5.

Correct me if im wrong, but im sure that 20 million is miles away, even for the winners.
 

Maske2g

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#13
Are you sure of this? im sure I read once that some clubs do not even make much of a profit until they get to the Quarter finals (maybe im wrong).

Some of our games were not even on Tv, and the ones which were, were shown by channel 5.

Correct me if im wrong, but im sure that 20 million is miles away, even for the winners.
That was the figure put out when we reached were beaten by seville a couple of years back. I empasize "a good run" Man city have played 16 games this season, thats a lot of exposure and gate receipts.
 
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#14
europa league is a farce anyway. i have little respect for it and the crazy amount of games, stages and champions league drop outs. always try to qualify for it as a status symbol and gate receipts/financial reasons. also for blooding our youngsters. its not the cup it used to be.
 

se26spurs

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#15
Of course we need Europe. Its a showcase, its more money, its more publicity, its a pointer to where our club is in the pecking order. It is why we have a 'squad' assembled at such cost. No europe, no need for a 'squad'.
 

weggsy

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#16
the problem with any english team not in the top four is one of expectation. the irony is that of the 4 british teams in the UEFA this year, 3 of them sacrificed their place in the competition as it simply was not a priority.

what is more important than the glory of europe, we would like to ask ourselves? the answer is - quite a lot. for us, it was relegation fears. more revealingly, for aston villa it was the thought of breaking into the 'top four.' at first glance this seems ridiculous. being 4th in the table is good, not great. being 5th in the table is basically just as good. you don't find many west ham fans gloating over the fact that back in 1765, they finished 13th and spurs finished 14th. so the league, of itself, is irrelevant, provided you do enough to actually remain in it.

this brings me to the point then, that the reasons for villa's ignoring the uefa cup was to get into a better competition - a much much better one, with increased revenues/brand awareness/glory/etc. however, we cannot enter into this competition, and nor are we going to be in a position to for a little while yet. so why sacrifice everything in the pursuit of a top 4 finish? why not enter the league cup with your first team and try to win the trophy for the sake of having silverware? why not do the same with the UEFA cup?

everybody's expectations are misplaced. arsenal have won nothing for 4 years; spurs have.

but the problem is that these now lesser competitions are horribly devalued, to the extent now that the only thing anybody cares about is the CL, the prem, and the FA cup (and the FA are even screwing with that now by putting the semis at Wembley).

the issue is something that needs to be addressed. just because man utd and chelsea put out their kids for the league cup, why should we and others do the same, ditto for the UEFA cup? until teams outside the big four have genuinely bigger fish to fry, they should realise that a small feast is better than none at all.

unfortunately however the biggest teams have set the way forward - in putting out their lesser teams, they a) devalue the cup; and b) encourage others to put out their lesser teams, which c) further devalues the cup....etc.

.
 
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#18
I would have thought it was obvious - We need to be playing in Europe year on year, gaining the experience of fixture congestion, big match pressure and demands on the squad, so when we eventually get our top 4 finish and a crack at the Champions League we don't repeat Everton's massive anti-climax when they eventually managed to unseat Liverpool for 4th in 2004/5 season and dropped out in the qualifying rounds.
 
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#19
Perhaps in time Brother Platini will distribute the Uefa incomes more in accordance with his egaliterian philosophy,thus redistributing the wealth throughout football as he desires.
 
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#20
That was the figure put out when we reached were beaten by seville a couple of years back. I empasize "a good run" Man city have played 16 games this season, thats a lot of exposure and gate receipts.
No it wasn't - if you take off a zero that was the real figure for the run that ended with Sevilla. Yes as low as that. The disparity between UEFA is vast and has not been worth the commitment when you earn more from league survive and position in the EPL. This is why UEFA has cobbled together another dogs dinner which will again become devalued in the coming seasons.

The only solution is to reduce prize money in the champions league or bring it much closer in the UEFA Cup. The dropping down of the three group team into the UEFA is also absurd as is the shear volume of games against very poor opposition for much of the tournament. Games in Latvia or some similar eastern country against teams that would struggle against league two oppositions is also a waste of time.

Personally, I think UEFA has missed a golden opportunity to revamp European club football by providing two lean competitions with good quality participants in favour of two bloated competitions and a European Football for all approach which ever since the Champions league (European Cup) ceased to be about Champions has been happening.
 
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