Where did we finish in the League 5 years ago? Anyone remember offhand? Because I don't. Anyone remember watching Ledley and Robbie lift the League Cup? Because I do, vividly, even though it was 'just' the League Cup.
You can say it's *only* the Europa Cup, but if we were to win it we'd do so over the Champions League holders, having knocked out Inter Milan and the champions of Switzerland amongst others. I think that's a pretty competitive competition, and one we should be proud of competing in.
You don't *win* 3/4/5th place, or any place other than 1st; you win cups. You can talk all you want about the money and players who might sign for you if you finish higher, but I don't support a balance sheet, I support a football club. And those people who might do those things? They might not too.
I'm pleased we've played teams who should've been able to win in all competitions, I think it shows respect for them and has been much more interesting. And you can't say it's ruined our season, because the season's not over yet. Criticising the number of games yet aiming for 4th is somewhat bizarre too, as then you're in the qualifying round for CL so have a shedload of games again, and may still end up in EL.
I know it's frustrating to watch key players getting injured at such an important part of the season, but it's utterly pointless talking about what could happen or should have happened; all we can do is keep our fingers crossed (or take other redundant 'lucky' actions) and hope we at least enjoy the football for rest of the season.
And I leave my essay with a (slightly tongue in cheek) article from the Guardian on why we should love the Europa League: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2013/apr/04/europa-league-five-reasons-to-watch