The Ex Files: We need to take Europe seriously if we want to be taken seriously

European nights are returning but I don't want heavily rotated sides taking on the continent's greats

So the majority of fans wanted us to get into the Europa league and we were buzzing when we did.

Whilst I can’t wait to see the likes of Lazio, Napoli and Marseille playing at the London Stadium, and doing the away games appeals massively to me – if we are even allowed to travel – our squad depth gives me some concerns on the implications this could have on their season.

I know it’s early days and I’m writing this at the end of July so there is still time but at the moment the only signings we have made are youngsters. 

Yes, these players have been signed to give depth to our European campaign and hopefully to develop into gems, but we need some experience and proven quality to support a long season. 

I am excited for academy prospects like Conor Coventry, Nathan Holland and Jamal Baptiste to get their go.

This will be a real plus for us as we will truly be able to see whether they have a long-term future for us.

I really hope we can have one great cup run in at least one of the tournaments that we have entered, and preferably if it had to be one, I would choose it to be the Europa League. 

It is obviously the biggest one but also has the opportunity, if you win it, to get into the Champions League. 

Whilst I know the chances of us winning the tournament are very slim, they are probably greater than us actually doing it in the league, despite being close last season. 

I just really hope we take all the cup competitions seriously. Every year I feel frustrated with rotated teams underperforming and seeing us going out, often to sides either leagues below us or a lot smaller in size in the European game. 

A successful European campaign is what we were promised when we moved to this stadium and this is the way for us to kick on as a club. I honestly cannot wait for the season to start.

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