Perspective

As poor as last nights crash out of the Europa League was, compare your reaction to the one you had post-NLD or the Chelsea 5-3 and then take the whole season into account. Don't be comparing Poch to Koeman (at Southampton where they supposedly lost all their best players). Our predicament has been showcased perfectly as a result of a monumentally flawed summers spending when Gareth Bale departed. It isn't an easy fix.

If most of our players get slated and deemed not good enough when we drop points or lose, then don't act too surprised when we spurs it up.

I find myself pulled apart with the logistics of top 4 / rotation / silverware. I really think players only want CL because of the prestige. Which is hardly breaking news. It's the elite and that's where ambition is focused for players. If that was you, I'm sure you'd rather work at Google than PC World. Footballers wouldn't find themselves dropping performance levels if they had to play CL football midweek.

The paradox of course is that the team isn't ready for such endeavours. It's a cruel cycle. We are not good enough = Europa league. EL = stagnation x infinity

Want to challenge for the title without oil baron money? CL every season is needed. Oh wait, Arsenal, so maybe not. Nothing truly works then. Nothing is certain. There are no guarantees. Which is probably why we're at our best when we're swashbuckling against all odds, with free-flowing football and a bit of flair and the odd cup final.

Which is why winning a cup would be so wonderfully grand even though we're still short on the swashbuckle.