They seem to play in the CL every year. They seem to invest in talented, technically gifted youngsters. They play attractive football even with a team that most people wrote off after 5 games. They like us are in 'transition' but have managed to get into the top 4 and are challenging for a CL spot at least. And erm their squad despite being decimated by money grabbing twats like Nasri and Cesc fair enough moving to his boyhood team cost roughly £50m less than ours. I would be more than happy if we followed the Arsenal model, who have a style of playing and recruit on that basis. Technical skill is something you know you will get at Arsenal (they too have their moaning fans mind).
We on the other hand want to play pass and move with counter-attacking players. The more direct style of play has helped our away form (Rafa struggled with this) at the expense of the home form. Counter-attacking players aren't that good at breaking down two banks of four, you need smarter more technically gifted players like Meireles, Maxi, Kuyt for that.
So many fans are now changing their initial positions at the start of the season, when we all pretty much said, fourth and cup runs a bonus. I don't see why we should change those targets. Win the FA Cup and no doubt a success, if we don't a qualified success at best. And each year it will only get harder to get back into the CL.
You seem to be holding the participation in the Champions League very dear, but you ignored my post in the beginning. So, let me restate the question:
(England:) Arsenal, Spurs; (Spain:) Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Villareal, Sevilla; (Italy:) Roma, Fiorentina, Juventus, Napoli, Udinese ALL have played in the CL for the last 4 years (the average length of a player's contract) but HAVE WON F*CK ALL both internationally and domestically.
Aside from City, who wipe their arses with 20 pound bills, and maybe Chelsea, what club would a player prefer to play for - one that win trophies, or one that plays in the CL league almost every year?
Another question, what did Dirk Kuyt say in his last interview, did he come to play in the CL or to win trophies, and why does he hurt after playing rather regularly in the CL?
The CL is certainly an appealing factor, but it is not the only factor for swaying players to join. I agree that we may not be the most attractive team out there, but I can't agree that we are not attractive because we don't play in the CL.