With Tottenham’s seventh-place Premier League finish this season, they become the first English team to enter into the inaugural Europa Conference League.
In the past, I, along with many others, would have preferred no distraction of European football, as opposed to Europa League games on Thursday nights.
But this new competition may have more benefits than first meets the eye.
Rest the Starters
Without sounding overly arrogant, a lot of the sides who will take their place in the competition won’t have tasted continental football for many a year, if at all. And that, of course, is the design of the competition.
But with much weaker teams to face, particularly in the group stages, this will provide the perfect opportunity for the new manager to rest his key players.
One key aspect of why Europa League football is so laborious is the Thursday-Sunday combination of games. And so often, players have looked dead on their feet come matchday at the weekend, as a result of long-haul midweek trips to Eastern Europe.
But with much weaker opposition, comes the opportunity to rest several key players each game, meaning that they will hopefully be able to fire on all cylinders in the Premier League.
And with the absence of certain key players, means more opportunities for young, up-and-coming players to show what they can do.
Often, in the Europa League, former managers have found it difficult to balance rotation, with putting out a side that will do the business.
With this competition, the new manager, whoever he may be, will hopefully see this as a perfect opportunity to give his academy players some much-needed first-team minutes.
And this can only be an advantage for Spurs – to have the manager see so much of the academy in match situations. Hopefully, this competition can speed up several academy prospects’ surge up to the first team.
And one player in particular, who should be licking his lips at the prospect of this competition is striker Dane Scarlett.
The 17-year-old made the first-team squad on a number of occasions last term and even got some time on the pitch against West Brom in February.
But his appetite for goals is insatiable. The forward netted a mammoth 25 goals in just 24 games in three different youth competitions last season, so this competition may provide the perfect stage for the striker to show what he can do at senior level.
Yes, it’s not the Champions League. It’s not even the Europa League. But should Spurs play this competition strategically, it could prove more than just useful for the whole club moving forward.
Have something to tell us about this article?