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Europa League or Top 4?

by   |   19/08/2014  Comments (58)  jump

I've been having a bit of a debate with some of the lads about which would be the most enjoyable way for us to get into the Champions League next season.

Obviously the Premier League is the bread and butter and I always want us to finish as high as we can. With the teams around us spending astronomical amounts of money, it may seem it's a step too far again. The Europa League now gives us a second bite of the cherry to get to the promised land.

So just wondering what all the Blues out there would rather do. Win the Europa League and finish in the top 6. Or finish 4th and not concentrate too hard on the Europa?

For me, I personally would love us to win it. A trophy and the Champions League would be better than 4th and no trophy.

Also I would like to point out that I haven't ruled us out of winning the league just yet HA! COYB!

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Reader Comments (58)

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Barry Stevens
1 Posted 19/08/2014 at 21:44:41
Said it before on another thread. I’d love us to win the Europa with the shite finishing 4th. Then we can steal their place like Chelsea did to Spurs and laugh as they whinge all summer long.
Paul Hewitt
2 Posted 19/08/2014 at 21:55:12
Europa League every day.
Shane Corcoran
3 Posted 19/08/2014 at 21:58:28
Surely if the CL is the prize in both outcomes then everyone would prefer to win the EL as it gets you a trophy too, whereas fourth doesnÂ’t?
James Flynn
5 Posted 19/08/2014 at 22:18:07
The Prem always comes first.
Peter Murray
6 Posted 19/08/2014 at 21:52:18
A credible Champions League contender does it by finishing in the Premier League top 4.

Anything else is side-gate, slip-in, hope nobody else notices category.

It would be brilliant if we were to win the Europa League but purely in itself as an achievement.

Equally, failed CL contenders should not be allowed to be parachuted into the EL.

Of course the cynical chasing of cash is the name of the game nowadays. But, in terms of football, the drama, excitement and finality of the former European Cup competition will never be equalled.

Iain Love
8 Posted 19/08/2014 at 22:24:07
European nights are great, so is the FA Cup, the Premier League etc. I would rather us put our best available team out all the time.

Changing the team should only happen because of injury or if certain players or formations suit a particular match. I just don’t buy into this resting players lark — if they’re fit and in form, then play them.

Pat Finegan
9 Posted 19/08/2014 at 22:34:13
Europa gives us a trophy so I think that’s pretty clear.
Rob Halligan
10 Posted 19/08/2014 at 22:37:26
Win any trophy!! We have gone too long now without winning anything, will be 20 years by the time this seasonÂ’s trophies are handed out. So be it FA Cup, carling cup or Europa league, IÂ’m not bothered.
Tony Abrahams
11 Posted 19/08/2014 at 22:52:29
Just watched Napoli, draw at home to Bilbao and the standard looked very good. Think it will be easier to finish 4th in the Prem, than win the Europa Cup, but I would take 16th now if we could have that cup.
Julian Wait
12 Posted 19/08/2014 at 23:42:42
4th doesn’t guarantee CL quali, EL
does. Plus you get a cup to drink out of.

Easy decision, surely? The answer is obvious - 1st place AND EL winners :-)

Colin Glassar
13 Posted 19/08/2014 at 23:51:06
Cup games can be a lottery, I’d rather prove ourselves to be amongst the best over the season.
James Flynn
14 Posted 19/08/2014 at 23:52:07
I’m all for any silverware.

However, the only reason the EPL and Everton Football Club exist is to declare a champion. We will or won’t get there, but trying to comes first.

Chad Schofield
15 Posted 20/08/2014 at 01:02:01
I don’t think this is an unusual ’debate’...I do think though the ’top six and’ bit is what skews this. Personally, for this season, I’d like a decent run Europe (Europa league being detrimentally long really and post CL input it’s very tough), either FA of League Cup and top twelve (dependent on which cup and how well in Europa)

YES, of course idt like us to win all competitions... but I think if we can make sone strides while developing and enhancing our squad we have a decent chance of greater things next season. That doesnt mean win the league, because realistically until we have the meabs to compete financially, we will unlikely compete with City or Chelsea... but the rest, wel let I quite like watchibg them squander bith their miney anf opportunities.

Dave Rinehart
16 Posted 20/08/2014 at 04:02:00
So consensus is winning the Europa League title is better than 4th in the league. No argument from me there. However, I do think it will be easier to nab even 3rd in the League this year. Too many banana peels in the EL Group stage.

Early days but Liverpool looked less than attractive vs a depleted Southampton and Arsenal has a whole slew of problems after last night’s game (love our chances this weekend against them by the way).

Tony Rice
18 Posted 20/08/2014 at 04:41:11
I’m fine with either..... Obviously I’d like us to win ANY trophy at this point, but I think winning the EL is tougher than finishing top 4
James Hughes
19 Posted 20/08/2014 at 07:33:21
I love the Europa title and a day out for the final.

Me and thousands of others buy a ticket at a vastly inflated price but we turn the ground into swathes of blue!!

Tony Abrahams
20 Posted 20/08/2014 at 08:12:11
Dave 16, that is what we need to change at Everton, more than any other thing, itÂ’s Belief. Liverpool, by all accounts were poor against Southampton, yet they believe they can win the league. Everton, played okay on Saturday but were their own worst enemies.

We are at least equal to Liverpool, IMO, but we have got to believe it. Years of getting knocked down does that to us I suppose. But we are defiant bastards when we need to be us Evertonians, and we really need to start developing this side of our nature, once again!

Paul Mackie
22 Posted 20/08/2014 at 09:51:57
I’d much rather we get into the Champions League by actually winning something rather than by being the 4th best team in our league.
David Ellis
23 Posted 20/08/2014 at 10:10:22
I would much rather win the Europa League rather than finish 4th in Premier League. Can’t understand the opposing view to be honest. Also if we do finish 4th we are not necessarily in the CL anyway, tricky play off at best, or excluded entirely if some English Club outside the top 3 win the Europa League or CL (and as we know that has happened twice now).

In fact I would rather win the Europa League rather than finishing 2nd in the Premier League.

Mike Childs
24 Posted 20/08/2014 at 10:09:33
Look what winning the EL has done for Atletico. They are now one of the best. I like the scenario where win the EL and pipe The RS out of the CL if they finish 4th. Naturally winning the EL and finishing top 4 would be the ultimate and possible if we do not repeat last week’s second half.

We should sit down for a training session and just watch how Atletico wins header. As a team I swear they win 80% of the headers they are involved in. Lukaku especially who’s biggest problem for me seems to be timing. What I wouldn’t give to have Godin, Miranda and JuanFran in our back line.

Tony J Williams
25 Posted 20/08/2014 at 11:04:16
Trophy...... trophy....... trophy trophy trophy last time....trophy!!!!

And if it comes in the scenario Barry at the start states, then all the merrier.

John Ford
26 Posted 20/08/2014 at 11:12:03
I do worry about what Italian and Spanish second string teams will do to us in the E L, once/if we get through the early stages.

I’d take CL by any means, fair or foul.

Jim Knightley
27 Posted 20/08/2014 at 11:19:41
I don’t understand the point of this post’s not a choice, and if it was, it would obviously be silverware. Why would we rather come fourth than win a competition which gives us exactly the same outcome? Also, the rules have changed Barry. 5 teams can now qualify domestically.

One question: Would we still need to qualify if we won the Europa League?

A better question, I think, would be 1) would we prefer to win the Europa (if qualification into the CL group stages is not automatic or 2) come third. It’s just as irrelevant at this stage, but obviously a cup win/poss cl qualification vs definitely cl qualification is a different question. For me, it would the CL qualification.

Yair Kaye
28 Posted 20/08/2014 at 11:33:21
Finish 4th! Entering the CL is a prerequisite for returning to the elite of the PL, since it brings big money, franchises and overall recognition.

Europa League is interesting only for the smaller clubs participating, involves very little financial return compared with the CL, and our chances of winning it (thus getting a ticket to the CL) are very slim.

Geoffrey Caveney
29 Posted 20/08/2014 at 11:36:37
For me the question is not which competition we prioritize, Premier League or Europa, the question is which competition we de-prioritize. Because at some point, if one is more important, we have to rest some of our starters in the other. Above all: in which matches do we rest Howard and play Robles? If you want to focus on the Europa, are you saying we play Robles in Premier League matches?
Daniel Taylor
30 Posted 20/08/2014 at 14:40:36
I have looked into the qualifying criteria if the winner of the Europa League is outside the qualifying spots in their particular league. Wikipedia says that they have increased the maximum amount of teams to qualify from any given league from 4 to 5; therefore, if the Redshite finish 4th and we win the Europa League, then both teams at least qualify for the play-off round. EL winners can go straight into the group stage depending on a few other factors.

What I canÂ’t find though is the answer to this scenario: both the CL and EL winners are from the same country (say England for this example) and both finish outside the top 4... then what happens? ...surely they cannot allow 6 teams from the same league to qualify?

Clarence Yurcan
31 Posted 20/08/2014 at 15:04:12
I don’t see how this is even a debate. Both get Everton into the CL, and one does it with a trophy. Why would CL qualification without a trophy be better than CL qualification with a trophy?
Graham Plewes
32 Posted 20/08/2014 at 15:32:10
CL teams no longer drop into the Europa League and the CL spot does not come out of the countries quota. Spurs are the bookies’ favourites for the EL so it is very winnable.
Brian Denton
33 Posted 20/08/2014 at 15:32:33
Jim Knightly 27. I’m surprised that 5 teams domestically could qualify for the CL. I don’t suppose you could post a link that shows where UEFA have changed the rule they only brought in relatively recently (the rule kept Spurs out a couple of years ago).
Brian Denton
34 Posted 20/08/2014 at 15:40:47
Ditto Graham. I am interested in reading the rule changes. Also, does anyone know how badly English clubs would need to do in the CL for us to drop down to three places?
Jon Ferguson
35 Posted 20/08/2014 at 15:31:24
I’m so looking forward to seeing us back in Europe playing against clubs like Inter Milan, Fiorentina, Marseilles, Lyon, Sevilla, Athletico Bilbao, Brossis M’Gladbach the list goes on. There are other sleeping giants who may not have the best players right now, but have hardcore fans it big stadiums (Feyenoord for example), we’re the atmosphere would be great.

I think it would show a complete lack of ambition to wanting to finish 4th instead of going for the Europa.

Gerry Quinn
36 Posted 20/08/2014 at 15:49:08
I think that we would all nod in some kind of experienced nailed-on way, that UEFA would somehow find their usual obscure and corrupt way of getting the Redshite back into the CL if they came 4th and we won the EL! Remember last time when that kind of an event occurred?
Jon Ferguson
37 Posted 20/08/2014 at 16:01:17
If Liverpool came 4th and we won the Europa they would still qualify as well. It would not be a conspiracy, itÂ’s in the rules.

It makes us look small time constantly moaning about them. Us being in Europe has nothing to do with them.

Phil Walling
38 Posted 20/08/2014 at 16:02:10
If it is true that Roberto has promised Robles he will play all Europa and Cup games, I think we can dismiss our prospects in those competitions right now.

As my pie-eating brother-in-law puts it ’He’s the worst keeper ever to have won an FA Cup medal !’

Mark Pierpoint
39 Posted 20/08/2014 at 16:13:35
Well put John. Why everything gets linked back to Liverpool does get a bit nauseating.

Brian, he is right. Don’t know if there is a link, but the rule now is that the team who wins EL will get a bye into the CL at no loss to the national league. The only time this would not be the case is a scenario where we won the EL and finished 5 and (for arguments sake) Liverpool won the CL but finished 6. I think if Tottenham lets say then finished 4th they would not make the CL as only a maximum of 5 clubs can come from one association.

Matt Traynor
40 Posted 20/08/2014 at 15:46:47
Brian, Wiki or UEFA’s own site contains competition rules.

The number of slots is largely dependent on the value of the TV market in that country. Thanks to BT Sport you won’t see England dropping to 3 teams anytime soon.

Ian McDowell
41 Posted 20/08/2014 at 16:27:29
Win the Europa League. The would be some fantastic games on the way too.
Tony J Williams
42 Posted 20/08/2014 at 16:21:16
Mark #39, I would tend to agree with the Redshite point but in this instance it is relevant.

Their inclusion having failed to qualify in 2005 still sticks in our craw and we will never, ever forget the Collina farce, retires, comes back for one games, controversial decision then retires again..hmm

Patrick Murphy
43 Posted 20/08/2014 at 16:47:33
Winning the EL does not mean automatic entry into the CL proper as it is reported that :

Starting from this edition, the UEFA Europa League winners will qualify for the subsequent UEFA Champions League season.Therefore, the winners of this tournament will qualify for the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League. They will enter at least the play-off round, and will enter the group stage if the berth reserved for the Champions League title holders is not used.

Also the CL third-placed teams of the groups do to my knowledge still gain entry to the EL competition. Anybody got more information on this situation.

Gerry Quinn
44 Posted 20/08/2014 at 17:09:46
Took the words right out of my mouth, Tony #39, and, I promise that I won’t EVER, EVER, mention the RS on this site again! :)
Jon Ferguson
45 Posted 20/08/2014 at 17:33:05
Gerry - it’s not about never mentioning them ever, it just feels they get pulled into everything.

They shouldn’t have been allowed into the competition in 2005, but it wasn’t their fault we lost to Villareal. The rules are clear now!

We should be concentrating on us and not whatever it is they are up to in Europe.

Phil Walling
46 Posted 20/08/2014 at 19:26:12
Bringing THEM into every discussion only indicates an inferiority complex. Most of us said ’Bollocks’ to their kind when we were in the playground and left it at that !
Andy Crooks
47 Posted 20/08/2014 at 21:05:20
Jim # 27, I think that the OP is very relevant. The priority that Roberto gives to the Europa league will define our season.
Gerry Quinn
48 Posted 20/08/2014 at 21:31:44
Inferiority complex? Ha, I have continued saying "bollocks" to them for over 50 years, Phil. The playground in Crosby that I was in only had one or two of them about - oh, and both were Scousers, not Norwegian!
Raymond Fox
49 Posted 20/08/2014 at 21:58:09
First off have you seen the teams were up against in the Europa!

Martinez will prioritise the Prem ,he has to.
So like it or not, were between unlikely and very unlikely to get CL football out of either, some things are better unsaid, maybe that’s one of them!

Phil 38, I’ll take Roberto’s opinion V your brother in laws any day of the week, there’s only ONE goal that we’ve conceded when Robles has played that you could put down to his mistake, how many has Howard cocked up when you look back a short time?

By the way when Wigan won the FA Cup he conceded 2 goals in 7 games, which included 0-ing us and City in the final!

Jon Ferguson
50 Posted 20/08/2014 at 23:08:35
Raymond - to win we’d have to beat some great teams, but we beat Arsenal, Chelsea and United last season. We’re capable of beating high calibre teams. I can’t wait to see us in action in Europe!
Raymond Fox
51 Posted 20/08/2014 at 23:34:10
Jon, I hope we enjoy Europe I really do, but Martinez wont be picking his 1st choice team in Europe, at least I don’t think so.
Whatever they are occasions to be enjoyed, if the team give 100% that will do for me.
Jim Potter
52 Posted 21/08/2014 at 10:14:36
Pessimists! WeÂ’ll qualify top 4 and win the Europa Cup!

Next question ...?

Jim Lloyd
53 Posted 21/08/2014 at 10:21:47
Well, IÂ’m going to mention the r/s and IÂ’m (for once) not whining about them. IÂ’m looking at their pattern of success since the sixties. There were times when they wewre in Europe either in The European Cup as League Champions or they were in Europe as FA cup Winners, or in Europe In the Inter Cities because they finished higher than us and two teams from the same city, werenÂ’t allowed in (seemed to happen to us loads of times!)

Anyway, the point being is that by any way they could, they would try and lift a Trophy. believe that should be our philosophy. And I donÂ’t mean that we finish in sixteenth in order to do so.

I think we are unlikely to finish fourth. ItÂ’s possible but I think we will be doing well to fight for 5th/6th spot and that isnÂ’t me being negative. I just thing bigger squads with better players is going to tell against us.

That doesnÂ’t mean we give up on the leagueÂ’s top four, we do our best to break into it. But I do believe we have more chance of winning one of the two domestic cups, or possibly the Europa League, than finishing fourth.

Loads of times the dark side would be in Europe through cup competitons and I see us needing to try to achieve the same.

One way or another I believe that winning trophies is the best challenge for us. IÂ’m not discounting 4th place but the habit of winning trophyÂ’s is more likely to come through Europa, or the domestic cup competitions.

I canÂ’t see us winning the Premiership yet, nor the Champions League but I think we could finish 5th or 6th and win trophys as well.

If we managed to achieve this in the first few years under Robbie, then I would see that as an extremely successful start to him rebuiding this club into what it should be and hasnÂ’t been for too many years.

Bollocks to the R/S is right but it doesnÂ’t stop us from pinching some of their formula. Mind you, we donÂ’t have the cash for a referees slush fund and nor, I would say, do we want it.

Patrick Murphy
54 Posted 21/08/2014 at 11:23:43
Whatever PR guy the other lot got in to promote them in the early days certainly earned his corn. Talk about them being serial trophy gatherers in the 60s sticks in my craw, they won the title twice the same as Everton and Man U did. They won the FA Cup once - which took them 65 years to win and 90 minutes to lose. Everton also won the FA Cup once as did a few teams during that decade. Newcastle, Man iU, West Ham, Arsenal and Man City all put European trophies in their trophy cabinets they didnÂ’t.

I believe that every club sets out to win trophies, but there are only a handful to go around and so it has always been difficult to achieve, it could be argued that it has never been more difficult than it is today with seven expensively assembled squads in the Premier League who all want something to show for their efforts come the end of the season.

With a little luck and tremendous effort Everton could achieve a trophy this term but I wonÂ’t be crying and moaning if we donÂ’t as more often than not the club has nothing to show for a seasonÂ’s work but if we do manage it I will be a very happy Evertonian.

Jim Lloyd
55 Posted 21/08/2014 at 12:06:52
Absolutely right Patrick. The sixties is a sore point, our PR was pathetic, I think it was Catterick who didnÂ’t want the TV at the ground, whereas they welcomed it. The Beatles sound was at itÂ’s absolute height and they somehow were able to use that to publicise their existence.

I remember playing Inte Milan for our first European game, so we hardly got a look in regarding (what do they call it now "maximising our Brand" or something like) They ended up playing Inter Milan but it was something like the quarter or semi final, and their name was spreading throughout Europe and was synonymous with the "Mersey Sound" and Liverpool. We didnÂ’t even register. Anyway, I think their greatest PR man was Shankly. Blimey, sorry about all our yesterdays.

I agree with Patrick that it will be much harder to bag a trophy now, and several of our competitors (at least 3) would look on coming fourth as nothing really to write home about. But if they won a trophy it would go some way to making their season not looking like a failure.

I too, think that if we won a trophy it would be a tremendous achievement but IÂ’m not banking us doing so. If we keep playing the type and quality of football that we showed at times last season, then I think there is a great foundation to build on.

Phil Walling
56 Posted 21/08/2014 at 12:43:03
OK, Raymond; Robles is a boss keeper, youÂ’ve convinced me. Perhaps my eyes are failing me !
Robert Workman
57 Posted 21/08/2014 at 12:36:00
I have never understood why so much fuss is made about finishing 4th in the EPL. Everyone knows that it does not guarantee Champions League football, only a place in the qualifying phase. It is merely an illusion.

All Evertonians will remember the Villareal saga. They were one of the better teams involved at that stage.

Look at some of the teams involved in this yearÂ’s qualifying phase :- Bayer Leverkusen, Napoli, Porto, Athletic Bilbao, Zenit St. Petersburg, Steaua Bucharest - not forgetting Red Bull Salzburg (with their goal machine Soriano who hit woodwork 3 times and scored delightful free kick against Malmo).

Would anyone reckon Everton would find it easy against any of that lot in a 2-legged tie?

Patrick Murphy
58 Posted 21/08/2014 at 14:07:52
Rat-boy is quoted as saying that he feels like a footballer - Head Chef at Barcelona said he has to eat what is on the clubÂ’s menu like the rest of the squad.

I wish Roberto could find a player to become a talisman for Everton a player such as Kanchelskis, Duncan or Tim Cahill - our present squad for all of its ability lacks something in terms of personality and I think we could do with a stand-out player but alas there arenÂ’t too many of that type that are affordable.

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