We’re all going on a hoping for a European Tour… Or, are we?
With our (fairly) recent European success – the Intertoto firmly under our belt – we should be drooling at the prospect of once again showing our continental neighbours how to play the beautiful game. And some (myself included) are, but others are more cautious in their optimism, perhaps rightly so.
For a team that survived on goal difference last season, thanks only to two wins against a Reading side who went down from the eight goal defecit those wins created, we would have been grateful to just survive a little easier.
The unexpected turnaround of fortunes, fronted by (manager of the year, surely??) Roy Hodgson, has lead to some sections of the Cottage faithful worry about it being too much in too short a space of time and, indeed, would rather finish 8th what with the current size of our squad.
There’s no pleasing some people, but they certainly have a point. Two games a week has not suited us this season and fatigue cost us six points at home to both Hull and Blackburn in consecutive midweek games – so a bigger, rotatable squad is a necessity if we are to make the Europa League. Let’s face it, a freezing cold winter trip to the Czech Republic would be a lot harder on tired legs than anything Phil Brown can throw at us in SW6 and, speaking of tired legs, that includes old Jimmy.
My reasons for wanting that 7th spot are as follows:
- Keeping hold of big Brede; and
- See reason 1.
Surely with European football we can keep this hard-working squad together and attract players of both quality and quantity in the summer? We’d better hope so, because Europe doesn’t tend have a good effect on the league positions of knackered English clubs, does it Pompey?
Provided the Everton game goes according to the script, i.e. the home team winning every fixture, then we will indeed be going on a European tour and, with Roy and his little black book at the Helm, a summer of shrewd business should hopefully keep us away from danger in the potentially perilous 2009/10 season.