First and foremost, I apologize for the lack of posts recently. I have been extremely busy and combine that with our dismal run, I felt to disheartened to grab the keyboard.
Secondly, obviously I wanted us to progress through the group stages, don’t think for a second that I didn’t. This post is just highlighting the benefits that we will get from getting knocked out. The negatives do outweigh the positives, however we must start making omelettes with these broken eggs.
The most important reason is the prize. Not the cup. The real prize – Champions League football. If you have been living in a hole recently then this may be news to you: The winners of the Europa League will qualify for the Champions League next year. With our erratic league form this could be our ticket to the most prestigious club tournament in the world. We are by no means out of the running for 4th place but that could change very quickly.
The likelihood of us progressing much further in this seasons Champions League campaign was bleak to say the least.
This feeds nicely into my next point. We will be playing more appropriate teams. We got undone against Basel, drew to Ludo-who and just got played with against Real. Teams like Zenit, Napoli, Villarreal and Fiorentina are all teams who we could beat. I can’t even imagine us playing against Bayren, Juventus, Barcelona or even Athletico Madrid. I genuinely feel we could win this tournament – especially with Sturridge back.
My last point is that we will probably see a few more youngsters thrown into the mix, as a sub or possibly a starting berth. I for one would love to see some more academy players break into the first team and show off their skills.
So, it is back to Channel 5 (if they still air games?!) and the Thursday/Sunday routine but let’s remember the good points about the Uefa Cup…I mean Europa League.