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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1 Posted 07/05/2015 at 07:58:26
2 Posted 07/05/2015 at 07:51:49
3 Posted 07/05/2015 at 08:07:24
There is a question out at the moment if this was the cause of BobbyÂs poor season. No Europe and letÂs see how he gets on.
4 Posted 07/05/2015 at 08:31:02
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 wonÂt 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 donÂt 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 doesnÂt 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!!?
6 Posted 07/05/2015 at 08:32:07
WeÂre not going to win anything or get CL, so IÂll take a few beers, a few laughs and a sing-song in a nice continental bar.
Play the Under-18s if they want.
7 Posted 07/05/2015 at 08:41:35
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 naÃ¯ve 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 Â– thatÂs not Europe, itÂs bad management.
IÂd 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.
8 Posted 07/05/2015 at 08:46:47
European football, new signings, new tactics... I canÂt get excited about anything... I just donÂt think Martinez is capable and seeing him out the door should still be every EvertonianÂs priority.
9 Posted 07/05/2015 at 07:55:57
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, IÂd probably say "Go for it." Better to do so and regret than not to do at all... right? But letÂs genuinely bolster the squad if so!
10 Posted 07/05/2015 at 09:01:59
The thought of us getting back into that shite competition is too horrendous to even think about.
11 Posted 07/05/2015 at 09:00:05
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 itÂs ÂbrandedÂ clubs I donÂt suppose.
12 Posted 07/05/2015 at 08:57:45
’Too many matches’ is only used as an excuse when you are playing like shite; if you’re winning or on unbeaten runs itÂs all this "Oh, I want to play again tomorrow, we donÂt want a break."
My advice to the manager, players and even fans alike is whatever competition your teamÂs 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, thatÂs when the fun goes out of the game for me.
13 Posted 07/05/2015 at 09:06:33
Win a cup or finish top 6 then great. This way, not really.
14 Posted 07/05/2015 at 09:15:08
We want to be in Europe every year.
15 Posted 07/05/2015 at 08:57:19
16 Posted 07/05/2015 at 09:37:41
17 Posted 07/05/2015 at 09:37:22
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 canÂt believe the amount of negativity being shown with regard to next season. I myself have my doubts regarding Roberto but heÂs 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.
18 Posted 07/05/2015 at 10:12:04
19 Posted 07/05/2015 at 08:42:47
20 Posted 07/05/2015 at 10:36:04
If English teams outperform Italian teams in the next couple of seasons, then England will keep the 4th place.
21 Posted 07/05/2015 at 10:48:30
22 Posted 07/05/2015 at 10:47:49
23 Posted 07/05/2015 at 10:48:33
I believe if you play CL on a Tuesday you play on Saturday and if itÂs 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.
24 Posted 07/05/2015 at 10:46:32
25 Posted 07/05/2015 at 10:57:52
26 Posted 07/05/2015 at 10:55:16
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.
27 Posted 07/05/2015 at 11:10:28
ItÂs 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.
28 Posted 07/05/2015 at 11:19:18
29 Posted 07/05/2015 at 11:45:01
ItÂs the small Ânicey-niceyÂ club award for those who werenÂt quite good enough but were ... nice enough. ItÂs 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.
30 Posted 07/05/2015 at 12:15:25
31 Posted 07/05/2015 at 12:44:49
32 Posted 07/05/2015 at 12:46:55
I would prefer a higher league finish and a good cup run, given the choice.
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?
IÂd 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"... whatÂs good about losing a semi or getting annihilated in a quarter-final??
34 Posted 07/05/2015 at 13:26:01
35 Posted 07/05/2015 at 13:21:34
If we want to win trophies, we canÂt 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 weÂre 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 shouldnÂt be pushing the quarters every season in both. You only have to look at Liverpool this season: they didnÂt 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 donÂt even put ourselves in the frame to win it.
36 Posted 07/05/2015 at 13:39:37
ItÂs what makes Mourinho a special manager: he hates to lose but he loves to win and he doesnÂt really care about how itÂs achieved. Not for football purists, IÂll admit, but a dose of something similar at Goodison would do us a great deal of good.
37 Posted 07/05/2015 at 13:44:46
38 Posted 07/05/2015 at 13:54:44
39 Posted 07/05/2015 at 14:16:39
40 Posted 07/05/2015 at 14:36:52
41 Posted 07/05/2015 at 14:45:57
I take some solace in the fact that the missus doesn't mind me heading off for a European match.
42 Posted 07/05/2015 at 14:43:37
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 itÂs optimistic but, hey, half-full... right?
43 Posted 07/05/2015 at 14:48:26
44 Posted 07/05/2015 at 14:40:16
45 Posted 07/05/2015 at 15:03:03
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 weÂve had this season.
Obviously IÂd accept it. ItÂs European football at the end of the day, but it would carry a hollow feeling of "We donÂt deserve this, weÂre 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.
46 Posted 07/05/2015 at 15:45:23
47 Posted 07/05/2015 at 16:01:07
ItÂs 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.
48 Posted 07/05/2015 at 16:30:14
DonÂt take my playing hookey away!! Play the rezzies! Just get me out of work!!
49 Posted 07/05/2015 at 16:25:11
We donÂt deserve Luvvie Fat-head or our hopeless two-bob board.
We didnÂt deserve Collina or Heysel or Clattenfuckinburg or Clive twatting Thomas
ThereÂs ALL kinds of shite Everton didnÂt deserve over the years, that we got right between the eyes.
I donÂt think weÂll get this, but if we do, the last thing IÂll worry about is Âwe donÂt deserve it.Â
50 Posted 07/05/2015 at 16:45:14
IÂm surprised that UEFA havenÂt removed this particular avenue seeing as they have removed the Cup Final runners up from potentially going through.
51 Posted 07/05/2015 at 16:40:52
WhatÂs good about a good cup run is the exciting parts of last 16/8/4/2 games, that canÂt be predicted, but can be won on the very pitch on the day. I very much welcome good cup runs Â– 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.
ItÂs gonna be a lot different next season, with replacing and able to spend money, thatÂs why Mirallas has expressed that he wants to stay, not just a great club, but ambitious as ever, Âcause this season wonÂt be repeated again like that, that leads to getting more players in if EL comes knocking on our door.
52 Posted 07/05/2015 at 16:39:19
53 Posted 07/05/2015 at 16:51:10
Also, last 16 in a competition of this nature is not a good cup run.
55 Posted 07/05/2015 at 16:53:14
56 Posted 07/05/2015 at 17:05:58
57 Posted 07/05/2015 at 17:12:07
Qualifying for the Champions League guarantees you a basic revenue stream which allows you to strengthen and enlarge the squad Â– 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 Â– just enough to pay RooneyÂs wages for two weeks.
58 Posted 07/05/2015 at 17:18:18
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 Â– no matter how you play, Joel, youÂre out and heÂs 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!
59 Posted 07/05/2015 at 16:38:54
I was a big Martinez fan when he came, as IÂve 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.
60 Posted 07/05/2015 at 17:38:35
61 Posted 07/05/2015 at 17:58:40
62 Posted 07/05/2015 at 18:05:49
It buggered up the season for seven months and we still only reached the last 16.
63 Posted 07/05/2015 at 18:08:06
64 Posted 07/05/2015 at 18:12:40
65 Posted 07/05/2015 at 17:57:14
Ross #56, if thatÂs the level of opposition we should breeze through it.
66 Posted 07/05/2015 at 18:40:47
67 Posted 07/05/2015 at 18:31:21
Simple but as many point out Everton are not very commercial.
68 Posted 07/05/2015 at 18:59:17
Wolfsburg away Â– absolutely brilliant time again.
Kiev away Â– Shite result but an absolute brilliant time in Kiev...
WhatÂs not to like??
69 Posted 07/05/2015 at 14:55:54
It would seem that European games would help increase the size of EvertonÂs international footprint and help out the commercial side perhaps. Maybe it helps build the clubÂs 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 isnÂt up to the task, then replace him with someone who is.
70 Posted 07/05/2015 at 19:06:33
Better to avoid it altogether and focus on getting everybody properly fit for the second weekend of August when the Premier League season begins.
71 Posted 07/05/2015 at 19:25:04
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.
72 Posted 07/05/2015 at 19:35:57
73 Posted 07/05/2015 at 20:12:57
74 Posted 07/05/2015 at 20:42:48
In the state were in, beggars canÂt be choosers and were a million miles from champions league football. IÂd love another crack at the Europa league. Preferably without Martinez!!
75 Posted 07/05/2015 at 20:51:43
76 Posted 07/05/2015 at 21:01:51
77 Posted 07/05/2015 at 21:14:20
78 Posted 07/05/2015 at 22:30:40
Rafa had his big red blushing ÂitÂs not fairÂ kipper on, coz the opposition keeper had a blinder.
(Have Napoli got the shittest badge ever?)
79 Posted 07/05/2015 at 22:59:42
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 canÂt 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 .....
80 Posted 07/05/2015 at 23:19:25
81 Posted 07/05/2015 at 23:57:37
Had we not thrown it away in Kiev, weÂd be enjoying a tilt at a thrilling end of the year and some potential silverware. Instead itÂs trying to hit 9th rather than 11th.
82 Posted 08/05/2015 at 01:42:42
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.
83 Posted 08/05/2015 at 02:08:14
84 Posted 08/05/2015 at 02:29:23
If itÂs any consolation their fans were none too keen either. Other than an emotional Âfinal 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 didnÂt like the Thursday / Sunday routine either. Sound familiar?!
ItÂs 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...)
85 Posted 08/05/2015 at 11:31:37
86 Posted 08/05/2015 at 11:37:22
87 Posted 08/05/2015 at 12:06:57
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 donÂt, even though we have 15 more points than them!?!?
I also didnÂt understand what the fuck this Fair Play was all about. IÂm American, allÂs fair is.......everything, pretty much!
As for getting in this way this year.......fuck yeah, letÂs do it!
88 Posted 08/05/2015 at 13:07:14
89 Posted 08/05/2015 at 13:28:32
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.
90 Posted 08/05/2015 at 17:31:22
91 Posted 08/05/2015 at 23:22:33
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,
ItÂs about brainwashing, itÂs all as Patrick says the "branded few".
Sorry to have ranted and bored everyone but I don't watch or listen to football anymore. ItÂs 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, iÂm just so upset since 1992-93.
BUT I STILL LOVE EVERTON XX.
92 Posted 09/05/2015 at 09:28:03
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