Arsenal legend praises Mourinho for this ‘clever’ Europa League decision

Image: SpursWeb

Arsenal legend, Paul Merson has praised Jose Mourinho for how the Tottenham boss is handing academy players game time in the Europa League this season.

While Tottenham are currently sitting at the summit of the Premier League table with eleven games played, their Europa League form has been a bit hot and cold.

Although Spurs have sealed qualification to the knockout stages with one game to spare, they fell to a 1-0 defeat away at Antwerp, as well as being held to a 3-3 draw by LASK last week.

One major positive from the club’s involvement in the competition is that it has allowed Mourinho the opportunity to blood some of the younger talents.

The likes of Jack Clarke, Harvey White, Dane Scarlett and Alfie Whiteman have been handed their first-team debuts in the Europa League this season, while Tottenham fans will be hoping to see the likes of Dennis Cirkin and Alfie Devine also being handed a chance.

Merson believes that Mourinho has done the right thing by fielding teams mixed with both youth and experience in the competition.

The former Arsenal midfielder told Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports News (05/12/20 at 1:55 pm): “The clever thing about it is when you want to bring kids from the academy. I hear that they have got a very good academy, with very good players coming through.

“You want to bring them into a good football team. You want to bring them in where they are playing with older players, who are playing well. Experienced and playing with a lot of confidence.

“You don’t want to be bringing kids in like Burnley when the players aren’t playing well and you are playing them at Man City away. There are times to bring them in. That was the time [in the Europa League].”

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