Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Europe or bust?

Not much in the news today, but the MEN carried an interview with Richard Dunne in which he says "anything but Europe this year would be a failure for us."
Elsewhere in the interview he admits that despite the last season push, it would have perhaps been a year too early but this season given the start we have had it is definitely expected.
I don't think it is just the players who are expecting it either, as a poll of supporters would surely reveal the same expectations.
Despite a brief flirtation with relegation a couple of seasons ago, the club is now in a stable position within the Premiership and it would take a truly monumental performance (even by City standards) to even come close to relegation now.
I think there has also been a realisation that the standard throughout the Premiership is not as high as it once was (or thought) and we can certainly hold our own with any side in the league. The consistency and resilience that we have added has also instilled a belief in the side and that we are not prone to throwing stupid games away, although disappointments like the Fulham game show we have not quite eliminated the frustrating ability to let opportunities slip.
Looking at the table currently - despite taking only eleven points from the last nine games after the hot start we had, a look around sees teams such as Bolton and Wigan riding high whilst some of the supposed bigger sides are struggling for consistency.
To move onto the next level, we do now need to be reaching European competition and attracting players who are looking to play in Europe, and in that process you can then kick on even further and be aiming for a Champions League spot (if Everton can do it?).
I think it is a measure of how far the club has rebounded over the last few years though in that the expectation now is that the team should achieve at least a UEFA place from this season and anything less would be viewed as a failure and should lead to answers as to why it has not been achieved.

vote it up!

3 comments:

Ian. said...

"I think it is a measure of how far the club has rebounded over the last few years though in that the expectation now is that the team should achieve at least a UEFA place from this season and anything less would be viewed as a failure and should lead to answers as to why it has not been achieved."
Although I'm happy to be in the position of contemplating the possibility of European football next season, I'm concerned that expectations are rising too fast.
Let us not forget that this is SP's first full season in charge and that City have a long way to go before being anything like the finished article. Would not being in next years UEFA really be a failure? Would you then be calling for SP's head on the chopping block?
Perhaps looking to make progress in the transfer market in January, to bolster our paper thin squad, and then to finish in the top half of the table would be acceptable IF, and this is the important bit, we are in a position to push on next year with a more reasonably sized squad.
Before everyone slags me off, I'd be as pleased as anybody if we achieved European football next year. I just don't want over-inflated expectations to lead to another Manager merry-go-round at City.
I think that right now we have the makings of a club that could be great, but I don't want that to be wasted just because we don't finish in a European qualifying spot.
Come on you blues.
Ian.

Danny Pugsley said...

Looking now at the squad we have and the start we have made we should be capable of qualifying for Europe. Seventh position in the league should earn a UEFA spot, and factoring in the top three positions are all-but sewn up then we are in a battle with around ten sides for the remaining four places. Looking at those ten sides, who could you really argue is that much ahead of us? Liverpool, Spurs and Newcastle certainly have more in depth than us but are by no means more consistent, so I think it is a fair point to argue to would be a failure to not qualify and that if we don't it would be interesting to see why those teams that do make it, did so ahead of us.
However, at no stage would I imagine anyone would be calling for Pearce's head if we don't.

Liverpool Fan said...

Im unsure as to how you can possibly mention Manchester City in the same breath as Liverpool. Liverpool are the Champions of Europe, this is not a competion won easily. Im not sure of the exact date Manchester City won there last silverware...Discounting of course any Division 1 or 2 Championships...