It will be almost impossible for Newcastle to make the top four in the Premier League this season, and maybe the best we can do is 5th or 6th place at best.
Alan Pardew – would he welcome the Europa League next season?
And if we do well and go on another winning run after our two successive defeats, then Newcastle could even qualify again for the Europa League, and heaven forbid, if we have a good run in the FA Cup and get to the final we could even qualify that way as well.
Over the last few seasons we’ve seen some poor sides represent England in the Europa League, and that’s because the winners of the FA Cup and the League Cup qualify, or even the losers can qualify under certain circumstances, while in most other European countries the Europa League positions are given to those clubs who finish highest in the league table.
And so we’ve had even relegated sides like Birmingham and Wigan be in the Europa League over the last few seasons, and that’s one reason the PL is now rated second behind the Spanish League in Europe.
And it’s interesting that Sunderland and West Ham – bottom and second bottom of the league at the moment – are in the semi-finals of the League Cup.
Of course if the FA stop sending the winners of these local Cups to Europe then they would very quickly degenerate and top sides would simply play their second elevens, as some top teams do now.
The Europa League is nothing like the Champions League and there are more games, less money and less prestige than the Champions League, and some English teams have struggled with so many games to play.
Swansea are doing a Newcastle this season, and they just don’t have a big enough squad to do well in both leagues, much like Newcastle last season, and Swansea have also suffered a lot of injuries so far this season.
One change the Europa League must make is to stop sending sides who have failed to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League (CL) and finish 3rd in their group, down to the Europa League (EL).
The way it works right no is a source of extra games and CL teams make up eight teams of the final 32 of the EL – only teams who start in the competition should be able to win the competition – and maybe the group stages end up with 16 teams left – which is what happens in the Champions League.
Those changes would make the EL just like the CL in terms of format and the number of games played – and that’s the way it should be surely.
And Chelsea became the first holders of the Champions League not to qualify for the knockout stages o that competition last season – but they ended up winning the Europa League.
Of course if Newcastle are to become a top side again, then we will need to be in Europe, and have the squad to cope with the extra games.
Let us know if would like to see Newcastle in the Europa League next season.
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