James Milner has been speaking to the media ahead of our Europa League final against Sevilla on Wednesday night.
With the excitement over a potential berth in the 2016/17 Champions League almost overshadowing the fact we could win our first European silverware since 2005, the vice-captain has moved to clarify his own position.
“The funny thing is that I don’t think any of us have really thought about the Champions League. It’s all about winning that trophy,” he said (via Echo).
“Obviously, the Champions League is a nice bonus and where this club wants to be ultimately, but I’m desperate to add to the list of trophies that have been won at this football club.
“That’s why I came here, it’s why all the boys are here. This club has a great history of winning trophies.
“You walk into the reception at Melwood and all the honours are listed there. I want to ensure the club has to get someone in over the summer to change that number.
“We want to add to the great history of this club and win trophies. That would make it a successful season. Being in the Champions League would be an added bonus.”
Of course, from the viewpoint of attracting players the Champions League is a boon, but the new Premier League TV deal means it’s not quite the same financial bonus as it was a few years ago.
We totally agree with Milner. We’re self-styled ‘European Royalty’ – we exist to play in, and win, continental competitions. It’s already been 11 years since Istanbul, and nine years since our last final appearance. We came close in 2010 with Rafa, but taking the trophy on Wednesday would be an excellent addition to our cabinet. The Champions League place is of secondary concern.