Soooo, Werder Bremen and Shakhtar Donetsk will contest this year?s Uefa Cup Final.
The attention given to this competition splits Evertonians not down the middle, more the three -quarter line in favour of those who desire a 100% effort to bring this trophy to Goodison Park.
I am not one of those, mainly due to Everton?s situation. If we had a squad size that of a top 4 team, let's go for it. Or if we were a Euro qualifier, potentially such as Fulham who will not challenge the top 4, again let's go for it. But we don?t, and we aren?t.
We have a small squad, with top 4 potential. The top 4 is the only possible way this club can progress. By that I mean getting closer to winning the title, and that can only be possible with the benefits of playing Champions League. Without it, well, we stay put. We stagnate!
The all important question for me is, should our small squad with the excesses of the Premier League, contend with potentially 20 additional games and thus undermine their top 4 push, for the CHANCE of glory in this second European competition?
That to me is the only question that counts. The pro-camp will say doing well in the Europa Cup raises the club?s profile. If that?s the case, without cheating and looking above, can you remember and name me the two aforementioned clubs contesting this years final?
And this raised profile you believe they will inherit, how does that manifest itself exactly? Becoming Middlesborough?!
If 'raising our profile' has benefits, then surely that helps us push for the top 4... but then, we're concentrating on the Europa Cup again the following season, so it doesn't... oh it's late, I'm off to bed...
Nick Entwistle, Posted 07/05/2009 at 19:53:12
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 08/05/2009 at 04:15:04
I don?t understand why we have to lessen the value of winning one competition because it?s not the one we?d really like to be in ... one step at a time ... winning anything would help, winning anything would help us move onto better and bigger things.
First the FA Cup Final, next season the Europa Cup and then... COYB!!!!!!!!!!!
2 Posted 08/05/2009 at 04:36:53
I watched the German semi on ITV4 and then the highlights of the Ukraine Semi after that so I’m aware of whose in the final, I disagree that we shouldn’t put too much effort into Europa, I’d put a full team of reserves out in the league cup though, that feckin thing is a waste of space and if not scrap it all together then change it so that it’s fought out between everyone other than premiership teams, or force everyone to play 3 or 4 youth players in each game or something, as it stands it’s a cup devalued by the sky4 putting the reserves out, to award a euro place for it is laughable.
Didn’t mean to change the subject :)
3 Posted 08/05/2009 at 05:40:10
4 Posted 08/05/2009 at 07:17:30
5 Posted 08/05/2009 at 07:38:48
I know we?ve got a small squad, but we play football to win things and the Europa Cup is a realistic, though still wortwhile target. And let's stop the attitude of writing off teams that compete in it just because they?re not AC Milan/Real Madrid etc. This type of snobbery is typical of Sky-4 supporters but we should be better than that.
6 Posted 08/05/2009 at 07:59:34
You cannot protect players saving them for certain games etc. Look at the injuries to Yakubu, Arteta and Jags, all innocuous and unexpected. Play your best team and try to win everything. What would people have said if Moyes picked a weakened team against the RS, Boro or Villa in the cup in order to ensure a European place in the league? Get real.
7 Posted 08/05/2009 at 08:23:47
8 Posted 08/05/2009 at 08:23:55
9 Posted 08/05/2009 at 08:32:24
10 Posted 08/05/2009 at 08:23:18
Should we compete? ? of course we should; this is football and we exist to win things. We are not in a position to pick and choose what we win ? anything and everything would be very popular.
Have you noticed how much more Everton FC are being talked about recently? A devalued domestic trophy would still mean we are winners again. It's not the end we want but is another step on the way.
If we had a larger, more attractive stadium we would be able to make more still, but that is another step still to take ? put both together and we are looking at £10 - 15 million a year more than we make now. Enough for two or three good additions to the squad.
11 Posted 08/05/2009 at 08:42:48
And people are saying it's a trophy, how can you put 4th over a trophy? Well, it's not a trophy, its inclusion in a tournament we have, like all others, an outside chance of winning.
So, given that we possibly may not win, are they to put another year of the Europa Cup, ahead of a break through into the CL?
12 Posted 08/05/2009 at 09:02:26
I say go for it ? if we don?t then the players are letting themselves, the supporters, and the rest of the competition down.
13 Posted 08/05/2009 at 09:00:25
You lot specualte about what?s needed far too much. How can you influence any of this other than by going to support the blues? Whether it?s Champions league or Europa league, enjoy the occasion.
Oh and Nick your comment belittles the team's achievements; before the FA cup Semi-Final, what was the biggest game you attended in the last 10 years, Fiorentina at Home? That?s if you go the game.
14 Posted 08/05/2009 at 09:08:47
Nobody gives a shit about this cup. You get sod all from competing (see above).
I love to watch as many everton games as possible. The more games we play in subsidiary comps... the more likely we are to get stretched. The more we get stretched, the more performances in the league dip. The more our performances in the league dip, the less likely we are to get into it next year. If we don?t get into next year, then I don?t have to consider this silly sequence of events.
So, what?s the logical conclusion? There isn?t one. If you?re in you play. And if you play you play to the best of your capacity.
15 Posted 08/05/2009 at 09:42:25
16 Posted 08/05/2009 at 09:36:56
17 Posted 08/05/2009 at 09:51:11
I if its a choice between winning the Uefa Cup and finishing fourth.....? I know which on one will go down in history as an achievement and it won't be the latter.
95 Cup winners finished way down the league; 84 finished seventh; 66 cup winners likewise. I understand the sensible and reasonable sentiments as to why the Uefa Cup can be a hindrance but we should be trying to win things... shouldn?t we?
18 Posted 08/05/2009 at 09:59:03
You don?t run before you learn to walk ? we need more Euro experience and coefficient increase (the Europa may be as worthless to many as the Worthless Cup over here but cash is cash and experience and exposure is desperately needed).
Qualifying for the CL with this size squad over Europa qualification with this size squad could lead to another short-lived forray and humiliation against one of the European big boy. Yes, if we get to the group stages, it's already worth £10m but ifs buts and maybes are just that.
19 Posted 08/05/2009 at 10:15:58
20 Posted 08/05/2009 at 09:58:07
Last three seasons:
06/07- 10 points from 4th 58pts
07/08- 9 points from 4th 65pts
08/09- 10 points from 4th with three games left 56pts
We are a long way off finishing 4th. The year we actually did was with a great effort from us and one of the top 4 having a shocking domestic campaign.
We are three or four 10mil plus players from really giving it a shake while also needing to hang on to nearly everyone we have. So that means that the competition that we have and will continue to qualify for is the Europa League/Uefa Cup. Let's win it then.
We all want to be in the competition that showcases the best teams in Europe but let's not sacrifice what we have now. What happens if it all falls in a heap and we slump back top lower table struggles (God forbid).
As Rob said, winning becomes a habit.
21 Posted 08/05/2009 at 10:28:43
Or to put it into perspective - 2 Tim Cahills, Mikel Artetas or Stephen Piennaars. Now who would realistically turn that down?
Too many people seem to be turning into Newcastle types, believing we have some divine right to be in the top 4 and play in the CL. We don?t and without such things as the Carling Cup, Europa League etc we won?t be able to continue our development.
Both Leeds & Newcastle have made it into the CL in the past but couldn?t sustain it for any length of time, you do it by building on strong foundations and taking it one step at a time, If that means improving our European experience (and co-efficient for better draws in future) by a few good years in the Europa League then so be it. If not, once 4th is unrealistic, we might as well just stop playing as 5th or 6th is pointless without European spots.
22 Posted 08/05/2009 at 10:05:03
As we know, the qualifying stages are tougher than the Uefa Cup qualifiers so the chances of getting to group stages of the Champs League are lower. If you don't win you get knocked into the Uefa Cup/Europa League anyway, and again even if you don't qualify to the last 16 after the group stages.
So either way... you?re going to playing in the Europa league. So you either make a small amount of money getting into the group stages and fall into the Europa league to keep playing games or get knocked out... or start in the Europa league, win the same money, and the cup....
And by the logic of the article, even by qualifying for the CL, the chances of qualifying again the next year is low. The reason why teams profit from the CL is by being in it year in year out.
It's swings and roundabouts really. The only problem people have is the fact the Europa league isn't as high profile and the money isn't as big as the CL. But it's still a major trophy... just look at the teams that were in it this year ? AC Milan, Fiorentina, Marseille, Zenit St. Petersburg, Valencia, CSKA Moscow, Benfica, Sampdoria, Feyenoord, Paris Saint-Germain, Ajax, Rennes, Copenhagen, Valencia. These are massive teams.
All in all its kinda of like saying the Euro Championship isnt as important as the World Cup. The World Cup has a bigger profile, but the Euro?s is a still a major trophy with big teams.
On profile, winning the Europa means your team is ONE of the best in Europe. Winning the Champions League means you are THE best in Europe. We?re not the best team in England, we?re one of them so the Europa League is a good comp to be in.
It's also funny to see the last finalists/winners of the last 2 Uefa cups are teams we have beaten....
23 Posted 08/05/2009 at 10:58:22
What do we do then, play reserves as there is little chance of actually winning it and our squad cant hack all the extra games. Then focus the rest of the season on finishing 4th again.
Dan Naylor, totally agree, you only benefit from the CL if you qualify for it EVERY season. It is the constant stream of £10-20-30mil every season the sparates them from the rest. WE, i.e. EVERTON are not in a position to qualify for it every season; we are a good 5 years from this curently. For that we need 2 extra forwards, 5 extra midfielders, 4 extra defenders and 1 extra keeper, this is the unfortunate reality.
In the time being, Europa is an excellent opportunity for players like Rodwell and Vaughan to learn European football from an early age. If we got it for the next 3 seasons (possibly qualify for CL once), Rodwell, Vaughan, Baxter and other youngsters we get will have a fantastic amount of experience (Gerrard played Uefa Cup for many years, as did Henry, Zidane, Dani Alves...) at young age and could improve far more than if playing only Premier League football.
Besides, If we win it it would feel fantastic, that is what football is about.
Also, Villa focussed on CL and may finish 6th, but have missed the opportunity to enjoy cup success. We win the Cup and we look like a more successful team than Villa. So COYB, first the FA, the the Uefa and THEN the CL...
24 Posted 08/05/2009 at 11:18:44
25 Posted 08/05/2009 at 11:11:30
The one thing you have to consider... both Manure (70s) and the Redshite have had long spells without winning a championship, but during those lean spells they continually win what the morons call Worthless Cups. This allows clubs to keep their high profiles and helps attract the better footballer (and investment) to allow them to grow.
Following the moron logic, I presume you won?t buy a lotto ticket for Saturday because the Euro lottery is paying more out on Friday... do you get it now?! Why the fuck are we going to Wembley anyway? Shouldn?t we have ditched that competition in favour of trying to finish 4th!!
26 Posted 08/05/2009 at 10:59:05
At this moment in time with most leagues having a few weeks to run, who’s looking to be in the Europa next season?...
Valencia/At. Madrid/Villarreal (2 of)
Some big clubs there with a lot of history, millions of supporters that will be giving a shit about this comp and for me, of a level that we should be looking to challenge ourselves against rather than denouncing the whole thing as a Mickey Mouse Cup - as a bonus, there’s some fantastic possible away trips to some amazing cities & stadia on the cards.
27 Posted 08/05/2009 at 11:48:15
28 Posted 08/05/2009 at 11:45:25
CL is a big step up but Europa is well within our grasp. As someone just said CL qualification is not about throwing £100 million at a squad and crossing your fingers that you will get a return - time and time again that has been shown to be a road to oblivion.
Get a team, improve the quality gradually, get experience in cups, europe, add a few top class players if and when you can afford it and then you stand a chance of starting a new dynasty. Gradual sustainable progress is the key for us.
Look at those players that have developed into top class players in the present team, look at the team spirit that carries us forward. Success is not beyond this club whether or not we get investment.
29 Posted 08/05/2009 at 11:48:23
That’s odd, because last season our good league form was sustained during our successful and enjoyable UEFA cup run, but tailed off after we lost to Fiorentina.
That’s odd because Aston Villa were going rather well in the league this year until they decided to field their reserves against CSKA and their season immediately fell apart on all fronts.
Winning teams like playing games. That’s the evidence, should anyone wish to look. Fans are in two camps, stay at home or expansionist. You only have to read the comments on here to see who’s where. But let’s not present nonsense as facts, whichever way we lean.
Personally I want to win a European trophy more than I want to win the 2nd rate domestic cup (which then qualifies you for the European trophy). I don’t give a toss about the 2nd rate domestic cup (unlike some, clearly) and would play our reserves & youth team in it.
I would cut the premier league to 18 teams (or even 16) to improve its competitiveness. Is anyone seriously surprised that we have West Brom, Sunderland, Hull etc propping up the table. I would rather our players were pitting their wits against PSV, Lyon, Villarreal, Zenith etc than clocking up routine victories against Sunderland & West Brom.
Patently there are Evertonians who disagree. Fine. No problem with that. But careful with the "evidence" please. I will always want EFC to develop at home & internationally. The chances of breaking into a CL position will be as hard, if not harder, next season even if we put all our resources into it at the expense of everything else. To abandon an important European trophy hunt in order to somehow gain domestic success is, IMHO, both outdated and misguided.
My priorities are: 1 League, 2 European Trophy, 3 FA Cup, 4 The Ashes, 5 Womens Premier League (champions elect), 5 Wimbledon Singles, 6 2nd rate domestic cup. I look forward to visiting Paris, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Rome, St Petersburg & Lisbon a tadge more than West Bromwich, Hull and Sunderland.
As for this year’s finalists, it happens occasionaly that big games feature so-called "small" teams. It was only a few years ago that the Champions League Final was between Porto and Deportivo. Monaco also made it to the semis that year. The idea of EFC playing a Roma or Ajax or PSG in a Euro final gets my heart racing much more than playing Tottenham at Wembley.
It’s the spirit of Rotterdam ’84. You either get it or you don’t.
30 Posted 08/05/2009 at 12:51:39
Our record against the top 4 is pretty abysmal. We only just edged out a weak United side on penalty?s and it took 200 mins to beat the Shite.
We're a solid, well drilled side but that's about it. There is no way on earth we could compete in the CL in the near future.
On the subject of this particular debate, the Uefa Cup is great for supporters ? more televised games, some great nights at Goodison etc. Let the DM and the board worry about taking us to the ?next level?.
As far as I?m concerned, ANY trophy being paraded around Goodison on the first game of a season would be more than welcome.
Can we enter the FA vase?
31 Posted 08/05/2009 at 13:11:39
Something like that is more likely to help break monopolies than the domestic player requirements or anything else Uefa talks about.
32 Posted 08/05/2009 at 13:40:15
The overhyped Champions League isn?t the be all and end all of football, you?ve fell for all the Sky nonsense. I?d take the Uefa Cup every year.
I can?t believe all this crap about not trying, what?s the fucking point of busting a gut all year to qualify and then whimping out?Football is all about winning silverware, any silverware.
The sooner Sky goes tits-up and takes all of the hangers-on back under a stone with it, the sooner football can get back to being the simple sport it always was. Try and win what you?re in, end of story.
33 Posted 08/05/2009 at 13:45:19
How long do you think Arteta and the top players at the club will hang around if we are continually finishing 5th and 6th?
The squad is knackered and we’re only played 2 games in Europe this season.
To finish 5th and 6th each year is stagnation to ambitious ultra talented players, they’ll want to leave and then a slide will follow.
The CL qualification to me, in this league where qualification is assentially locked, is as big as winning this Uefa after-thought of a competition.
Play you’re Zenits and Bremens all you like... I want Inter, and Barcelona...
34 Posted 08/05/2009 at 14:49:59
Our keys players will only go if a) the money is a silly amount b) if it's an upgrade from us and c) if they want to go. The fact that we dont play Champions League football won't affect our players. It's the teams that do play in it every year who are interested in our players that will affect them.
If Arteta wants to play CL football then he?ll have to ask for a transfer and see who wants him. If he was wanted, as with any other player, those teams wouldn't need an invitation to try and get him anyway.
I?d love us to play Barca etc.... but we can't at the moment so we play who we can.
35 Posted 08/05/2009 at 14:45:57
Surely the team should just try & achieve as much as it can, which means winning matches & silverware.
36 Posted 08/05/2009 at 14:56:49
Even by your own arguments there is obvious possibility of missing out & finishing 5th or 6th & thus finding ourselves in the Europa league. So in trying to decipher your cryptic post, we will obviously chuck our Europa League games as we’re not interested in Lyon, Roma, Werder Bremen etc?
And then in the (extremely) unlikely scenario where we finish in the top 4 having put all our egs in 1 basket, our players wil have almost ZERO experience of European games and, as Dan Naylor explains for you, we get humiiated.
You are confusing "wants" with reality. We all want, just that some of us inhabit a real world where most don’t get, but you make the very best of what you have. This Championsn League or nothing is not even an argument, it has no factual or logical basis whatsoever.
37 Posted 08/05/2009 at 14:56:49
Even by your own arguments, there is obvious possibility of missing out & finishing 5th or 6th & thus finding ourselves in the Europa League. So, in trying to decipher your cryptic post, we will obviously chuck our Europa League games as we?re not interested in Lyon, Roma, Werder Bremen etc?
And then in the (extremely) unlikely scenario where we finish in the top 4 having put all our eggs in one basket, our players will have almost ZERO experience of European games and, as Dan Naylor explains for you, we get humiliated.
You are confusing "wants" with reality. We all want, just that some of us inhabit a real world where most don?t get, but you make the very best of what you have. This Champions League or nothing is not even an argument, it has no factual or logical basis whatsoever.
38 Posted 08/05/2009 at 16:03:26
So, is it make the best of the Prem, or make the best of the Europa, our squad size can’t do both... That’s my argument, I’m not sure what is cryptic about it.
And why are we going to get humiliated in the CL? What is that based on... other than a dismal night against... Bucherest was it?
39 Posted 08/05/2009 at 17:09:26
40 Posted 08/05/2009 at 17:41:24
I too was at the Fiorentina game last season and what an atmosphere that was. Add the AZ away game and Zenit and Larissa at home. Awesome! Can I have some more please sir?
Sorry Nick, I?m not with you on this one, but it?s all about opinions. COYB!!
41 Posted 08/05/2009 at 20:11:01
Tommy Gibbons, do you want to list all these "worthless" cups Manure CONTINUALLY won in the 70s? ha ha ha
They only won the FA Cup once and I?ve never heard anyone call that worthless, still your list should be interesting, you might want to start with the second division title.
Talking of know-all?s, how side-splittingly funny was Alan Kirwin's "it's the spirit of Rotterdam 84" followed by the smug "you either get it or you don't..." ha ha ha ha! When you want to try and play the discerning Evertonian mate, you might want to at least try to get the fucken year right.
42 Posted 09/05/2009 at 02:02:26
Not sure what?s illogical about my argument, but if you want to take Europa Cup over CL in principle, no worries. What would really annoy me though is that what if we won the Europa, qualified for it again the following year beig 5th or 6th, or just because we won it, and the top players decided that was their Everton swansong, and left for CL footy.... if buts and maybes.
CL are where the elite play, that is where Everton should be, but if people would rather play Elfsborg or...
43 Posted 09/05/2009 at 04:50:04
The other thing is, when you want us to ?go out?, stage one? Because as Villa have shown, if you leave it too late to give up on it because of the CL you may get, the team is likely to drop off.
If we want to compete in the Champions League we have to be able to do both CL and league. The only way we can do this is by experience, Europa is that experience.
Otherwise, we finish 4th, get knocked out in the CL qualification round, then guess what, if we lucky, right back in the Europa.
We building, really well, but we not there yet, we need experience, which will come.
44 Posted 09/05/2009 at 09:12:31
45 Posted 09/05/2009 at 13:30:46
Do you really think that Arteta et al will want to stay at a club that don’t want to play them in the Europa cup because we might (very big might) finish 4th in the prem and qualify for CL.
What happens if we don’t finish 4th next season after throwing the Europa? Assuming we qualify for the Europa again to we continue to not try on the off chance of 4th.
That will make players leave.
46 Posted 10/05/2009 at 19:29:34
So as for the Europa League, let’s try to win the bloody thing and get a trophy!
47 Posted 10/05/2009 at 19:21:57
Whilst awaiting a Championship win, United (1967-1993) won 7 major trophies, our neighbours won 8 (1990- to whenever) and both also won lesser trinkets in those years. The point being they kept/keep their profiles high to such an extent that from the even keel of the 60s, when we were classed as big if not bigger than both clubs, they have both grown their clubs massively while we have stood still by comparison.
We cannot pick and choose what trophies to win... Those that understand need no explanation!
48 Posted 11/05/2009 at 06:22:35
You were taliking about them winning Seven MAJOR trophies over nearly 30 years Ha HA ha
And the list of these lesser trinkets your STILL talking about ?
Stop digging lad