Sunday, May 14, 2006

Turning down Europe

So, we have a chance to be involved in next season's UEFA cup...

Our fair play rating of 9.3 throughout the course of this season has seen us win England's fair play league, and now we go into the hat with 10 other teams from across the continent, and on the 4th June, two of us will be drawn out of the hat and given entry to the first qualifying rounds of the UEFA cup.

11 teams in the hat, 2 are drawn. That's just under a 20% chance of European football at The Valley next season.

'The next level' for Charlton is widely perceived as being qualification for Europe, but there are right ways and wrong ways of achieving that goal. The right way would be to perform to a consistent standard through a 38 match league campaign and qualify for the competition on merit. The wrong way is to slip in via the back door, be it either through the Intertoto Cup, or through the Fair Play League.

Without meaning to sound too negative, I don't believe we have a strong enough squad to cope with a European jaunt next year. My mind goes back to the Ipswich side who qualified for the UEFA Cup through their league position, and then got relegated the next season. We have enough on our plates at the moment with the change of management, the subsequent changes that are bound to occur within the squad and preparing for what could well be our toughest Premiership campaign so far. Not to mention the fact that if we get drawn out of the hat, our season will be prolonged by three weeks, which will have to become 4 or 5 weeks in truth as the players will need to train and re-establish their fitness ahead of the qualifying round which take place in less than a months time.

I've always dreamed of watching Charlton in Europe, but I honestly hope that we don't get drawn out of the hat on this occasion. It might well be one distraction too many in the season of uncertainty which is coming. If we do get this back door ticket up to 'the next level', do we have the opportunity of turning it down?

On another note, the odds on Peter Taylor becoming our next manager have been slashed yet again after he claimed 'All I know about this is that I am told that I am on their short list.'
He is currently 8/11 on Paddy Power, and 4/5 on Betfair.


Blogger Kappacino Kid said...

I'm with you on this Cynic, remmember Eamon Dunphy wrote a biography when he was at Millwall and called Charlton the "Nancy Boys" down the road, and getting intop europe like this woul confirm it, a bunch of footballers that would not foul the opposition, no wonder Mr Clean shorts Holland was captain.

5:22 pm  
Blogger CharltonChris said...

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with being a side which plays the game in the right manner. I just don't think we should accept this invitation to the UEFA cup should we be offered it.

As a club we simply aren't ready, and our league position proves it.

7:16 pm  
Anonymous Imnot Athletic said...

I think you would agree that we have a major rebuilding job, maybe UEFA cup football would help attract a better class of player and Manager. Can't believe Peter Taylor and Ray Wilkins are the dream ticket (see todays NOW) so i've layed Peter Taylor on Betfair. Down to 7/10 now

7:35 pm  
Blogger CharltonChris said...

Why would we want players who are only coming for the sake of UEFA Cup football though?

I want players at Charlton who are signing for us because we are Charlton. Not because of our qualification for Europe.

With regards to Betfair, I still have a tenner on Curbs becoming the next Newcastle manager, I placed it absolutely ages ago (long before he resigned) and got about 40-1 on that..

2:01 am  

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