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[Albion] Are we going to get out of group?

Europa League progression?


  • Total voters
    261


Whitechapel

Famous Last Words
Jul 19, 2014
4,066
Not in Whitechapel
Until we draw Villa

No guarantee they're getting out of the group currently. Took a 98th minute winner to beat HŠK Zrinjski last night.

Saying that, their group is even closer than ours. All 4 teams with 3 points and a neutral goal difference after two games!
 






Silverhatch

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2009
4,294
Preston Park
My heart says yes.
My head says no.
We are going through a poor patch and we have a lot of learning to do. The silly thing is, we could have won both games, but even Europa teams are learning how to set up against us.
Of course everyone in the club, playing and administrative, is learning - but the glaring issue on the green stuff is our inadequacies in midfield. Not one of Gross (sublime) or Gilmour (very capable) or Dahoud (learning) can tackle and retrieve and retain like Biss or MC (or even AliMac). Sort that by formation change or get Baleba up to speed or turn Moder (big and technical) into a getter and giver and we’ll be OK. Our midfield is half as good, unsurprisingly and stating the f***ing obvious, without a WC winner and 3rd most expensive player in history in its midst.
 


HeaviestTed

I’m eating
NSC Patron
Mar 23, 2023
1,420
If you look at the stats we have played two games, one we narrowly lost, the other we narrowly drawed, the only conclusion is we will either narrowly get out or narrowly not or even be at the top or bottom of the group and narrowly or not narrowly do either.
 


Kalimantan Gull

Well-known member
Aug 13, 2003
12,908
Central Borneo / the Lizard
We really should be on 6 points. Marseille were nothing special and AEK are just a variation on Wimbledon 1987. Ajax are as shit as they've ever been.

I think that 2nd half last night the players visibly grew in belief. RDZ can now make the players believe.
I think it's easy to talk into the trap of 'Marseille are nothing special', 'AEK are from a famers league', whatever..... i think before this tournament began we just looked at the technical qualities of the teams and thought it would be easy, but what is clear is that European competition is full of teams who are used to winning games, in Athens case were champions of their country, so they are more than the sum of their parts.

This may not apply to Ajax with what they're going through right now, so have to have belief. And fully agreed that our players 'get it' now
 






Hotchilidog

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2009
8,680
Glass still half full for me. I think we will scrape our way out of the group and stay in the competition. Last night was a real learning experience and they reassuringly learnt quickly in very trying circumstances.
 


Baldseagull

Well-known member
Jan 26, 2012
10,922
Crawley
I think we win all remaining games and top the group, if Gross plays.
 




Colonel Mustard

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2023
1,998
Totally unpredictable for me but I’m convinced all 4 remaining matches are winnable. Despite the 2-0 HT lead, I didn’t think Marseille looked all that. The problem was our misfiring midfield rather than their brilliance. Trouble is, every one of the 4 teams will be sure they can still finish top or qualify in 2nd so we have a fight on our hands. Very likely to go down to the wire as theres no obvious big fish in the pond. We can all beat each other. Summary: who the f*** knows?!
 


Stato

Well-known member
Dec 21, 2011
6,567
We've played poorly and we're still in the mix thanks to our 'balls' and the opponents' failings. If we start playing well, we'll have a great chance.

It's a shame that we don't have a World Cup break this year. RDZ's complaints about us playing three times a week* are because of the time it has stolen from him to work with new members of the group on the training pitch. Verbruggen, Milner, Dahoud, Pedro, Baleba, Fati, Igor are all new to the approach and his view is not that other teams have us worked out, but that the group is not performing the approach well enough. Last year, we had loads and loads of moments when we looked in trouble and only just escaped the press. We most often escaped because passes were crisp and people were in the right places. So far this year that's often been lacking and the balance of risk v reward has shifted against us. RDZ needs time on the training pitch to shift it back. The loss to Chelsea in the League Cup may be useful. Having most of these players in international breaks should also help.

* - What is this nonsense about three games a week anyway? It's two games a week - If Saturday and Thursday are in one week, you can't count both the Sunday inbetween and the one after as being part of the same week, otherwise you have two Sundays in a week. As I think I've made quite clear, quite often, the Beatles are not to be listened to: There are only seven days a week.
 










Colonel Mustard

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2023
1,998
I think we'll notch up 8 more points (1 at Ajax, 1 at Athens, home wins v Ajax and Marseille), which should be enough to win the group.
As I found to my cost when I used to gamble on football, what I hope will happen and what does actually happen are two quite different things! We can only hope we play to our potential because if we do so, we could win all of these games. Trouble is, we’ve not done that yet in the EL. At least the away point and second half performance will have reminded us what we’re capable of and increase our confidence.
 




Iggle Piggle

Well-known member
Sep 3, 2010
5,301
I think it's easy to talk into the trap of 'Marseille are nothing special', 'AEK are from a famers league', whatever..... i think before this tournament began we just looked at the technical qualities of the teams and thought it would be easy, but what is clear is that European competition is full of teams who are used to winning games, in Athens case were champions of their country, so they are more than the sum of their parts.

This may not apply to Ajax with what they're going through right now, so have to have belief. And fully agreed that our players 'get it' now

Marseille defensively really were nothing special. They will be there for the taking at the Amex. AEK was a freak result. Play that game 10 times and we win 7 or 8. We are the best team in the group but so far that hasn't translated into results. Let's hope we put that right against Ajax.
 


Paulie Gualtieri

Bada Bing
NSC Patron
May 8, 2018
9,157
Finishing third and going into the conference league may be our best chance of European football next season.

I don’t see us getting there on league position this year so winning something would be needed. I’d say winning Conference league is probably an easier task than the FA cup
 


Bodian

Well-known member
May 3, 2012
11,770
Cumbria
We've overcome our European nerves - that was some introduction in the first half. Now we've passed that point, I think we'll be fine.
 


nickbrighton

Well-known member
Feb 19, 2016
1,917
i definitley think something clicked at around 40 mins last night. There was a definate change inplay, all of a sudden there was a belief in the team, passes started to come off, and the second half we were the better team and IMO looked more likley to win it . If that is replicated at the home game, then who knows, but I think we are still learning, and third would be fine, and even last if we show fight

If we look at this as the first of many European campaigns, then the learning experience wherever we finish is invaluable. The self belief was visably growing in the second half, and at the end it looked like we were back playing as we can.

Whether we can finish second or higher is a big ask, we can however finish third, and I think that would be a great achievement. Finishing last would not be a disaster as long as we can say they fought in each of the remaining games
 




Eeyore

Colonel Hee-Haw of Queen's Park
NSC Patron
Apr 5, 2014
23,469
I think we’ll finish 3rd… which wouldn’t actually be too bad as more of a chance of winning the conference league.
And obscure Alpine venues. I'm not sure folk would be too bothered by that.
 


Colonel Mustard

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2023
1,998
i definitley think something clicked at around 40 mins last night. There was a definate change inplay, all of a sudden there was a belief in the team, passes started to come off, and the second half we were the better team and IMO looked more likley to win it . If that is replicated at the home game, then who knows, but I think we are still learning, and third would be fine, and even last if we show fight

If we look at this as the first of many European campaigns, then the learning experience wherever we finish is invaluable. The self belief was visably growing in the second half, and at the end it looked like we were back playing as we can.

Whether we can finish second or higher is a big ask, we can however finish third, and I think that would be a great achievement. Finishing last would not be a disaster as long as we can say they fought in each of the remaining games
I’m not a negative person but I really don’t see it as the first of many European campaigns. I obviously hope it is but I suspect our relative success will last as long as we keep RDZ. After that, my hope and assumption is that we'll become a firm fixture in the PL but I’d be shocked if we became a long term top 6 or 7 club with Euro football every season.Thats why we need to capitalise on this season.
 


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