Pub Talk: Champions League football? My heart says absolutely but my head says no way!

The Blowing Bubbles team settle down to put the world to rights...

What do you think are our chances of Champions League qualification?

Meirion Williams: I would love to say we have a great chance, my heart says absolutely but my head says no way. If we stay injury free, I believe we have a great chance but I can’t see the likes of Antonio playing every game and I feel he is pivotal to our season. I fear it’s Europa league and all those Thursday games

Greg Richardson: Similar to Meirion, I really want to believe we can do it, but my head says it’s too big an ask. You look at our squad depth compared to others we’re competing with and you can’t help but feel it will cost us in the end. The fact that we are even in the conversation is great.

Lucy Woolford: I’m with Meirion and Greg – heart is screaming yes, head is saying no. Looking at the table and some of the results so far this season, stranger things have happened. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility, but given our limited resources it seems unlikely. 

Geoff Hillyer: Honestly? Next to no chance. I know that you’ll accuse me of not supporting the team enough, but there are too many teams around us with far greater resources. If we lose any of our key players such as Rice, Soucek, or Antonio, it’s way too difficult to compete. Yes, I am the permanently pessimistic West Ham fan.

If we do qualify for Europe, what are your hopes and fears for our next campaign?

MW: I would like to think that it would not be a distraction. The Europa league would be a challenge and we would need serious investment into the squad, especially up front. If it was a choice of a domestic cup run rather than a European one, it’s domestic for me. Of course the Champions League would be very different as that’s where the money lays and qualification would encourage quality players to join up with the Moyes revolution.

GR: if we make it into Europe, we would need to really add some players of quality in the summer to ensure we didn’t suffer in the league as a result. My hope would be Moyes was backed well with the players he would want, and maybe a few nice away days. My fear would be a load of Sully specials that kills the squad camaraderie 

LW: Yes, I’d also fear that the balance of the whole squad would change. We’ve got a really good thing going, but we could be victims of our own success. No one wants Europa League football any more it seems, but the Champions League would be a huge step up. Like Meirion said, I’d swap it for an FA Cup final I think. 

GH: We’ll get knocked out in some qualifying round by Astra Giurgiu, and then our form will suffer and we’ll be back to a relegation battle. Much like the last time!

How long would you extend David Moyes’ contract to if you were Gold & Sullivan?

MW: I was anti Moyes and I have been proved wrong. But history shows that Moyes can only take a team so far. We will need a change to move to that consistent next level. Two more years sounds good to me, get us established and then hand over to a more dynamic person who can build on the great work Moyes has done.

GR: Again, I’m with Meirion. Two years seems a good period of time before reassessing. I’m so pleased for Moyes to have restored a bit of pride in himself and us, but I have my concerns as to how much the nature of this season has helped him, and hindered others.

LW: I’m with the two year camp. It’s long enough to keep momentum, keep building the squad and see how it goes. But also safe enough that if it goes horribly wrong somewhere, we wouldn’t be left high and dry. It depends how much cash the board is prepared to part with for signings. 

GH: How long does he want? The bloke is a miracle worker. Tie him down – with him in charge we can go places if Gold & Sullivan stick their hand in their pockets.

And finally, following the sad news of the passing of Glenn Roeder, what are your memories of him as West Ham boss?

MW: I was sad at his passing as he seemed a really nice guy but he wasn’t a great manager for us. Let’s not forget that in his first season in charge he did well but he did end up taking us down when we had some great talent in the side. That relegation meant we lost a huge amount of talent and confined us to two years in the Championship. Nice man but not a great manager sorry to be so heartless. 

GR: Judging by the comments of many ex-players on social media, he was a top bloke which is really all that matters. He will be remembered fondly by those that knew him, even if he was a limited manager. Thoughts are with his loved ones.

LW: He had such a tough job to do at West Ham and finishing seventh is one of my best memories of supporting the club. I remember standing up for him quite often because some of the criticism he came under was harsh. By all accounts, he was a thoroughly nice guy and I was really sad to hear of his passing. 

GH: Like Lucy, I remember that brilliant season when we finished seventh. I also remember the following season. He was in an impossible situation, and I remember when he was diagnosed. I was shocked to hear the news. He was an excellent coach and a thoroughly decent man.

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