The progress of our rivals makes winning the Europa League even more important

The nightmare of the last six weeks got even worse yesterday as Sp*rs beat Ajax in the Champions League semi-final. They will now face Liverpool for club football’s elite prize. With the progress of Man City, Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea and Manchester United’s inevitable strong response to their fiasco, failure to win the Europa League could catapult us even further away from challenging for top honours. It would not be an overstatement to say tonight’s game against Valencia is the biggest game in our recent history. As we have seen with teams like AC Milan, Inter Milan and Valencia the longer you go without Champions League football, the more mediocre you become. Unai Emery messed up our league run-in, but he must find a way to get this job done.

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