There has been a lot of talk of unbeaten runs and unexpected league positions already this season.
And quite rightly too! I mean we do currently occupy 4th place in the Premier League and have only lost one game all season, to what is arguably the best team in the league at the moment.
It’s all a bit premature though isn’t it? I mean don’t get me wrong, it’s great whilst it lasts and the longer it goes on the better it will feel no doubt. But it can’t go on can it? A quick look at the other squads is enough to kind of reinforce that train of thought.
So inspired by Toon Chicken and his point about us now being ten points clear of 8th place it’s made me wonder if 7th is about the best we could do, and whether or not that would be a bad thing in the grand scheme of things.
Personally I’d be over the moon with a 7th placed finish. It would makes us the “best of the rest” in my opinion and would line us up behind the six teams at the top that have had a nasty habit of being the six teams at the top for the last few years now. No shame in that is there?
A 7th placed finish may just about be good enough for Europe aswell. A quick look at who is left in the Carling Cup shows that all of the big hitters are left in the competition and it’s entirely possible that the final could be made up of two teams that will qualify for Europe through the league. That would make 6th place good enough for Europa League qualification.
Then there is the FA Cup which is generally considered to be the one that is taken more seriously. With more teams battling it out to make sure they don’t have a trophyless season you can bet that all of the big guns will be trying their best to win it. Of course we should be trying our best also, but when push comes to shove it’s the teams like Manchester United and Manchester City that have the squads capable of mounting challenges on multiple fronts. Should that be that case it would make 7th place a Europa League spot.
I’ve seen nothing to suggest that we couldn’t be the best of the rest. Of course this is largely dependent on keeping the players we have at the club but on the flipside of that you could argue that, should we strengthen in January, we could even pip 6th, maybe even 5th at a stretch.
Optimistic? Perhaps, given the strength in depth of the squads of teams we are competing with. Unrealistic? Nope, not at all.
In one season we’ve gone from a team that was competing to stay in the league, although in fairness that was achieved pretty easily aside from a few hairy moments in January and February, to a team that has a realistic chance of cementing a European spot.
That’s progress isn’t it?