Thursday 19 May 2016

Why the Europa League will be so different next season

As West Ham await the result of the FA cup final clash to learn whether their seventh-place finish will allow qualification for next season's Europa League, many fans will be wondering whether the Hammers can cope with the fixture congestion that would ensue.

Last season it was pretty obvious that Slaven Bilic had opted to use the competition as an adjunct to his pre-season preparations and seemed not at all disappointed to exit the competition in the early rounds. Bilic has been through the competition with Besiktas and is only too aware of the potential for a gruelling 20 game addition to the season for clubs that successfully progress to the latter stages. 

So, what is different this year? Why should Hammers fans want Man United to beat the Eagles so that they can face the prospect of endless Thursday-Sunday fixtures often involving travel to the far side of Europe?

For West Ham, Bilic has already built a surprisingly robust squad where apart from the inevitable rumour mongering that Payet is wanted by Real Man Barca actual fact his squad appears content with their lot. He has already indicated an intention to clear out a host of players who are not in his first team plans even though they have been useful squaddies - Song, Moses, O'Brien, Emenike, etc.

From experiences to date, one might expect that a healthy percentage of new recruits will shine and our academy/development squad is burgeoning with talent which raises the question that we don't have enough game-time opportunities for the squad!

For us fans, it is pretty obvious that there is a huge unmet demand for a slice of the action. With a season ticket waiting list estimated at 25,000, midweek European action would provide an attractive opportunity to see our heroes in action.

All in all, the Europa league looks so much more attractive this year. Come on Man Uni........eurghhhhhh...I just can't say it!


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