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Battle for top half finish


turvontour
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Relegation or europe are very, very unlikely scenarios now.

It does appear however that we are likely in a battle to finish 9th. 9th would represent an improvement on last season, although it might be through a lower points tally than we achieved to finish 11th last season. Struggling to remember our last premier league top half finish.

Edited by turvontour
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It'd be nice to see Bailey, Traore and some of the kids get more game time now seeing as we are pretty much certain to get mid table.

I'd still keep a strong first team but maybe tinker more often to see what our fringe and youth players can do. 

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1 hour ago, supermon said:

It'd be nice to see Bailey, Traore and some of the kids get more game time now seeing as we are pretty much certain to get mid table.

I'd still keep a strong first team but maybe tinker more often to see what our fringe and youth players can do. 

Like others have said though. It feels like theres a big difference between finishing 9th and 13th. 9th has that knocking on the European door feel about it. Also momentum ahead of next season is important. It would be good to get as close as we can to 7th and 8th. I do agree though, like yesterday I was surprised not to see a couple of players rotated, particularly given the quality we have on the bench.

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1 hour ago, turvontour said:

Like others have said though. It feels like theres a big difference between finishing 9th and 13th. 9th has that knocking on the European door feel about it. Also momentum ahead of next season is important. It would be good to get as close as we can to 7th and 8th. I do agree though, like yesterday I was surprised not to see a couple of players rotated, particularly given the quality we have on the bench.

Don’t forget the approximately £20 million extra for finishing 9th vs 13th.

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How can we expect to finish in European places if we can't even finish top half, and if we can't even finish top half what would that say about our current players. Of course we damn well incontrovertibly need to finish as high as possible. We're trying to raise standards not lower them.

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It's not going to be easy either - we're competing with Southampton, Palace, Leicester and Brighton, who are all within three points of us and possibly a resurgent Newcastle who are only five points back.

Our run in is difficult and I think we'll struggle to hold onto 9th. 

 

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Could be GD between who finishes 10th and top half and 11th and bottom half. Bit much to say that one is success and the other a failure.

We'll finish mid table, that's it.

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1 hour ago, OutByEaster? said:

It's not going to be easy either - we're competing with Southampton, Palace, Leicester and Brighton, who are all within three points of us and possibly a resurgent Newcastle who are only five points back.

Our run in is difficult and I think we'll struggle to hold onto 9th. 

 

Interestingly of our next 6 games, we won 5 of those equivalent fixtures last season, and they're very tough games on paper. I think differently to last season, we havent been as good against the top sides for whatever reason. Those results against Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal etc. We havent been able to repeat so far.

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3 hours ago, OutByEaster? said:

Oddly, the way the Premier league is shaping up, we're working towards a position where to finish 7th in this league, you've pretty much got to be amongst the top dozen sides in the world.

We're at the point where the process of qualifying for the Europa conference via the Premier league is harder than winning the Europa conference.

 

 

It's amazing. You'd have to think that if we qualify for Europa League, we can win it, and will be among the teams expected to.

 

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9 hours ago, turvontour said:

Relegation or europe are very, very unlikely scenarios now.

It does appear however that we are likely in a battle to finish 9th. 9th would represent an improvement on last season, although it might be through a lower points tally than we achieved to finish 11th last season. Struggling to remember our last premier league top half finish.

That season under Gerrard Houlier I believe, we finished 9th

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11 hours ago, maqroll said:

It's amazing. You'd have to think that if we qualify for Europa League, we can win it, and will be among the teams expected to.

 

No I wouldn't. Only one English team left in the Europa League and they will probably go out on Thursday. Leicester lost to Warsaw and got knocked out by Spartak

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15 hours ago, useless said:

How can we expect to finish in European places if we can't even finish top half, and if we can't even finish top half what would that say about our current players. Of course we damn well incontrovertibly need to finish as high as possible. We're trying to raise standards not lower them.

For me, what it says is:

1) Some of our players are probably top 8 capable players.

2) Some of our players are mid table players, and probably overrated by the fans (ie: if we think they are more than mid table players)

3) Some of our players are probably bottom half PL players, and are probably overrated by the fans (ie: if we think they are more than lower half players)

 

Personally, i think maybe 5 or 6 of our players are definitely top 8 capable, the rest are either mid table or lower half in terms of ability.

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18 hours ago, supermon said:

It'd be nice to see Bailey, Traore and some of the kids get more game time now seeing as we are pretty much certain to get mid table.

I'd still keep a strong first team but maybe tinker more often to see what our fringe and youth players can do. 

Bailey yes, the kids yes, for me Traore gets moved on in the summer.

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43 minutes ago, Zatman said:

No I wouldn't. Only one English team left in the Europa League and they will probably go out on Thursday. Leicester lost to Warsaw and got knocked out by Spartak

We also have zero experience playing in Europe as a team. Some of the players have but the club is inexperienced 

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2 minutes ago, sne said:

We also have zero experience playing in Europe as a team. Some of the players have but the club is inexperienced 

Also we will be very low in the coefficient rankings

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Be happy to finish the season mid table and delighted with a top half finish. 2 seasons now of not having to worry about relegation whilst there's still a big gap for the European places. After 3 years of finishing in the top 6 to then becoming relegation fodder for a few years, 3 years in the championship and then another relegation battle it's nice to have a couple of years of middle ground. Hopefully with the right recruitment in the summer can close the gap to the european places but it's going to be difficult, West Ham have had a good season and have been in the top 6 for a lot of the season yet will probably miss out just shows how hard it is to break into it.

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18 hours ago, OutByEaster? said:

It's not going to be easy either - we're competing with Southampton, Palace, Leicester and Brighton, who are all within three points of us and possibly a resurgent Newcastle who are only five points back.

Our run in is difficult and I think we'll struggle to hold onto 9th. 

 

Brighton have just lost their last 5 and still have all of Spurs, Man. United and West Ham to play at home. Think they've got Man. City away aswell.

Southampton dipped after their good run, have four home games left and three of them v Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Palace got homes left v Man. United and Arsenal.

Leicester got easier run in but will probably go deep in the conference league.

I'd be incredibly disappointed to finish outside top 10 now. Yes we have tough games but also play Burnley twice and also Norwich at home who'll probably be down by time they turn up at VP so we should still be capable to get close to 50 points.

Hadn't really factored in Newcastle. Would be embarrassing finishing below them but I suspect they'll ease up once they get to 40 points.

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