Thursday, January 31, 2008

How can Spurs qualify for Europe?

I wonder how a club's owner quantifies league points in monetary terms. Take last night's uninspiring draw at Goodison Park for example. Woodgate made his debut, he put in a very solid performance and he was integral to Spurs picking up a point. In his first appearance for us he has made a positive start at paying back his transfer fee. If we'd ended up playing with Kaboul and Huddlestone as the centre backs I'm pretty sure we'd have lost the game. As it was Woody led the line well, and with a little bit of luck (i.e. Huddlestone conceded a penalty that wasn't given) we came away with a point.

A nil-nil draw isn't something many football fans expect from Spurs this season. We've scored a hatful of goals and haven't kept many clean sheets (and our last 0-0 was way back in October 2006 at Vicarage Road). To come away from Everton, who lie fourth in the Premier League, with a clean sheet and a point has to be a pretty pleasing result. However, after enduring a dodgy internet service trying to watch the game live online, I was disappointed. Not because it wasn;t a good result (because let's face it, it was), but because the magnitude of our task for the rest of the season dawned on me.

Please indulge me for a moment by letting me share some statistics. We currently lie eleventh on 28 points from 24 games, just eight points above Wigan in the final relegation place. There is then the same margin between us and the side directly above us in tenth (West Ham). And as for Europe - let's assume that fifth and sixth places qualify for the UEFA Cup - we are 13 points off the pace with 14 games to go.

Ramos has obviously had a positive impact and our performances have improved steadily over the last three months. However, when Ramos took up the reigns, Spurs were on seven points from 11 games. We were 14 points off sixth place with 27 games to go. Call me cyncial but that deficit has only been reduced by one point over 13 games. So although I'm confident we can finish in the top half of the table, it is looking increasingly unlikely that we can qualify for Europe via the league.

That leaves two options - winning either the Carling Cup or the UEFA Cup. Yes we're in the final of the Carling Cup, but we face a tricky match against Chelski - a side who have taken the competition seriously in recent years. We are the underdog, but it is only one game. If they have an off day and we're on form we'll win. If both teams play their best, we probably won't. A route into Europe? It's a close one to call but is definitely our best chance.

And as for the UEFA Cup, we have no better manager to be leading us into the latter rounds of this season's tournament. Ramos was incredibly successful with Sevilla, but can he do the same with us? I think we can beat Slavia Prague, which would then mean a last 16 tie against either PSV or Helsingborg. Tough but not insurmountable. Can we overcome those matches and then win a quarter final, a semi final and then the final? Well, there's a long way to go to achieve all that - but is it more likely than qualifying for next season's tournament due to a strong league position this time around? Probably.

I guess the conclusion is that we have a very tough challenge facing us to be included in next season's UEFA Cup. Is that the be all and end all for Spurs? Well right now it is as far as I'm concerned. If we're not in Europe we will find it harder to keep hold of our better players, we'll struggle to attract new quality players, and we may even find it tough to keep hold of Ramos. He has a history of not spending long with a club. If he does enough to show massive improvement at Spurs, but not enough to qualify for Europe, what happens when bigger vacancies crop up next year?

Sorry to sound so doom and gloom but playing in Europe over the past couple of years has given me the taste for it. Somehow we need to achieve it again and relying on the Fair Play League will be just too risky!

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

don't forget the old intertoto cup the back door entrance we said we would never enter it but we may have to

Anonymous said...

weve already qualified mate trust me weve won th ueafa and carling !!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

You need to do your research, Chelsea in carling final, they will finish in the top 4 so spurs have already qualified for the UEFA Cup no matter if we win or lose the final!

COYS

Anonymous said...

I think the fairplay route is out as well now... judging by how many Red cards our players have had this year... it seems we've had at least one player suspended for every game since Christmas!!

Anonymous said...

but the commentator last night said that spurs will qualify for europe because chelsea will qualify for champions league. isn't that true?

Anonymous said...

Yea Chelsea have just been diqualified have you not heard???? !!!!!
Chelsea directors have been caught paying refs in the earlier stage of the cup its all over the papers!!!

Anonymous said...

Yea ive heard that were through!!!!!!!!!!!! plus weve won the cc!!!!!!!!

spursmurf said...

Maybe without the UEFA to distract us next year, we really COULD push for 4th... then again, with the 'out'flux of players because we're NOT in Europe would probably hit us hard, and put paid to any notion of higher than mid-able! We're in a check-mate situation! Still, I'm in the queue for Cup Final tickets... so enjoy it while it lasts... these days don't come around too regularly for Spurs fans!!

Anonymous said...

No, if we lost the Carling Cup final the place goes to the league, unlike the Fa Cup where the place goes to the runner up.

Anonymous said...

there wont be a cup final chelsea have been disqualified

Anonymous said...

Will you please do your research anonymous 10:02

The runners up in the carling cup do NOT qualify for Europe. It goes to the league

Brooksy said...

There is no place in Europe for the runner up of the Carling Cup if the winner qualifies for Europe via the league. Instead the spare place will go to the team that finishes sixth in the league.

It's a shame, but true.

Anonymous said...

With Chelski in the CHampions league we have already qualified for the UEFA.

Lovely article but pointless.

spuro said...

ive heard about this chelsea thing too weve won....

Anonymous said...

i have done my research and the carling cup doesnt carry that perk. If chelsea win the final and finish in a champs league position, the uefa spot will go down the league

Anonymous said...

To all the idiots out there who say they follow football but know nothing.
The runners up in the carling cup DO NOT that is I will say it again just to make it clear DO NOT qualify for the UEFA cup, if the winners are already in europe.
Do You Understand WE MUST WIN THE CARLING CUP TO QUALIFY FOR THE UEFA CUP>

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the UEFA cup place (if chelsea win) will go to the 7th league spot. That rule only applies in the FA Cup :(

Anonymous said...

Not qualifying for the UEFA Cup could be a blessing in disguise.
Of course, I would love to see us win a trophy or two this season(thats the whole point of the game), but if we don't manage to get European footie for next season, I'am hugely confident that without the extra fixtures Europe brings, we could finally break the top 4.
We can attract quality players without UEFA Cup footie, as we have a manager who is respected throughout the game, bags of manoy and of course a famous traditional name.We are one of Englands 5 bigest clubs.

Jimmy said...

But if Chelsea win by 2 or more goals and their UEFA coefficeint is higher then 0.37 on the Tuesday that the draw is made for the FA Cup semi final..... then we will qualify if we wear our all white kit in the final!

And the attendance is over 87,596

Other than that, we can catch the ferry across with Newcastle!

Anonymous said...

The most important month of the season will follow the final. We will know come march whether or not we ar in Europe. Then follow several clubs around us in the league. So if we lose the final we have an opportunity to get to Europe via the league, but only if we can win back to back games against he teams around us in march. Its possible that 8th place would be enough to get intertoto qualification and judging by our strong finish last season it can be done. FA cup runner up goes to Europe if the winner qualifies via the league, not Carling Cup which then goes to the next highest team in the league. The commentator was wrong (what a surprise.) Another important match for us is Feb 14th away to Prague. We need to go there and get a convincing win. About 4 or 5 nil. Thats because on thursday before cup final day we are at home to Prague which we want/need to rest our best players. If we have a strong enough lead then we can play a weakened team and see out the match. Auder Est Facere.COYS

Harry Hotspur aka Maureen aka yidtastic. said...

Quote....

Anonymous said...

You need to do your research, Chelsea in carling final, they will finish in the top 4 so spurs have already qualified for the UEFA Cup no matter if we win or lose the final!

COYS
10:02


Total and utter rubbish, the Sky sports commentator that said this knows absolutely nothing about Football!

Look it up if you don´t believe me.

Anonymous said...

LMAO Jimmy 10:15

That's what i heard!

It was stated on Priministers Questions yesterday too!

Othello said...

Seems like I'm having to explain this in EVERY forum... why don't people read things thoroughly or brush up on the rules of the Carling Cup?

Fellow fans on here have explained it. WE DON'T GET INTO EUROPE THROUGH THE CARLING CUP UNLESS WE WIN IT!

And agree with Harry, that commentator is a complete idiot.

blueboy said...

DREAM ON!!!!! you need more than panic buying!!! how much for a right back?????? Lescott must be worth 30 mill

Anonymous said...

Almost 30 years ago Tottenham beat Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup final at Wembley and history has a big habit of repeating itself in English football. Tottenham were 2goals up before conceding a late consolation goal. We believe the same will happen on February 24.

UEFA qualification as per the League Cup is very clear. Runners Up do not qualify if ultimate League Cup winners qualify for the Champions League, rather the qualifying spot goes to the 6th placed team in the Premier League.

Yidio said...

We have already qualified, rule change this year and anyhow we will win the C.C. Cup 2-1 and the UEFA Cup on penalties, back the double, great odds

c'mon you spurs!!!!!