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Last chance gone for Europe?

Comments (46)

It was always a longshot anyway us being able to make the Europa League via our league placing as it was always going to require a massive effort and huge luck to finish sixth. However, the FA Cup results and the semi final draw today means that the only league berth available is for finishing fifth and that looks way beyond us.
Andy Riley, Widnes     Posted 13/03/2011 at 19:23:48

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Alex Kociuba
1   Posted 13/03/2011 at 20:15:50

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We don't deserve Europe. There has been about two glimpses of the possibility of Europe all season. The fact of the matter is we'll do well to finish in the top half.
Gerry Morrison
2   Posted 13/03/2011 at 20:24:52

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The good news is that it makes it harder for the Shite to qualify too.
David Price
3   Posted 13/03/2011 at 20:27:19

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They'll probably win the Europa Cup in a shoot out and be invited to defend the trophy after another rule change.
Ian McDowell
4   Posted 13/03/2011 at 20:42:02

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It's true, we don't deserve it... and, with this squad depth, we would get embarrassed again.
Martin Paice
5   Posted 13/03/2011 at 20:52:55

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Sooner this godforsaken season ends the better.

Mind you, the transfer window's going to be about as much fun as Bolton away too.
Jamie Carroll
6   Posted 13/03/2011 at 20:57:21

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Staying in the Premier League will now be the only aim for this season, as worse a season since Smith's in 01-02. The fact is Moyes blew his chance to do well with his best squad since he took over, with his rigid 4-5-1 tactics and late/defensive substitutions.
Jim Hillier
7   Posted 13/03/2011 at 21:28:17

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The Citeh v Manure draw in the semis finishes off even an academic possibility of European football ? we'd have to beat Spurs for 5th place for that.

What a shit season.
Peter Bradshaw
8   Posted 13/03/2011 at 21:46:35

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Don't deserve to be in Europe... only if there is a war.
Eugene Ruane
9   Posted 13/03/2011 at 21:21:47

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Talk about wishful thinking!

Jesus, I'm looking for 42-44 points and hoping that there'll be three teams EVEN worse than us.

Sure that defines me as a glass half empty type and I probably am, but fuck me, looking for Europe?

To me that doesn't define you as glass half FULL type, it defines you as a running about in your bills holding a glass of your own piss, while white-coated fellers with large nets chase you...type

A glass half wibble-wibble-wibble type..if you will

Seriously, have you been watching Everton this season?

Every game is a lottery (with about the same odds of winning).

I don't give a shite what is or isn't mathematically 'possible', what ON THE EVIDENCE is PROBABLE is somewhere between 8th and 15th which, once again, makes us sort of PL extras (we WERE there but...nobody really noticed us).

Oh and we get to do this aaaaall again next year.

As Paulie Wanuts said "And on it goes this thing of ours"
Tom Bowers
10   Posted 13/03/2011 at 21:37:33

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Sorry, Andy, but I go along with others and say we do not have a squad good enough to do justice in Europe. We may beat teams like ourselves, that is to say, mid- to lower-table sides in the Europa Cup, but when the quality is needed to progress then Everton just don't have it at present. We have struggled even against the bottom 4 in the Prem and, on that evidence, we don't deserve Europe.

After last season, there was so much hope but we have been found wanting at all levels and big changes are needed. If we cannot afford the big stars then a lot of research and scouting has to be done before next season to bring in some quality loan players to merge with the few class players that we have.

We should sell off the dead weight and I mean the players we have had around for some time who most discerning Evertonians are well aware of. We need midfielders who are quick and strong and who can pass a ball.

This season we have lost so many battles in midfield and that reflects on the support for the back four and the offensive players who struggle for scoring opportunities because of poor approach play. If Moyes is kept on then he has to look at a whole new strategy as it is blatantly obvious his policies over the last 9 years have not been good enough.

Kunal Desai
11   Posted 13/03/2011 at 22:22:49

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I wish people would stop clutching at straws! In July we had the talk of Champions/top four finish, then a Europa League finish, then the FA Cup after the Chelsea victory and now again a Europa League finish.

When will people put things into perspective? We simply are not good enough. 8th to 10th is where we're likely to finish. I don't mind people being optimistic but seriously, there has got to be some realism at the same time.

James Stewart
12   Posted 13/03/2011 at 22:42:55

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Is this for real!? Europe was out of sight before Christmas!

We don't have a squad good enough to cope with domestic competitions let alone any more! Lunacy!
Albert Perkins
13   Posted 13/03/2011 at 22:55:18

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It's always hard when there's no game at the weekend cos you've lost the chance to do better, make up the points, put in a stellar performance. It's the hope.

Have to stew for another week.
Colin Ryan
14   Posted 13/03/2011 at 22:57:44

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I'm starting to think my bet on us winning the handicap league is doomed too. Backed us at 18/1 with +18 points to win the league. I'm afraid to see where we are in that table.

As for Europe? We'll have an even smaller squad next season so it's a blessing were not in Europe. If someone offered me 40 points for next season now I'd snap their hand off.
Mark Stone
15   Posted 13/03/2011 at 23:11:36

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To the rest of the world, Europe was probably out of sight before the season started; for Everton (not many neutrals would have bet against Utd, The Arse, Citteh, Chelski, Spuds and the Shite for top 6, in any order). But we all thought that we had a squad capable of finishing in the top 4 (!).

I guess it's that same blind naivety that makes Europe seem still in reach, for some (including myself, last week). After Brum and the FA Cup results/draw it does now look out of reach. But the aim still has to be to finish as high as possible ? and at the moment we're moving upwards in the table ? not downwards. COYB

Eric Myles
16   Posted 14/03/2011 at 01:55:09

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If Notlob finish 5th and get in the final, there's a chance for the 6th place team to get into the Europa.

I reckon that's what the RS will be praying for. Wouldn't it be great to see them not being in Europe and see how that affects their finances and players after the Ladyboy leaving and the clown likely to follow him.
Ray Roche
17   Posted 14/03/2011 at 07:59:31

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Eric, if the Shite don't automatically qualify for Europe they'll skweem and skweem until some spineless twat in UEFA changes the rules for them.
Adam Fenlon
18   Posted 14/03/2011 at 08:33:51

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All pretty academic unless you thought we had a realistic chance at this stage of even finishing 6th let alone 5th.

To be honest, if we actually do pull our fingers out enough to finish 6th, that'd at least show some improvement over where we're at now so we might have something to smile about, Europe or not....
Peter Dry
19   Posted 14/03/2011 at 09:27:23

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There was a progamme on the other night about Spike Milligan and it featured a sketch where Spike and Peter Sellers are dressed in nightgowns stood in dust bins singing "if you can't find joy or romance, stand in a bin and dance." Anyone wana join me?
Anthony Millington
20   Posted 14/03/2011 at 10:17:09

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Imagine Stoke or Bolton in Europe, they'd just kick the other teams off the park. I'm sure they'd do England proud.

On Liverpool qualifying, when Birmingham won the League Cup the papers were saying they were going to be disqualified from playing in Europe because of their finances! Similar sort of thing with Portsmouth last year, remember, Liverpool didn't qualify for the Europa League, they are only in it because Portsmouth got kicked out!
Alan Clarke
21   Posted 14/03/2011 at 10:30:49

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I thought the runner up from the FA Cup Final no longer qualifies for Europe and they scrapped that rule a few years ago? So providing one of the Manchester clubs wins the competition, 6th place is the European spot. Not that it has anything to do with us but it's likely the RS will still be in Europe.

I think this season has demonstrated how utterly shite Premier League football is. Man Utd have a very average squad yet look like they'll canter to their record league title. We've been crap for the most part but will still finish top half. That means there is a hell of a lot of shit below us in the league (most of whom we've failed to beat).
Liam Reilly
22   Posted 14/03/2011 at 12:31:20

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Don't forget the Fair Play league. We are currently sixth, but only Fulham and Blackpool are ahead of us that are unlikely to qualify directly.

So get safe in the league and then play like pussies to make sure we don't get another booking until the seasons end and ...Ta Daaaah

Jesus, I can't believe I am reduced to looking at that as a qualification source.

Awful season
Dave Truckle
23   Posted 14/03/2011 at 12:45:11

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Couldn't find the redistribution rules for next year but the rules from this year are below, I would have thought they would remain the same:
Redistribution rules: A Europa League place is vacated when a team qualifies for both the Champions League and the Europa League, or qualifies for the Europa League by more than one method. When a place is vacated, it is redistributed within the national association by the following rules

When the domestic cup winners (considered as the "highest-placed" qualifiers within the national association) also qualify for the Champions League, their Europa League place is vacated, and the remaining Europa League qualifiers are moved up one place, with the final place (with the earliest starting round) taken by the domestic cup runners-up, provided they do not already qualify for the Champions League or the Europa League. Otherwise, this place is taken by the highest-placed league finishers that have not yet qualified for the Europa League.

When the domestic cup winners also qualify for the Europa League through league position, their place through the league position is vacated, and the Europa League qualifiers that finish lower in the league are moved up one place, with the final place taken by the highest-placed league finishers that have not yet qualified for the Europa League.

A place vacated by the League Cup winners is taken by the highest-placed league finishers that have not yet qualified for the Europa League.

A Fair Play place is taken by the highest-ranked team in the domestic Fair Play table that has not yet qualified for the Champions League or the Europa League.

Dave Truckle
24   Posted 14/03/2011 at 12:48:56

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Forgot to mention obviously English clubs are allocated 3 spaces due to being ranked in the top 6 associations in the league coefficient

Not sure how fair play works but we had no entrants this year, aren't they taken from countries at random or something?

I would say that our only real chance is for either Bolton or Man City to win the cup (preferably Bolton) AND finish 5th, then the spot should drop to 6th. Imagine pipping the Shite to this spot (on the big assumption that they dont win the bloody thing ? then I'm sure they'd take the last spot).

At only 5 points behind them, I can't allow myself to throw in the towel, no matter how depressing this season has been. Surely we all crave European nights at Goodison. My only European experience was away at Benfica and I wanna be back in the competition. Maybe I'm just a gluton for punishment. I just think it's better to be in Europe if we possibly can.
Alan Clarke
25   Posted 14/03/2011 at 14:48:20

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Thanks Dave for clearing that up.
Stephen Leary
26   Posted 14/03/2011 at 14:56:50

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Moyes Out, Coyle In ? if we could keep the players we have and bring Yakubu and Vaughan back and get rid of Vic, we will finish top 6 next season easy!! All we need is a manager with bollocks to attack and look to win games, not just set out not to lose.
Alex Winstanley
27   Posted 14/03/2011 at 14:38:31

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Can you imagine if we actually qualified for Europe.... Wafer-thin squad, loads of injuries, no money to spend in the window. It would do us more harm than good.

Don't tell me it would generate needed funds ? it wouldn't, it's not the Champions League... Or would help us attract players; it wouldn't. We can't afford anyone!

Let's face it, top flight football is all about cash. You either have a mega rich benefactor who will underwrite your debt, or you have a ground that generates £Ms on a match day (eg, The Emirates). We have neither. This is our lot until we get one of the above... In the meantime, we have to hope we hold on to the few good players that we have and stay in the Premier League until the club's financial predicament improves.

Depressing, isn't it...! I love European nights at Goodison and the opportunity to win a trophy gets the blood pumping, but I do not believe it would do the club any good in the long run. We just don't have a big enough squad. Remember Ipswich Town's great run in Europe a few years ago? Ended up relegated. I fear that, due to the club's financial plight, if we went down (God forbid), we could end up like Sheffield Wed or Leeds Utd...

Dave Truckle
28   Posted 14/03/2011 at 15:55:01

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Alex, I totally understand what you are saying and agree that the situation is depressing.

The undertone of what you are saying though is that we should not want Everton to finish higher than 7th or win a domestic trophy until we get a new ground or a sugar daddy.

I find that altogether more depressing than having a small squad in Europe and I think to compare us to Ipswich is slightly unrealistic.

Surely to finish as high as possible and try as hard as we can in the cups is the only reason we are all here. Surely this is also the best way to attract a benefactor and keep existing and potential players motivated to play for us.

I cannot accept that anything other than the very best league position possible is what we should strive for and, at joint 6th in the Premier League form table, there is no reason not to go for it.

I am not sugar-coating this nightmare season, I just want us to win every game and play in every competition for as long as we can. If we don't, then what is the point?
Alex Winstanley
29   Posted 14/03/2011 at 16:12:20

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You are right. To finish as high as we can and win cups is the reason we are all here, and exactly what I want for our club. That is why it is depressing that you need money to not only achieve this, but sustain it. The days of a club like Everton, Villa, Nottingham Forest etc producing a squad of players and a Manager that all mature at the same time and have a chance of winning trophies domestically and in Europe are gone. As soon as a club like us starts generating a decent squad, or has exciting young talent coming through, then the likes of United, Chelsea & Man City start circling... Therefore, we need to ensure we remain in the top flight until our financial position improves.

The link with Ipswich was not meant to compare them to us as a club, but to show what could happen when a small squad is distracted by European football and does not concentrate on securing its future in the Premier League.

That doesn't mean I would not be delighted if, by some miracle, we did qualify for Europe and it does not mean I don't want us to win trophies. All I am saying is, based on the way we have played this season and the small squad we will have going into next season, would it be for the best?
Brian Waring
30   Posted 14/03/2011 at 18:11:29

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Alex, to win cups, you have to beat teams like Reading.
Andrew James
31   Posted 14/03/2011 at 20:13:01

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I would rather we qualified for Europe than not. Yes, the Europa League is a little farcical as it seems to go on forever, but it gives the fans a buzz and the team is not that much different from the one that went to Florence. It might be the difference between players like Fellaini staying or going.

We will make more money from ticket revenues, the brand being promoted and by finishing higher in the Premiership. A European campaign can be beneficial or detrimental to league form admittedly but there's always the hope it might be the former. Remember that tidy run we went on after Larissa?

Lastly, it puts us in the shop window for potential investors.

Therefore I'd rather spend the summer months knowing we are there than not.
Trevor Lynes
32   Posted 14/03/2011 at 20:40:50

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Steve #26 ? you must really be in cloud cuckoo land if you think Vaughan and the Yak would make any difference. Both are either past it and almost motionless (the Yak) and Vaughan is STILL as raw as he was when he first came through... absolutely no improvement whatever!!
Colin Gee
33   Posted 14/03/2011 at 21:05:46

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That's how I understand it, Dave (#23).

England gets three places in the Europa League, Birmingham already have one of them for winning the Carling Cup.

What happens with the following nightmare scenario. Bolton finish 5th and get to the Cup Final, so they have place No 2 We finish 6th in the league above the shite and get place No 3 but the shite somehow win the Europa League. Do both us and the shite then qualify, or do we lose out to them again as they would qualify as winners?
Sean McCarthy
34   Posted 14/03/2011 at 23:58:31

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I don't whether to laugh or cry!! Here we are in March pretty much everyone is agreed were shite and still some seek solace in dreams of Euro qualification.

Presumably the same ones who figured a top four slot was little more than a shoe in way back in August.

Now we cling to the Fair Play League or the poor man's Inter Toto Cup!!
Is it any wonder the kopites laugh at us???

James Flynn
35   Posted 15/03/2011 at 01:02:56

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Had the great 2nd half last season, Moyes declared for some silverware this season, and the players buckled right out the gate. The signs were there (I'm among those pretending not to see) when league position was still important and all of sudden we started drawing or losing.

DM assembled the team he could and it looked a good one. Except when they realized he expected them to challenge for Honors. They it was, and remains, tails between the legs. Never seen a dog sprint with its tail that way and catch anything.

Players win games. SAF, Moyes, and any other are NOT tactical geniuses. None are. Moyes did what he could and here we are. Shit, Arteta tucked his tail as soon as he got the contract. Look now that we're out, suddenly he's playing better.

Sheeeeeeeeit. Landon might miss sitters, but he's an arrogant little prick. That's what he brought to the Club and everyone noticed, even if they couldn't put a word to it. That's the type of fellow we're missing. Unfortunately, that arrogant bastard is usually a predator. 29 games in sitting at 0 goal differential. Billionnaire-less my ass. £30 million-missing is our problem. This team is missing the on-field leader.
Eric Myles
36   Posted 15/03/2011 at 09:51:18

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Colin #33, if the Europa Cup winners do not qualify on form then they will qualify by virtue of being winners but not at the expense of their country contingent.

Which means in your example case there would be 4 teams from England eligible.
Dave Truckle
37   Posted 15/03/2011 at 10:39:11

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I really can't understand the ridicule and negativity from the majority against that those that still want and hope Everton can achieve the very best outcome possible this season.

Don't get me wrong ? if I was given £100 to bet on whether Everton would finish in a Europa spot or not, I would bet firmly against. (I personally think the only chance would be Man City slipping to 5th and winning the cup.)

Do I think we have had some shockingly bad perfomances (usually against poor opposition) devoid of effort, craft, motivation and guile? ? Yes;

Have we lost only twice so far to top 6 opposition, yielding 12 points from a possible 27? ? Yes;

Do I think maybe Moyes has taken us as far as he can? ? Maybe;

Do I think Kenwright is a prick who needs to leave in order for this club to have any serious chance of sustained success? ? Yes;

Do I think we need a shake-up of the playing staff? ? Yes;

Do I think we are shit? ? No, I think we are on balance the 9th best performing team in the PL who are 5 points behind 6th;

Do I think we can finish 5th? ? No, never have;

Do I think we could beat the Shite to 6th? ? Hell, yes;

Would I be happy if this resulted in a Europa spot? ? Yes!!!

I understand the frustration, the depression, the infuriation, the sense of no hope, no future. I understand that 6th and a scrape into Europe is not upholding our motto.

What I don't understand is why some have given up on the season with 27 points to play for, surely that is as anti our motto as can be?
Dave Truckle
38   Posted 15/03/2011 at 11:08:09

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Correction, 13 points from a possible 27 against the top 6
Alan Rooney
39   Posted 15/03/2011 at 13:15:30

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There are still 27 points to play for. If all those teams above lose their games (or even draw the occassional one when it suits our cause) and we win all ours, we could qualify for the Champions League on 64 points nevermind the Europa Cup.

Shame on you people who have such a negative outlook.
James Hollister
40   Posted 15/03/2011 at 13:46:58

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Jamie Carroll ? Could be mistaken in dates but wasn't it 2004-05 season when we almost went down under Moyes?

I am sure it was Bolton who went down instead of us, because wasn't it Chelsea who beat them and we stayed up on goal difference? My memory is fast fading from back then... lol!

James Hollister
41   Posted 15/03/2011 at 13:52:49

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Dave Truckle ? You say you'd be happy for us to go into the Europa Cup. We have a very threadbare squad, certainly nowhere big enough for Europe, and, to be honest, as others have said, we don't deserve to be there on our performance this season. The problem is, as we all know, we need some new playing staff. Where are the funds going to come from to buy these needed players?

19 games for any cup is ridiculous but even more so for a squad our size; if it was Champions League, it's worth a gamble but not for the Europa this time out.

You also say we can't finish 5th, but we can 6th? Umm.... if we where on that type of form to hit 6th, then you'd have to think 5th would also be possible too.

The league this season is very competitive, and despite us being 5 points off the Europa, there is nothing right now that says we can't qualify for it. Teams are dropping points all over the place ? as long as we pick ours up and make a charge then anything can happen.

But as has been the case this season, we can't even win 3 on the bounce, lol!
James Hollister
42   Posted 15/03/2011 at 13:59:46

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James Flynn - I liked Donovan's attitude, it was infectious, but I am not entirely sure it was down to him alone that caused the up-turn in progression during the latter part of last season.

For two things we already know: He had no pace, and missed far too many chances.

Now the thing is, I have no idea which position Moyes really brought him in for. Was it really for the wing, or central Midfield or to shove him up top? I think he expected to shove him up top, saw him in training and decided against it, and put him on the wing.

He is a good player, but I am not sure how well he would really fare in the Premier League, season to season. I guess that's Moyesey's thought too. I always thought that the price tag of £11M was way over the top for a typical average player and, let's not forget, age is not on his side.
Dave Truckle
43   Posted 15/03/2011 at 14:04:18

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James Hollister ? Yes, I would be happier to be in the Europa League. I remember well the discussion on here about its worth last time we qualified so I respect yours and others' opinion on this matter even if I disagree.

I have two main problems with this chain of thought however:

A) How much do you think as a club we should try to avoid the evil Europa with our 'threadbare' squad? ? ie, early exits from Cups, intentional mid-table positioning or boycotting after qualification?

B) Do you believe that our 'threadbare' squad could handle or challenge in the Champions League? If not, do you really believe that 4th place is going to immediately bring the affordibility and attractiveness for the quality and quantity of payers we do require? If not is even CL worth the gamble?

If the answer to A) is "better to avoid" and the answer to B) is "no we couldn't handle it" then we may as well all stay at home and keep quiet until the mystery billionaire agrees to 'invest' (not buy) in a club not for sale.

I cannot subscribe to this point of view and, until Bill Gates comes knocking, I hope we fight fight fight, punch above our weight, whatever you want to call it. I hope we win as many games as we can and qualify for as many competitions as we can.

With regards to 5th, I think it's far less achievable to catch Spurs 11 points clear than it is to catch Liverpool 5 points clear. I'm sure most would agree?

When I said 'I Never did' think we could achieve 5th, I meant since Christmas as I too was one of the 'idiots' that felt 4th was a realistic TARGET. Not a 'shoe-in' but a target ? and I don't apologise for that.

Tom Bowers
44   Posted 15/03/2011 at 17:28:56

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Without Fellaini and Arteta, we have little or no hope of finishing the season well.

The midfield is now woefully inept and getting points will be very difficult as many teams around us in the table are thinking the same thoughts about sneaking into Europe. Yes, we have yet another home game this week but what have we done at home this season but disappoint?

We have to hope that a fully fit Cahill may grab some important goals to give us an edge in some of the remaining games.

Tom Rowe
45   Posted 15/03/2011 at 19:22:17

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Went in the January when we sold Pienaar, Loaned out 2 strikers and brought in... erm.. erm... that err boss... errr Greek fella who, as well all know, is gonna be... err the next err.... pfft errr... Can't think of anyone good who's Greek now.. err. Dunno anymore.

We brought in diddly shite is what I'm gettin at.

Karl Meighan
46   Posted 21/03/2011 at 13:53:58

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This season has ben dissapointing, both the quality of play and the points total imo. The usefull run of results of late has been welcome and although Europe is well off the radar relegation should now also be easily avoided. What is annoying and yes it is ifs and buts is that twelve points have been dropped at Goodison against the bottom five teams alone. Wins at places like Man City are the other side of the coin but them twelve points could of seen us challenging for the Champions League places. I suppose other clubs think the same things but teams like Wigan, Wolves, WBA, Birmingham and West Ham are teams that imo the current players should be capable of beating more often than not, so it does make me wonder just how far short we really are of challenging the top four?

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