Would missing out on the Europa League be better for West Ham?

Europa League football was the aim for West Ham this season, but now they might not want it.

The Hammers are fighting it out with Everton for qualification to the Europa League, with the Fair Play table deciding who claims a qualifying space.

West Ham looked odds on at securing qualification for Europe this season, with the first half of their campaign progressing in incredible style.

Sitting in the top four at Christmas, many expected them to secure Europa League football, and maybe even make a surprise push for the Champions League places.

However, just three wins in 2015 have seen the Hammers fall away from that qualification, and now they may no even finish in the top 10.

Yet, thankfully for them, the Fair Play table has landed in their court, and they are fighting it out with Everton for the qualification place that is guaranteed by having the best disciplinary record in the Premier League.

This should be great news for the club, as breaking into Europe represents a progression for the Hammers. However, securing progress through the Fair Play table can actually be a disastrous outcome, and West Ham would do well to miss out on it.

Qualification through Fair Play enters you in the tournament at the first qualification stage, which, next season, is to be played on the 2nd July.

That means the Hammers season will start just over a month after this campaign ends, and more than a month before the Premier League season starts. Should they progress through the tournament, they would have played six games in qualification rounds before the league season opens.

Many people complain that the Europa League is disruptive enough as it is, but West Ham’s pre-season would be in tatters if they had to start playing competitive football in July.

They are likely to be hiring a new manager, who would have little time to work with his squad before being put under pressure, and any signings made would have little time to bed in before having to take to the field.

Many want to see European football at the Boleyn Ground, but West Ham would do well to miss out next season if the only chance to play it came from starting their season as early as the beginning of July.

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