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The benefits of Europa?

So Tottenham have made it into the last 32 of Europe's second tier football competition and are one of the favourites in Europa League betting, a tournament that is now filled with the domestic nearly's or not quite good enough's of the Champions league, though some would prefer to look upon is as being a tournament filled with the best of the rest. Me I remain unconvinced of its benefits and merits on the football calendar and question that in its current format is is perhaps more hindrance than help to those sides looking to build on what they have already achieved.

Next Friday, we will discover which clubs we face in the last thirty-two and potentially last sixteen stages of the competition that our manager has always stated a desire to win, but will he feel the same, if the extra games come back to bite him and Spurs on the backside should fatigue or their related injuries detract from a must at least have a hell of a go top four attempt. Will we then be hearing of tired legs and an squad lacking in depth, should everything end in disappointment?

There remains a very big part of my thinking that a second string competition deserved second string players and I believe that though their league form might not always show this to be true, seeing Liverpool and Newcastle playing squad players and kids is still perhaps the right way to go into this tournament as you keep the first team players fit for Sunday and give the other much needed games or experience. I have to admit that the real balance probably lies somewhere in the middle, especially in the group stage and to be fair to AVB, he hasn't always had too many options beyond playing the best or playing a team full of teenagers, but I still wonder if we could have taken to playing as many of our best players as possible at the mid-long term detriment of our league ambitions and also that of the happiness of our squad players, who might not be jumping with joy at missing our of league and european competition.

Of course I don't have the luxury of having a crystal ball to see into the future and know AVB's and Mr Levy's plans. Was for example Tom Huddlestone carrying a slight knock or is he a definite departure as soon as someone makes a serious offer. Does the same apply to Jake Livermore despite his late cameo? similarly where does Gylfi Sigurdsson really fit in at the moment? Could for example all three of those come in for the likes of Sandro or Jermain Defoe? Perhaps even Hudd or Jake could have covered for Jan Vertonghen, after all they have played in the centre of defence before and not let anyone down.

In an ideal world, we would have had a full or at least fuller squad to allow AVB to rotate players of similar quality, such as Kaboul/Caulker Sandro/Parker and several others, but we haven't had that luxury. Has the lack of depth actually brought on the developments of a player like Tom Carroll, who hasn't looked out of place in any game to date. could or should we have looked to play others such as Iago Falque, Andros Townsend or a few others at least a little more on occasions? To their credits, I do get the feeling that in the main we have a group of players that are naturally athletic and also want to play every game, but often players need saving from themselves and realise that we are playing a lot of games and they need to occasionally be removed from the firing line and allowed to recharge their batteries.

Even with that in mind, and also our problems with injuries, I feel that we haven't quite got the balance right in team selection and also in using the competition to integrate one or two youngsters into the starting XI. The realistic balance is probably to play a 70-80% strong team, with a core of established players mixed in with a few who might otherwise not play. Again, I accept that last night and in other games, AVB effectively had his hands tied in picking a defence. It seems that Gallas struggles to play twice a week, therefore we had four fit senior defenders, so short of moving a player positionally, we had a back line that picked itself.

However, despite his outstanding (again) performance, would we have been that much worse in picking Livermore for Sandro and perhaps Townsend or Falque for Lennon and Sigurdsson for Defoe? For example, Friedel, Walker, Caulker, Vertonghen, Naughton; Falque/Townsend, Livermore, Carroll, Dempsey; Sigurdsson, Adebayor. This is hardly a weak side and in effect only uses two junior players. Would something like that offer a team capable of winning Europa games, allowing others to rest and developing or playing others that will be key to our season should injuries etc bite into the best XI?

I admit, I struggle with the merits of the Europa league. Its not our being in it as much as what I feel it does to our domestic prospects. playing Thursday/Sunday is far from ideal and when I see our Prem rivals have a weeks rest and preparation, I do fear the worst in games such as this weekends trip to Goodison. Some will talk of players and the fact that athletes should be easily able to play every few days, but that needs to be on a level playing field. Anyone who has played or has knowledge of athletes understands the need for rest and recovery and when you add flights and hanging around into the equation, you double the stress on a players body and mind. Question is, whether the competition is worth the hassle and does it detract from what should be our priority in achieving another top four finish, this season???

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The journalist

Writer: OxfordSpur Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday December 7 2012

Time: 9:58AM

Your Comments

Winning is a priority for any club no matter what the competition i hope we go all the way and win this as well as get a top four place cant see why this shouldnt be possible
I understand and respect your opinion Ox but this is a EUROPEAN COMPETITION. It is what the great history and tradition of our club is built on. We must take it seriously and try to win it. It will increase our exposure and value across the continent. In theory it is more important than both the Capital One Cup and FA Cup. Particularly now that we are into the second phase the teams that remain are of a very good standard (including Ajax, Atletico Madrid, Napoli, Inter Milan and the current Champions League holders don't forget!) and it will be a good test for our squad and a massive boost to our club and confidence if we can make it to the much latter stages. COYS.
Winning begets winning, and you want to win with roughly the same players every week, so you build momentum.
Tactically Challenge
I bet the flight home after last night really took it out of them....
Ideally you'd have a settled first team and use the europa to give a few fringe players a go whilst protecting senior players but our team isn't settled in either personnel of style so this year the europa has to be good in getting us together...
I've always found it kinda strange that so many relegate it's importance to less than that of the F.A. Cup and even the League Cup, and yet I can't imagine anyone ever saying they would rather win either of those competitions instead of the Europa. Personally I'm glad we have a manager who wants to win everything that's possible to win.
the benefit is we have the opportunity to win a prestigious tournament and to play and travel away to some large and historic european clubs. If we do not play in Europe we are nothing. If we do not win trophies we are nothing. Time to get our priorities straight when we have the opportunity to do both. I can understand trepidation during the group stage when winning the competition seems like a lot of effort and a long way off, but now we are in the knockout stages and we are in it to win it! Come on, lets have some pride and some trophies!!! Not to mention the anticipation, for me as as a young fan, of possibly my first european trips abroad with the yid army COYS!!!!
just a point about liverpool & newcastle playing the kids and staying fresh. That has hardly helped their league form has it. Whereas we have played strong sides and are doing ok.
I take it Oxford Spurs doesnt actually go to European games, particularly the away ones, the best trips/times of a fans life. This isnt a video game, some of us love the experience and glory of it. Well done 1882 last night by the way!
I agree with AVB's policy that this is the ideal preparation for being in the CL and getting used to playing two games a week. We need to add a couple of players to the squad in January to help us through a busy fixture list in the second half of the season but then we need those players anyway so we're not so screwed if Dembele or Bale get injured. Having more fixtures means more games to keep a larger squad happy. I think the EL is important to building for the future and I'm so glad we made it through.
Just read everyone's comments, well said Wiltshire et al. Can't wait for the draw - Ajax in Amsterdam or Benfica in Lisbon for me please!
SRV can't wait for those... good times ahead! who do we want for an away trip? I was thinking something German or dutch maybe?
haha SRV you beat me to it!
how good would fenerbahce in Istanbul be... Wish feyenoord were in the draw that would be tasty!
Agree with wiltshirespur. The very best teams are capable of top four finishes AND progressing to the later stages of the much more strenuous CL, maybe even finishing the season with a cup to boot. The club we want to be shouldn't be too concerned about the additional hazards of the EL, to be a top team is to compete on all fronts. Would we be having this debate if we were playing CL football, suggesting we play weaker sides? no. it's good practice if nothing else, getting in the mindset of playing big games on the regular
BS Baffles Brains
Wilts, no way those 2 way too scary! When is the draw anyway? I actually thought it was today.
Winning the Europa League has been a good stepping stone for other clubs who are now competing at a higher level (Ath. Madrid being the ones that spring to mind). Whilst merely being in the competition isn't a draw for top players, winning the thing makes the club more attractive to them, and much more than winning a domestic cup would. A club the size of Spurs should have their eyes on winning the EL and I'm pleased AVB is taking it seriously. It doesn't seem to be having a massive impact on our season so far, and we're still waiting on a Kaboul, BAE and Parker to return to action. If we add a couple of players in January I don't see why we can't be competitive in both the EPL and EL without knackering our first 11.
SRV I think, apart from Ajax for obvious reasons, our fans are marked by ALL the right-wing ultras/firms in europe as targets because of our embracing of multiculturalism and our Jewish nickname. Ones no different to another IMO, might as well make it an interesting team to play. The draw is on the 20th December btw.
I find this a very contradicting article, we don't want to play a strong side in the week as we need them fresh for the weekend, then our goal this season is to qualify for the CL. Do we then play a weak side in the week and rest for the weekend? The format of the competition is questionable but we are now through to the old format. ie: knock out home and away matches. We could have rested many players if the earlier games had of gone better, that was not to be so AVB had to put out a side capable of winning the match otherwise all 6 games would have been a total waste of effort. The team last night included many fringe players IMO. Freidel, Naughton, Carroll, Livermore, Siggy. Why do people think Sandro will burn out, he's a beast that thrives on passion. He is the sort of player that the crowd can carry on adrenaline alone. We were very comfortable apart from a 15 minute spell after the break. They never looked like winning the game. Bring on whoever and I'll see you all in Amsterdam in May!!!!
Every spurs game has its importance......all to varying degree, depending on many sequential prioraties and reasons. The team selection for pan' surprised me...but to AVB's credit, he is using his squad quite well and achieving results and squad cohesion. But less not we 4 in the prem' has to be our priority. That said.....pleased to see adebayor involved and scoring. Dempsey upping his game. Carroll..occaisionally useing his right foot, but average game. Lennon and defoe showing touches of quality. I thought walker was man of the match. Now, for everton........."fallaini vs dembele"!!! lol
Possible last 32 tie: FC Viktoria Plzeň, Fenerbahçe SK, FC Girondins de Bordeaux, FC Steaua Bucureşti, FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, KRC Genk, FC Rubin Kazan, Olympique Lyonnais, FC Metalist Kharkiv, Hannover 96, Olympiacos FC, SL Benfica. Out of that lot my preferred draw would be Bordeaux, Lyon, Hannover or Lisbon. Don't even know where most of the others are!? Lisbon definitely fav for me. Anyway, will have to see on the 20th.
I guess that only a person irrelevant with football could write such an article. Only the fact that you can play against teams from a different league and with a different approach, intelligence and mentality would be beneficial. Also being able to compare your club and your manager taking it against a club with a total budget of 3m (less than the salary of AVB) and guided by a coach who just took over the team and works for free (!) can be also beneficial!
Ioan X
Ox we had it the other way (scant regard) last year and it had a detrimental effect on the teams psyche. Lets face it, losing is never an uplifting experience. If we are in the competition then we are in it to win it. We have enough depth to handle the 2 games a week scenario and in all probability will bring in 1 or 2 players in January, regardless of what AVB says.
The 12 Europa League group winners are seeded for the knockout stage draw which will take place on 20 December. Eight teams drop into the Europa League from the Champions League, all of whom finished third in that competition's group stage. Uefa's website states that the "four best third-ranked teams in the Champions League group stage" will be seeded. Chelsea and Cluj are the highest points scorers from the third-placed teams, having accumulated 10 points each, while Olympiakos and Benfica picked up nine and eight points respectively. Europa League last 32 qualifiers •Group A: Liverpool and Anzhi •Group B: Plzen and Atletico Madrid •Group C: Fenerbahce and Monchengladbach •Group D: Bordeaux and Newcastle •Group E: Steaua Bucharest and Stuttgart •Group F: Dnipro and Napoli •Group G: Genk and Basel •Group H: Rubin Kazan and Inter Milan •Group I: Lyon and Sparta Prague •Group J: Lazio and Tottenham •Group K: Metalist Kharkiv and Bayer Leverkusen •Group L: Hannover and Levante •Champions League: Dynamo Kiev, Olympiakos, Zenit, Ajax, Chelsea, BATE Borisov, Benfica, CFR Cluj.
spu 4 life
If we can make it through we can go all the way. I'd rather win the Europa League than finish 4th. No seriously i would. Its all about the Glory, and winning the damn thing is worth tens of millions to the club as Athletico Madrid found out.
I'd rather win this than qualify from the champions league. But unfortunately in this day and age that is probably the wrong mentality. Lack of qualification would risk losing Bale but deny attracting other quality players. Can't help but want he glory of a trophy though.

Only thing I hope is we get drawn someone good then Newcastle. Atmosphere last night was boring, fans tried but the players seemed to know they'd always win and it was more of a training match. Very well taken goal, was dempseys his or OG anyone know?
pick the bones out of that lot certain teams we will not be drawn against in the knock stages round, but working it out, over to you, anyway the good news is the injured are getting better, just hope we don't get anymore. The FA cup starts in Jan, so we have 3 comp's to shuffle around. All good
spu 4 life
jvd absolutely. Would you rather the players be kicking their heels bored ****less around the training ground or had another great Euro night, another win, more goals for JD, Ade, etc etc. It carries us into the weekend with confidence and momentum. As AVB said in his interview, our best league performances have come AFTER a midweek Euro game and so all the cliche arguments about 'resting players' is just media bulls***. When they NEED a rest (like Gallas NEEDS rest) they will be GIVEN rest - that was one of the reasons for hiring AVB - because he is well verse in using the new high-tech training facility and its scientific monitoring of players' fitness etc.
Spu 4 life, my post lists the possible teams we can face.
All Europa League match from now on in require full strength line-up (unless we we the first leg by 4 or 5, which is unlikely). Now we need to build momentum, a winning mentality. I believe it's 4 on the bounce now, this is great for team spirit and morale. NOBODY likes losing and their are no longer 2nd chances so onwards and upwards from here on in. Hopefully full squad to pick from and let's bring on 2013!!
Spot on AVB.
Ox, you are essentially expounding harry's approach and while i see where you are coming from, i actually think that AVB will rotate much more than harry across all competitions but he has really been thwarted by so many injuries. he has rotated more than any other manager in the PL already and i don't believe that he will run players into the ground in the way that harry did. it was obvious last season that parker and walker for example needed resting as their performances deteriorated and they both ended up injured. harry was not smart when it came to rotation and he showed that he was incapable of managing the squad effectively in the league and the CL when he had the chance. the best harry could have offered therefore was an endless cycle of qualifying for the CL one year, failing to qualify the next as we were playing in the CL and so on. i believe that in this AVB is right. If we want to be a top club that means playing many games and competing in multiple competitions. it also means proper squad management, injury avoidance and real rotation, I believe AVB has already showed he is much much better at this than harry and he will really show this when he has a full squad back.
Just shows how much of a joke this comp is. The chavs win the CL, fine fair play to them, which means we don't get into the CL. They fail and now we might face them in the later stages of this so called comp. I hope for the fans sake a team who has been in the EL from the start wins this
Another young one here anticipating that Wiltshirespur! :) I would love San siro again!Just in love with the positivity and confidence here!Btw arent we preparing for CL where you've to play your best XI possible,Utd,arse,chelscum manage to do it!
Fair play to the lads for their win last night thou! I have to admit I'm more interested in the game vs Everton....COYS.
Benefit from EL ?? Ideal to give squad players and youngsters plenty of playing time. In our case, injuries to key players (Kaboul, Ekotto, Parker) led AVB to use several players both at PL and EL. He could have played Falque and Sigurdssom from the beginning yesterday but if he made that and we were defeated, unfair comparisons to Harry Redknapp would certainly surface. Group Stage is boring even for CL matches...though Last 32 is too much for me, how can we not enjoy and admit benefts from playing sides like Inter Milan, Ajax, Atletico de Madrid, Benfica and even Chelsea ?? Let alone lifting a throphy ?? My final opinion about EL is simple: Mr. Platini, if you really want to make this tournament more interesting all you have to do is allow to the winner to go straight into CL next season´s PlayOffs. Why can this word downwards (3rd placed CL sides go to EL) but not upwards ??
Agree on that AlexSpur - So far my picks are Naugton and Carrol, two youngsters who might not get many games in the league currently have been given a chance to shine. Bonus as they have been doing well. They need to stay in the team onwards imo
winning europa league is worth appx' 10 mill' to spurs. winning the champions league is worth appx' 100 mill' to spurs. ultimatley, a pro' football clubs ambition should be to become no.1 recognised top club side in the world. imo....ideally ..the finalists of the uefa cup should be given the choice of whether they would like to participate in the champions league, the following season.
SRV cheers, can we have Rubin, we owe them one?
spu 4 life
Good point AlexSpur. CL sides dropping into Europa, devalue's the competition by giving failing CL teams an undeserved 2nd chance of success. The competition would regain some value if the winner automatically qualified for the CL.
Guyver, that is what AVB stated. Plus, what is the driver to these clubs ?? I have afeeling some will emulate United and City last year, that is, chances are that maybe they will make no efforts to play EL knockout phase, providing more boring matches. Sides like Spurs are strong enough to compete for CL spots, but sides like Swansea or WBA, just to name a few, would be delighted to play EL at this particular stage of their development as football clubs. Therefore, thrashing this competition because we allow ourselves to dream at a higher level would be too presumptuous. Again, make EL a way to achieve CL and the level of work rate will naturally increase.
as the 2nd phase is a KO competition, we can drop out early enough and be able to concentrate on the league... the 1st phase is important as it gives us 6 games in Europe to try new players eg. Carroll, Townsend and also keep up our club profile, as well as give fans 6 live Spurs games to watch on tv, as well as a few million in gate receipts from 3 home games and EL money.... we can push the eject-button anytime come Spring if the league is more crucial.... just like Mancheeeneee said.
There remains a very big part of my thinking that a second string competition deserved second string players ............. The thing is, in Europe it ISN'T regarded as a second string cup and they can't understand why we treat it with such contempt. That was one of the first things that AVB said when he came here. That is why we are taking it seriously. Also if we play most of our first team it will keep that playing in Europe so we have to play twice a week mentality for when we get back into the CL next season. It will keep them mentally sharp. That's my theory anyway. Plus ANT silverware especially European silverware is better than none, and where better to start than in here. Plus it will bring in more revenue due to the higher amount of fans going to WHL mid week. Yes I think there are plenty of advantages to this cup if it is played out sensibly the way that AVB is doing it, unlike someone else. Also as young wiltshirespur said it is a matter of pride and a chance for the younger fans to see us in Europe again and following them there. We win and think how that will boost the moral of the club.
AVB has done very well on the strength of winning it. We have had to play second string players like Naughton Carroll Livermor and to some degree Sandro and Caulker. Mainly because of injuries but still not really our 1st team players I think getting our players used to winning and winning anything is a good cause and hopefully it highlights to Levy and AVB the need to strengthen
We could easily have lost last night.Would you have been happy to see us go out with a bunch of youngsters playing?I think not.You would be shouting for AVB's head.The man wants to win everything-like Fergie.Harry couldn't wait to get knocked out of the Europa so he get his bonus for finishing in the top 4.That's the difference between a winner and a born loser!
just to clarify my opinion, Im not suggesting we play a team of 15 year olds, but use the competition as a mix of playing established players and also looking to use a few of the best up and coming. we have flirted with this, but perhaps not quite taken it as far as I would have liked.. that is my main thinking in this topic. How many of you have v=called for a player like Yago falque to get more playing time becaise he has looked so promising, whilst we have seem what impact Tom Carroll has made. My idea is to give them experience, but play them with senior players, whilst also using the comp to rest a few individuals at key times when it is appropriate
well thats exactly the way we've played it Oxfordspur... mixing yoof with experience and resting senior players as needed.... thats why we've seen Ryan Fredericks, A.Smith, Townsend, Falque, Carroll, and others already in last 12 months
Every year we get this chorus of people claiming we can mount a Eeropean campaign without it affecting our league form, every year it does. When are our supporters going to face reality ? You overplay players it catches up with you at the back end of the season, it always has and it aways will. The Champions League at least generates revenue, the FA Cup can be won with a lot less effort. The Europa is the worst of all worlds, from their debate on amalgamating the European competitions even eufa have accepted that.
I have to say that looking at the remaining teams in the draw. We should not fear any of those clubs! There are no Barca's, Madrid's, Munich's. We really do have an extremely good chance of winning the thing... if we take it seriously which I have no doubt AVB will. Only teams I would like to see us avoid till the later stages would be Chelscum and Lyon. The rest... bring em on!!!
Any football club that does not see merit in winning a European wide competition, need not strive to finish in the top 6 of the EPL. With the CL out of the realistic expectation of all but the richest, the EL is the realistic alternative to these clubs, us included. We should of course take every competition seriously, winning can become a habit, and trophies are what competitive sport at any level is all about, or should be.
For those who say this comp is not worthwhile and that we should concentrate on the league, I would like to ask why?
We are not in a position to win the league so then the aim would be top 4 and CL qualification I hazard to guess, correct?
If CL qualification is the goal, then what? Who do we play, 1st or 2nd string? If 1st then what about the league?
Being in the EL is training for the jump to the CL, we are not going to go from playing well in the EPL to playing well in the EPL and CL/EL. it is a progression. Look what happened to our EPL form when we were playing in the CL.
As a Spurs fan i want to watch Spurs play and that means watch them as many times as I can. Playing in all competitions is a must, not just showing up and then going all out for the EPL.
I am so glad that AVB has this winanything/everything metallity. COYS
The fact is that the EL is not like winning the Cup Winners Cup or UEFA Cup. Those competitions were well regarded because, generally speaking, only the national league winners were excluded as they played in the European Cup. That meant that often the teams competing became the current season's national champions so the kudos from winning it was massive. It will never now have real relevance unless CL qualification is part of the prize. That said, if we're in it, win it and I appreciate the desire by some to have the away atmosphere and experience.
Love totty
Frank - of course winning trophies is great but it has always been a forlorn hope of the vast majority of clubs. Even before the PL and Cl and billionaires, only the elite won with any degree of regularity. It is 50 years since the abolition of the minimum wage and in that time only 12 clubs won the league and 26 were won by 2 of them. I try to take pleasure in winning games with style and skill first and foremost. Trophies are a bonus.
Love totty
This article speaks volumes.
Love totty
Love totty As I said earlier, it is ONLY in Britain that the E L isn't regarded as any good. In Europe like I said they don't understand our disdain towards it. Even AVB has said so. THAT is why HE wants to win it, because on the continent it is regarded as a good trophy to win.Do you REALLY want to go back to playing in the E L the way OSF did??? Cz I certainly don't. He had a loser's mentality even though he got us to 4th, I say he had a loser's mentality because he saw the E L as a distraction and not worth entering. If you are in ANY cup you play to win it not lose or get knocked out early on. That attitude got us absolutely NOWHERE. I am so glad we have a manager who wants to win EVERYTHING he is in.
No need to shout Chris, just re-read my post - the bit which says if you're in it, win it.
Love totty
L t ~If we didn't have foriegn money in the Prem then we would be in even more $hit than we are in now. England has NEVER really been a force to reckon with at any time. OK we won in '66, that was only because we were the home nation and didn't have to go through the knockout stage. Just look at England's records since, pretty abysmal for a so called world's top- team.
Eenin' stanard, get your eenin' stanard 'ere. LOL
Oh L t I wish I was. , but I have to drive tonight so i can't be.
I think you'll be in the minority, Chris, if you really believe that our ability to develop our own players in Britain has not been diminished by the foreign imports. England's tournament record is poor I grant you, but they used to be considered regular contenders and ranked accordingly.
Love totty if premier league games ended on 80 mins we would be top.if only.
haverhill spurs
Stay safe, Chris - I'll drink your share. LOL
Love totty
Ox.. while i understand your doubts.... You have forgotten some points.... Spurs playing in Euro League gives experience to our young players. It also gives the senior players some new challenges and knowledge of "international" games and players, who could be in PL clubs later. But main point is.... The players will all be able to handle playing in Europe and PL each week. It is this point that needs to be understood.. and why Man Utd... Gooners have done this for so many years... while we have struggled to even get into 5th place & qualify into euro games for many seasons until BMJ & Harry were here... IMO .. AVB is going about this in the right way.. and Sherwood with the younger players the same.. we are building for the future,.... a New state of the art training ground .. new stadium soon ( i hope!) and a team that can play good football, and be a top european club, which all the very best players want to join... COYS
Block D Spurs
haverhill spurs, this is why in an earlier thread I said we shouldn't sell Parker, even if we got an offer of £5m or so. Keep Parker as a super sub and bring him on with twenty minutes to go or so. That should shore up our defence and also make sure Parker isn't too tired
On topic, as most have said, go to win everything. Better to fail aiming high than to succeed in aiming low.
Need.... more..... Caffeine!
If all premier league games lasted 98mins man utd would be top, hang on, they are!!!
spu 4 life
Tottenham Hotspur FC, the new stadium is still requiring a lot of work to clear the unwanted shi7 in north london before the build on the new stadium can take place, bulldozers hope to start work on knocking down the emirates after the new year break.
spu 4 life
Looking ahead to Sunday, the "perfect" result would be 1-2. Apart from the obvious of this being an away win, it will mean Everton's total record in the premier league will be 1,000 goals for and 1,000 goals against!
How can anybody even contemplate selling Parker (remember the guy from his performances last season) while the big lumbering ofe that is Tom Huddlestone still gets a game. Scotty Parker is in a differnt league to him in terms of work rate, intensity, mobility, the ability to get a tackle in, to anticipate and cut out opposition passes, and break up play. To sell him would be folly, but no doubt if somebody waives a cheque under Danny boy's nose, he will struggle to resist, as usual.
I fully agree with those who want us to compete whole-heartedly in the EL. I also agree that EL does give us the opp to introduce some of our fringe players and bring some of the returning-injured to some competitive match fitness. Now, since AVB is keen to win EL whilst keeping one eye on the league position, I have the following issue with this:

At the group stage, our only decent performances were against Lazio, especially the home tie. All others were lack-lustre and often had me researching on the internet whilst viewing the game in the background! IMO, the ideal way to handle group stages would’ve been to get the qualification almost wrapped at in the first few games (and we were in a group that allowed us IMO) rather than letting it hinge on the final game where we may have had to field a full team and work hard for 90 mins.....thus risking fatigue/injuries for the Everton game. The attitude of the team just didn’t look right at the group stage. Hope it improves if we are to progress further.

BTW, AVB also said that he was taking the league cup seriously....NOT?!
got a feeling we will draw Cluj or Benfica....
don't get out of all the teams we could draw, people seem to want the hardest teams's like choosing to jump off a cliff rather than choosing to get a good night's sleep....for all the people who have said "let's get Benfica or Ajax" well, I say let's not! I'd rather us get Metalist Kharkiv or Genk and face a better chance of progression to be honest...I mean, we want to win this competition don't we?
L t Cheers mate, and don't drink too much of my share. LOL
Like Critical Spur, I agree with everyone who's for us going for every competition, after all we want to win trophies. I really can't understand this obsession with getting top 4 to the exclusion of everything else. besides if we're going to compete in the CL we better get used to playing twice a week.
For the league, AVB has 15 core players in my opinion - Lloris, Walker, Caulker, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Ekotto, Lennon, Sandro, Parker, Dembele, Bale, Dempsey, Siggy, Ade and Defoe. If fit, they will always be in the league match day squad of 18. Of the rest, I think there is little chance of them getting burnt out as they won't get enough playing time in the league. My guess is that AVB will bring in a couple of new players in January and then rotation should be even easier. I simply don't see the problem if we have 16 very good outfield players plus backups all vying for 10 places. We should be able to go after all 3 competitions with ease. What Harry did so wrong was burnt our players out in the league and I don't think AVB is that stupid. He'll create competition for places and rotate. We just need to make sure that we don't start jumping to conspiracy theories every time a player sits one out.
The benefits of the Europa? THFC have not reached the final of any major cup tournament other than the 'B team' League Cup since the 1991 FA Cup final. Yes quite incredibly Sugar and his apprentice Levy have both failed to even reach an FA Cup final? A tournament which had a rich history at this club before Sugar/ENIC showed up. So reaching the Europa Final would be great for the club and fans! Winning it would be wonderful for the fans, and It would certainly help Levy's appalling trophy per season percentage, which is currently the worst of any THFC chairman in other half a century. Winning the Europa would be win-win for fans and owners alike!
Ox, tiredness should not really be an issue, BAE Parker kaboom, all out since near beginning of season then you have Dawson, Knaughton, Carroll etc, rotation will do it I feel it is winnable completely and should not have a knock on affect to the 4th spot efforts.
Ox, tiredness should not really be an issue, BAE Parker kaboom, all out since near beginning of season then you have Dawson, Knaughton, Carroll etc, rotation will do it I feel it is winnable completely and should not have a knock on affect to the 4th spot efforts.
pelebro, when ENIC took over we weren't in Europe and had been in it once in the decade previous to that, now we're in it most years. If you think it's easier or as easy to win a tournament now with the financially doped Man City and Chelsea, then maybe you should have studied a bit harder boss.
We used to win things when it was a level playing field, but then so did Everton, Blackpool, Villa and Nottingham Forest.
We're in it. Let's go out and win it. Screw the 4th place trophy. Anyone who comes and says "what about the money? Oo oo Bale will leave!", all I'll say to you is I'm not an accountant. I'm a football fan. I want to see success, don't care about a healthy bank account.
Crissybwoy, Liverpool, Chelsea, Stoke City, Manchester City, Portsmouth, Everton, Cardiff City, Manchester United, West Ham United, Arsenal, Millwall, and Southampton, have all reached the FA Cup Final since Tottenham Hotspur last reached the FA Cup final in 1991. Arsenal with a comparable player spending power to THFC since ENIC took over our club, have reached 3 FA Cup Finals winning 2, and reached a CL Final. Liverpool have reached 2 FA Cup finals winning 1 and have made 2 CL finals, winning 1, with a much smaller budget in comparison to Man City and Chelsea. Middlesbrough and Fulham have both reached the Europa Cup final in the last 6 years, and lets not forget that little Portsmouth have reached not 1, but 2 FA Cup finals in the last 5 years, winning 1, which totally destroys your theory that 'financially doped' clubs likes Chelsea and Manchester City have all but ended the possibility of reaching or winning major cup tournaments. Same old pathetic ENIC HOTSPUR FAN CLUB EXCUSES...
In spite of myself im finding im really enjoying the Europa league experience. I like the fact that instead of just lumping in all the reserves and youth team, the younger players are having a chance to play with the first teamers, which will surely ease their transition into the first 11 when the time comes. And also we can realistically win it, which we certainly couldnt the champs league. So yeah win this top 4 champs league tilt next year!

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