Surprised nobody has started a thread about this, unless I missed it, while away a few days, in which case, I'm an idiot.
With Swansea having disposed of the Pensioneers yesterday in the Carling Cup, they will now face Bradford City at Wembley.. Surely one everyone paced their bets on!!
That said, while I doubt there's any here, no disrespect to Bradford, I'd expect Swansea to handle them, but you never know. So, if Swansea win, and finish 8th, 9th, 10th or whatever, they will still get a place in Europa, leaving the EPL with 6 spots left.
Since I am not 100% sure, I'll ask rather than assume.. Does the same apply if Bradford win? My thoughts are yes, since Birmingham went 2 years ago despite being relegated, though this is slightly different..
Anyways, point being, European contention, not just Champions League is about to be intensified greatly with Utd/City/Chelsea the 3 slugging it out for top spot, then Spurs, Arsenal, Everton and LFC for the rest..
We've dealt without European football last year and coped ok, so aside the actual frustration of missing out, I think we'll cope ok as the owners continue to sign endorsement and marketing deals, but for a club like Arsenal who are in love with 4th spot, that could really bring them down a notch, and the same for Spurs, who are playing like a top 4 side, and spending a bit like one too.
This is actually going to create a quite fierce battle amongst those teams, and that would not rule out West Brom and Swans, yet at the same time, would create a little more lustre to Europa..
Fail Madrid are not in such a safe position in La Liga ahead of Malaga for that final 3rd CL spot, and while I can't see that happening despite their epic failures recently, could you imagine seeing a Europa match between Madrid and Arsenal next season?
Just goes to show that (not in Fail's case) spending has, and is going down, while competition in the top leagues is starting to show more parody, at least that I can remember.