The Europa league is no longer a reward

The Europa league is no longer a reward

In the 2015-16 premier league season, West Ham finished seventh in the premier league and thus was granted entrance into the qualifying rounds of the Europa League.

There were high hopes for the Hammers, as with players such as Dimitri Payet and a solid manager in Salven Billic, people thought West Ham might be able to make this a regular occurrence and try to challenge the league’s elite.

The following season, West Ham would win just one of their first six games and only three out of their first ten.

While they did end up finishing eleventh, it was a far fling for their high hopes.

In 2016-17, it was Everton. They finished seventh. While they would go on to finish eighth in 2017-18 it was only under the stewardship of Sam Allardyce after Ronald Koeman got the sack, that got them there after just two wins in their opening then matches.

This year it’s Burnley. Five games in and all they have to show for it is a singular point as they lie bottom of the league.

Why is this? Why does the seventh-placed team struggle so much?

The Europa league has four qualifying rounds before the actual group stage. This means that given that the seventh-placed team goes into the third qualifying round, to get to the Europa League has to play four extra games.

So while every other team in the prem has played five games so far, Burnley have played nine.

The physical toll it takes really takes the steam out of Burnley.

The physical health of players in football must be a priority.

And the way I see it, the Europa League’s qualification system is not helping. So, I think the qualification rounds should become a thing of the past.

An Open Letter to West Ham

An Open Letter to West Ham

Dear West Ham

 

As a West Ham fan, I am the most confused person alive right now. I didn’t think that it was possible to have a worse start than last year, but with three losses in as many games, we obviously have.

And it was looking so good. We had spent money in the transfer window for once, and we broke our transfer record twice with Issa Diop and Felipe Anderson. We got in a Premier League winning manager in Manuel Pellegrini and we had a good preseason. We were looking set for the new season.

And then we collapsed. Away to Liverpool was not going to be an easy start but the way that we collapsed under the slightest bit of pressure was a sight to behold. Next, Bournemouth. The cherries thoroughly outplayed us. The 2-1 scoreline was flattering, to say the least. And then yesterday, Arsenal. How badly can we get outplayed? They tore us a new one, outplaying us all over the pitch.

This is worrying. I know that with a new manager and a lot of new players things will take time to work out but it’s been three league games now plus preseason and if things don’t start improving soon, something has to change. Whether that be the manager or just the tactics I don’t know, but something will change. Something has to change.

 

Yours,

Zac

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