Please... not this summer

Martin O'Connor 24/04/2019 114comments  |  Jump to last

When one looks back to the 2017-18 pre-season, two words come to mind: disorganised disaster. After claiming a backdoor entrance to the Europa League for finishing 7th, Everton’s pre-season was a chaotic joke. This was due to a large extent with the early start to the season.

Two Europa League qualifying rounds needed to be negotiated just to reach the group stage. This schedule saw the Blues entering into competitive football before July was out. The Club had to play a two-legged qualifying round against the Slovak side Ruzomberok during pre-season, so disrupting the planning for the new season.

With a large number of recruits signed in the 2017 Summer transfer window, playing competitive games while trying to gel a whole new squad together was a recipe for disaster. All this led to a hastily put together pre-season schedule. The toffees jetted off to Africa for a game against Gor Mahia on 13 July, a ridiculous marketing exercise that probably did nothing to get the players in shape for the new season. This was followed by games against Dutch side FC Twente and the Belgian outfit KRC Genk.


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Following this, the team were thrown into the two-legged tie against Ruzomberok. The only other friendly Everton played was the home game against Sevilla 6 days before the start of the new season. No-one can say that this was anything but an awful mess of a pre-season. With only four friendly games played, planning for the new season was half-baked at best.

Following the opening game of the Premier League season at home to Stoke City, the Blues then had to negotiate another two-legged Europa League qualifying round against Hajduk Split. The first leg came five days after the Stoke City game. The second leg away from home in Croatia came a week later, sandwiched between away Premier League games at Manchester City and Chelsea. Although Everton qualified for the group stage of the Europa League, the Blues went on to totally embarrass themselves with an abject campaign.

The Europa League that season was a total hindrance to the team and disrupted planning for the new season. It was also no help to the new players the Club brought in that Summer. In reality, the Europa League was not the only reason for the appalling start and dreadful season, which 2017-18 became, but it was a major player in the disorganised disaster that was the 2017-18 season.

Which leads us to this season. With three games left to play, at home to Burnley and away to Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur, Everton sit in 9th position in the Premier League, just 2 points behind Wolverhampton Wanderers and 1 point behind Watford with Leicester City 1 point behind the Blues. With just three points separating the four teams, any one of this quartet can claim 7th spot. If Manchester City win the FA Cup by beating Watford in the FA Cup Final, this 7th spot will again become a backdoor to the Europa League.

If the Club do reach the Europa League, then the same disruption as the pre-season of 2017-18 will be an inevitable consequence with the season starting in July. If you look at Burnley’s fixtures in the Europa League this season, they started on 26 July against Aberdeen, playing the 2nd leg on 2 August.

They then played a first leg of another qualifier against Istanbul Basaksehir 2 days before the start of the Premier League season with the 2nd leg a week later. Following the Basaksehir games, Burnley played two games against Olympiacos, all before the end of August, and which saw them fail to even reach the group stage.

Burnley had a disjointed pre-season and an awful start to the Premier League season. This bad start for Burnley dragged on into the New Year. It would seem the Europa League slog of trying to qualify for the group stage disrupted Burnley’s pre-season and start to the new Premier League season, mirroring Everton’s the season before.

Which brings us back to the blues and the 2019-20 pre-season. Besides the stock of deadwood plying their trade out on loan and which need to be removed hopefully permanently or loaned out again next season, we will also have some incomings. As Marcel Brands has made plain, these will be players in the younger age bracket, 25 years old or younger.

The more time Marco Silva will have to work with these players, fitting them into the squad and the way he wants them playing, the better. This is what pre-season friendlies are all about. The Manager can experiment and get the squad gelling before the start of the 2019-20 season. A Europa League campaign, as in 2017-18 will totally disrupt this preparation, with competitive games having to be played and planned for during pre-season. These competitive games will also have a bearing on the number of friendlies we can actually fit into the pre-season schedule.

Secondly, this pre-season will be a big one for Marco Silva himself. He will have had one season in charge of the Blues and will now have a more clear idea of how and where he wants the team to go. He will have aims to improve on his first season both in the league and in the two domestic cups. This pre-season and the up and coming 2019-20 season is thus a massive one for Marco Silva after a year in the hot seat. He does not need a Europa League campaign disrupting and interfering with his plans for the 2019-20 campaign.

Ultimately, with the changes which will take place at the Club during the Summer and with Silva ready to attack the Premier League and the domestic cups after a year at the Club, the Europa League will only overload the workload of the team and scupper any good start the Blues hope to have next season. The team is not yet ready for the challenge of Europe as well as a domestic campaign. The Blues need another full pre-season and domestic campaign under Marco Silva. This will lead to a European spot at the end of next season and it is then when Everton will be ready to tackle European competition again.

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Reader Comments (114)

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Jon Withey
1 Posted 25/04/2019 at 09:02:49
I have to admit, I don't really have a clear idea of what a good pre-season looks like – but I can see how Europa League qualification complicates it.

On the other hand, why not replace friendlies with competitive games? Why not use some of our extensive youth outfit to negotiate the earlier rounds?

I agree that we shouldn't let it disrupt our Premier League campaign, but why not have a punt at it like we would with the League Cup etc. What is there to lose?

If we need to rest some of our better players, don't play them. If we crash out because of that, so what? We'll have made more money on our higher league position anyway and it will give some European experience to our younger players.

Does it have to be a poisoned chalice?

Phillip Warrington
2 Posted 25/04/2019 at 09:22:35
Guess what, people... if we take it seriously, we can qualify for the Champions League by winning it, and we will never get the players needed to win the Champions League if we don't show that we are competing and starting to get feared in Europe every year.

And if that means the Europa League then the minimum goal should be reaching the semi-finals, and not saying "I don't want to play in Europe this season because we're in the Europa League".

To me, a qualifying game in the Europa League is going to have more intensity than a friendly with nothing riding on it.

Michael Nisbet
3 Posted 25/04/2019 at 09:28:00
I completely disagree with this article.

I don't think you can blame the Europa League for Everton playing below par that season. We signed 3 Number 10s, and many other over-priced players who turned out not to be good enough. We ended up with a huge squad who were poorly managed.

I honestly don't think the Europa League had anything to do with our poor form. If we hadn't been in Europe, do you think we'd have finished any higher in the league? I don't.

I actually think the Europa League qualifiers are a great way to get players up to speed for the new season. Playing a competitive qualifier is much better than a friendly away at Bury or whoever.

As well as supporting Everton, I also support Aberdeen. Aberdeen have qualified for Europe for the last 5 years, and it's massive for us. The only problem it seems to have is that quite often we run out of steam towards the end of the season having started the qualifiers so early. Everton have a much bigger squad though, so shouldn't face that problem.

For Everton, being in Europe will help us attract a better standard of player and to be fair, we have a much better chance of qualifying for the Champions League through winning the Europa League than we do through the league.

The Europa League is exactly the type of silverware we should be trying to get for Everton, as we edge our way slowly towards becoming a Champions League regular. I for one will be gutted if we miss out on qualifying for Europe this year.

Kevin Prytherch
4 Posted 25/04/2019 at 09:36:46
I agree with the replies...

4 friendlies + 4 qualifiers = 8 warm up games before the season starts.

A normal pre-season would have between 6 and 8 friendlies.

Are you telling me the 22-0 friendly win this summer was more beneficial than a slightly competitive European qualifier?

If we don't have the fringe players to negotiate qualifiers against the 4th place team from Slovenia, then we probably don't deserve to be in the group stages.

Mike Allison
5 Posted 25/04/2019 at 09:44:37
I agree with the replies that disagree with the article!

Doing something badly in the past isn’t a reason not to try to do it well in the future. We shouldn’t be signing loads of new players this summer, and the more competitive games we have early on, the better.

Tottenham used their squad really well in the Europa League a few years ago and it was a stepping stone for them to do well in the Champions League. The problem has been Everton’s dreadful organisation of pre-season, whether we’re in Europe or not, not the Europa League itself. That’s an excuse, and fear of it is a small-club mentality that we’re desperate to break out of.

The Europa League will be a bonus after a very poor middle section of the season, and being in it, if done properly, can accelerate our development as a club.

David Pearl
6 Posted 25/04/2019 at 10:02:12
I too agree to disagree Martin sorry. It's out of our hands anyway but if we want to attract players and also make sure our name is out there then 7th is surely a must. We have a much better balanced squad now. We don't have Kenny, Martina and William's at the back although Kenny has improved and doesn't let anyone down.

Now, if l were Wolves, I'd be losing the next 3 games because, if they do make Europe, I'd be surprised if they make it in the top 10 next season.

Derek Thomas
7 Posted 25/04/2019 at 10:40:49
If we get 7th, we don't have the option to refuse.

I think it's Wolves' 7th to lose at the moment. I have some sympathy for Martin's point though.

Tony Everan
8 Posted 25/04/2019 at 11:27:34
It will all become a lot clearer after this weekend: Watford v Wolves. if Wolves win I think they will get 7th.

We need a win at Crystal Palace to remain in the mix as 56 points will hopefully be enough for us. We need to conjure up a win, win, draw finish.

It is surprising there is still excitement to be had for us with 3 games left and ongoing.

Simon Jones
9 Posted 25/04/2019 at 11:38:33
I have mixed feelings, I want us to compete in Europe, but I don't fancy the Europa League, too many games for too little reward, unless you win the bloody thing.
Sam Hoare
10 Posted 25/04/2019 at 11:39:30
I love us being in Europe. And I'd quite like Everton to be in Europe too ;)

I really enjoyed our Europa League run under Martinez and think we'd be capable of going as far or further with Silva. But there is no denying that a Europa League more often than not results in a poorer domestic campaign, just look at Burnley's drop off this season! I always want us to finish as high up the league as possible but in this case coming 8th or 9th could end up being a blessing in disguise.

As it is I think Wolves excellent result and performance last night puts them in pole position. No match is easy and I'd be surprised if we got a simple 6 points against Palace and Burnley, we have often struggled this season against teams that play compactly and look to counter or move directly so both those teams could cause us issues.

I predict a 9th-place finish.

David Ellis
11 Posted 25/04/2019 at 11:50:56
I think it's really important we qualify for Europe. Wolves beating Arsenal puts them in the box seat (and of course it all depends on Man City beating Watford... which is very likely), but we probably have a 25% chance (you can forget Leicester as their run in is horrendous). Wolves' final match is at Anfield.

The campaign two years ago was a shambles but, as others have said, I think it was more the faulty recruitment rather than the Europa League messing up pre-season. Burnley struggled but we have a much deeper squad than they have and much more Europe DNA – which is something we need to develop further if we are ever to do ourselves justice in the CL at some point – we need experience of playing in Europe.

We hardly need to buy ANY new players next summer – if we can Zouma and Gomes, but they are already integrated in the squad. I'd expect only one other first team player coming in – a centre forward, if we can get one (although I'm pretty happy with DCL at the moment). So it will be a completely different scenario to 2017.

I'm hoping Liverpool beat Wolves on the final day!

Kevin Prytherch
12 Posted 25/04/2019 at 12:00:54
If we can rely on Wolves losing at Anfield, and Watford losing to City

A draw between Watford and Wolves will leave us needing to beat Palace and Burnley to be certain of qualifying, regardless of the Spurs result.

Wolves beating Watford will almost certainly put it out of reach.

Brian Williams
13 Posted 25/04/2019 at 12:23:56
Please God Wolves WIN at Anfield!
James Hughes
14 Posted 25/04/2019 at 12:27:44
How about Wolves drawing at Mordor, best of both there.

The Europa League is not ideal but it's been so long since we won anything of note that it's become a legend. Bards have written about and it starts: "Once upon a time, there was a great team called Everton..." Sigh.

Brian Furey
15 Posted 25/04/2019 at 12:38:48
You gotta learn to walk before you can run and surely it's all about making progress year on year. Look at Man City and Spurs rise in the last number of years.

We need to be in Europe to attract a certain type of player, especially a decent striker but here are some people trying to talk down the Europa League. Did you have the same attitude to the cup winners cup back in 1985? In my eyes, you gotta be achieving 5th and 6th or a cup win a few years on the trot before you can even think about playing Champions League football.

We take a similar attitude to the League Cup every season and look where that gets us. Like it or not, we're nowhere near winning the PL or the CL so why not aim for the next best trophies?

Daniel A Johnson
16 Posted 25/04/2019 at 12:43:33
What makes preseason difficult to organise?

You have 6-8 warm-up matches with the quality of opposition getting gradually tougher... job done.

Bill Watson
17 Posted 25/04/2019 at 12:51:04
David # 6

You seem to be making both arguments. Disagreeing with Martin yet speculating Europa qualification would prevent Wolves finishing in the top 10.

I'm not too sure, myself, as there are pros and cons but on balance I think I'd prefer to swerve Europe and start next season totally focused on the Premier League and early stages of the League Cup (or whatever it'll be called next season).

Lee Jamieson
18 Posted 25/04/2019 at 13:06:55
I couldn't disagree more. We need to be in European competition. Firstly to retain the players we have and secondly to attract quality players. Wolves are making ground up rapidly as did Leicester and you can throw Watford into the mix since they have made the final.

If we don't finish in a European spot we are at risk of being left behind them never mind the top six. We need to think big and move away from our old thrifty get by attitude.

Simon Jones
19 Posted 25/04/2019 at 13:28:09
We won the ECWC in 1985 by winning four, two-legged ties, then a final, that's a total of nine games.

The Europa league has a group stage of 6 games, a knock-out phase of four, two-legged ties and a final. A total of 15 games.

Burnley finished 7th and played SIX games in preliminary rounds falling at the final hurdle before the group stage. Chelsea & Arsenal didn't play these extra games, going straight into the group stage.

So to win the EL after finishing seventh, you would have to play in 21 games and the prize is a shot at the Champions League the following season.

A 7th placed league finish and entry into the EL looks like a poisoned chalice to me.

Matthew Williams
20 Posted 25/04/2019 at 13:48:05
Another season without a trophy means Europe is vital to our progress. If any Blue on the planet doubts me, then please feel free to Google the many images of our trip to Nuremberg a few years back.

That's My Everton... 'nuff said.

Brian Williams
21 Posted 25/04/2019 at 14:02:14
I think if we beat Palace this weekend, we'll get 7th on goal difference to Wolves.

There, how's that for detail, lol!

Michael Nisbet
22 Posted 25/04/2019 at 14:05:47
A poisoned chalice?? European nights are great. Why would we not want those extra games. We have a big enough squad to cope with more fixtures. The big teams do it, why shouldn't we?

If we hate playing those extra matches then thank goodness we're not in the Champions League. I hate it when I see the midweek fixtures and see Arsenal, Chelsea etc playing matches and we aren't.

Jamie Crowley
23 Posted 25/04/2019 at 14:12:10
I need my European Thursday afternoons, playing hooky and bugging out of work at 2:30 pm to hit Lynch’s Irish Pub.

There’s no greater joy than four beers in your belly at 4 pm, watching Everton, knowing you should be working.

Unless of course you’re at the game.. .

I make do with the hand I’m dealt.

Europa League all the way for me.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
24 Posted 25/04/2019 at 14:12:14
We did get killed by the mid season. We dropped 10 points compared to last season in those fixtures. But even if we hadn't we would still only be on 65 points or thereabouts and still in 7th place.

But will United be sacking OGS in December as they languish in the bottom half of the table? Will Abramovich get a reaction from Chelsea with another new manager and Hazard replaced? Is 2019-20 the season we can, free from Europe on a Thursday night, take a top 6 place, even a top 4 place?

General consensus is sign Zouma and Gomes on permanent transfers and there is no major additions needed (except another goal scorer like Shearer, Lineaker, van Nistelrooy) and so do we need to be "in Europe" to attract players?

I think the last few weeks have shown we have the team, we just need to consistency and the killer instinct 95 minutes a game, 38 games a season - and Cup games and Champions League games should automatically generate a killer instinct!

Sam Hoare
25 Posted 25/04/2019 at 14:14:29
I'm very pro us being in the Europa but i'm not sure its true to say that it will attract a better quality of player. The likes of Bernard, Digne, Mina, Zouma all came from CL playing teams.

Obviously if you are in the CL I think that is a big draw for players but i'm not sure the same can be said for Europa. I don't think we attracted better players when we were in it compared to out.

I guess if we were regularly in it that might be something but its more important that players look at us and think we have a shot of winning things and gatecrashing the CL, which is where everyone wants to be.

Jay Wood

26 Posted 25/04/2019 at 14:24:55
The opening post is primarily based on a single premise: that it was the early pre-season EL games that sabotaged our entire season in 2017-18. Not so.

What scuppered us most last season and ultimately cost Koeman and Walsh their jobs was the scattergun recruitment which left us with an unbalanced squad and burdened us with too many mediocre players on high salaries we can't easily move on.

Martin's OP is littered with emotive language which may well reflect his views, but not the reality of things:

'disorganised disaster'
'pre-season was a chaotic joke'
'recipe for disaster'
'hastily put together pre-season schedule' (it wasn't. The friendlies were pencilled in just after the close of the previous season).
'an awful mess of a pre-season'
'total hindrance'
'disorganised disaster'

Martin predicts if we qualify for the EL this season, 'the same disruption...will be an inevitable consequence'.

Why? Why the assumption that a different season, under a different manager, with different players, will simply repeat the 'failings' of a previous season?

The 8 pre-season games Martin references - 4 friendlies, 4 qualifying EL - is not excessive. If managed correctly, they constitute a more meaningful preparation for the domestic season ahead as you are playing competitive games from the off, not gentle friendlies with nothing resting on the result.

I will always-always-ALWAYS lobby that we should aim to play in Europe every single season. The important co-efficiency ranking a club attains depending on how frequently and how well they do in European competitions is, for Everton, whittling away to nothing due to our absence from Europe. The higher your co-efficiency, the less likely it is you even need to endure the EL pre-qualifiers. The more favourable 'pot' you are put in for the draws.

Look at a club we can draw direct parallels with: Spurs. We were not just their equals only a few seasons ago. We were their betters. We are trailing in their dust.

They have been better managed both on and off the park, recruited better - both managers and players - promoted homegrown talent, have a superb new stadium.

By being metronome steady, they have usurped 'bigger and better' clubs to initially claim regular EL qualification and now passage to the CL. They are on the cusp of making the final.

Everton can't cherry pick the seasons or competitions to play in Europe. It should be a bare minimum for Everton to qualify every single year to compete in Europe. It's down to the board and management, thereafter, to ensure we have the resources to compete on all fronts.

Isn't that what ambitious 'big' clubs do..?

John Pierce
27 Posted 25/04/2019 at 14:38:46
I'd never agree that not being in a competition helps us in others. It's been that way for many years and we've not won anything. It's not a hindrance however we need to find a manager who can balance both and plan accordingly.

I'm not a fan of Silva, don't think I'll ever be however he will plan and have a strategy for playing Europa League.

It's more than likely since most of his managerial experience is in Europe we might negotiate the games well?

For Everton to get to the top 4, it's going to require us over-achieving because we don't have the funds to do it. The Europa League is an avenue to get you there into the Champions League. It's an opportunity, grasp it.

Terry Underwood
28 Posted 25/04/2019 at 15:02:46
I would send the kids out for qualifiers. If we get tonked, so what. Either way good experience for them.
Paul Burns
29 Posted 25/04/2019 at 15:23:28
Disagree 100%.
How can playing games of football in the Europa league mess up preparations for playing games of football?
It was nothing to do with the early start to the season and everything to do with Everton's amateurish organisation - they knew when the season started and weren't ready, simple as that.
Maybe we should pull out of the FA and League cup in case they disrupt league games.
Maybe we should just sell pies at the ground and dispense with football altogether.
Henrik Lyngsie
30 Posted 25/04/2019 at 15:45:31
I never understood why anyone wants us not to be in Europe. If we want to be a big club Europe is a must. The club need to be used to play in Europe. Have the squad size for the extra games. It is needed to attract players, to earn money and to grow as a club.
I see people using Burnley as an example of the problems playing Thursday’s. Maybe the truth is that Burnley is a bottom half team and just had a good season last year. They are button half this year again. Not because of Europe but because that is their level. (With all respect).

One important point is that by not being in Europe we don’t gain European points for the seeding. We are currently 84 in the ranking below Krasnodar, Plzen, Malmo. Which means that if we qualify for the CL we would be bottom seed.

Rob Halligan
31 Posted 25/04/2019 at 15:49:50
Paul # 29. I agree with you 100%. The objective of a lot of premier league teams at the start of the season is to win the league, then finish in the top four, then win one of the two domestic cups, then finally qualify for the Europa league. For about 60 - 70% the objective is just to remain in the premier league, and I certainly hope the hierarchy at Everton don't fall into this 60 - 70%.

Every chairman / owner in the premier league wants to finish as high as they possibly can anyway, because the higher you finish, the bigger the payout at the end of the season.

As I've said on another thread, a club the size and stature of Everton should be playing in Europe every season, be it the CL or EL, and if the players can't handle a few extra games each season, then they don't deserve to be professional footballers.

Finally, what makes me laugh the most, is people saying they don't want to qualify for the EL, but would love to win one of the cups, which in turn, takes you into what? Answers on a postcard please!!

Tony Everan
32 Posted 25/04/2019 at 15:55:15
I am all for europa qualification, it has more positives than negatives.

I would imagine that training needs to be adjusted to allow for midweek matches, so that players are not overworked. They must have a regimen that atones partly for the additional exertions of the midweek games. Maybe more study needs to be done on that.

We have a promising few youngsters coming through so any senior who is not 100% could be rested to allow one or two of the u23's to shine.

Eddie Dunn
33 Posted 25/04/2019 at 16:11:13
The article is sound and we have witnessed many teams screw up their season with early starts to the Europa League. The money is crap, and once the big boys drop in from the CL, the game is up. All it means is more matches, Thursdays and Sundays, which upsets the usual routine. We sometimes do have Sunday games but who wants even more of them?
If we are serious about breaking into the top six, we need to concentrate on the League.
Brian Harrison
34 Posted 25/04/2019 at 16:22:17

The reason why fans want to win a cup is because its a trophy, thats the reason not because it qualifies for the Europa league. Even UEFA think its a nothing tournament, just look at the difference in prize money between their 2 competitions.

Champions league
Winners 86.6 million euros
Losing Finalists 81.2 million euros
reaching group stage 12.7 million euros

Europa League
Winners 8.4 million euros
Losing Finalist 4.5 million euros
semi finalist 2.4 million euros

The Champions league has 32 teams, the Europa League has 178.
So more games more travelling for a pittance compared to Champions League. The Champions league played on a Tuesday or Wednesday as not to disrupt weekend league games,has all the excitement and buzz and the Europa is relegated to a Thursday, with no buzz and television hardly bothering with early rounds, even channel 5 could afford to show games.

James Stewart
35 Posted 25/04/2019 at 16:37:00
Utter nonsense.

We failed in Europe before because we had a crap squad and manager.

The Europa league offers a route into the Champion's League. This is a lot more realistic target than breaking the top 4 at present.

I can't understand any blue that doesn't want Everton to be in Europe where we belong.

Kevin Prytherch
36 Posted 25/04/2019 at 16:40:29
Brian - the champions league does not have 32 teams. It has around 80 teams with 4 rounds of knockouts to determine the 6 teams who will make it to the group stages to join the 26 teams protected by their countries Europe coefficient.

Around 58 teams play for just 6 places in the group stages, one of those 58 is the English team who finishes 4th.

And people wonder why big European teams are viewed as being anti competitive. Get them all playing knockouts, with the 32 who survive the knockouts going into the group stages.

Kevin Prytherch
37 Posted 25/04/2019 at 16:41:20
Sorry - bad maths. 48 teams play for 6 places
Mike Gaynes
38 Posted 25/04/2019 at 16:57:13
Sorry, Martin, I hate to pile on but I'm joining the near-universal opinion (I think everybody but Eddie disagrees with you) that qualifying for the Europa League would be a good thing and something to be celebrated. Everton belong in Europe.

Unfortunately I think Wolves will make it a moot point, but if we can overhaul them for 7th, like almost all here I will be delighted.

Rob Halligan
39 Posted 25/04/2019 at 17:08:32
Brian # 34. I understand that mate, we'd all love to win a cup, either league or FA Cup, but it's when people start citing the reasons in the OP for not wanting to qualify for the EL but would love to win a cup that makes me laugh. The one good thing about winning a cup is, does it automatically qualify you for the group stages, therefore avoiding the qualifying rounds?
Paul Ellam
40 Posted 25/04/2019 at 17:10:54
If Everton want to be seen as a big club around the globe then Europe is a must - every season!
I just can't understand the attitude some fans have when it comes to challenging for cups or European places.
A club's success is entirely based on what trophies it has won and how often it is challenging for said trophies.
In my eyes, Everton should be going all out for both domestic cups and aiming at the very least to qualify for Europe EVERY season. Unfortunately the League title is beyond us at present.
Fans that would see us miss out on such things baffle me. If we don't want to win trophies - what's the point in being involved at all?

Alan J Thompson
41 Posted 25/04/2019 at 17:25:12
What, all those preseason EL qualifying rounds when we could be losing to Bury 1-0 or thrashing Austrian amateurs 22-0. Rather depends on this management being better than those who planned previous preseasons but at least this time there should be some continuity.
Stephen Brown
42 Posted 25/04/2019 at 17:57:34
Surely competive fixtures in pre season can be used to our advantage?!
Brian Williams
43 Posted 25/04/2019 at 18:03:54
Paul I don't think it's an "attitude" I think some consider that the squad isn't of a high enough quality (yet) to be able to compete on European AND domestic fronts just yet.
It's been an up and down season for us and if you look at the points difference between 6th and 7th in the premier league you'll see there's still a big gap.
We're still early in our rebuilding, after the most recent recruitment disaster and all that could come tumbling down by suffering a similar fate to Burnley et al when they qualified for the EL.
Myself I feel we need another four of five quality players to be able to compete week in week out in the premiership alone.
And don't forget, IF we get Zouma and Gomes permanently (probably at between £60m and £70m for both) that's basically a 60m-70m outlay purely to stand still.
Myself? I think we'd be ready if we were fifth and without a huge points gap between us and fourth.
We're a long way off that yet, hence the "attitude" you to allude to from some.
Some may argue that both Chelsea's and Arsenal's premier league form has taken a dip due to their involvement and progression in the EL.
It's not a huge stretch of the imagination, or an unreasonable view, to see how our involvement in the EL could, at the stage we're at now, have a very negative impact on us as a club.

Nick White
44 Posted 25/04/2019 at 18:15:09
I really hope we qualify for the Europa League. Obviously lots of variables (we will need to win our next 2 games at least and better Wolves - I didn’t see them beating Arsenal, and Watford’s results and hope Citeh win the FA Cup). But to get better we need to be in Europe and continue to develop the squad and team. Like others have posted earlier, this summer should not see a huge influx of players (hopefully sign Zouma and Gomes on permanent deals) so that only really leaves a striker and potentially a replacement for Gueye if he leaves. The team will be settled and those on loan will either be sold or loaned out again. Go for it!
Kieran Kinsella
45 Posted 25/04/2019 at 18:18:39
I don’t like the “better to focus on the league” we hear that every year from serial losers like Mark Hughes in the league cup who field weak team lose, are shit in the league anyway then get sacked by Christmas.
Mike Gaynes
46 Posted 25/04/2019 at 18:31:03
Brian #43, on the other hand I don't really think Burnley's poor season is necessarily a result of playing in the EL. I would argue that they didn't belong there in the first place, that they weren't nearly as good as their standing last year, that they got great luck and great goalkeeping -- I mean, how many teams finish 7th scoring less than a goal a game? Look at that roster -- that's 15th place talent if I've ever seen it. They just reverted to their true level this season.

I think the potential benefits of making the EL far outweigh the risks.

John Hall
47 Posted 25/04/2019 at 18:31:19
Sorry to be рedantic Kevin but toр 4 рrem teams go straight to CL grouр stage, team 5 and 6 (or FA cuр winner) go straight to EL grouр stage, team 7 (or LC winner) go straight to 2nd qualifying rd (in July)
Steve Ferns
48 Posted 25/04/2019 at 18:39:59
Don’t forget we still have a massive squad. We’ve a talented u23 squad. There’s no reason we couldn’t play a number of fringe players, loanees and u23 players in the first round. Remember the quality of the opposition last time around? We’d gave more than enough quality.

You can register different players between the rounds too. It’s only for the group that you need to register your 25 and stick with it. So no worries about squads here and registering the likes of Sigurdsson. We can use Sandro, Mirallas, and Bolasie. Get them in the shop window and sold. I’m sure silva could put a decent enough side out whilst still resting the older players like Sigurdsson, Gueye, Baines, and so on.

Steve Ferns
49 Posted 25/04/2019 at 18:45:02
I’m not sure if you guys forgot, but this is the last ever incarnation of the current Europa League. It’s all change after this coming season. No more pre-qualifying. We’d be straight into the groups. Then if we won, straight into the last 16. That’s a reduction down to 13 matches to win it. 15 if you come second in the group and have to play the CL drop-outs (the change they needed to make but didn’t was getting rid of this).
Stephen Brown
50 Posted 25/04/2019 at 18:52:07
Steve 49
That really annoys me too! The fact that the CL drop outs get to enter this competition even though most of them deride it !

I’m actually quite excited to see if we’ve got what it takes to qualify now!

Zahir Jaffer
51 Posted 25/04/2019 at 18:55:56
It's true: playing in Europe is prestigious but some clubs can do it... some can't.

This depends on the following:
Squad depth
Squad age
Premier League pedigree

Each team in the top 6 has enough squad depth to compete on all fronts; we don't.

Our squad age is fairly young... naturally so as that's what our recruitment policy has been like. This helps with exposure, growth and experience. They also heal quicker. They aren't in their prime and are still relatively raw.

Our players can't last a whole Premier League season and are still in the process of reaching that point.

Players need time adapting to the Premier League and it's been evident with Gomes, Bernard, Tosun, Calvert-Lewin, Mina and Richarlison.

Our most played player, Sigurdsson, is Premier League proven and can last a whole season, and he's turning 30. He's probably the only player who can play 50 games a season easily but would you want to risk your best player in these games which could halt our progression in other domestic games? I wouldn't.

Gana might not be here so I'm going to avoid speaking about him.

That's half our starting line-up still adjusting to the Premier League and there are some people still wanting them to add more to their already challenging feat.

Travelling to Eastern Europe is taxing on the mind and body. Having games 2 days after coming back from Ukraine or Russia is arduous. Traveling by flights back and forth in one night takes a toll. It's completely different to the Mickey Mouse cup as players are on a bus and don't travel thousands of miles to reach a game.

Also, the body needs time to adapt to the cabin pressure. Jet lag is also gonna deteriorate our players body clock. Not saying they won't be able to play but we won't be getting the best of our players and will risk injuring them. We already have a very thin squad and we don't have replacements in every position.

I'd rather we let europa league go this season and challenge for the coveted champions league squad. I honestly do believe we will be able to reach it with our last two months of performances.

Liverpool came 8th during Klopps first season and honestly it was a blessing in disguise because it propelled them to the champions league by focusing solely on domestic games.

Next season our players will be closer to competing with Europe's elite. There's a good chance we could be the dark horse in the top 4 race and that's something I want to bare witness to.

So no, I don't want to see us sluggishly get through the Premier League next season when we can compete with the best. I'd hate to take on a top 6 side after a big Europa League game. Knowing Sky, that's how they'd line us up. If the last two months are anything to go on, which honestly did shock me, we are ready, barely ready, but ready to have a real go at the Champions League spot and terrorise anybody who comes to Goodison Park. I wouldn't give that up for a slight chance of having a good run in the Europa League. NEVER!

Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 25/04/2019 at 19:04:48
Ifs..buts and maybe’s! Great for the fans to go on a few jollies, but I’m not so sure it would be so great for the manager and his future plans?

Loads wanted Silva out not so long ago, loads probably still do, and in this unforgiving world of football, I think the smart money, might just be on the manager taking the sensible option, which might just be the best route long-term?

Any other year I’d want Europe, but Arsenal, United and Chelsea, all seem to be going backwards, and if Liverpool end up empty handed (PLEASE GOD) then who knows what this could do to them?

Wishful thinking maybe, but if Everton can clear some more deadwood, and recruit as good as they did last year, then its possible that the Phoenix might just be about to rise from the flames, but maybe I’m just too much of a dreamer, when it comes to Everton FC?

Dave Abrahams
53 Posted 25/04/2019 at 19:10:47
Tony (52),don’t knock dreams Tony, many of them are very happy ones and dreams can come true.
Anthony Murphy
54 Posted 25/04/2019 at 19:12:37
I’m unsure how I feel about this. I just want us to finish on a high and if that means qualifying for the Europa League then great but at the same time if Watford beat City in the FA cup final and we fail to qualify I won’t be too bothered. On balance, I’d rather we qualify but it does seem to have a negative impact especially when your squad lacks a bit of strength in depth. I too hate the fact that CL failures can enter - can’t understand the thinking there at all. I wonder how Brands and Silva genuinely feel about it? They will say all the right stuff, but would they really see it as a distraction the way some have outlined here? Jury is out on this one for me given how inconsistent we have been and that Silva needs a solid pre season but overall the challenge is to cope and cope well
Raymond Fox
55 Posted 25/04/2019 at 19:22:11
Martin I totally agree. At this time the Premiership and our cup competitions should be are priority.
You have put a very strong case that does not need any elaborating from me.
Tony Abrahams
56 Posted 25/04/2019 at 19:23:01
I just hope my dreams don’t reflect the next few weeks Dave, because I honestly prefer having nightmares once I go to sleep!
John McFarlane Snr
57 Posted 25/04/2019 at 19:49:20
HI All [pro's and anti's] I take a rather simplistic view on the 'European Venture,' on the one hand I enjoy the European nights at Goodison and it gives my Grandson the opportunity to see foreign teams, on the other hand non entry would result in easing any cash flow problems, [fewer home games to attend.]

In short what it means is that if they're in, I'm behind them, and if not I'm behind them. I'm prepared to accept whatever hand I'm dealt, and after all my feelings won't affect the outcome one way or another.

Mike Gaynes
58 Posted 25/04/2019 at 20:06:05
Off-topic news -- ESPN's Transfer Talk blog just reported that ManUtd is considering an offer for Richarlison thi summer. And we are rumored to be among those in for David Neres of Ajax.
Mike Gaynes
59 Posted 25/04/2019 at 20:16:17
I should have said "again rumored"... this one has been recurrent over the past few weeks.
Terry White
60 Posted 25/04/2019 at 20:35:10
Mike (#58) I did see on ESPN news today also that Arsenal are interested in Gomes as well as Spurs, of course.
Robin Cannon
61 Posted 25/04/2019 at 20:35:54
Completely disagree with the premise. Our chaotic pre-season was entirely self-inflicted, not because of European competition.

We should be aiming to get into competitions, and then aiming to win them. Europa League competition offers both the potential of a trophy, and the potential of Champions' League qualification.

It's so unambitious to argue against it. What, we should never aim to finish above 8th unless we can finish 4th? Is that the plan?

Bill Watson
62 Posted 25/04/2019 at 20:40:12
Mike #58/59

As the transfer window approaches expect Man Utd to be linked to every Tom, Dick and Harry.

It's lazy journalism.

Dave Abrahams
63 Posted 25/04/2019 at 21:14:29
Robin (61), speaking for myself, I’m against playing in the Europa League next season, because I don’t think we are ready to play in both competitions yet, it most certainly doesn’t go beyond next season, Robin you just might be very pleasantly surprised how well we do in the premier league next season, without the handicap of the Europa League, yes, that’s what it will be to me, again speaking for myself.
Brian Williams
64 Posted 25/04/2019 at 21:38:45
It's so unambitious to argue against it. What, we should never aim to finish above 8th unless we can finish 4th? Is that the plan?
No one said that was the plan.
But maybe, as I suggested in my post, finishing 7th, possibly 20 points behind sixth demonstrates we're not ready yet as Dave suggests too.

For unambitious read realistic!

Don Alexander
65 Posted 25/04/2019 at 21:43:56
Pretty much every year since its horrible inception the EL has drained all but the occasional biggest clubs who occasionally find themselves competing in it after one of their rare bad seasons and the effect on those many smaller clubs in the Premier League has been that they perform way worse in the season they're involved.

For me, I just don't trust too many players in our squad to perform adequately, never mind well, when they're burdened with the extra workload of going to Rezumberok and the like, meaning they miss another night out with their/someone else's stellar missus. The poor millionaire loves just don't have the stomach for it. We call them "our deadwood" and we have a helluva lot to get rid of before we can start ambitiously looking at horizons overseas.

Maybe when the EL changes format after next season, but not now for me.

Bill Griffiths
66 Posted 25/04/2019 at 22:10:45
I'm with you on this John, however I do want us to finish as high as we possibly can.
Guess finishing 7th &
Bill Griffiths
67 Posted 25/04/2019 at 22:10:46
I'm with you on this John, however I do want us to finish as high as we possibly can.
Guess finishing 7th &
Bill Griffiths
68 Posted 25/04/2019 at 22:12:39
Meant to add finishing 7th & Watford winning FA cup is best outcome
Geoff Lambert
70 Posted 25/04/2019 at 22:43:28
Europa league final against the likes of Inter or Ajax for example or league cup final against the likes of Watford or Chelsea maybe?? I know what cup I would like to win every time. Stick your preseason friendlies against nomark 3rd tier teams give me some competition any day, much better preperation for the upcoming season.
Joe Corgan
71 Posted 26/04/2019 at 01:43:45
Let's opt out of the FA Cup and League Cup as well so we can focus 100% on the Premier League!
Mike Gaynes
72 Posted 26/04/2019 at 07:33:39
Dave and Brian, there's another factor here that hasn't been mentioned yet.

One key to making Everton a top 6 club is keeping our best younger players. The sharks are already circling Richarlison, and after another season like this one Digne is going to be a hot commodity on the world market.

And if you want players like these to stay, you have to be able to offer them European competition. Or somebody else will.

And they'll be gone.

Eddie Dunn
73 Posted 26/04/2019 at 08:16:16
Steve Ferns- you mention that we have a big squad and lots of good youngsters in the under 23s but the coaches and manager would still all have to schlepp all over the place midweek so they would have less time preparing for the domestic games. Our best players could be rested but we have seen this season periods where we have needed to iron-out systems (zonal defence0 on the training ground.
It is not that I don't want us to finish as high as possible but as others have pointed out, we are miles off 6th now, but throw in another 10-15 games with all of the hassle and fatigue of travelling and add to that the disruption to the training and you are looking at losing ground in the league. it could be the difference to breaking into the top 4/6 or being sucked into the edge of the relegation scrap.
And to all of those who think a combination of our kids and fringe players would make progress against anyone but Valetta, get real. We would end up being embarrassed by another Atlalanta.
I would rather we didn't qualify this season (and Watford will win the Cup anyway) but instead close the gap on the big six (as our recent results are suggesting we are doing) and really make a big effort on both domestic cup competions.
We have just beaten 3 teams that have all been playing european football. I wonder if we would have had the edge if they had been fresher?
Martin Nicholls
74 Posted 26/04/2019 at 09:00:49
Eddie#73 - "I wonder if we would have had the edge if they had been fresher"? Really? Sounds like you are with Sky, BBC etc who claimed we only beat Chelsea, Arsenal and Man U because they were rubbish!
Dave Abrahams
75 Posted 26/04/2019 at 09:13:33
Mike ( 72), of course you are correct, you do have to offer the top players European competition, just not the one you are suggesting.

This is a scoop for ToffeeWeb, me and Brian Williams are currently making a huge banner between us DOWN WITH THE EUROPA LEAGUE, me and Brian are keeping this a secret, I can trust myself to keep this secret, not sure about Brian !!!

Brian Harrison
76 Posted 26/04/2019 at 09:39:58
Mike 72

When the top clubs come calling and the player fancies the move, then I am absolutely certain us being in the Europa league will have no bearing on the players decision. Kante and Mahrez both had Champions league not Europa league yet they both moved, when someone offers to treble your wages and it comes from a club that is regularly in the top 4 its an easy decision.

Liverpool while riding high in the league and competing in Europe still lost Suarez to Barca and Torres to Chelsea. Man Utd couldnt keep Ronaldo out of the clutches of Real Madrid. There is a pecking order in football with both Spanish clubs at the top then both Manchester clubs, then Juventus, PSG,Chelsea, Liverpool and maybe then Arsenal. Sadly we don't come anywhere near the top 20 clubs in Europe so we are always at the mercy of the big boys

Brian Williams
77 Posted 26/04/2019 at 10:26:38
Hey come one Dave I'm a bit disappointed you reckon I can't keep a secret mate.
I mean I've NEVER told anyone about your preference for wearing silk at the weekends and a liking for being called "Gloria" ffs.
You can trust me, honest!
Dave Abrahams
78 Posted 26/04/2019 at 10:35:47
Brian (77), never doubted you for a minute !!!
Geoff Lambert
79 Posted 26/04/2019 at 10:59:56
Geoff Lambert
80 Posted 26/04/2019 at 10:59:57
I know lets just try for eigth every year no worries about disruption to our next match against Burnley or Cardiff. I wonder why we are not one of the top twenty teams in Europe?
Like some of our fans NO ambition.
Do you think we are just going to jump to top four and sail through to the last 16 in the CL? If we do could we ask if it would be OK to play all our games at home so as to not disrupt the training for sundays trip to Wigan in the League cup.
Get in to Europa and as far as we can maybe we can win it Hey! its not the mighty cup winneres cup that we all keep crowing on about winning is it. It would do me though...
Eddie Dunn
81 Posted 26/04/2019 at 11:11:39
Martin #74. My point is quite clear, the extra games, and disruption will reduce our ability to get high in the league next season. The media's obsession is with those teams because they are usually in the top six.
Your response is uncalled for,(the Beeb and Sky make my blood boil) as I do not suggest that we "only beat them because they were rubbish". We played some great football and deserved to win those games. If those sides had not played all of their extra games it is obvious that they would not have picked up so many injuries, their players would be fresher and thus they would have been harder to beat.
It's simple logic.
Zahir Jaffer
82 Posted 26/04/2019 at 11:28:31
Geoff #80, you make an ambitious statement and I'm all for that. Mulling over it pragmatically, we won't use an 8th-place finish for an end-all be-all. Rather a stepping stone to a new horizon. This will be Marco Silva's worst season, which hasn't been half bad. Our squad is guaranteed European football with us finishing somewhere between 4th and 7th next season. Maybe even 3rd!

Please take into consideration that it's Marco Silva's first season and it takes at least 2 summer transfer windows to get the manager's players in. It'll take another 6 months to gel them in. By the end of next season, my ambitions will be the Premier League title and nothing short of Champions League football. Not 8th. It's a slow and steady process and Europa League will be an unnecessary distraction right now from reaching that goal.

Geoff Lambert
83 Posted 26/04/2019 at 11:58:34
Eddie why do you want to get high in the league next summer? All that means is we will have to play pointless European games that will disrupt our ability to get high in the league next summer.

Repeat as necessary.

Zahir Jaffer
84 Posted 26/04/2019 at 12:07:25
I agree #81 Eddie

This is a stat which shows premier league results with European football

1. Man City – PPG: 2.1
Played: 20 (CL 2016-17, 2017-18)
Won 13; lost 4; draw 3
Points: 42
Points per game after Europe: 2.1
Average Premier League PPG: 2.34

2. Arsenal – PPG: 2.04
Played: 21 (CL 2016-17, CL & EL 2017-18)
Won 13; lost 4; draw 4
Points: 43
Points per game after Europe: 2.04
Average Premier League PPG: 1.81

3. Tottenham – PPG: 2
Played: 16 (CL 2016-17, 2017-18)
Won 9; lost 2; draw 5
Points: 32
Points per game after Europe: 2
Average Premier League PPG: 2.14

4. Man Utd – PPG: 1.8
Played 21 (EL 2016-17, CL 2017-18)
Won 12; lost 7; draw 2
Points: 38
Points per game after Europe: 1.8
Average Premier League PPG: 1.97

5. Liverpool – PPG: 1.5
Played: 14 (CL 2017-18)
Won 5; lost 6; draw 3
Points: 21
Points per game after Europe: 1.5
Average Premier League PPG: 1.97

6. Chelsea – PPG: 1.13
Played: 16 (CL, 2015-16, 2017-18)
Won 5; lost 8; draw 3
Points: 18
Points per game after Europe: 1.13
Average Premier League PPG: 1.57

Most of these teams have two starting line ups. When you have a great bench like Ozil, Mikky, Auba, Sane, Jesus, Lucas, Sanchez, Martial, Cech, Pedro/Willian, Shaqiri, and many more, it's easier to rotate the squad and get the desired results. Yet even with the squad depth these clubs have, playing in Europe has had an adverse effect in the Premier League.

Also, all these clubs have two strikers who are premium forwards who can be rotated. We just have one: Calvert-Lewin.

Rob Halligan
85 Posted 26/04/2019 at 12:10:44
I think Geoff has hit the nail on the head. Finish as high as we can in the premier league, without qualifying for Europe. I think we should also do well in the cups, right up to the semi finals, then get knocked out, thus ending the chance of winning a trophy and therefore entering the dreaded Europa league.

Or maybe, win a cup but tell the FA / UEFA, thanks, but no thanks, we don't want to enter the Europa league because of the extra games (and money) we will have to play, putting all that extra strain on our super fit professional footballers.

Paul Burns
86 Posted 26/04/2019 at 13:02:06
Someone said we can't compete yet at this level in Europe. I bet the size of our squad, our wage bill and the amount we have spent on players blows away most of the teams in this competition – if we can't compete, it is just another indicator of the piss-poor management of the club at every level.

Most continental clubs would kill for the money we fritter away on rubbish and many do far better on a fraction of what we waste. Stop making excuses.

Fran Mitchell
87 Posted 26/04/2019 at 13:09:13
Totally disagree. Look at the comparison: Burnley.

The justification for not competing in Europe is that Burnley struggled because of it. And yet people.on here lament that the media don't treat us and the top 6 as equals.

Football is much about experience as anything else. If we avoid all.European competition because it will have an impact on the players we should avoid it? The logic being? What, so we perform.better in the league and then. fail miserably in Europe the following year?

The EL is actually a competition we should be looking at and saying "we can win this".

People lament getting knocked out of the FA Cup, even though our chances of winning are slim. Our chances of finishing fourth are slim, too.

For me, EL should be our no 1 target over the next couple of years.

Mike Allison
88 Posted 26/04/2019 at 13:38:05
Paul, the point is that we also have to compete in the Premier League, whereas most continental teams have much weaker weekend games.
Eddie Dunn
89 Posted 26/04/2019 at 15:30:38
I am amazed at how many respected voices on here want to play in the europa. if we do qualify I will wait to hear what you all have to say when we keep losing on Sundays after an arduous trip to outer-nowhere and we are languishing in 13th place looking over our shoulder at the fag-butts of the PL.
And Geoff- I presume that is a joke! However, next season I expect us to qualify in fourth for the CL proper, playing on Tuesday/wed and recouping huge sums of money for our extra effort.
Geoff Lambert
90 Posted 26/04/2019 at 15:33:11
Zahir, Exactly what I was saying thank you, so it happens to everyone in Europe and that is the price for playing in Europe. Maybe the top 6 should all refuse to enter the European competitions to save the loss of form..
Geoff Lambert
91 Posted 26/04/2019 at 15:37:31
Eddie, " I expect us to qualify in fourth for the CL proper, playing on Tuesday/wed and recouping huge sums of money for our extra effort."

And you presume I was joking?

Zahir Jaffer
92 Posted 26/04/2019 at 16:48:52
Geoff, did you miss the point where the top 6's bench can walk into our squad while our bench can barely make it through the Championship levels?
Eddie Dunn
93 Posted 26/04/2019 at 17:07:34
Geoff, it seems to be catch 22. If you do quite well and get 7th, Europa buggers you up that (if you don't win it) your league form sufferes a bit and you don't make 6th or above the following season. Perhaps the best thing is, to simply get knocked out straight away!
Zahir Jaffer
94 Posted 26/04/2019 at 17:31:31
Didn't Chelsea win the Premier League after failing to qualify for Europe?
Mike Gaynes
95 Posted 26/04/2019 at 17:40:09
Eddie #89, it comes down to a single point – you're absolutely certain that playing in the Europa League would definitely damage our Premier League campaign, and most of us simply disagree with that. As previously stated, I personally think it's well worth the risk.

And I disagree, as again I believe most here would, that we have a chance of us qualifying for the Champions League next season by finishing 4th. We do not yet have Top 4 talent or anything close to it. We are rebuilding and improving, and I can realistically see the possibility of a significant move up next season. I do not see us improving by the 20 points necessary to hop over Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal into 4th.

Eddie Dunn
96 Posted 26/04/2019 at 18:05:46
Mike, you are probably correct, as 20 points is a huge margin but, on recent form, we would be a contender for top 4, and I would also argue that very few of the current Man Utd side would get into our eleven.
Mike Gaynes
97 Posted 26/04/2019 at 18:20:09
True, Eddie, but for us "current form" can last about 20 minutes.

And Man Utd has a reported summer transfer budget of over £200 million. Just a bit larger than ours.

Unless we pull a one-year Leicester, we won't be passing them anytime soon.

Martin Berry
98 Posted 26/04/2019 at 19:26:09
The Europa League is nonsense and wants scrapping, 15 games to win a financial pittance compared with the Champions League. The real absurdity is failed Champions League teams "dropping" down into the Europa League to prolong... the misery.

Yes, Everton need to be in Europe; however, it still maybe a season too soon, but no doubt Europe attracts players, especially those who like to collect their air miles to use for their summer hols!

Tony Abrahams
99 Posted 26/04/2019 at 19:54:25
Next season, it will be a quarter of a century without us winning a cup unless we go and win one of the domestic cups in this country, and people are arguing about Europe.
Eddie Dunn
100 Posted 26/04/2019 at 21:00:39
Tony, that is exactly my point. We don't need poxy Euro footy next season – we need to win a cup and/or get in the top 6.
Tony Abrahams
101 Posted 26/04/2019 at 21:22:57
I've read the thread, Eddie. You have given an opinion that is based on Everton having a really good go in the Premier League next year, and I have a similar point of view to that, mate.

Everyone has their own opinion, but sometimes people dismiss others with their own opinions, and I just feel that if we haven't won a cup for 25 years, then saying things like "We might as well just pack it in If we don't want Europe" is being way too dismissive imo.

Paul Tran
102 Posted 26/04/2019 at 21:53:03
We failed under Koeman because of poor recruitment and management. Burnley had an outlier season, this season has them where they 'normally' are. Neither were down to European participation.

You don't know whether you're ready for most things till you're actually doing them. Let's qualify for it and deal with it.

Tony Hill
103 Posted 26/04/2019 at 22:52:00
We should grab everything we might win and go for it without hesitation or thought of failure. The Fuck It philosophy of John C. Parkin, a version of Taoist Wu wei, is in order. Mr Parkin has monetised his insights but that doesn't make him wrong.

I happen to think that our rather strange but lovely manager is running a version of this stuff although, I grant you, he tends to look a bit anxious from time to time in a non-Taoist fashion; not joking though: "turn off your mind relax and flow downstream it is not dying" - rather the reverse.

Eric Myles
104 Posted 27/04/2019 at 00:19:20
It wasn't the EL that lead to our poor form in that 2017-18 season.

I seem to remember we won our PL games around the EL games and our season really fell apart when we were out of the EL competition.

Eddie Dunn
105 Posted 27/04/2019 at 08:54:05
Eric- totally wrong. in August we lost at Chelsea, then on 9th Sept lost at home (0-3) to Spurs. We went to Atalanta 5 days later to lose 3-0.
We returned three days after Altalanta to go to Man U and were spanked 4-0.
On the 28th of Sept we drew with the mighty Ap Limassol and followed up with a 0-1 home defeat a few days later at the hands of Burnley.
Afew days after our home defeat to Lyon on the 19th of October, we succumbed 2-5 at home to Arsenal.
A week later we lost at Leicester and four days later lost 3-0 at Lyon.
We did return home and beat Watford 3-2. We drew at Palace on the 18th Nov, but after losing 1-5 at Atlanta on the 23rd Nov we travelled to Southampton on the 26th to be thrashed 4-1.
The rest of the season our form was if anything slightly better.
These results are a good indicator of Europa footy on a Thursday having a detrimental effect on League form.
People will undoubtably blame the squad, the manager etc but these are the facts.
Bob Parrington
106 Posted 27/04/2019 at 09:07:07
I have a gut feel that Wolves will win at Anfield for the last game of the season. They'll most likely be 7th.

Of course, all of this will depend on the selected referee and assistants, how many off-side moves of RS they miss etc etc . and (TIC) what instructions they are given by the EPL management team!!?? (I still believe Diana was murdered!!) 🧐

Paul Rimmer
107 Posted 27/04/2019 at 09:31:18
Totally disagree with the OP. Everton should be striving to be in Europe every season and I imagine the whole staff at the club would agree. We need to increase our Euro coefficient for starters. The extra games would provide more opportunities for squad players. The problems we had a few seasons ago were down to poor players and management - Cuco Martina and Ashley Williams anyone?!
If we do miss out on 7th this season and have a better season next year, in all likelihood it's gonna be a 5th-7th place and Europa League anyway. So what people are worried about seems to be an extra 6 games against weak opposition where if we are as confident in our squad for next season as we make out, we should be wiping the floor with anyway. Two seasons in the Europa won't do us any harm.
Brian Williams
108 Posted 27/04/2019 at 09:48:00
If we do miss out on 7th this season and have a better season next year, in all likelihood it's gonna be a 5th-7th place and Europa League anyway. So what people are worried about seems to be an extra 6 games against weak opposition where if we are as confident in our squad for next season as we make out, we should be wiping the floor with anyway. Two seasons in the Europa won't do us any harm.

I think the point some are trying to make Paul is that we/they don't feel as confident in our squad YET to be able to go any distance in the EL should we qualify this season.
We may not have Zouma or Gomes and don't know who we WILL have bearing in mind there's possibly 18 players to try to get rid of in order to bring in 6. (possibly 8 if Zouma and Gomes don't stay).
The feeling from the anti ELers seems to be; let's get the squad together that we're hoping to have in order to have a good go and take it from there.
A disastrous run in the EL, similar to the one Eddie Dunn highlights will (IMHO) do extreme damage.
In short I, for one, and a number of others too, believe we're not quite ready to give it a good go.
Now that's an opinion, not saying or claiming that I'm right and the pro ELers are wrong so I'd ask them not to point out that I/we are completely wrong and lacking in ambition and try accept that our opinion is just that, but is as valid as any of theirs.
I want to see us go into competitions with a good chance of winning them. I honestly don't think we have the team/squad to do that in the EL (yet).

James Newcombe
109 Posted 27/04/2019 at 10:14:18
Europe. Are we in or out? Let’s have a vote!
Ah, maybe not.

I like being involved in the EL, but it would definitely have a negative impact on our domestic campaign. It always has done! Martinez, Koeman (cough) and to a lesser degree, Moyes all saw it occur.

If we can play like we have recently on a more consistent basis we could surprise a lot of people - I can’t see that happening with the distraction of Europa football.

David Pearl
110 Posted 27/04/2019 at 13:09:10
I vote IN James. Now that was easy but its a tie. At least we knew what we were voting for. The last time we were in Europe we had Williams and Martina in defence... we have a better squad now a lot more capable to handle than last time... or Burnley, or Wolves or Watford for that matter.
Dermot Byrne
111 Posted 27/04/2019 at 13:24:10
I vote out. I think the competition is pointless and who can remember who wins it? I have great hope about our team next year and would like them to really leave the best of the second tier at home or win a cup.
Mike Gaynes
112 Posted 27/04/2019 at 13:44:05
So Dermot, you and Eddie are hoping we lose today? Or at Spurs?

Because if we do get 7th, I don't think the club is going to tell the EL, "No thanks, guys, give our ticket to Wolves."

So if you don't want us in the EL, you've gotta cheer for Palace today.

How do you do that? I'm serious now. I couldn't.

David Midgley
113 Posted 27/04/2019 at 13:44:27
Get into the Europa !!
Let's use our large first team and U23 squad and get
playing. Some of these early games would be good
training, giving players young and old european
experience. It would give EFC more continental
exposure both to spectators and potential new
players. Let's get in the window.
Remember the old milk advert ?
Accrington Stanley ?
James Hughes
114 Posted 27/04/2019 at 13:54:36
Two teams we beat recently are in the semi-finals of the Europa. That would be a fantastic evening at the Old Lady. I missed out in Rotterdam watching the final in a bar in London with the locals cheered on Vienna, the twats. Vowed I wouldn't miss out again, not had the chance yet.
Eddie Dunn
115 Posted 29/04/2019 at 13:54:54
Mike, I would never want us to lose. As for 7th, if we get there (unlikely now) then so be it... just because hypothetically we may prefer not to be in the Europa League does not mean we would want us to lose.

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