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Back door to Europe still ajar for Everton

by | 07/05/2015  Comments (91)  jump
Updated Everton may be battling to add some respectability to their Premier League season by finishing in the top half of the table but a clean fight could also see them qualify for Europe via Uefa's Fair Play league.

European football's governing body keeps score of each team's disciplinary record throughout the season and has awarded an extra place in the Europa League to the top three associations: the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland and England.

Everton, meanwhile, have the third best disciplinary record in the Premier League behind Liverpool and West Ham and slightly ahead of Southampton.

With the reds odds-on to finish in an automatic European place in the Premier League, that leaves the Hammers and the Blues best placed to claim England's spot and adds an interesting dynamic to the two teams' meeting at Upton Park the weekend after next.

The Fair Play route into Europe place comes with a significant caveat, however — namely that the entering clubs must begin their journey in the first qualifying round which kicks off 1st July.

That would force a complete rethink of the manager's pre-season programme while the second qualifying round would clash with the Blues' participation in the Asia Trophy in mid-July.

Martinez wouldn't be drawn on the possibility in his press conference today, saying: "It is not something you think about going into our games. "There are too many twists and turns to go. Whatever happens, happens."  

Reader Comments (91)

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Colin Glassar
1 Posted 07/05/2015 at 07:58:26
God, I hope not. This competition is a joke with its Thursday - Sunday schedule and the financial pittance it offers. CL or nothing IMO.
Guy Hastings
2 Posted 07/05/2015 at 07:51:49
ThatÂ’s a nailed-on bloodbath then against West Ham as both sides do their utmost to avoid Europa. Barry sets precedent by being red-carded for knocking the ball off its plinth before the ref gets to it, while Lukaku is yellowed twice in two minutes for simulation when he pretends to fall over the mascotÂ’s feet. Martinez later offers West Ham Â’phenomenalÂ’ mascot swap deal, Changy the Elephant plus Mirallas.
Tim Locke
3 Posted 07/05/2015 at 08:07:24
If we did end up in it then it should be used to bed in the Under-21s. Next season is all about building a team which is in the top 5, challenging for that top 4.

There is a question out at the moment if this was the cause of BobbyÂ’s poor season. No Europe and letÂ’s see how he gets on.

Ernie Baywood
4 Posted 07/05/2015 at 08:31:02
You get points for showing attacking intent in this table donÂ’t you? How the hell are we in with a chance???
Jim Bennings
5 Posted 07/05/2015 at 08:23:32

You're in cloud cuckoo land if you seriously think we can mount a top 4 or 5 challenge. The team this season has shown its limitations and, with or without Europe, it wonÂ’t bring about a different approach from Martinez; it will still be the same football, the same mistakes being made, the same lack of fight in too many matches and soft lad Roberto going on about "thinking we only had to turn up".

The reason we finished 5th last season was one of various factors, Moyes's fitness regime was still in place, the players' performances were to impress the new management at the time. Now, they know they are safe, but donÂ’t really buy into the philosophy of Martinez. Also the other big factor: age has caught up with too many and next year they will be even older again and slower.

The best we can hope for next season is a run in the Cups and a top-half finish, probably about 8th or 9th. This manager doesnÂ’t have the tactical nous or flexibility to consistently get the team up there and the inability to motivate them is a key factor.

Incidentally, what difference really is playing Thursday and Sunday from the Wednesday to Saturday schedule in the Champions League!!?

Eugene Ruane
6 Posted 07/05/2015 at 08:32:07
Great, I hope we do get in.

WeÂ’re not going to win anything or get CL, so IÂ’ll take a few beers, a few laughs and a sing-song in a nice continental bar.

Play the Under-18s if they want.

Jim Bennings
7 Posted 07/05/2015 at 08:41:35
The main reason this season has been such a disaster is not Europe but cast your mind back to the rank awful pre-season preparations and Martinez spending half of his Summer jaunting around Brazil at the World Cup.

We were totally ill-prepared for this season and, before the Europa League had even started in late September, we had already suffered a string of abysmal results such as the Chelsea and Palace home defeats.

It's naïve to give Martinez and the players a foundation to lay excuses on; they all need to share the blame for underperforming this season and no excuse will cut any ice with the fans. Martinez has made too many mistakes this season and failed to motivate his players – that’s not Europe, it’s bad management.

IÂ’d love to be proved wrong next season but I can see by the middle to end of September we will all be having the same raging debates as we have this season: more questions than answers again and more baffling team selections.

Phil Sammon
8 Posted 07/05/2015 at 08:46:47
I canÂ’t even process rational thought with Martinez at the helm. IÂ’m one that always wants to see us in Europe, even if it is Europa League... but I donÂ’t think the distraction would be good for Martinez who clearly NEEDS to make an impact in the League next season.

European football, new signings, new tactics... I canÂ’t get excited about anything... I just donÂ’t think Martinez is capable and seeing him out the door should still be every EvertonianÂ’s priority.

Sam Hoare
9 Posted 07/05/2015 at 07:55:57
Hmmm. Mixed feelings.

On one hand, I greatly enjoyed Europe this season and it's where we should be if we are looking to push forward. On the other hand, we obviously suffered domestically this season and I'm not sure I could handle a repeat next year.

Overall, if we were to get the place, IÂ’d probably say "Go for it." Better to do so and regret than not to do at all... right? But letÂ’s genuinely bolster the squad if so!

John Keating
10 Posted 07/05/2015 at 09:01:59
Jesus wept! What a nightmare! I can only hope we finish up with 9 men in each of our remaining games. Come on Barry get stuck in!! IÂ’m praying each night the RS finish up 5th to really bugger up next season for them.

The thought of us getting back into that shite competition is too horrendous to even think about.

Patrick Murphy
11 Posted 07/05/2015 at 09:00:05
ItÂ’s a silly situation for a competitive sport to have a reward for basically being either uncompetitive or being favoured by those who arbitrarily award bonus points for subjective issues.

West Ham could well have been very clever in their run of matches since their exit from the FA Cup by not being as competitive as they usually are in order to achieve Europe by the back-door. If we are in with a chance in the last game at West Ham, what are the odds that one or two of our players are dismissed for looking at the officials the wrong way?

It would be good for the club to have another season in the Europa League, but entry via this particular route is hardly the best way to achieve it. I also notice that our neighbours always seem to be top or near the top of this league in most seasons, no bias or the FA looking after itÂ’s Â’brandedÂ’ clubs I donÂ’t suppose.

Jim Bennings
12 Posted 07/05/2015 at 08:57:45
There is another point of this ’too many games’ excuse though, what about teams in the Championship? They play umpteen midweek fixtures and Saturdays but it doesnÂ’t prevent the fittest best-prepared teams from winning promotion??

’Too many matches’ is only used as an excuse when you are playing like shite; if you’re winning or on unbeaten runs itÂ’s all this "Oh, I want to play again tomorrow, we donÂ’t want a break."

My advice to the manager, players and even fans alike is whatever competition your teamÂ’s are in, enjoy it, stop moaning. Cups and tournaments are part of football... Put simply, if you’re only playing for the league but know you have no chance of ever winning it, thatÂ’s when the fun goes out of the game for me.

Andrew Ellams
13 Posted 07/05/2015 at 09:06:33
Mixed feelings again. IÂ’m not dead set against this competitition as it is our best bet of playing in Europe, but IÂ’m not sure about this method of entry and of course how early we would have to start.

Win a cup or finish top 6 then great. This way, not really.

Andrew Clare
14 Posted 07/05/2015 at 09:15:08
Great! LetÂ’s go for it.

We want to be in Europe every year.

Dan Hollingworth
15 Posted 07/05/2015 at 08:57:19
I get you start the season earlier, and it puts a strain on legs going into the season. But surely it's better to be playing competitive games against nobodies than pointless pre-season games in Tranmere?

James Martin
16 Posted 07/05/2015 at 09:37:41
Yeah we might actually be match fit for once by the time the season starts. It also would keep our coefficient up, weÂ’d increase our revenue and exposure. I hope we get it, weÂ’re so drab in the league a season of only domestic football would be depressing.
Bill Griffiths
17 Posted 07/05/2015 at 09:37:22
IÂ’ve mixed feelings like Sam on this. Personally I donÂ’t see that playing Thursday & Sunday is any different to Wednesday & Saturday and shouldnÂ’t affect a team's form/performance. Looking at things on the whole, it has seemed to affect more teams than it hasnÂ’t... though I donÂ’t see why it should. My gut instinct is: I hope we get in.

However, it may be better for the lads to have a good rest to recharge their batteries and get a good pre-season programme worked out and start afresh.

I canÂ’t believe the amount of negativity being shown with regard to next season. I myself have my doubts regarding Roberto but heÂ’s obviously going to be in charge next season so let's be positive and get behind him and the lads next season and give them a chance to make amends for this sorry excuse of a season.

Rick Tarleton
18 Posted 07/05/2015 at 10:12:04
Is this a threat or a hope?
Eric Myles
19 Posted 07/05/2015 at 08:42:47
Colin, weÂ’ve no chance of getting a CL spot as from next year thereÂ’s only 3 available, and 3 for the Europa depending on how the domestic cups play out.
Chris Gould
20 Posted 07/05/2015 at 10:36:04
Eric, why would there only be 3 available? The earliest that England could be reduced to 3 Champions League places would be the 2017-18 season.

If English teams outperform Italian teams in the next couple of seasons, then England will keep the 4th place.

Steve Guy
21 Posted 07/05/2015 at 10:48:30
I suggest we kick West Ham off the Park and make sure we donÂ’t qualify. Entering at that stage would wreck next season before it even starts!
Shane Corcoran
22 Posted 07/05/2015 at 10:47:49
The League of Ireland runs over the summer so how are they comparing like with like?
Colin Glassar
23 Posted 07/05/2015 at 10:48:33
The point about playing on a Sunday is that youÂ’re always playing catch-up with the teams playing on Saturday. So you have added psychological pressure.

I believe if you play CL on a Tuesday you play on Saturday and if itÂ’s a Wednesday game you play on a Sunday so you do, in fact, get an extra day off. I might be wrong but I think this is how it works.

Gavin Johnson
24 Posted 07/05/2015 at 10:46:32
Hope not. The competitionÂ’s flawed – Not enough money, too many games and disruptive to league fixtures. But you never know... maybe weÂ’ll get the 7 new players Martinez required if it happens again and we can learn from this season’s misadventure. Although it’s highly unlikely that mistakes will be learnt from with our current board of directors.
Eric Myles
25 Posted 07/05/2015 at 10:57:52
Chris, I thought it was already decided?
Lee Preston
26 Posted 07/05/2015 at 10:55:16
As much as I want us to be in Europe, I fear this route will have detrimental effects on us. The season starting that early, the lack of strength in depth and seemingly no plans to strengthen beyond what is likely to leave.

Distin, Alcaraz and Garbutt leaving and only a potential three signings being mooted by the manager would leave us desperately short, especially when you add the four bona fide sick-notes we currently have in Oviedo, Pienaar, Hibbert and Gibson.

Europe was a convenient excuse this season; next season, I want no repeat and no excuses.

Patrick Murphy
27 Posted 07/05/2015 at 11:10:28
According to the Daily Mail "Germany is guaranteed to move ahead of England at the end of this season, while if Italian clubs continue to perform well this season and English clubs fail to reverse their slump, the Premier League could end next season out of EuropeÂ’s elite. That would see England reduced to three Champions League places for the 2017-18 season, with Serie A taking the extra place from the Premier League. UEFAÂ’s country coefficient rankings take into account the previous five seasonsÂ’ performance by teams from each association, which means England are set to lose a huge chunk of their total at the start of next season."

ItÂ’s a matter of English clubs out-performing Italy in Europe in the coming season in order for the PL to retain four places in the CL.

Andrew Ellams
28 Posted 07/05/2015 at 11:19:18
A season without Europe could actually serve us well to gauge exactly where Roberto is now without offering up the extra excuse.
Mike Hughes
29 Posted 07/05/2015 at 11:45:01
Qualifying for the competition in this way is like winning the neat hand-writing award on Pulitzer Prize night.

ItÂ’s the small Â’nicey-niceyÂ’ club award for those who werenÂ’t quite good enough but were ... nice enough. ItÂ’s less Floyd Mayweather and more the Audley Harrison award for turning up.

I hope Besic and Barry play in every game left this season now. And I hope Naismith watches Braveheart on a loop all Friday night while downing a few cans of Special Brew on the back of the SNP election results.

I also fear entering EL is another ready-made excuse for another season like this one.

Gerry Quinn
30 Posted 07/05/2015 at 12:15:25
Patrick, it will be nailed on that when English clubs are reduced to 3 Champions League places, Everton will come 4th!
John Daley
31 Posted 07/05/2015 at 12:44:49
God, weÂ’d have romped it without Gareth Barry!
Roger Helm
32 Posted 07/05/2015 at 12:46:55
Thursday-Sunday is the same time difference as Wednesday-Saturday but clubs in the Europa League struggle because they often travel further and also have smaller, poorer-quality squads than the rich CL clubs.

I would prefer a higher league finish and a good cup run, given the choice.

Jim Bennings
33 Posted 07/05/2015 at 13:03:09

A good cup run and a higher league placing?? We had that on more than one occasion under Moyes and it left us wanting more. It's no use finishing 7th or 8th and getting to a semi-final and losing it; we did that exact feat in 2012 but nobody remembers it fondly, do they?

IÂ’d rather finish 10th or 11th or even 12th but actually WIN a bloody trophy for a change.

Sick of these so-called "good cup runs"... whatÂ’s good about losing a semi or getting annihilated in a quarter-final??

James Stewart
34 Posted 07/05/2015 at 13:26:01
We donÂ’t have a squad good or big enough to compete for all the domestic competitions let alone European ones. Until that is rectified there is no point being in it.
James Martin
35 Posted 07/05/2015 at 13:21:34
Jim, I think the problem with Everton is we donÂ’t put ourselves in a good enough position often enough in the cups. If youÂ’re getting to the quarters of both every season, sometimes youÂ’ll choke, sometimes youÂ’ll get battered, other times you might scrape into a semi. Moyes towards the end had started to do this in the FA cup at least. One final, one semi and a quarter in close proximity. Martinez then got us to the quarters.

If we want to win trophies, we canÂ’t just wait for our once every 25 years glory run where we beat all the top 4 on the way to the final. We need to play the odds and wait for that year it all falls into place or you get a clear path. Currently though we just throw away the League Cup every season and if weÂ’re drawn away in the FA Cup we throw that too.

No reason (apart from unlucky draws) why a side who are (were) regular finishers in the top 6 shouldnÂ’t be pushing the quarters every season in both. You only have to look at Liverpool this season: they didnÂ’t play anyone of note but got to two semi-finals. Yeah they messed it up but another season they spawn past Chelsea and its Sheffield United in the final and, lo and behold, another trophy win. We donÂ’t even put ourselves in the frame to win it.

Patrick Murphy
36 Posted 07/05/2015 at 13:39:37
If the winning mentality isnÂ’t there at the beginning of the season, there is little chance that it will be there in the closing part of the season. Every goal conceded should be taken as an insult by the players, every dropped point is a dropped point too many, but most of the Premier League sides, most of the time, accept losing or not winning all too readily.

ItÂ’s what makes Mourinho a special manager: he hates to lose but he loves to win and he doesnÂ’t really care about how itÂ’s achieved. Not for football purists, IÂ’ll admit, but a dose of something similar at Goodison would do us a great deal of good.

Denis Richardson
37 Posted 07/05/2015 at 13:44:46
I hope we do get in. At least weÂ’ll have some competitive matches to get the players fit and itÂ’ll force the club to sort out transfers earlier.
Dan Hollingworth
38 Posted 07/05/2015 at 13:54:44
If it's the first round of qualifiers, Fulham did it the other year and had to go to the Faroe Islands. Could be a good away game.
Clarence Yurcan
39 Posted 07/05/2015 at 14:16:39
I agree with EugeneÂ’s sentiment.
Helen Mallon
40 Posted 07/05/2015 at 14:36:52
Getting away from it all. I see Villa are being bought. Can someone tell Bill clubs are being bought.
Anto Meehan
41 Posted 07/05/2015 at 14:45:57
Brilliant, hopefully we get that last spot. 30-odd years supporting Everton and the only trophy IÂ’ve seen them lift as an adult was the 95 cup.

I take some solace in the fact that the missus doesn't mind me heading off for a European match.

Dominic Tonge
42 Posted 07/05/2015 at 14:43:37
Wolfsburg, two brilliant games. Lille away was my personal favourite, I will go and watch the unders or the rezzies if I get to follow the blues to places more interesting than Hull! Bring it on!

We are no Champions League contenders and it is a name on the telly situation, regular European football may attract a new regime and maybe cash. I know itÂ’s optimistic but, hey, half-full... right?

Phil Walling
43 Posted 07/05/2015 at 14:48:26
Well, at least it would give Martinez an excuse for another crap season!
Minik Hansen
44 Posted 07/05/2015 at 14:40:16
With Europa League, our club will be attractive to top players, current and coming to our club. In that sense, I very much welcome the Europa League – an extra challenge for next season and spotlight for our club.
Ross Edwards
45 Posted 07/05/2015 at 15:03:03
I donÂ’t think we deserve it at all. Last season we qualified on merit through league performance. This would be sneaking through the back door.

Minik, just one thing before you get excited mate. We would have to enter at the 1st qualifying round, which starts on July 2nd. The season finishes on 24th May, leaving only a month for pre-season and any signings to be made.

We would have to play 8 games just to get to the group phase. EIGHT... six of them even before the new Premier League season starts. It would be an even bigger fixture backlog than weÂ’ve had this season.

Obviously IÂ’d accept it. ItÂ’s European football at the end of the day, but it would carry a hollow feeling of "We donÂ’t deserve this, weÂ’re only in it because of less red cards than anyone else" rather than the positive feeling we had last season when we fully deserved our place.

Steve Harris
46 Posted 07/05/2015 at 15:45:23
Great comments again, Jim, one of the only ones on here that actually talks some sense. How people still support that clueless fraud after what weÂ’ve served up week after week is both baffling and annoying.
Liam Reilly
47 Posted 07/05/2015 at 16:01:07
Yep, Liverpool didnÂ’t deserve it either, Ross, when they moaned their way into the first qualifying round of the CL after finishing behind the Blues in 2005. They qualified for the knock-out stages and the final the following year.

ItÂ’s another competition and whilst the likelihood of ever challenging for the PL again grows smaller each year; we need to be in these competitions. If nothing else, it increases the club's coefficient in Europe and does attract and retain good footballers.

Jamie Crowley
48 Posted 07/05/2015 at 16:30:14
Get in! I excused myself from work to hit the bars and pubs with a few Blue friends every Thursday a game was on.

DonÂ’t take my playing hookey away!! Play the rezzies! Just get me out of work!!

Eugene Ruane
49 Posted 07/05/2015 at 16:25:11
Ross (45) - "I don't think we deserve it at all"



We donÂ’t deserve Luvvie Fat-head or our hopeless two-bob board.

We didnÂ’t deserve Collina or Heysel or Clattenfuckinburg or Clive twatting Thomas

ThereÂ’s ALL kinds of shite Everton didnÂ’t deserve over the years, that we got right between the eyes.

I donÂ’t think weÂ’ll get this, but if we do, the last thing IÂ’ll worry about is Â’we donÂ’t deserve it.Â’

Andrew Ellams
50 Posted 07/05/2015 at 16:45:14
The problem with qualifying for Europe this way is that if like Everton you are struggling to even finish top half then youÂ’re probably not ready.

IÂ’m surprised that UEFA havenÂ’t removed this particular avenue seeing as they have removed the Cup Final runners up from potentially going through.

Minik Hansen
51 Posted 07/05/2015 at 16:40:52
Jim >> 33: Sick of these so-called "good cup runs" , whatâ's good about losing a semi or getting annihilated in a quarter-final??

What’s good about a good cup run is the exciting parts of last 16/8/4/2 games, that can’t be predicted, but can be won on the very pitch on the day. I very much welcome good cup runs – rather that than early exits. Good cup runs let players like Garbutt & Browning play at some point, and if you include EL, then more minutes to the players on the bench.

ItÂ’s gonna be a lot different next season, with replacing and able to spend money, thatÂ’s why Mirallas has expressed that he wants to stay, not just a great club, but ambitious as ever, Â’cause this season wonÂ’t be repeated again like that, that leads to getting more players in if EL comes knocking on our door.

Harold Matthews
52 Posted 07/05/2015 at 16:39:19
Jim. You missed out one important factor about last season. Never in my life have I seen so many opposition players miss so many sitters. My grandson was convinced that our goal was protected by a giant forcefield.
Andrew Ellams
53 Posted 07/05/2015 at 16:51:10
Players spend so much time being told that Thursday/Sunday is an issue that they all start to believe it. Half are beaten in their heads before the Sunday game begins.

Also, last 16 in a competition of this nature is not a good cup run.

Joe Foster
55 Posted 07/05/2015 at 16:53:14
For me, I would rather see us playing in Europe than not. Not the best way to get in but after a few games that would be forgotten.
Ross Edwards
56 Posted 07/05/2015 at 17:05:58
As for the "at least we can play some real competitive fixtures rather than teams like Tranmere" argument, wait until you see the teams in the 1st and 2nd qualifying rounds. All sorts of Macedonian, Cypriot, Belarusian, Welsh, Maltese, Kazakh and Slovakian teams that even Tranmere would batter in all likelihood.
Ray Robinson
57 Posted 07/05/2015 at 17:12:07
I think that the key problem with the Europa League is not so much the schedule as the extra games played without the financial benefits that the Champions League brings.

Qualifying for the Champions League guarantees you a basic revenue stream which allows you to strengthen and enlarge the squad – ie, it allows investment to cope with the extra demands, whereas the Europa League demands the same (if not more) playing time without the opportunity to add quality and numbers to the squad - which, in our case, is already stretched.

I think the previous time that we reached the last 16, we made a net profit of 𧹈,000 – just enough to pay RooneyÂ’s wages for two weeks.

David Greenwood
58 Posted 07/05/2015 at 17:18:18
IÂ’d much rather see us in Europe than not. IÂ’m not convinced Europe is to blame for our ills this season, itÂ’s far more likely to be...

In no particular order:-

a) A pre-season that lacked intensity;
b) Square pegs and round holes team selection;
c) Playing of favourites;
d) Picking players regardless of form;
e) Therefore leading to a lack of competition for places and a demotivating effect on fringe players; which leads to the next point:
f) Robles/Howard – no matter how you play, Joel, you’re out and he’s in, no matter how he plays;
g) Lack of faith/trust/confidence in youth;
h) No Plan B, C, or D;
i) Late substitutions that give no real chance for the outcome to be affected;
j) No substitutions!
k) Europe?

Mark Andersson
59 Posted 07/05/2015 at 16:38:54
Jim, as always, your posts are worth reading. You see through all the bullshit and deluded hopeful whimsical aspirations of the fans who bury their head in the sand thinking ("Oh it will all come good; we’re Everton!")

I was a big Martinez fan when he came, as IÂ’ve stated on numerous threads. But the facts laid bare this season makes Phil Wailing (the Wigan hater) the Nostradamus of football.

You all watch this space, because Phil Nostradamus will be proved right.

Michael Kenrick
60 Posted 07/05/2015 at 17:38:35
I’m not sure the timing of investment in the team works quite like you describe, Ray (#57). Although the only time we tried to do it as you stated, that led directly to the Per Krøldrup fiasco, as I recall. We moved him on not because he couldn’t head the ball (great story though that was!) but because we were no longer in the Champions League.
Max Murphy
61 Posted 07/05/2015 at 17:58:40
" .... ajar for Everton" and a jar for me if Martinez is kicked out of the front door!
Tony Dove
62 Posted 07/05/2015 at 18:05:49
I hope Lyndon has got his facts wrong. The competition is a complete bloody nightmare even for the top teams [which does not include us at the moment].

It buggered up the season for seven months and we still only reached the last 16.

Gerry Quinn
63 Posted 07/05/2015 at 18:08:06
Eugene, 49 - you should apply for EvertonÂ’s PR job - if ever it comes up, that is - as opposed to their normal spouting off, I could listen to you all day long - fookin hilarious, chuckling away like an idiot here at work!
Ray Robinson
64 Posted 07/05/2015 at 18:12:40
Michael, I didnÂ’t mean that qualification for the Champions League provides a regular stream of money in advance, rather that reaching the Group stages guarantees a team around 㾺m, I think, which means that a club can at least make some early squad investment (on the basis that most English teams usually do reach the Group stages). There are no such huge financial rewards in the Europa League as far as I know.
Eric Myles
65 Posted 07/05/2015 at 17:57:14
Jim #33, the Â’problemÂ’ with winning a cup is that we would be in Europa which it seems a lot of fans want to avoid.

Ross #56, if thatÂ’s the level of opposition we should breeze through it.

Ross Edwards
66 Posted 07/05/2015 at 18:40:47
We should Eric. But it wouldnÂ’t be much of a Â’pre-seasonÂ’.
Ian Jones
67 Posted 07/05/2015 at 18:31:21
Taking into account all the valid pros and cons for playing in the Europa League, I still would be happy to see Everton in the Europa League. Whilst it may not be the most financiallly rewarding of competitions, it would (and has to) provide a commercial shirt sponsorship deal. We went into this seasonÂ’s competition without a shirt sponsor deal. Spurs changed their sponsor for Europe.

Simple but as many point out Everton are not very commercial.

Sam Barrett
68 Posted 07/05/2015 at 18:59:17
Lille away – brilliant (apart from the police) 10 to 12 thousand Evertonians.

Wolfsburg away – absolutely brilliant time again.

Kiev away – Shite result but an absolute brilliant time in Kiev...

WhatÂ’s not to like??

Jim Hardin
69 Posted 07/05/2015 at 14:55:54
Why wouldnÂ’t we want to play in Europe? is the gate worse than playing at a League Two 5000 seat stadium?

It would seem that European games would help increase the size of EvertonÂ’s international footprint and help out the commercial side perhaps. Maybe it helps build the clubÂ’s image and drives up sponsor deal prices, etc. as well as fan development.

Still better to advertise about watching Everton playing FC Twente, Napoli, etc than Everton playing a League One or Two opponent.

As for the comments about not wanting it to distract the manager or him not being up for it, I offer only this: If he isnÂ’t up to the task, then replace him with someone who is.

John Raftery
70 Posted 07/05/2015 at 19:06:33
Much as I would enjoy another European campaign, any requirement to start playing games from early July will be a distraction and interfere with the pre-season at all levels of the club. None of the international players will be available until the middle of July so we would be left fielding a scratch squad from the Under 21 and academy players at least in the first round.

Better to avoid it altogether and focus on getting everybody properly fit for the second weekend of August when the Premier League season begins.

Colin Gee
71 Posted 07/05/2015 at 19:25:04
Why wouldnÂ’t we want to be in Europe?

Ask the 8,000 fans at Lille, the 5,000 fans at Wolfsberg, the 4,500 in Berne. Nights like those are much better than sodding Stoke away in the League Cup on a wet Wednesday night.

Darren Hind
72 Posted 07/05/2015 at 19:35:57
July 1st ? . . .Now we know why Robbie signed Besic.
Milos Milenkovic
73 Posted 07/05/2015 at 20:12:57
If we want to progress and become Top club we need to play European games every season. Experience and better players will come with it and consequently we will enjoy more.
Sean McCarthy
74 Posted 07/05/2015 at 20:42:48
I for one would love to be in some foreign stadium this evening cheering on the blues towards a European final instead of watching repeats of The Chase on challenge TV!!!

In the state were in, beggars canÂ’t be choosers and were a million miles from champions league football. IÂ’d love another crack at the Europa league. Preferably without Martinez!!

Dave Abrahams
75 Posted 07/05/2015 at 20:51:43
No thanks!!!!!!!!
Denis Richardson
76 Posted 07/05/2015 at 21:01:51
Would also mean July is not spent waiting for August to arrive....
Colin Gee
77 Posted 07/05/2015 at 21:14:20
Just had a look at some of the qualifiers for the 1st Round of next seasons Europa League, Airbus UK Broughton anyone?
Eugene Ruane
78 Posted 07/05/2015 at 22:30:40
Anyone see NapoliÂ’s 1-1 with Dpniporoffn..ffnp..dnip?

Rafa had his big red blushing Â’itÂ’s not fairÂ’ kipper on, coz the opposition keeper had a blinder.

(Have Napoli got the shittest badge ever?)

Karl Masters
79 Posted 07/05/2015 at 22:59:42
IÂ’m sure I read that itÂ’s already too late for Everton. The curtain came down on April 30, when West Ham were top of the Fair Play League.

Apparently it ends then so Clubs can get all their plans in place with only 8 weeks to go till the competition kicks off on July 2. They canÂ’t wait till every European league has finished or there would be almost no time left at all.

I believe they will be announcing the Top 3 leagues and therefore the qualifiers tomorrow (Friday May 8). So it appears Lyndon may have sparked a pointless debate .....

Patrick Murphy
80 Posted 07/05/2015 at 23:19:25
Karl - ItÂ’s them pesky tabloids again with their need to create a story, like you I read that the end of the campaign was last week and the fact that Newcastle United had two red cards meant that England wouldnÂ’t get the top spot in the European Fair-play award. As ever, everything that comes out of FIFA, Uefa and the FA is as clear as mud.
Chris James
81 Posted 07/05/2015 at 23:57:37
IF it was a possibility IÂ’d be well up for it. The European jaunt was the only thing that kept me going for a while and clearly the players felt less pressure in those matches when league form was faltering. If we donÂ’t aspire to a situation where weÂ’re playing twice a week (i.e. CL ideally) and in as many competitions as possible, then what are we aspiring too? Concentrating on a challenge for the title? Get real.

Had we not thrown it away in Kiev, weÂ’d be enjoying a tilt at a thrilling end of the year and some potential silverware. Instead itÂ’s trying to hit 9th rather than 11th.

Eric Myles
82 Posted 08/05/2015 at 01:42:42
John #70 "None of the international players will be available until the middle of July so we would be left fielding a scratch squad from the under 21 and academy players at least in the first round"

Why so? the clubs would have priority over international matches if it is in a UEFA competition.

Our European run last season garnered more UEFA coefficient points than our neighbours even though they had a 4 point head start on us. So we need every season in Europe we can get to keep our coefficient healthy.

Nicholas Ryan
83 Posted 08/05/2015 at 02:08:14
Simple ... give Tony Bellew a professional contract, and if weÂ’re still in with a Fair Play chance on the last day... bring him on in the 90th minute, with orders to Â’deckÂ’ the referee, and both linesmen!
Karl Masters
84 Posted 08/05/2015 at 02:29:23
Hi Patrick, hope you are well. I read that this is already done and dusted on a West Ham website. They were very certain of it.

If itÂ’s any consolation their fans were none too keen either. Other than an emotional Â’final European night at the BoleynÂ’ (quite funny really as they have hardly played in Europe in the last 40 years, even less than us) their fans were adamant their squad was too small and didnÂ’t like the Thursday / Sunday routine either. Sound familiar?!

ItÂ’s also incredible how little regard they have for Allardyce, a man who might be about to bring about their highest League finish in 10 years. Mind you their opinions of Glenn Roeder (7th) and Harry Redknapp (5th) were even worse. They call Spurs the Deludeds, a bit like we refer to LFC, but this move to the Olympic Stadium has many of them deluding themselves they will be in the CL very soon......a new stadium solving all your problems? That sounds familiar too! Will be interesting to see how it pans out for them in their Round stadium. (Has anybody else wondered how the views from the side of the pitch will be? Binoculars may be required...)

Patrick Murphy
85 Posted 08/05/2015 at 11:31:37
There is still a chance, if we can overtake West Ham, this will be the last occasion that fair play will result in an extra place in the Europa League.

Extra Place For England

Patrick Murphy
86 Posted 08/05/2015 at 11:37:22
It looks like the date for choosing which countries qualified for the top 3 places was indeed last weekend, but it would seem that the actual teams from each association qualify upon the completion of that particular league season – probably?
Tim Greeley
87 Posted 08/05/2015 at 12:06:57
I remember shitty olÂ’ Fulham qualifying this way a few years back while we finished 7th and shit out of luck (they finished the league in like 12th) - I was sooooo angry! IÂ’d only been following long enough for one quick Euro visit and I wanted more.

It seemed so unfair, oh cuz Clint Dempsey, Damian Duff and Brede Hangelengalanda are all cub scouts on the pitch they get Euro and we donÂ’t, even though we have 15 more points than them!?!?

I also didnÂ’t understand what the fuck this Fair Play was all about. IÂ’m American, allÂ’s fair is.......everything, pretty much!

As for getting in this way this year.......fuck yeah, letÂ’s do it!

James Martin
88 Posted 08/05/2015 at 13:07:14
Basically, donÂ’t play Barry and we should be fine. In fact... that could be a solution to most of our problems regardless of the Fair Play League.
John Keating
89 Posted 08/05/2015 at 13:28:32
We desperately need Besic to partner Barry for the remaining games.

A great pity Ferguson is not registered as a player as between the 3 of them we are bound to get enough bookings/sendings off to ensure we have no chance of getting into that shite competition.

Ian Jones
90 Posted 08/05/2015 at 17:31:22
Was this the year Fulham got to the Europa League final the season they qualified? If so, fair play to them. However, they lost the final. But at least they got in the final. Only played 19 games in all to lose!
Jon Cox
91 Posted 08/05/2015 at 23:22:33
Does anyone on this website actually think that today's game of football hasnÂ’t been politicised and therefore bent as a 49-pence piece?

I mean have a look at Fifa. After checking that out, have a look at the draw for the FA Cup Semi-Finals.: Arsenal v Reading, then Liverpool v Aston Villa and the media predicts.... It went wrong for the media, just like it did in 1995!!

But hey, at least the media will, or may have Boring (sorry Barca) v Real in the final. Some will call it "the dream ticket" but others, like me will call it the disgusting, depraved money orientated corporated shite we have now.

We have radio stations that give you football 24 hours a day. But what is it you hear on these stations?

You hear the top four and the RS talked and chatted about over and over and over again,

ItÂ’s about brainwashing, itÂ’s all as Patrick says the "branded few".

Sorry to have ranted and bored everyone but I don't watch or listen to football anymore. ItÂ’s like watching a film for the 50th time and listening to people like Sam Splatterface on TalkSport losing his voice for the dramatic effect. The funny thing is, he must have been told that us out here all fall for that pseudo-Hollywood dung.

By the way, TalkSport, do you think we were all born under a rock and elevate in life to drive a white van?

Sorry guys, iÂ’m just so upset since 1992-93.


Pete Owen
92 Posted 09/05/2015 at 09:28:03
Holy shit, avoid like the plague, you know it, I know it, Kieth bloody Chegwin knows it!

Roberto, NO!

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