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How coming 8th and not winning the Europa means Euro football next year

By Tony Attwood

We are currently six points and three places below sixth position in the Premier League – and sixth, although not a trophy does mean entry to the Europa League.  We might also win this year’s Europa League which would give access to the Europa League.

But there are two other ways of gaining admission to the Europa, and the benefits that brings.  I’ll deal with the benefits in a mo, but first how to get into the Europa.

If the winners of the FA Cup and/or League Cup finish in the top four then their places in the Europa League are taken by the next highest placed finishers in the Premier League table who have not already qualified for Europe.

In the FA Cup that means Southampton, Manchester City, Leicester City and Chelsea, and I would guess that Manchester City, currently 14 points clear, are going to win the league and cup double.  Failing that it will be Leicester or Chelsea.

In the League Cup that means Tottenham Hots v Manchester City in the final.  If Manchester City win, I can’t see any reg as to what happens.  The Hots might get the place.  If not maybe the next club in the League table.  If not, it presumably is a lost place.  

Here’s the league table as of now.

Pos Team Euro? Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Manchester City CL 30 22 5 3 64 21 43 71
2 Manchester United CL 29 16 9 4 56 32 24 57
3 Leicester City CL 29 17 5 7 53 32 21 56
4 Chelsea CL 29 14 9 6 44 25 19 51
5 West Ham United Euro 29 14 7 8 45 35 10 49
6 Tottenham Hotspur Euro 29 14 6 9 49 30 19 48
7 Liverpool FAC 29 13 7 9 48 36 12 46
8 Everton LgC? 28 14 4 10 40 37 3 46
9 Arsenal 29 12 6 11 40 32 8 42

The “Euro?” column indicates which competition the clubs would go into.  Liverpool get a place in the Europa League by virtue of a top four team winning the FA Cup, and Everton get the last place because of a Champs League team winning the League Cup.

Now suddenly this looks slightly more viable, if we can keep winning games. and just creep up at least one place, but preferably two.  Not a very elegant way in but still possible.   Of course it does mean us winning while someone else is failing, which is why I keep looking at the last six matches table.  Here it is as it stands on the afternoon of 22 March.

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Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchest City 6 5 0 1 15 6 9 15
2 Leicester City 6 4 1 1 14 7 7 13
3 Tottenham Hots 6 4 0 2 13 5 8 12
4 Manchester Utd 6 3 3 0 7 2 5 12
5 Chelsea 6 3 3 0 6 1 5 12
6 Arsenal 6 3 2 1 13 9 4 11
7 West Ham United 6 3 1 2 11 7 4 10
8 Everton 6 3 0 3 6 7 -1 9
9 Wolverhampton Wands 6 2 2 2 5 7 -2 8
10 Crystal Palace 6 2 2 2 4 8 -4 8
11 Brighton & Hove 6 2 1 3 7 6 1 7
12 Leeds United 6 2 1 3 5 5 0 7
13 Burnley 6 1 4 1 5 8 -3 7
14 Fulham 6 2 1 3 3 6 -3 7
15 West Bromwich Albs 6 1 3 2 2 3 -1 6
16 Liverpool! 6 2 0 4 4 7 -3 6

On this basis we will overtake Liverpool! and maybe Everton, and so just scramble in.  Hardly elegant but we could do it.

And I imagine the club wants us to do it.  Failure to play in the Europa would mean less income for the club, which would mean more cuts, and more redundancies, less money for transfers, more sales and fewer players wanting to come to us.

Other good players will want to leave to gain exposure of European football, youngsters will want to leave because the Europa games give the every chance of exposure in the group stage, and only playing in the Premier League means all we get are PGMO referees, rather than the experience of a different style of refereeing in Europe.

We will also get less press coverage, and there will be a dramatic decline in people taking up season tickets, which will encourage the owners to put the prices up and sell off more players. 

But worst of all, given all the “Fourth is not a trophy” fuss we had when ending second, third and fourth, and the snarling against Mr Wenger when he took us to fifth and sixth, can you imagine what the plane flyers and cardboard carriers of Black Flag, AFTV and the like will get up to with their journalist friends.

The chances of signing real talent of any age will go right out the window.  I really do think we need that extra place.

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16 comments to How coming 8th and not winning the Europa means Euro football next year

  • Russell O

    I thought if you won Europa League, you entered Champions League? That’s what I was particularly hoping for.

  • winner

    Winners of the Carabao Cup will play in a new tournament-Uefa Europa Conference League due to start in the 2021-2022 season. It will also be played on Thursdays just like the Europa tournament. Will it be financially viable to participate in this tournament?

  • Mark

    Winning the Europa gets us into the Champions league doesn’t it?

  • Sammy The Snake

    Win Europa and we get CL.

    Hope for ManC to win everything, climb 1 or 2 places in table and get to Europa.

    And if we can’t do that, having no European football might give us an edge next year to climb EPL table and maybe win it all. Remember Leicester and Chelsea won EPL in 2015 & 2016 by not having any European engagemnets. Focusing all our resources on EPL may not be a bad thing.

    So it’s all good in my mind…

  • Nitram

    And as I have said many times, I think this squad is easily top 4. I know we have spent a lot of money and as such the returns don’t look great given where we are in the league, but I honestly believe we are a lot better than that, and given another season under the belt for the youngsters and the new signings I think we will be pushing, not only top 4 but top 2. And I agree, a season without Europe would help, as much as I don’t really want that.

    Of course it does depend on what others do.

    City, already streets ahead, may even stretch further ahead given their ridiculous wealth.

    Liverpool will bounce back, but to the level of last year? Time will tell.

    Will Chelsea push on with their new manager? Will he be given an enormous budget? Well that is Chelseas modus operandi so you would think so.

    Leicester keep over achieving but will that continue yet again?

    Spurs? Well they’ll just be Spurs so nothing much new there. They may even win the league again in November, but is that really likely to happen in May ??

    So lots of if buts and maybe’s, but all things being equal I still think we are good enough for the top 4.

  • yes you are right Russell, I missed that. My mistake.

  • Mikey

    I certainly don’t miss the days of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup when only one team from each city was allowed to be in it. Who the hell thought up a competition where a team finishing 8th in the league could qualify whilst some or all of the teams above them couldn’t!

  • We have so underperformed this year, more because of internal politics than for anything. Arteta’s team is still very inconsistent and I don’t think our fans will hold up much further. Arteta has been somewhat less diplomatic than we have come to know and expect from Le Prof…and he seem to me like he’s a cheque book manager considering his recent statement about the squad. I get the feeling that he will want more substantial cash infusion into the team, while not improving the ones we have to appreciable level. At what point do we accept that maybe he needs to change approach to things like man management and in game management, because I really think that this team would be in CL next season if Wenger was in charge? For the 1st time in so many years, we don’t have any one injured. That has not done much to our form though…which if it was during Wenger’s tenure I’d be confident of consistency at the very least.

  • Nitram

    Dublin Gooner

    Thanks for that link.

    Kane is a disgrace, but worse is how he is pandered to by referee me and pundits alike.

    Being ‘cute’, being ‘frustrated’ being ‘clever’ all words used by pundits to excuse and even admire Kane’s cheating and thuggery.

    That challenge on Gabriel was a red card every day of the week but it was not mentioned by the commentators, discussed by the studio and was dismissed as a yellow at most by SKY’s resident referee.

    At least we here at UA are not the only ones to see Kane for what he is and the media for what they are.

  • Nitram

    Not ‘me’ obviously. F…ing spell check 😖

  • Mark

    This cheque book manager tag is a red herring. Every manager at any level wants to buy players to enhance his squad. City are the ultimate protagonists. Of course they are there to make players better by coaching the bad things out of them and adding the good stuff too. That’s his job. The board or owners will decide if they can afford the investment. We have progressed and I agree with Nitram that we have a very good squad capable next season of a real challenge. Have to try to keep Odegaard as he ran the game on Sunday and is looking comfortable now. Offload a couple of our centre halves and we look strong all over the pitch. Arteta is going to be a top top manager and needs a little more time to implement his philosophy and with a proper pre season we shall be bang there. The only concern is the rearranged Euros and the lack of rest for those involved. Also this International break is quite ridiculous. Three games in ten days plus travel for some players in the current climate is just daft.

  • I agree that spending is the new normal. City does it because they can afford to. We are not City and can never compete with their kind of resources, however, we can borrow a leaf from Liverpool who conducted (or still conduct) their businesses smartly and have achieved more in the last 4 years than we have achieved in more than 15 years…while spending less than us within that time. I believe we must remain true to ourselves and continue with our model that gave us great success. We should be smart. We have outspent many of the teams on top of us on the league table at the moment…and we might actually miss out on European football next season. That will have profound effect on how much we can spend. So if our manager is looking for a big outlay in the summer in order for our team to start winning again, then we are in for rough times. So maybe the manager might want to look inwardly, develop the players we currently.

  • Mark

    So Fair play gooner would you try to buy Odegaard? Sell Elneny Kolasinac Nelson Maitland Niles Willock Nketiah to fund this possible transfer? Is that your stance? And if that’s the case who do you promote internally? Or who of those do you sell or keep?

  • No it is not my stance to sell our youngsters but to give them a chance..ofcos I know not all are in the level we currently need. Odegaad should be bought if we can afford it. What I’m saying is that we seem to have ingrained this buying culture that we have descended to a place we might not be able to cope with, as we are running out of cash, and baring a miracle might be out of Europe. All I say is maybe we don’t need marquee signings, but young low profile players who would come in and only appreciate. Again that we dismiss this notion that rhe team still needs MASSIVE upgrade to be able to compete. It simply isn’t true. This team is good enough to at least achieve top 4. It just needs consistency, and that, to a great extent, is the manager’s job.

  • Mark

    MASSIVE upgrade. Who or where is this stated? By blogs. The media? Certainly not by Arteta unless I missed something. We need to sell anyway to be able to balance our squad. Who will buy? Who has money? Yes we need to improve our current players or those who will start next season. That is indeed Arteta’s job

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