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Fulham - Is European Football A Poisoned Chalice?

Fulham - Is European Football A Poisoned Chalice?

Now that we are only one point from a place into the "Europa League" (formerly the UEFA Cup), talk of Fulham playing in Europe next season seems a lot more realistic.

West Ham, who sit seventh with 44 points, have to play Aston Villa, Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton in the remaining six games of the season whereas we play Aston Villa and Everton both at home and then Chelsea. Fulham sit eighth with 43 points. We have already taken points off Chelsea and Aston Villa this season and a result at home against Everton is certainly on the cards. Our other games are Middlesborough away (an opportunity for an away win?), Stoke at home (which should be three points) and Newcastle away (another possible away win?). With our run in, especially in comparison to West Ham`s, we stand a good chance in grabbing seventh place and in doing so bagging ourselves a European spot for next season.

This is all very well and good. However, what will European football bring the club? Some have said that European football could sink us as our squad would become over-stretched and our league performances would falter. An example of this was Ipswich`s unfortunately brief spell in the top flight not so long ago when, having finished fifth in their first season, they were relegated in their next, arguably due to the added burden of European football. The depth of our squad has not been tested much this season due to the exceptional fitness of our first eleven and our luck with injuries. However, the addition of European football would surely stretch us and unless we played a second team every game in Europe, could we not befall the same fate as Ipswich did?

On the contrary, European football could help us in building a stronger and deeper squad that would enable us to cement our position in the top flight more firmly. Perhaps we would be able to attract more "exotic" talent to our club (provided we did not completely fail) and possibly even get our hands on some silverware.
European football or not, our season has been a huge success. We are easily the most improved team in the league and in my opinion, there is no reason why Roy Hodgson should not be nominated for manager of the season. If we do qualify for European football, we will have an opportunity to shine. If we don`t, then we will have an excellent platform to launch an even stronger league campaign next year and we can be sure of not overburdening ourselves with the extra fixtures and travel that come with European football.



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Writer:jlcclapham
Date:Wednesday April 15 2009
Time: 1:12PM

Comments

0
Well, Roy is nothing if not realistic. We haven't seen the dizzying heights of the top half of the table since 2003/2004, and we've spent the past two seasons just trying to stay up. We need to be cautious. It's also not a simple matter of adding 4 or 5 Prem quality players. European football is a different style, altogether. You'll notice that many of the Champions Leagues sides have a number of players that rarely feature in their respective leagues, but are regulars in the European competitions. You have to have the right players to adapt to the different styles of competition. Some are better suited to the Prem, some to continental football. I guess my point is that 4/5 players that would help us in Europe, wouldn't necessarily help us in the Prem, and that's an expensive risk to take.
Samboney
15/04/2009 13:32:00
0
Well, Roy is nothing if not realistic. We haven't seen the dizzying heights of the top half of the table since 2003/2004, and we've spent the past two seasons just trying to stay up. We need to be cautious. It's also not a simple matter of adding 4 or 5 Prem quality players. European football is a different style, altogether. You'll notice that many of the Champions Leagues sides have a number of players that rarely feature in their respective leagues, but are regulars in the European competitions. You have to have the right players to adapt to the different styles of competition. Some are better suited to the Prem, some to continental football. I guess my point is that 4/5 players that would help us in Europe, wouldn't necessarily help us in the Prem, and that's an expensive risk to take.
Samboney
15/04/2009 13:32:00
0
my thoughts: roy has already bemoaned the size of our squad. whether that was for our ears or mohammed al fayed's, that's a different story. if no extra players are added specifically for europe, the competition could stretch our thin squad. however, as our goal should always be to improve our standing in the premiership table and as a club, how can we not see europe as a way to do that... it would give roy an extra chip in the negotiation process, whether with keeping players or adding new ones. and if we don't get into europe this year, we should be seriously aiming for that next season. not expecting it, but aiming for it. we should always be looking to progress, and right now that means a highest finish ever at 8th. next year would mean higher, with europe to come with it.
woodysweats
15/04/2009 13:44:00
0
my thoughts: roy has already bemoaned the size of our squad. whether that was for our ears or mohammed al fayed's, that's a different story. if no extra players are added specifically for europe, the competition could stretch our thin squad. however, as our goal should always be to improve our standing in the premiership table and as a club, how can we not see europe as a way to do that... it would give roy an extra chip in the negotiation process, whether with keeping players or adding new ones. and if we don't get into europe this year, we should be seriously aiming for that next season. not expecting it, but aiming for it. we should always be looking to progress, and right now that means a highest finish ever at 8th. next year would mean higher, with europe to come with it.
woodysweats
15/04/2009 13:44:00
0
I would be very happy with that scenario, Woody. Finish 8th this season, ramp up slowly by adding players and make a run for Europe next season.
Samboney
15/04/2009 14:22:00
0
I would be very happy with that scenario, Woody. Finish 8th this season, ramp up slowly by adding players and make a run for Europe next season.
Samboney
15/04/2009 14:22:00
0
Just so you would know,You and Westham are not the only teams fighting for 7th ,We are certainly involved as we are just 3 points behind the spammers. We are one of the form teams in the league and lets face it, we have better players than both you and west spam.
Yid_from_India
15/04/2009 18:48:00
0
Just so you would know,You and Westham are not the only teams fighting for 7th ,We are certainly involved as we are just 3 points behind the spammers. We are one of the form teams in the league and lets face it, we have better players than both you and west spam.
Yid_from_India
15/04/2009 18:48:00
0
I like to think positively either way. If we don't get it, then I will be glad, cos I can see it being bad for us, if we do get in, I will be happy for the sheer thought of European football! :D
KBFulham
15/04/2009 22:21:00
0
I like to think positively either way. If we don't get it, then I will be glad, cos I can see it being bad for us, if we do get in, I will be happy for the sheer thought of European football! :D
KBFulham
15/04/2009 22:21:00
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