Why do we care so much about a top 4 finish?

Discussion in 'Football Forum' started by worldinmotion66, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Feb 13, 2018
    #1

    worldinmotion66 Full Member

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    It's a really strange concept to attribute a fourth place finish to be a success, so why do we do it?

    I understand that the champions league brings with it a global prestige that can attract players to the club, or excuse those that might want to leave. But we are Manchester United, we shouldn't struggle to attract the level of player required to compete.

    I understand that there is a reasonable financial reward that comes with champions league qualification. But we are Manchester United, surely our off-the-field marketing success should compensate for this comfortably.

    I understand that, as fans, we want to see our club in contest with the very best on the planet. But we are Manchester United, we should be the very best and all others should be desperate to challenge us.

    Obviously the last point is tongue-in-cheek, and i hope this doesn't come across as entitlementism. But beyond the irony there is a serious point. We aren't competing against the top sides in this country under Mourinho, let alone the cream of Europe. We should, of course, be striving to win the champions league, all teams should, but why are we so desperate to get there when we know that we aren't ready?

    I remember under Rodgers a few seasons back, Liverpool rested key players in a trip to Real Madrid because of an upcoming top 4 showdown with Chelsea. What's the point of trying to get there if you don't feel that you can compete? I'd rather a successful Europa campaign and competing for actual trophies than this champions league qualification snobbery that seems rife in the younger generation of supporter.

    I don't care where we finish in the league now. The title is gone and anything else is failure.
  2. Feb 13, 2018
    #2

    Smithy_123 New Member

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    It does actually come across as entitlement and that's a dangerous mindset.

    I'm sure Liverpool fans used to feel the exact same way and some probably still do.
  3. Feb 13, 2018
    #3

    kps88 Full Member

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    For a one off it doesn't really matter but if we were to fail to finish top four over a long period of time, it would definitely effect things. Also feel it's important because the Europa League tends to ruin a league season.
  4. Feb 13, 2018
    #4

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

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    And that's where most people differ to yourself, the modern football supporter has it ingrained into them the next best thing to winning the title is finishing in the top 4 even though all it provides you with is participation in a competition 9 times out of 10 you're not going to win

    In terms of this season anything below 2nd will be horrific for us now (for me) given it's a position we've occupied pretty much all season long (bar a short spell being 1st)
  5. Feb 13, 2018
    #5

    Scarecrow Requested ban until 08/02/2018

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    I want to watch us play in the CL, whether we are favorites or not. I like the big games.
  6. Feb 13, 2018
    #6

    adexkola American Arse City Lover

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    I know you mean well, but it does come across as being entitled.

    We aren't entitled to jack shit. The mindset of "first or bust" is a horrible mentality for a fan.
  7. Feb 13, 2018
    #7

    Fully Fledged Full Member

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    To watch us playing UCL next season.
  8. Feb 13, 2018
    #8

    walkinhop Full Member

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    We forget one key part. First is still in the top 4 and we want to at least challenge every year. Challenge by itself means a close finish to the 1st, if not not outright becoming champions.

    In other words, if you fight for the title each season you are bound to finish in the top four.
  9. Feb 13, 2018
    #9

    Number1 Full Member

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    This is like saying why do we care so much about being in the Premier League? The Championship is still a good competition :lol:

    Taking aside all the money involved in the Champions League, the Champions League is footballs most prestigious competition, playing and winning the Champions League creates history and legacy's and all the best players want to play in it and Manchester United (as a club) needs to pick its wits against the other giants of football, why? Because that's sport.
  10. Feb 13, 2018
    #10

    Skills Snitch

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    It's not success. It's a minimum requirement to not be a total failure for a club of our size.
  11. Feb 13, 2018
    #11

    Blind Full Member

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    Not getting there leads to stagnation. You do have a point about Liverpool against Real Madrid, albeit one that's a bit warped. Doing all that hard work to get into the Champions League in the first place is a complete waste of time if you rest your best players in the actual competition, Spurs were also guilty of doing that last season.
  12. Feb 13, 2018
    #12

    Rafateria Full Member

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    It's a pretty simple equation in the end : CL money is a big deal, CL qualification leads to world wide exposure which equals better global marketing opportunities, CL qualification means it's easier to attract the better players (if a club establishes a record of struggling to qualify only a ton of cash is going to persuade him there aren't better options), CL qualification attracts better sponsors and more cash.
  13. Feb 13, 2018
    #13

    Pink Moon Full Member

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    Players want to win the Champions League. It's the pinnacle of club football.

    Nobody will care if you're Manchester United if you can't consistently offer that. Hence why CL qualification is important.

    Edit: And the Champions League is just really fun from a fan perspective. The atmosphere at the games are almost always better than domestic games, it gives you a chance to see some of the worlds best players live and if you go to the away games it's a good trip to places you otherwise wouldn't go.
  14. Feb 13, 2018
    #14

    Hansa Full Member

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    Winning the title or CL is important. But if we can't, let's get as close as possible to build experience and hunger for more.

    Plus, we can get some pretty amazing games, even if we're ultimately unsuccessful. Porto 4-0, Roma 7-1, Arsenal semi at Emirates. Didn't win it in the end; great memories nevertheless.
  15. Feb 13, 2018
    #15

    ghagua Full Member

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    In order to "get ready to compete" we need the money and prestige to attract the best players in the world. The money available in the champions league is no joke and is a huge part of our financial success. As for being prestigious enough to attract top players without champions league, it's not going to happen too often. We may get the odd Pogba or someone, but look at Liverpool and the players who have turned them down.
  16. Feb 13, 2018
    #16

    LennonNL nipple flasher and door destroyer

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    A season in the champions league is so, so much better than one where we’re not.
  17. Feb 13, 2018
    #16

    ivaldo Mediocre Horse Whisperer, s'up wid chew?

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    You answered your own question in the second paragraph. Odd thread.
  18. Feb 13, 2018
    #17

    Bocca9978 New Member

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    Top four is a must, love Champions League.
    2nd, 3rd or 4th, really not bothered. Which is just as well considering how hit and miss we are.
  19. Feb 13, 2018
    #18

    Jippy Sleeps with tramps, bangs jacuzzis, dirty shoes Scout

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    This. Our own revenue won't make up thw shortfall and remember two consecutive seasons out of the UCL slashes the value of the Adidas deal.
  20. Feb 13, 2018
    #19

    giorno Full Member

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    Finishing in the top 4 means playing the CL. Playing the CL means you can win it. It's really very simple
  21. Feb 13, 2018
    #20

    Di Maria's angel Captain of Moanchester United

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    Is this really hard to understand?
  22. Feb 13, 2018
    #21

    Moonred Full Member

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    Strange thing to not understand.
  23. Feb 13, 2018
    #22

    SirAF Ageist

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    This..
  24. Feb 13, 2018
    #23

    LoneStar Full Member

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    Because I want to see United play against the big teams. I want to see United battle with the likes of Madrid, Barca, Bayern, Juve and PSG.

    It does come off as entitlement that you assume that players will just join us because we are Manchester United. And regarding the financial consequences, of course the money and the prestige that comes along in playing in the CL matter.

    Wether you like it or not, players, especially the top ones want to play CL every year. It will be much harder to convince them to join us if we aren’t in the competition. Why join United when you have other clubs who can offer the same wages and also maybe favourites for winning trophies. You are forced to pay high fees and wages for average players. This keeps happening until the whole squad becomes average.

    The accumulation of all these points will eventually have a great financial impact as well. So yes, top 4 finish does matter a lot.

    But top 4 shouldn’t be considered as a trophy on its own. Rather for a club of our history and resources, it should be treated as the bare minimum.
  25. Feb 13, 2018
    #24

    Xcited Full Member

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    The experience is useful.

    Otherwise when we are at the skill level required to compete for the CL, if we haven't competed in previous years the lack of experience would be evident.

    Big step up in terms of pressure from the PL or EL to the CL.
  26. Feb 13, 2018
    #25

    bosnian_red Worst scout to ever exist

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    If you fail to play in the main competition in the world then you are no longer viewed the same way and players will no longer want to come. One or 2 years off and you can call it a fluke and players will come in to get you back. If you just start not qualifying as the norm, then you lose value as a club and lose that reputation and then it's that much harder to get back in (as weve seen with liverpool).
  27. Feb 13, 2018
    #26

    NotoriousISSY $10mil and I fecked it up!

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    Being in the Champions League (as diluted as it is compared to previous formats) is certainly the main reason behind this desire.

    That's step one of a moderately 'successful' season - but on it's own, it really is not an achievement anyone looks back on.

    I think anyone who says once the title is gone andthey're not bothered about where we finish is lying. If we maintain second place as opposed to slipping to seventh for example, you're going to think there is a potential possibility of further progress next season. Finishing 6th or 7th for example just underlines where we have been since SAF retired, and ultimately becomes an expectation.

    Arsenal went from genuine title challengers, to expecting nothing but a top 4 finish. Now, they're expecting even less - whilst still being angry that their team is done in the hunt for the title by about September.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  28. Feb 13, 2018
    #27

    12OunceEpilogue Full Member

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    That's it. You can't get to the very top, which I assume is where we want United to be, without being in the CL mix and vying for the title first.

    The seasons we spent outside the CL felt like a marked step down, and deservedly so as we were demonstrably unable to compete with the best. Winning the Europa League was great but there was a palpable feeling, from the club and the fan base, it was a means to an end not a destination.

    Arsenal have beyond doubt taken a step down, same as we did and Liverpool did before us. The money and prestige the CL brings is unavoidable and getting top four, as arbitrary a yardstick as it is, is the minimum top sides in this country should be aiming for.
  29. Feb 13, 2018
    #28

    worldinmotion66 Full Member

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    I don't think I explained myself particularly well. Of course I understand that you have to be in the competition in order to win it, but I personally feel that were we to abandon this mindset of instant gratification, perhaps we could develop an identity and a group of players capable of long term success in all competitions.

    If supporters didn't care so much about finishing in the top 4 (and of course the media that push this idea down the throats of the fans), then maybe we would see less pressure on results and a greater emphasis on development. I'd rather create a culture, an identity and an entertaining brand at the expense of champions league football. Of course, there is no reason to not do both, but i just don't see it as such an important short term achievement to finish in the top 4.
  30. Feb 13, 2018
    #29

    Keeps It tidy Hates Messi

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    No point spending type of money we do if we are not consistently playing in the CL
  31. Feb 13, 2018
    #30

    Handré1990 Full Member

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    Because of the CL, obviously. I love to watch CL games, but it’s simply not the same if we’re not in it.
  32. Feb 13, 2018
    #31

    Law's Law New Member

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    A year without CL can lead to anywhere between £60-100M loss in revenue. A run of 3 years without CL football can have an adverse effect on any big club, including United who are committed to high costs. This will lead to financial, operational, and recruitment consequences.
  33. Feb 13, 2018
    #32

    Kapardin Full Member

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    Making top 4 means we are better than 2 of the top 6 at the least.

    It is no trophy, but it certainly is good competition as a consolation if we don't win anything else. No small feat in this league. I cherish every position we finish that is higher than one or more of the top 6.

    Different from the Wenger mentality of thinking it is enough, mind.
  34. Feb 13, 2018
    #33

    SadlerMUFC Full Member

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    In the mortal words of the great Ricky Bobby, "If you're not first, you're last". I don't celebrate a top 4 finish, but I do expect it as a bare minimum. The only thing I celebrate is winning...
  35. Feb 13, 2018
    #34

    el3mel Full Member

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    Top clubs must play in CL whatever they win it or not. If you fall from playing in CL for too much long you'll be no different from the likes of Milan, and you'll lose your statue as one of the big clubs sooner or later.
  36. Feb 13, 2018
    #35

    Neuron New Member

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    .
  37. Feb 13, 2018
    #36

    Schmiznurf Full Member

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    Why do we care about being in the Premier League, we're Man United, we can attract the best players from any league we're in.
  38. Feb 13, 2018
    #37

    worldinmotion66 Full Member

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    So, would you rather see the same, uninspiring, risk averse football and finish 4th this season
    or
    see an exciting, proactive and vibrant approach to league matches for the rest of the season, perhaps blooding a younger group and finishing 5th?

    Maybe the latter could see us make progress in the longer term, and that's what I'm looking for. I can't see enough progress with our current approach given the financial outlay of the club.
  39. Feb 13, 2018
    #38

    Jaybomb Full Member

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    To me, there’s no difference in coming 2nd or 10th.

    Neither won it and neither have anything to celebrate.

    Being in the Champions League is nothing to celebrate. If you’re struggling for top 4, chances are you don’t stand a chance against the Elite.
  40. Feb 13, 2018
    #39

    horsechoker Sailor vee, this is a right off.

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    1)Champions League football
    2)More money
    3)Club is more attractive because of no.1 and can buy better/more players because of no.2
    4)Better players mean more chance of finishing 1st next season
  41. Feb 13, 2018
    #40

    R'hllor Full Member

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    Depends who you ask i guess, UEFA brainwashed customers of importance of being part of CL. Leagues have 100% spots in it just because, all the money, things will get worse, there is already wave of opinions about CL group stages being boring and there will be more and more demands for elite games where peasant teams arent included.

    For me personally, there is no way in hell that being 2nd/3rd/4th with 0 trophies is more success or better then being 5th with FA cup. Always found funny watching Arsenal fans being hell bent on top 4 just so they can pass a group and get knocked out in next round.