Coleman: Europe would be a bonus but we have to go for it

Wednesday, 12 February, 2020 39comments  |  Jump to last

Seamus Coleman says that Everton have their sights on possibly qualifying for Europe since the significant uptick in their form since early December.

The Blues have turned their faltering season around under the interim management of Duncan Ferguson and new full-time boss Carlo Ancelotti and currently sit in seventh place in the Premier League, just three points off fifth place, albeit having played one more game than all the teams around them with the exception of Sheffield United.

The rest of their rivals for the top-six or seven places will play this coming weekend as the split winter-break schedule continues but regardless of how results go, Everton are now very much part of the conversation around qualification for the Europa League.

“We've got to push for Europe,” Coleman told evertontv. “I think this club needs European football and we all want that.

“Especially here at Goodison, playing under the lights, it's exciting. It's something different. It's what we want for the Football Club.

“Where this football club wants to get in the next three, four, five years, it has to be wanting European football every year and if we can get it this year, that's a bonus.

“The mood around the training ground is great. If confidence is high and you're getting good results, the mood is always good.

“We're trying to catch those European places. A few months ago, we probably didn't think that was possible. But we're playing well now and just looking forward to every game.


Reader Comments (39)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Tony Abrahams
1 Posted 12/02/2020 at 07:26:57
Getting results without really playing that well is how I see us but results bring confidence and that's why Arsenal is going to be a very big game, and one where it might be possible to gauge how much progress has really been made.

We have gone from looking like a really poor team to one that just needs to strengthen in a few key areas. Although Arsenal are not doing that great results-wise, it is still a hard match at a stadium where we have “never ever won”.

Martin Berry
2 Posted 12/02/2020 at 08:35:21
The next four games will sort that possibility out.
Bill Fairfield
3 Posted 12/02/2020 at 08:58:47
Getting good results? Yes. Playing consistently? Well, not there yet... but heading in the right direction.
Derek Thomas
4 Posted 12/02/2020 at 09:35:09
Although qualifying shows a level of achievement, do we really need a July start to qualify, complicated by the Euros and players taking their well earned(?) breaks after them.

Sod it, Go for it, go for Chelsea's Champions League spot. 5 points in 12 games... make it so, Carlo.

Jim Bennings
5 Posted 12/02/2020 at 10:23:32

A well organised Premier League club should be able to prepare for July starts in Europa League qualifiers.

In 2017, Ronald Koeman spent more time on the golf course whilst Steve Walsh cocked up transfers rather than properly prepare for the Euro campaign.

The qualifying rounds should be tailor-made for the squad players and young players, everyone raves about the likes of Anthony Gordon, Ellis Simms or Beni Baningime so use these players in the Europa League, mixed with some experience.

Coleman is right: this club needs European football, there are far too few big games at Goodison Park these days. Imagine what a run in Europe would do to generate interest.

Des Farren
6 Posted 12/02/2020 at 10:49:49
Everton's record in Europe is abysmal with one notable exception. The fact that we have, in the main, struggled against European teams, even poor European teams, over the years is worthy of attention.

It is certainly true that the club needs European football experience to prepare us for what, hopefully, can be a Champions League debut in a year or two!

Fran Mitchell
7 Posted 12/02/2020 at 11:28:24
Europe would be massive. Firstly to attract and keep top talent. Also, in the development of our players, they need the experience of playing 2 times a week.

There is no point qualifying for the Champions League if it means we get hammered because we are not prepared.

We now have a manager who knows what European football is, and how to win it.

Also, winning the Europa would go down as one of the club's greatest achievements so should be a target.

It won't be easy, and we are outsiders still, and one game at a time and all that, but what a change of perspective, the season still has meaning.

Tony Everan
8 Posted 12/02/2020 at 11:40:18
These next four games will show how far we have come. It's all up for grabs still. Four wins and 12 points would be dreamland, even 10 points and we would be knocking on the door of Champions League qualification. Can the lads make that further step up?

Back in the real world of expected outcomes: 7 points out of those 12 would be an amount that keeps us well in the mix for Europa League qualification. A win at Arsenal would set it up nicely.

I cannot understand comments that Europa League qualification is a ball and chain. Use it to our advantage by giving opportunities and great experience to the best of our youngsters, give fringe players the chance to shine and force their way into the first team. Use it to reintroduce players coming back to full fitness. All that mixed in with a few regulars.

In our dark winters, a bit of midweek entertainment is welcome respite.

Rob Marsh
9 Posted 12/02/2020 at 12:15:33
Fran #7,

Personally I'd rather have 6 games in the Champions League group phase than an extended run in the Europa League.

In the Europa League, you don't come up against any real quality until the quarter-finals, it's a complete waste of effort up to that point. Whereas 6 games in the Champions League, crash bang & wallop! You never know what might happen, especially after we've been strengthened in the summer.

If there's any manager out there who can guide and get results for us in the Champions League, it's Don Carlo.

Wouldn't that be a miracle? Bottom three Christmas and Champions League qualification at end of season!

Derek Knox
10 Posted 12/02/2020 at 12:57:12
Agree that Europa League or Champions League is indeed achievable, although maybe Champions League is a step too quickly with the squad we currently have and the FFP restrictions limiting our future spending for the next season or so.

Still, Europa League would do to get our toes in the water. The next four games will tell us a lot really and, if we can get a decent points tally from them, we should hopefully be able to do it.

Mark Guglielmo
11 Posted 12/02/2020 at 13:21:43
Tony 8 - agree with all your comments on why Europa is both an important and necessary step for the Club to take. But we don't need 10+ points from the next 4 games lol. We DO need to win at Arsenal and then home vs United, but that's really all we need. A result at Stamford Bridge would be keen though.

Matchday 35 is going to be a pivotal one though! Wolves vs Everton, Sheffield Utd vs Chelsea, and Spurs vs Arsenal.

Jim Bennings
12 Posted 12/02/2020 at 13:32:43
The Champions League is what everyone wants; understandably so.

But qualifying for the Europa League would represent tangible progress on the last two seasons' 8th-place finishes.

At the end of the day, Moshiri has been here and spending big since 2016, whatever way you look at it, we are behind in terms of where we all thought we would be in 2020, due to poor management and player recruitment.

The Europa League just six months into Ancelotti ‘s tenure here would be progress.

Next season winning a Cup and having a serious tilt on the Champions League places would be the next step.

Jason Wilkinson
13 Posted 12/02/2020 at 15:44:17
Our target should be (until mathematically impossible) win the Premier League. Win the FA Cup. Win the League Cup. Finish 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th.... you get the picture.

Europa League??? Why set our sights so low? 4th is still very much "up for grabs" as I see it. Spurs, Man Utd and Chelsea are all hit and miss. Sheff Utd's bubble will burst. Wolves will drop away if they continue in the Europa League.

Come on, Blues. Go for the Champions League spot.

Rob Marsh
14 Posted 12/02/2020 at 16:00:35
Jason # 13,

By aiming for the Champions League, the runners-up prize will automatically become the Europa League. It's a win or place with the same bet.

I do believe our club badge has something to say on the subject along the same lines.

It looks like we're the only ones shooting for the stars?

Jim Bennings
15 Posted 12/02/2020 at 16:22:21
We should aim for the Champions League I agree with both those above posts from Jason and Rob.

But as others (myself included) have pointed out, the next four games are monumental for a potential outside chance of top four.

Is anything possible under Carlo Ancelotti?

Has he brought about a long lost winning mentality?

Well Everton have not recorded a win at Arsenal since 1996 so if we were to defeat the Gunners in their own back yard I might start believing anything is possible.

Out of those four games there's only the Liverpool game which looks (for every club at the minute not just us) unwinnable at present but who knows?

Arsenal, Chelsea and United are all more than beatable but it's up to the players at Everton to go and show it.

Jason Wilkinson
16 Posted 12/02/2020 at 16:25:34

I grew up watching Everton compete for everything. We had two poor goalkeepers. Mad Mike Lyons at centre half a few other also-ran players.

We had Bob Latchford, Martin Dobson and Duncan McKenzie. All seemed possible. In comparison we have a better squad today so why not believe we can compete. We are Everton. The longest-serving club in the top division of any league in the world. We are one of six clubs ever-present in the Premier League.

Why do some Blues feel we shouldn't be at the very top. We're Everton, not Exeter.

Brian Harrison
17 Posted 12/02/2020 at 17:10:37

I think Arsenal have a longer unbroken spell in the top division than us. But we are 2nd to Arsenal who have never been relegated I believe.

Craig McFarlane
18 Posted 12/02/2020 at 17:25:57
Brian @17 Arsenal were relegated in 1912/13 season, but do hold the record for the longest unbroken stint in the top flight with 89 years (we are 2nd on 61)

Interestingly (and possible pub quiz answer here) Arsenal are the only team not to have won promotion to the top division, instead being elected to Division 1 in 1919.

Rob Marsh
19 Posted 12/02/2020 at 17:28:14
Brian #17,

Here's some info:

Brent Stephens
20 Posted 12/02/2020 at 17:39:34
Interesting article in the Grauniad today (Everton come out well in this). It's about clubs (Leicester, Palace, Bournemouth, Boro, Sheffield Utd, Southampton, Swansea, Watford, WBA, Wolves etc) taking out / extending sizeable loans with an Aussie investment bank (Macquarie Group Ltd) against future TV earnings. These clubs have to register a charge – security against the loan – with Companies House; so part of the credits of future TV income are transferred to Macquarie in exchange for their capital.

Anyway, it's a risk for the clubs (comparable with taking out a mortgage to help with your cash flow). There are also other clubs who do this, and with other companies, but whose transactions are not registered with Companies House.

Interest rates of 6%-7% - so the article points to the risks involved.

Macquarie says that in an ideal world the club owner takes on the form of a benevolent dictator and gifts the club the money through an interest-free loan "like Farhad Moshiri has done at Everton. But they are much harder to find".

Joe McMahon
21 Posted 12/02/2020 at 18:54:02
How about beating Liverpool for a start.
Carl Manning
22 Posted 12/02/2020 at 19:09:44
We play every team currently left in the top 10 bar Man City. You could say it's in our hands in a way. If we're in striking range with 3 games to go, you'd have to fancy our chances with our final 3 games.
Peter Warren
23 Posted 12/02/2020 at 20:10:55
Beat Arsenal then concentrate on next match. One match at a time and don't worry about anything else. What will be will be. COYB
David Doran
24 Posted 12/02/2020 at 20:14:31
The next four games will define our season. COYB
David Pearl
25 Posted 12/02/2020 at 20:38:36
Are we still on holiday? Winter break my arse. Feels like an international break, and l hate them too. Hopefully no one comes back injured.

It's already been said but it's up to the players to finally believe, and to realise what is expected now we have a top manager instead of a yts coach.

We are as good as anyone else in this current league. Finally the £20-£40 million players are looking like they are worth it. It's a big if but if Schneiderlin can keep his form up and we can get Gomes firing, along with our top 2 we are in with a shout. Confidence is a fine asset to have.

Derek Knox
26 Posted 12/02/2020 at 20:57:42
David @25, it will be interesting to see what the injury status is after the (grrr) break, under Silva or previous there would likely be a deck-chair, peddalo or suitcase injury. Let's see if they've toughened up and genuinely want to play for Carlo.

I have never been a fan of these or International Breaks either, but unfortunately it looks like they will be a regular and unwelcomed hiatus in the seasons ahead.

By the way, are you Schneiderlin's PR man or agent? :-)

Andy Crooks
27 Posted 12/02/2020 at 21:30:10
Excellent post, David @ 25. Confidence is it, really important. The same squad, which I believe was capable if being relegated, is now looking to Europe. So many factors:

Being happy
Getting on with your team mates
Feeling wanted
Believing in the coach
Believing that every game is winnable
Getting some lucky points
etc, etc

None of these and other factors are about ability, they are about making players confident enough to achieve their very best. Carlo, seems to be doing that. Our best, fit, eleven is very good. We are not far away.

Bill Gienapp
28 Posted 12/02/2020 at 22:13:03
I'm with Peter (23) - just take things match by match, it's better for your sanity.
Paul Birmingham
29 Posted 12/02/2020 at 22:30:27
Next game up and it's massive but I believe that this Everton team can beat Arsenal on Saturday week.

This is the start of a difficult run of games but this I see as our best chance of an away win; Man Utd winnable at home; Chelsea is winnable... and then Liverpool.

But Liverpool are beatable and can be beaten, and I'd love us to stick one on them... But Everton is what counts and let the rest worry about us.

Jerome Shields
30 Posted 12/02/2020 at 23:02:14
In my opinion, it's more like Ancelotti setting a target, an incentive for players.
Kase Chow
31 Posted 12/02/2020 at 23:54:03
Why why why can't they just shut their mouths?

Liverpool are about to win the league (22 points ahead) and still talk about taking each game as it comes.

We are not even in the European places and we set our sights 10 games ahead

There's a real mentality problem with our players. It's mainly because they're stupid and mentally weak.

Just concentrate on one game at a time, eh?

Geoff Lambert
32 Posted 13/02/2020 at 01:25:08
What is wrong with you all?

This is Everton we are talking about... Just when you think we are going to do something, they kick you in the nuts.

5 points from the next four games will be a good return. Europe? You're having a laugh...

Mark Andersson
33 Posted 13/02/2020 at 05:23:06
Kasey Chow, I would love to be stupid and earn stupid money...
Tony Everan
34 Posted 13/02/2020 at 10:11:53
ToffeeWeb should have a winter break for it's impassioned posters to try something different. [Do some modelling, etc?]

Michael, Lyndon, shut it down until next Saturday, post up a picture of a lagoon and a swaying palm tree for 10 days.

Mike Allison
35 Posted 14/02/2020 at 07:37:56
We've always dealt quite badly with Europe, mostly due to poor management in my opinion. Europe is a great opportunity to run a deeper squad whilst still giving them all game time. This is especially true if you are the ‘bottom' qualifiers for the Europa League and have to play the qualifiers. You get the chance to start 22 different players in a week, enabling the development of the younger ones and keeping older ones match fit and happier.

I really believe players like Dowell and Baningime would be much further along in their development if they'd had the opportunity to play in the Everton first team alongside experienced players over the last couple of years. It's looking like neither player will end up as Everton first teamers now, but at one stage it looked like both would. More competitive games should help us avoid the problem with other young players coming through.

Derek Knox
36 Posted 14/02/2020 at 08:00:20
Mike @35, agree with the Europe argument, and our previous forays have been unsuccessful due to poor Management. I think there would be a different attitude and mentality under Carlo.

Dowell has been a player I have followed with interest, believing that there was a star in there somewhere, but too often he has flattered to deceive. When he has had a chance in most pre-season games, he has failed to impress.

Equally when he has been on loan, he has set the world alight in his first couple of appearances, then extinguished in the weeks that followed. So I don't know whether it's his attitude, his reluctance to commit himself on a regular basis, or whether he is happy just to plod along and make a tidy living without hitting the big time.

John Pickles
37 Posted 15/02/2020 at 11:43:44
Who gets the Caraboa Cup European place? Do Aston Villa get it regardless of whether they win or not? Or could 8th in the League qualify?
Steve Ferns
38 Posted 15/02/2020 at 11:45:41
Good question, John. No-one can say for sure, but it's expected to go to the league rather than to Aston Villa.
Paul Tran
39 Posted 15/02/2020 at 11:53:06
According to today's Times, it's up to the PL to decide, but 'convention' means it will go to 5th place, as well as opening up another Europa League place.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

About these ads