Whether it is the Champions or Europa League for Newcastle United, they could have a key role in deciding whether the English Premier League remains number one in terms of club football.

UEFA’s system gives points to teams on the basis of reaching each stage of a competition and for wins and draws. You then tot up all the points for all the teams a country has in European competition, divide the total by the number of teams, and that is your country co-efficient. On the basis of five seasons’ returns, to balance out freak good or bad results, you then rank the countries and award places.

England (Premier League) are currently top but this is more to do with consistency than real success. The last time the English league was top in any particular season was 2007/08 when an English club coincidentally last won a European trophy, Manchester United in the Champions League.

Since then the English league has remained number one (average over the last five seasons) but the countries who have finished top in individual seasons since then have been Ukraine (2008/09), Germany (2009/10), Portugal (2010/11) and this current season it will be Spain – regardless as to whether Chelsea win the final or not.

Much of other countries’ success is down to performances in the Europa League where English clubs have been generally dismal, not helped by many of them putting weakened teams out.

Next season will be a real struggle for England to remain top because 2007/08 points fall off and will be replaced by next season’s European performances, Spain will start with a sizeable advantage and if the English teams don’t outperform them in both the Champions League AND Europa League then the self-professed greatest league on the planet won’t be, if you see what I mean.

The ‘big’ clubs won’t worry too much at the minute as the top three countries get four Champions League places and the top three (England, Spain and Germany) are actually increasing the gap to Italy in fourth.

The fact remains though that Newcastle will be representing both club and country next season and I have a pretty strong feeling the Premier League marketing executives will be praying that Newcastle United do the business, ‘second best league in Europe’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it!

GORDO1674 5pts

A well thoughtout and factual based article on Elliott. It's fair to say he has grasped a great opportunity.

Krul, has like a few at the club recently, become complacent which was plain to see from the stands.

Elliott although hardly your athletic goalkeeper mould....( remember the 1st class Neville Southall ) is a great shot stopper and is improving game by game.

In my opinion he was given a chance through someone's else's misfortune and he has taken it big style.

Krul has much work to do when fit again to get the jersey back.

Morpeth mag
Morpeth mag 5pts

IMO he has been our player of the season, his standards have been the same in every game, I wasn't a fan of his, but he has changed my mind, his distribution is far better than Kruls (who's kicking is abysmal and he always takes too long to release the ball after catching it, giving the the opposition the opportunity to get there shape back), in fact I'm starting to prefer him to Krul, if only he had a strong defence in front of him,,,,

amacdee 5pts

Good read Jonathan, never was an Elliot fan but this latest stint between the sticks has changed my opinion. I also agree he's a talker and there is the faint possibility of him taking over the captaincy next season when Colo finally leaves ? Ironically Fattie sacked all the voluble players in the dressing room hopefully he now realises they're an important part of any team ?

1957 5pts

He has earned the right to be first choice and when TK is fit again he will have to wait for his chance IMO.

Personally I was never comfortable with him in goal previously, he looked overweight, slow to react and indecisive. I don't know what has changed for him, but I suspect the departure Woodman may have something to do with it. He is clearly a leader in the team now and has spoken with the press more than Colo has in his whole NUFC career.

Philippines 5pts

The unfortunate thing about being the 'reserve' goalie is that you can be World class player but understudy to "World class plus 1%". Take Steve Harper…. I never had any qualms when he was in goal. I always thought that if Steve had got more playing time he could have got an England call up. He was a great servant to NUFC.

Greg Codling
Greg Codling 5pts

I say play till he loses form, revolve, do the same with Tim

wor monga
wor monga 5pts

A good article…Elliot has always been a first class professional at the club, who waited for the opportunity, and when it happened went on to prove his quality. 

...Now when Tim gets back he won’t expect to be the automatic first choice again, but will have to wait for an opportunity to take the jersey back…and that’s a healthy situation for the club!!

MrDolf 5pts

It's terrifying to think where we'd be without this guy's contribution this season, gives his all. I wish we could put his SIM card in some of the others.

Regarding the injury, I noticed he seemed reluctant to kick long on Saturday, preferring to play it out to a defender. Hopefully our forthcoming enforced break will help with any healing needed

amacdee 5pts

@MrDolf We'd be at least three points worse off for sure.