Everton's 2017-18 season to kick off in late July

Thursday, 11 May, 2017 28comments  |  Jump to most recent
Everton will be back in action a little over two months after this season finishes when their Europa League campaign gets underway in the week of 27th July.

The Blues' 2016-17 Premier League duties come to a close on 21st May when they travel to Arsenal in what will not now be the showdown for sixth place that Evertonians were hoping but the 2017-18 season will come early by virtue of their seventh-place finish.

The Gunners' win at Southampton ensures that Everton's final berth is now decided and that means a place in the third qualifying round of the Europa League and then, all being well, a final play-off round which would provide access to the group stage which begins in September.  

Reader Comments (28)

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Jim Bennings
1 Posted 11/05/2017 at 08:31:17
Need the majority of first choice priority signings all done and dusted before the beginning of July.

I personally want at least six first-team players in before July, and a handful of squad members.

Alasdair Mackay
2 Posted 11/05/2017 at 09:05:07
Depends on who we draw, but a healthy mix of the U23s should be involved in that fixture (Pennington, Dowell, Kenny) plus bring a few of the long-term injured back early as they have had a longer rest anyway.

Let them take a break now and bring them back early to be ready for these fixtures. Funes Mori, Besic, Schneiderlin and Bolasie if he is ready.

Send Robles off on his hols now and let Stekelenburg finish the season, so Robles is ready for this fixture. Maybe the same with Calvert-Lewin and let Mirallas finish up the season.

Kevin Prytherch
3 Posted 11/05/2017 at 09:27:08
Is this definite that we start in July? Or can Man Utd winning the Europa League change this?

At the moment, we qualify as the 3rd choice team for the Europa League... However, what is the scenario if Man Utd win the Europa League? Is it...

1) Man Utd go into the Champions League at the expense of the 4th-place Champions League team and we stay as the 3rd choice Europa League team?

2) Man Utd go into the Champions League as an additional team, ie, England has 5 participants in the Champions League?

If scenario 2 happens, which of the following happens?

1) Man Utd vacate their position as either 1st or 2nd choice Europa League (depending on their Premier League position), no one replaces it, we stay as 3rd choice and start in July?

2) Man Utd vacate their Europa League position, England now only has 2 representatives and they are 1st and 2nd choice (we'd now be second choice) meaning that we start later on?

There is a precedent in Spain last year where their 2 Europa League qualifiers were 1st and 2nd choice (due to Sevilla winning the Europa League), but I don't know if they qualified as 1st and 2nd choice anyway or one got bumped up.

Any ideas, anyone?

Carl Taylor
4 Posted 11/05/2017 at 09:56:19
Is there not still a chance we would go straight into the group stage if Man Utd win the Europa League this season?

I'm sure when Spain had 5 teams in the Champions League this season, thanks to Sevilla winning the Europa League but finishing 7th in La Liga, that their remaining 2 teams in the Europa League, Celta Vigo and Athletic Bilbao, went straight to the group stage. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

Martin Nicholls
5 Posted 11/05/2017 at 10:01:48
Carl (#4) – you're right about Spanish teams this year. However, this topic was discussed on TW a little while back and the general consensus was that we can only wait and see as Uefa rules are too complicated to interpret with any certainty.
Matthew Williams
6 Posted 11/05/2017 at 10:37:36
All the first teamer's should play as punishment for their piss poor showing at the tail end of the season... Unless we get a winning mentally soon, we could do a West Ham & fail to qualify for the tournament proper!

John Raftery
7 Posted 11/05/2017 at 12:27:43
Now that we can finish no higher than 7th, whichever permutation happens, we will have to enter at the third qualifying stage.

If for example Man Utd win the Europa League but finish below the Champions League places in say 5th place they will enter the Champions League and the number of Europa places reduces to two. The two places would go to the clubs finishing 6th and 7th.

If Man Utd fail to win the Europa the number of places remains three and they would go to the clubs finishing 5th, 6th and 7th.

If Arsenal won the FA Cup and finished below the Champions League places say in 6th place they would enter the Europa at the group stage.

The relevant Uefa regulation appears to be the one below:

'The UEFA Europa League titleholder is admitted to the UEFA Champions League, at the entry stage determined by Article 3 of the Regulations of the UEFA Champions League. If the UEFA Europa League titleholder qualifies for the UEFA Europa League through one of its domestic competitions, the number of places to which its association is entitled in the UEFA Europa League is decreased by one. The created vacancy is rebalanced accordingly and priority for the UEFA Europa League is given to the domestic cup winners.

I now need to go for a lie down.

Patrick Murphy
8 Posted 11/05/2017 at 12:34:57
I too had thought that, if Man Utd won the Europa League, there would be a slight chance of Everton playing at least one fewer qualifying rounds for the 2017-18 season, but it seems that idea was way off the mark and the club will have to start their qualification in July.

Given that news, I won't be unhappy to see Man Utd get knocked out tonight – not very patriotic of me I know but they deserve to lose given their lack of respect to the Premier League fixtures.

July start confirmed.

Stephe Bate
9 Posted 11/05/2017 at 12:48:48
No matter your gripes about Man Utd winning the Europa League, or indeed any other English team doing well in Europe, it is always beneficial for English fans to support English teams in Europe.

The better they all do, the better the Qualification Coefficient. Hence, we get 4 teams into the Champions League and 3 into the Europa League. If English teams continue to do consistently poorly in Europe, our Coefficient will decrease and Italy will get the extra place.

Thankfully, this season we didn't need a top six finish to qualify for Europe. Let's hope Koeman treats the Europa League with some respect next season and we don't have a bit-part team playing.

Bobby Mallon
10 Posted 11/05/2017 at 12:49:36
So has Koeman failed this season seeing as he got saints into 6th place last season and we will be 7th with a supposed better squad?
Tony J Williams
11 Posted 11/05/2017 at 12:59:17
Doesn't make much difference; most of these feckers have had one flip-flop on the beach since the West Ham game.
Jim Bennings
12 Posted 11/05/2017 at 13:09:56
Tough one, that, Bobby!

Looking at Southampton last season they were a mighty impressive team. They finished sixth and along the way they won away to Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham and also beat Arsenal away in the League Cup, imagine Everton doing that in one season – no matter who the manager was?

I believe last season's Southampton under Koeman were better than this season's Everton but what I will say is it was Ronald Koeman's second season in charge of the Saints.

So next season will be Koeman's second campaign here... maybe we will see a real serious team?

Only time will tell.

Sam Hoare
13 Posted 11/05/2017 at 13:19:42
Jim, also worth considering that Koeman was left a team at Southampton formed by Pochettino, one of the best young managers around.

At Everton, he was left a team formed by Martinez, one of the worst managers around.

We were a mess in Martinez's last season and, to be fair, Koeman has fixed a fair few of those problems and got us back into neutral. Hopefully, next season, we start revving up the gears...

Jim Bennings
14 Posted 11/05/2017 at 13:42:05
Good point, Sam...

It will be interesting to see what season two brings for Koeman and Everton.

All I hope for is that even if we just challenge again for 5th or 6th place is that we somehow find a way to beat some of those sides above us away from home.

I honestly believe it would break down a real mental block, break down the mental barrier, if we could go away to places like Arsenal, Liverpool etc and pick up the odd win; it would start to show those sides above us we are a serious threat without fear and limitations.

Koeman's next step is for me the hardest and that's releasing this club of the inferiority shackles that have dogged us for too many years now.

Mike Allison
15 Posted 11/05/2017 at 18:58:02
You need to factor in how bad the 'Big Six' were last season, whereas this season they've sorted themselves out. A better comparison is number of points, rather than actual position.
Jim Bennings
16 Posted 11/05/2017 at 19:36:17
Not too sure the big six have really sorted themselves out Mike.

I think Chelsea and Spurs are clearly the best two in the division at present but for me if we had "sorted ourselves out " the very least we could have got was fifth looking at how poor Arsenal and Manchester United have been, plus the inconsistencies of City and Liverpool.

Arguably the one thing that has got Liverpool in that top four Is their record against the top sides around them, whereas we rarely beat any of the league's top sides away .

For me if we had accumulated two more away wins even we would be looking very healthy going into these last two games right on United and Arsenal's coattails.

Really strong home record in the main let down big time by a relegation outfit away record.

Ian Bennett
17 Posted 11/05/2017 at 20:05:09
I don't think our record against the top 6 is the problem.

Man City 4 points, Arsenal 3 points, Man Utd 2 points, Spurs 1 point, Liverpool and Chelsea zip. It's not brilliant, but it's not woeful either considering the criminal squandering of points vs Liverpool at home and Man Utd away.

The problem for me is the lack of away wins at Swansea, West Ham, Boro, Watford, Bournemouth, Hull, Burnley and Southampton. Big 4 routinely pick up wins here, and our lack of goal threat outside of Lukaku costs us at these grounds.

We badly need another 15 to 20 goals from our midfield as the current crew don't cut it.

John Raftery
18 Posted 11/05/2017 at 22:09:11
Ian (#17), Spot on.
Colin Gee
19 Posted 11/05/2017 at 23:34:08
Carl (#4),

Yes, both Spanish sides went straight into the Group Stage.

I use this site for all things Europa League: https://kassiesa.home.xs4all.nl/bert/uefa/qual2016.html

Rob Hooton
20 Posted 12/05/2017 at 06:33:13
Perhaps this is why the players started their hollybags early judging by recent displays?

If we do start early, at least it would be more interesting than the usual pre-season matches!

Rob Dolby
21 Posted 12/05/2017 at 10:02:22
Mixed emotions over the whole Europa League thing. It's an achievement to get there but once there nobody is arsed. The format is flawed, it would be more exciting for the fans if it reverted to a larger amount of entrants but be a 2 legged knockout.

The Thursday / Sunday sketch is a step too far in taking the piss out of the fans. Look at the way Dortmond got treated after the bomb incident. UEFA are only in the money business not the entertainment or football business.

I want us in it and to win it but it is only marginally more appealing than the league cup. Man Utd only started taking it seriously in the last 8 when the carrot of the champions league started to loom large... And let's face it, the drop-out Champions League teams getting entered in this cup is also another kick in the bollocks for the teams who are in it fairly.

Phil Guyers
22 Posted 12/05/2017 at 10:39:58
Carl (#4) and Colin (#19),

You are correct that both Spanish teams qualified for the group stage but, unfortunately, our circumstances are a bit different.

Athletic Bilbao and Celta Vigo finished 5th and 6th and so had qualified for the group stage anyway. We are going to finish 7th and qualify only for the 3rd qualifying round.

If Man Utd win the Europa League and move up to the Champions League, the vacant place in the group stage is given to the first Cup Winner on the list not yet in the group stage. This will be the winner of the Czech Cup final which is to be contested between two clubs I've never heard of.

Typical of our luck in Europe but, on recent form, we don't deserve it anyway. Kazakhstan in July, here we come!

Liam Reilly
23 Posted 12/05/2017 at 17:20:25
The competition would be far more attractive if the Champions League's 3rd placed clubs didn't drop in after XmMas.

At least the old Uefa Cup and even the Cup-Winners Cup had some prestige.

Still, I'll be watching... and may even make a game or two.

Ste Traverse
24 Posted 12/05/2017 at 17:34:36
Rob Dolby (#21).

The Europa League is only 'marginally more appealing than the League Cup'... Garbage.

Win the League Cup and the reward is a place in the Europa League. Win the Europa League and the reward for it is a place in the Champions League.

That should tell you everything you need to know.

Bobby Mallon
25 Posted 12/05/2017 at 18:16:26
That is a good point Jim I forgot it was his second season and he inherited pochitinos side.
Paul Burns
26 Posted 15/05/2017 at 09:19:40
There's no such thing as a "big six", just teams to be beaten. None of them are bigger than us, they're just not saddled with the losers mentality that infects this club like the Ebola virus and which the people running the club are unable or unwilling to confront so things never change.

Will we see a pathetic, timid surrender at Anfield again next season because, once again, lessons have not been learned? Bet your house on it!

Brian Harrison
27 Posted 15/05/2017 at 10:38:38
I think the Europa League can be summed up by most see winning it as an entrance into the Champions League, rather than a European trophy worth winning. I know a few Man Utd fans and they tell me their allocation for the final is about 8,000.

Also if Uefa are so keen on this competition as a trophy worth winning, why select a ground that only holds 48,000 for the final? Also, why allow clubs who finish 3rd in the Champions league to drop into the Europa League?

I just cant get excited about this competition, yes if we can win it and qualify for the Champions League, then brilliant. But, for me, that is the only plus point in this competition.

Tony Draper
28 Posted 15/05/2017 at 21:49:29
Transfer window opens 9/10 of June. (I cannot understand why it doesn't open the Monday after the closing Premier League fixtures).

Europa League first fixture is 27th July.... No room for dithering then is there?

Because, Bolasie and Coleman won't realistically be back this side of Xmas, certainly not back to proper match-fit imposing best. Will they

So, our "top line negotiating team" really do need to already have irons in the fire NOW!

Multiple targets lined up, not "Oh dear, he said no! So, where to we look now?"

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