Saints qualify for Europa League

Saints qualify for Europa League


The FA Cup has been comprehensively settled, and thanks to a recently amended rule change, Southampton have qualified for the qualifiers of the Europa League. I wanted to qualify that, because it leaves us with some interesting decisions, not only about how many players we buy, but also. when we buy them.

Conventional wisdom suggests you need squad depth to survive the rigours of competing in an extra, continental competition. The Europa League in particular gets a bad rap for the stresses it places on English teams. While I reckon we’re slightly better equipped to deal with that than clubs that don’t have an academy, we’re still going to need to reinforce to compete in all campaigns.

The problem, of course, is that we’ve only qualified for the qualifiers, and while some transfer business can inevitably wait until the conclusion of those qualifiers, there’s a fair chance that another team could have gotten in their first, or the player in question is already cup-tied in European competition.

Great achievement. How do we follow it up?


Originally posted by @pap

Great achievement. How do we follow it up?

By pretty much ignoring it and hope for the best. It never worked in the past, but we have a new club now, maybe it will work this time?




Too much is made of the pressure of European football upon the squad. No doubt we’ll be out of the other cups early (he says in a Dalek voice) so I don’t see it as an issue. Let’s enjoy it and give it a good go! COYS!!!


Now two tricky qualification rounds…


Saints’ season by numbers.


Originally posted by @Chertsey-Saint

Now two tricky qualification rounds…

Do we know if they are each two-legged qualifiers, Shirty Saint?


Yep, fo’ sho’.


That’s a lot of football before the season starts, Shirty - assuming we get through both legs.

We could be knackered, or it could be the best pre-season ever.


Well, this is why it’s such a punt, really. I think we’ve got a better structure than most to accommodate the demands of the game, and the one key position we’re genuinely short on, goalkeeper, is the one that doesn’t require as much running about. Still, we all know that a brave goalie will put himself in harm’s way, and therefore, each game carries more risk of a goalie getting crocked.

I think we’re in a stronger position to recruit a quality goalkeeper for the coming campaign. We can say “yup, we’ve potentially got a lot of fixtures. You’ll get games”. Would we have kept Boruc with that on offer? Probably not, given the depth of his reaction, but other goalies may not feel as disrespected by the prospect.

Regardless, this is another season on the up and up when it comes to our ability to buy for the season. Perception is always massive in signing new players. Look at what was available to us in 2011/2012, versus what is going to be available to us now. Back then, we were a re-entrant Premier League side, having to pay over the odds for the likes of Gaston Ramirez. Whether they like it or not, we are now competing for the same pool of players as Spurs and the red men of Liverpool.

It’s going to be an interesting close season, I reckon.


Originally posted by @Chertsey-Saint

Yep, fo’ sho’.


Bit of an interview with Ralph Krueger on the Europa League with Adam Blackmore, courtesy of Solent sport.