Europe Beckons

by Satish Sekar © Satish Sekar (May 16th 2014)

Tradition

Tomorrow evening Arsenal and Hull City will contest the 133rd FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium. The Premier League season is already over unlike in previous seasons. That has restored some of the status and mystique to the season finale as it used to be. Hull City’s Curtis Davies certainly prefers it that way.

You just have to say FA Cup was special at the end of the season – well it used to be”, he said. “It was an iconic day. Everyone stops for the whole day for the FA Cup. I think maybe a little bit of the edge was taken away from it once it was moved to before the last game of the season and things like that, but this year I’m hoping that everyone switches on and watches the game because we’re hoping to make it a good occasion”.

Win or lose both sides will have European football next season. Arsenal will be in the Champion’s League as usual and Hull will play in the Europa League. Davies insists that Hull’s players don’t need any extra incentives – not even European football. “ I don’t think we need any more”, Davies says. “I think getting to a Cup Final – the club’s first Cup Final ever and as players it is my first Cup Final and a lot of the others, so that’s incentive enough, but obviously if we were to get to Europe it would be a good European tour and I think that’s one of them where obviously we wouldn’t go into the competition expecting to win it, but it would be a good few weekends out for the fans”.

Distraction

Ahmed Elmohamady 2

Hull’s Egyptian winger Ahmed Elmohamady appears to disagree at least slightly. While looking forward to the FA Cup Final, he sees European competition next season as an extra incentive. “It will be a huge game against Arsenal and I think they are all thinking about Europe as well”, Elmohamady said. “You know this game is a massive chance for us to play in Europe next year”. Arsenal’s qualification for the Champion’s League means that Hull will definitely qualify for the Europa League next season. Largely seen as the runt of the litter by the bigger clubs, especially in England – it didn’t matter to Manchester United, Davies insists that it matters to Hull. There will be no disrespect on the north-east.

I wouldn’t say so because when I was at Birmingham and we were in the Championship and in the Championship you play 46 games, so obviously we played 46 games and we played 8 games in the Europa League and then we got to the play-off semi-final, so it was no distraction for us”, he says. “It didn’t take away from us”.

Davies’ concern is the games they will have to catch up on. “It’s more of the fact that you’re playing catch-up in games in terms of you might be three games behind the rest of the field” he says, “but it’s no distraction. I think if you’re winning games it breeds confidence, so if you can go in those games and win, then I don’t see why you can’t be happy”.

 

 

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