Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Would qualifying for Europe really be that bad for Blackpool?

Blackpool are currently in the midst of a Premier League relegation battle but could qualify for the Europa League due to the Tangerines being fifth in the fair play league.

The teams above them in the fair play league will all qualify for Europe anyway including Birmingham who will qualify after winning the Carling Cup. That means the Tangerines could get a place Europe.

Rest

If Blackpool did qualify for the Europa League then they would have to go into the competition at the qualifying rounds. For the Blackpool players that would mean they would get very little rest at the end of the season.

Not Keen

It seems Tangerines boss Ian Holloway is not keen on European football. He wrote in his column in the Independent on Sunday:

“I didn’t have a clue about this until our club secretary at Blackpool told me the other day. He has been to London to get our Uefa licence just in case it does happen, but to be honest I couldn’t really care less about it at the moment.

“I understand the thought might excite the fans, but I have a different take on it. For starters I can’t concentrate on anything other than this season and trying to stay up.

Europe

“And if this Europe thing does happen then all I’ll be thinking about is how short our summer is going to be because the qualifying stages for the Europa League begin at the start of July.

“The season doesn’t end until 22nd May so we will get about a month off, tops. When you consider we didn’t really have much of a break last year because of the play-offs that really isn’t good.  But that’s the last thing on my mind at the moment so I’m not even going to bother fretting about it.”

Relegation

I think he is right in most respects. The club need to concentrate on surviving in the Premier League this season. The player’s attention can’t be diverted at this important point of the season.

The Tangerines are on a poor run of form, although they drew 1-1 with Newcastle on Saturday. They are finding wins hard to come by after a fantastic start to the season. Holloway’s team haven’t won in the last seven games.

They now need to knuckle down and grind out a few wins from somewhere, as they are only out of the relegation zone on goal difference.

Excitement

Although the clubs primarily aim should be to stay in the Premier League a European adventure would be an exciting added bonus at the end of the season.

The Blackpool fans were in dreamland last May when the club won promotion to the English top flight but a European campaign would be another unimaginable achievement. I’m sure the fans wouldn’t turn down a venture into European football.

Resources

A European campaign would further stretch the meagre resources available to Tangerines boss Ian Holloway and he knows it. He has done really well just to keep Blackpool in with a chance of surviving in the Premier League on a very small budget.

European qualification would mean more games for Blackpool’s players and they have a relatively small squad. Blackpool simply haven’t got the financial muscle to go out and heavily strengthen their squad.

Exciting

I have to say I have found Blackpool a very exciting side to watch this season and I like most neutrals I hope they can manage to beat the drop. If they don’t then they will be fondly remembered by most Premier League supporters and we could be watching them in Europe next season.

Would qualifying for Europe be a bad thing for Blackpool?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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