Former England midfielder Danny Murphy explained why he hopes West Ham take the Europa League seriously, when he appeared as a co-host on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show for talkSPORT.
The draw for the Europa League qualifying round has been made and the Hammers have been drawn against FC Lusitans, with the first leg taking place on July 2 which means a very early start to the club’s season.
Murphy explained on talkSPORT how he feels the Europa League could be beneficial for West Ham as they look to progress under manager Slaven Bilic over the next ten months.
“I hope West Ham take it seriously because if you have a decent run in that competition, it gets everyone excited and it gets the fans on board and they’ve got a decent squad so they can cope with it,” he said.
Careful approach to qualifying
A careful approach to qualifying from Bilic is important considering the importance of the Europa League for West Ham this season.
The competition creates obvious benefits for the club such as extra revenue, a higher level of competition and the ability to boast qualification as an asset when the club goes after players in the transfer market.
Slipping up in qualifying would also be a terrible way for Bilic to begin his career at the club, instantly testing his popularity with fans.
Momentum could be useful
The opposite effect is that if West Ham can really put FC Lusitans under some pressure and play well, it gives the team positive momentum moving forward.
That’s going to be useful heading into the start of the Premier League season because first up is a very difficult game against Arsenal, where Bilic will need all of his players to be on top of their games.