Saints boss right not to like Europa League

Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino

First published in Sport

Mauricio Pochettino’s insistence that the Europa League can harm the Premier League form of clubs taking part is borne out by the stats.

It is not exactly an overwhelming mountain of evidence, but of the 11 teams to have played in the group stages of the competition since the current format was introduced in 2009/10, seven had a worse top flight finishing position the following with four doing better.

Most of the moves were only odd places either way, the only notable exception being Newcastle whose run to the quarter-finals last season coincided with them slipping from a lofty fifth placed finish to 16th.

However, probably most telling is that the clubs with the bigger resources were generally the ones who did better.

Clubs more comparable to Saints were the ones who struggled when their squads were badly stretched by the competition.

Teams to have done better include the likes Liverpool and Manchester City, whose ambitions are above the Europa League anyway.

Saints have an outside chance of qualifying for the Europa League this season, either via the FA Cup or the league, with the potential that seventh place could bag a place in the competition.

The fifth placed club will qualify for the Europa League automatically.

The sixth placed club will also qualify if Manchester City win the League Cup final and also finish in the top four of the Premier League.

The seventh placed club will qualify if the FA Cup final is between two clubs who finish in the top four.

Saints are currently five points off seventh placed Manchester United.

Therefore, Saints’ best chance of the Europa League is to reach the FA Cup final, either winning it or losing to a team that finishes in the top four of the Premier League.

Speaking in last Friday’s Daily Echo, Pochettino revealed he wasn’t keen on the Europa League, stating it can “kill” clubs.

He explained: “It is a competition that kills you in the sense that there are a lot of mid-table teams that put a lot of effort into the Europa League and then are not able to do anything in the league.

“They are not able to compensate for that bad run of form in the league so it brings them down.

“There are many examples, not just in England, where clubs are suffering from playing in the Europa League.

“We see examples of clubs in Spain and Italy and it causes problems in their league form, as we have seen with Swansea and these other clubs.

“It is a competition that kills you and if you don’t get to the final and win it then you don’t get anything out of it, so it’s a tough competition in that sense.”

Teams that played in group stages 09/10 – Everton 5th to 8th (reached round of 32), Fulham 7th to 12th (final) 10/11 – Liverpool 7th to 6th (last 16), Man City 5th to 3rd (last 16) 11/12 – Tottenham 5th to 4th (group stage), Birmingham 18th and relegated to Championship (group stage), Fulham 8th to 9th (group stage), Stoke 13th to 14th (last 32) 12/13 – Liverpool 8th to 7th (round of 32), Newcastle 5th to 16th (quarter-finals), Tottenham 4th to 5th (quarter-finals)

Comments (9)

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7:40am Mon 10 Feb 14

Dickosfc says...

It's an absolute joke of a competition! Too many teams, some of them you may as well be travelling to China to play. The Europa should be the same format as the Champions League, then it might be taken more seriously with a subsequent revenue increase. There's still some pretty big teams across Europe that miss out on CL.
It's an absolute joke of a competition! Too many teams, some of them you may as well be travelling to China to play. The Europa should be the same format as the Champions League, then it might be taken more seriously with a subsequent revenue increase. There's still some pretty big teams across Europe that miss out on CL. Dickosfc
  • Score: 4

9:58am Mon 10 Feb 14

Strasbourg Saint says...

As others have said, if we reach the Europa League, we should enjoy it, field mainly academy players and use it for the experience rather than going all out to win it.

Oh, and get drawn against some team from a place none of us would ever otherwise consider visiting, just for the fun of going there.
As others have said, if we reach the Europa League, we should enjoy it, field mainly academy players and use it for the experience rather than going all out to win it. Oh, and get drawn against some team from a place none of us would ever otherwise consider visiting, just for the fun of going there. Strasbourg Saint
  • Score: 8

11:40am Mon 10 Feb 14

Golden_Salamander says...

If MP is talking about the Europa League (or not wanting it) is this the FIRST HINT that he is planning for next season with Saints ??.

IMO the sooner KL gets a perm ceo in place and gets MP to sign a new contract the sooner we can plan for keeping the kids (who want MP to stay) and also identify new targets (waiting until the summer usual means the best targets are gone)..
If MP is talking about the Europa League (or not wanting it) is this the FIRST HINT that he is planning for next season with Saints ??. IMO the sooner KL gets a perm ceo in place and gets MP to sign a new contract the sooner we can plan for keeping the kids (who want MP to stay) and also identify new targets (waiting until the summer usual means the best targets are gone).. Golden_Salamander
  • Score: 2

1:42pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Costa Baz says...

Agree with SS, about playing the academy lads, were we to get there.

Personally I would like us to finish high enough, to earn it.
And I would love it, LOVE it, if we achieved it by beating Manure on the last day of the season, stopping them from qualifying.

That might be the day David Moyes' head explodes!
Agree with SS, about playing the academy lads, were we to get there. Personally I would like us to finish high enough, to earn it. And I would love it, LOVE it, if we achieved it by beating Manure on the last day of the season, stopping them from qualifying. That might be the day David Moyes' head explodes! Costa Baz
  • Score: 6

1:44pm Mon 10 Feb 14

el caballo santos101 says...

Strasbourg Saint wrote:
As others have said, if we reach the Europa League, we should enjoy it, field mainly academy players and use it for the experience rather than going all out to win it.

Oh, and get drawn against some team from a place none of us would ever otherwise consider visiting, just for the fun of going there.
yes it should be enjoyed and treated as experience for the young and fringe players.
that doesn't though sort out the problems with this absolute joke of a competition. having a league system is the first problem, closely followed by the dumping of champions league losers after the league/group stage, which totally devalues the completion. as others have said, the games shouldn't be played on Thursday nights. Tuesday is a far better night to play.
the cup winners cup should be brought back and the league/group stages should be dropped for a straight knock out system. the name is also uninspiring, Europa league? what a nonsense name! get back to the UEFA cup, that's what most people still call it anyway.
[quote][p][bold]Strasbourg Saint[/bold] wrote: As others have said, if we reach the Europa League, we should enjoy it, field mainly academy players and use it for the experience rather than going all out to win it. Oh, and get drawn against some team from a place none of us would ever otherwise consider visiting, just for the fun of going there.[/p][/quote]yes it should be enjoyed and treated as experience for the young and fringe players. that doesn't though sort out the problems with this absolute joke of a competition. having a league system is the first problem, closely followed by the dumping of champions league losers after the league/group stage, which totally devalues the completion. as others have said, the games shouldn't be played on Thursday nights. Tuesday is a far better night to play. the cup winners cup should be brought back and the league/group stages should be dropped for a straight knock out system. the name is also uninspiring, Europa league? what a nonsense name! get back to the UEFA cup, that's what most people still call it anyway. el caballo santos101
  • Score: 5

7:25pm Mon 10 Feb 14

St. Case says...

Golden_Salamander wrote:
If MP is talking about the Europa League (or not wanting it) is this the FIRST HINT that he is planning for next season with Saints ??.

IMO the sooner KL gets a perm ceo in place and gets MP to sign a new contract the sooner we can plan for keeping the kids (who want MP to stay) and also identify new targets (waiting until the summer usual means the best targets are gone)..
First hint? Clearly you have not been paying attention to MP's ambitions with this club. The Champions League has been mentioned several times by him, and a few players. Also your CAPS LOCK is acting out...
[quote][p][bold]Golden_Salamander[/bold] wrote: If MP is talking about the Europa League (or not wanting it) is this the FIRST HINT that he is planning for next season with Saints ??. IMO the sooner KL gets a perm ceo in place and gets MP to sign a new contract the sooner we can plan for keeping the kids (who want MP to stay) and also identify new targets (waiting until the summer usual means the best targets are gone)..[/p][/quote]First hint? Clearly you have not been paying attention to MP's ambitions with this club. The Champions League has been mentioned several times by him, and a few players. Also your CAPS LOCK is acting out... St. Case
  • Score: 1

7:42pm Mon 10 Feb 14

dadofmy3sons says...

In a perfect European football world.
Step ladder steps aside and Platedtinny moves on up and his successor completely revamps the competitions.
The Champions Cup features only champions and the second + third teams go into the Europa Cup with the winners of all cup competitions .
A proper knockout competition unsues and the eventual winner of each cup is rightfully acknowledged to have been the clubs who took it seriously.
NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! !
When ALL the clubs in our cup competions start to take them seriously then perhaps the fans will as well!
In a perfect European football world. Step ladder steps aside and Platedtinny moves on up and his successor completely revamps the competitions. The Champions Cup features only champions and the second + third teams go into the Europa Cup with the winners of all cup competitions . A proper knockout competition unsues and the eventual winner of each cup is rightfully acknowledged to have been the clubs who took it seriously. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! ! When ALL the clubs in our cup competions start to take them seriously then perhaps the fans will as well! dadofmy3sons
  • Score: 0

8:13pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Strasbourg Saint says...

el caballo santos101 wrote:
Strasbourg Saint wrote:
As others have said, if we reach the Europa League, we should enjoy it, field mainly academy players and use it for the experience rather than going all out to win it.

Oh, and get drawn against some team from a place none of us would ever otherwise consider visiting, just for the fun of going there.
yes it should be enjoyed and treated as experience for the young and fringe players.
that doesn't though sort out the problems with this absolute joke of a competition. having a league system is the first problem, closely followed by the dumping of champions league losers after the league/group stage, which totally devalues the completion. as others have said, the games shouldn't be played on Thursday nights. Tuesday is a far better night to play.
the cup winners cup should be brought back and the league/group stages should be dropped for a straight knock out system. the name is also uninspiring, Europa league? what a nonsense name! get back to the UEFA cup, that's what most people still call it anyway.
Baz, I'd love it - just love it - as well. Fifth is ambitious but not impossible.

101, get yourself a place on the UEFA board asap!
[quote][p][bold]el caballo santos101[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Strasbourg Saint[/bold] wrote: As others have said, if we reach the Europa League, we should enjoy it, field mainly academy players and use it for the experience rather than going all out to win it. Oh, and get drawn against some team from a place none of us would ever otherwise consider visiting, just for the fun of going there.[/p][/quote]yes it should be enjoyed and treated as experience for the young and fringe players. that doesn't though sort out the problems with this absolute joke of a competition. having a league system is the first problem, closely followed by the dumping of champions league losers after the league/group stage, which totally devalues the completion. as others have said, the games shouldn't be played on Thursday nights. Tuesday is a far better night to play. the cup winners cup should be brought back and the league/group stages should be dropped for a straight knock out system. the name is also uninspiring, Europa league? what a nonsense name! get back to the UEFA cup, that's what most people still call it anyway.[/p][/quote]Baz, I'd love it - just love it - as well. Fifth is ambitious but not impossible. 101, get yourself a place on the UEFA board asap! Strasbourg Saint
  • Score: 0

10:08pm Mon 10 Feb 14

el caballo santos101 says...

Strasbourg Saint wrote:
el caballo santos101 wrote:
Strasbourg Saint wrote:
As others have said, if we reach the Europa League, we should enjoy it, field mainly academy players and use it for the experience rather than going all out to win it.

Oh, and get drawn against some team from a place none of us would ever otherwise consider visiting, just for the fun of going there.
yes it should be enjoyed and treated as experience for the young and fringe players.
that doesn't though sort out the problems with this absolute joke of a competition. having a league system is the first problem, closely followed by the dumping of champions league losers after the league/group stage, which totally devalues the completion. as others have said, the games shouldn't be played on Thursday nights. Tuesday is a far better night to play.
the cup winners cup should be brought back and the league/group stages should be dropped for a straight knock out system. the name is also uninspiring, Europa league? what a nonsense name! get back to the UEFA cup, that's what most people still call it anyway.
Baz, I'd love it - just love it - as well. Fifth is ambitious but not impossible.

101, get yourself a place on the UEFA board asap!
I would stras lets be honest though, most of us would do a better job at running football than the present lot. besides I have a slight problem with bribes, being on the gravy train and making decisions for my own benefit that would not be in the best interest of the game or the fans.
[quote][p][bold]Strasbourg Saint[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]el caballo santos101[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Strasbourg Saint[/bold] wrote: As others have said, if we reach the Europa League, we should enjoy it, field mainly academy players and use it for the experience rather than going all out to win it. Oh, and get drawn against some team from a place none of us would ever otherwise consider visiting, just for the fun of going there.[/p][/quote]yes it should be enjoyed and treated as experience for the young and fringe players. that doesn't though sort out the problems with this absolute joke of a competition. having a league system is the first problem, closely followed by the dumping of champions league losers after the league/group stage, which totally devalues the completion. as others have said, the games shouldn't be played on Thursday nights. Tuesday is a far better night to play. the cup winners cup should be brought back and the league/group stages should be dropped for a straight knock out system. the name is also uninspiring, Europa league? what a nonsense name! get back to the UEFA cup, that's what most people still call it anyway.[/p][/quote]Baz, I'd love it - just love it - as well. Fifth is ambitious but not impossible. 101, get yourself a place on the UEFA board asap![/p][/quote]I would stras lets be honest though, most of us would do a better job at running football than the present lot. besides I have a slight problem with bribes, being on the gravy train and making decisions for my own benefit that would not be in the best interest of the game or the fans. el caballo santos101
  • Score: 2

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