Europa League: Hindrance or Opportunity

6

Having successfully qualified to the group stages of the Europa League we now stand set to clock up a mouth-watering 8500 air miles from the group stage alone. Trips to Moldova, Russia and what might aswell be Narnia do little for our teams fitness and overall wellbeing in the long run, (The Cup Finalists play 21 games each) documented somewhat superbly by Thursday nights 3-0 win over Tromso in which Moussa Dembele, Danny Rose and Younes Kaboul all had to leave the field of play due to injuries. But then again, this competition could stand as a chance for us to place our hands on a peace of meaningful silverware.

Last season we were ejected from the competition playing against FC Basle after Emmanuel Adebayor decided to reenact his ‘Just Dance 2’ game from the night before in his run up to the penalty and Brad Friedel – who fit into a high line formation like he would into a babies cot – reacted with the speed and tenacity of roadkill to each penalty. Even before that, our failure to win away in any aspect of the competition (Group Stages and Qualifying) did little to inspire confidence in any aspect of our play.

This season however (So far), we are a changed squad. The departure of Gareth Bale allowed Levy and Baldini to bring in the perfect blend of both young talent and seasoned internationals, providing a deeper squad depth of technically proficient (I say technically proficient because everyone remembers Scott Parker away to Inter Milan) players all eager to play each game. Whether or not mid-week ties away to FC Tromso are close to the Champions League drug that both fans and players crave is another thing.

Whilst there is no doubt that there will be an established first XI, the Europa League provides more than ample opportunity for both the younger and fringe players in the squad to push for a starting spot. The quality of the teams in our group; Tromso and Sheriff relative nobodies (They’re not on FIFA) and Anzi Machanhcdsakljcvfakla having sold most of their star players in the Summer mean that on paper we should cruise through the group with our main players rested.

With the current state of the Premier League, much is left open to guess. Manchester United, City and Chelsea are all under new management and are struggling with results in the opening stages of the season, meaning the early points that these teams lose only hand us a larger advantage in our hunt for the sacred top four spot. Matches away to teams whose Wikipedia entry is about as in-depth and fruitful as Bobby Zamora’s goal-scoring record increase the chances of us inevitably losing away to Hull one week on the back of an overnight five hour flight to Moldova.

Whatever happens, the UEFA cup is a piece of silverware and one which although carries somewhat halfarsed connotations in todays age of the ‘armchair fan’ and amidst ‘footy banter’ Twitter pages has previously formed such an integral part of our history, winning it twice both in 1972 and 1984 aswell as that of AVB’s announcing his name on the World Stage by winning it at Porto. If you offered the trophy to me now, I’d take it. Sure it’s going to be a long, bumpy and at times frustrating ride, but well that’s Spurs all over.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. We need a long run in the EL like the proverbial hole in the head, and if AVB hasn't grasped that his over-use of our best players in the Tinpot Trophy last season very probably cost us CL qualification, he's even more stubborn and pig-headed than even I would have believed. Play the second string and save the first team for the Prem – it's the ONLY way to get CL, which is absolutely essential if Spurs are to progress.

  2. Let us get Spurs on cl footing. That means having a squad capable of playing twice a week. And doping it the Danny Blanchflower way. With glory. Getting there means doing it. Next season when in cl we have Torsås be prepared on all levels, in every way. In coming years 6 or 7 clubs will be competing for the titel and cl. There will be years in el even for us. But el or cl. We have to do it the Danny B way. That is what being a cl club means.

  3. So scathing of our players. Also I make it 19 games not 21. Also piece not peace. Finally I think we ought to take this trophy very seriously, we have a lot of history in this tournament and not so much in the CL for the people saying it’s a tinpot tourney that is nonsense, if we can’t put on a good show here how do we expect to wow them in the CL next year?

  4. We need a long successful run in the EL simply because of our European coefficient. If we are to make the CL, then we would greatly benefit from not being in the bottom seeded pot. Being in the EL gives us the opportunity to keep our coefficient high and hope to be in the 2nd seeded pot were we to qualify for the CL. Just look at Porto this season. It makes a massive difference. As far as the group stages go, make sure we win the hole games then field a weakened team in out long-haul away games. We’ll likely qualify and then the games usually involve less travel and cause less disruption. To win the EL would be huge for our club at this moment in time, and we are genuine contenders. So lets knuckle down and grind out the wins we know a squad of our size are capable of.

  5. We need competitive games to keep the whole squad match fit. If we cannot take this seriously how can we be expected to compete in the CL.
    I wish that we actually had a tougher draw because we have actually ended up with six training sessions. At least some players can tot up the air miles.
    p.s. We did not fail to qualify for the CL last season due to the EL. 6 points dropped in 1 game at the Woolwich when the difference at the end was 1 point had more to do with it.

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