With Alan Pardew continually telling the fans that the league is the most important priority this season, we suppose it follows what the club is trying to do as soon as possible is get into the Champions League, and we last qualified for that league back in 2003, when Bobby Robson had us in 3rd place in the league table, behind only Manchester United and Arsenal.
The big money in European football is definitely in the Champions League, which is the most elite football league in the world, and the Europa League is a poor second in terms of money available, although winning the Europa League – we essentially won this same competition back in 1969, when it was known as the Inter-City Fairs Cup – would be prestigious for our club.
Alan Pardew has come out and said that if Newcastle can qualify for the Champions league it would be like winning a trophy:
“Obviously, we want to win something – you shouldn’t be in the game unless you want to win something.” “Winning for us would be actually qualifying for the Champions League – that would be winning for us, 100%. It would be like winning a trophy.”
“But our fans would like to see a nice big cup, I am sure, and hopefully we can achieve that somewhere down the line.” “We are getting to the stage where there’s a mentality and a quality in the group that could win a competition such as this.”
“We have to just try to win every game that we enter and see where our goals are come Christmas-time when we can really start focusing on what we want to achieve this season.”
“I think he’s still, knowing Alex, smarting from that and he will be looking to put that right on Wednesday, so we will need to be on our toes.” “I watched the game against Liverpool and I don’t think United were at their best and that’s dangerous, to play United when they haven’t played well and won at a place like Liverpool.”
“We are on our guard and we will go and hope to play well ourselves.”
Pardew was 7 years old when Bobby Moncur lifted that Inter-City Fairs Cup trophy – a game I watched in the home leg at St. James Park, when we beat Újpest FC 3-0 and then won the away leg 3-2.
We’re not sure qualifying for Europe is as big as winning something, because we qualified for the top European League just 9 years ago but haven’t won anything for 43 years.
But the strategy Alan Pardew is following this season is to play the best team he can in mid-week in the Europa league and the Capital One Cup, that allows him to always play his strongest team at the weekend in the league.
And we’re not sure all Newcastle fans agree with that – especially when we see top teams like Tottenham playing their top teams in the Europa League this season.
What do you think about this – should we be playing stronger side during the week?
Comments always welcome.
You can also reach Ed at email@example.com
Buy your Newcastle tickets here.