Saturday’s win over a committed Sunderland must have provided a bit of a boost to the teams morale.
Morale, or the lack of it, has become a bit of a problem recently, what with the string of injuries and some less than encouraging results.
Having said that, we are second in the Premiership, only two points behind the surprise leaders Leicester City and one point above Man City.
Our regular competitors for the top four positions are all suffering to some extent. Man City are strangely erratic. Man U, while not conceding many are failing to score goals on a regular basis. Chelsea are struggling just above the relegation zone and even “The Special One” has publicly given up on a top four finish.
Despite the queues in our treatment room, it’s beginning to look like 2015/16 is our best chance, for too many years, to win the title.
The elephant in the room is the Champions League.
Wednesday’s match in Athens will decide whether or not we proceed to the knockout stage or slip into the Europa League. It has to be said that our record in the knockout stage is not that good and with our current injury list, allied to a thinnish squad, it doesn’t bode well when it comes to mixing it with Europe’s elite.
Now I would like nothing better than to beat Olympiakos by the requisite two goal margin thus avoiding the ignominy of Thursday night football and it’s treks to the far flung corners of the European Continent. For that reason alone I sincerely hope we field our strongest possible side against the Greeks.
So, should we go for one last all out effort on Wednesday evening with the hope of wrapping up qualification for the Champions League before it shuts down for the winter break? Or do we field an even more weakened side in the hope of resting a few tired legs ahead of the busy Christmas fixture pile up?
I suppose what I’m really asking is, do you think we would stand a better chance of winning the Premiership by getting into the Champions League knockout stages where we have little chance of progressing, or would we be better off playing more games, with a realistic chance of winning the Europa League, to the detriment of our chances of walking off with the Premiership title?
Written by Norfolk Gooner.