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Swansea City v SSC Napoli - UEFA Europa League Second Round First Leg

The Europa League, It Isn’t Worth It!

The Champions League is the holy grail of Club Football, as was established in the report uploaded earlier in the week. The best teams across Europe, from the giants in Munich, to the Galacticos of Spain, battle it out to be crowned the best. The same however, cannot be said for its counterpart, the Europa League.
Long distance travelling, often poor quality football, unfit playing surfaces and no sign of the riches the Champions League has to offer. The Europa League plays second fiddle in all respects when compared to the most sought after trophy in modern football.
From 2015, the winners of the Europa League will gain qualification to the Champions League, but from the 48 teams that enter the group stages, one place alongside Europe’s elite, is not enough of an incentive!
Not only is the Europa League unenticing but it often serves to derail a domestic campaign. Teams from the Premier League have struggled to cope with the demands of playing in the best League in the world, as well as the less beneficial Europa League and the two have combined to create a disastrous run of form, with little to show at the end of the season.
Newcastle United are a great example of the heights teams can reach, but also the collapse that may follow. By the end of the 2011/2012 season, they were sitting pretty in 5th, a remarkable return for a team that had not long back been plying their trade in the Championship. What followed the next season was a dismal run of form that saw them take only 7 points from a possible 24 in the Premier League immediately after European ties. The end of the 2012/2013 campaign saw them lying in 16th position, dropping over 10 places in the space of one season.
The same can be said of Swansea. A wonderful cup victory last season, along with a decent league position gave Michael Laudrup’s men great plaudits. He has since gone; they have taken 9 points from a possible 27 in the Premiership after Europa League games and are now fully embroiled in the battle for Survival.
Tottenham are another team that tasted Champions League football, and have ever since pushed for a repeat, but have always fallen one place short, and therefore automatically qualified for the Europa League. This season following Europa League matches, Spurs have lost by three to West Ham, by five to Liverpool, and by one to Newcastle, all at White Hart Lane whilst not finding the net at all themselves. Not forgetting Sunday’s loss away at Norwich which came after a turbulent couple of days in and out of Ukraine? Last season however, after their elimination at the hands of FC Basel, they went undefeated in the League.
Chelsea were victorious in the Europa League last season, whilst finishing Third, but that was because they possessed a Champions League squad. Lesser teams do not have the strength in depth, which allows for a consistency in the League, whilst maintaining a European challenge, and it has shown.
Teams that first qualify for the Europa League are undoubtedly going to be excited and relish the challenge of playing across Europe, but they must be wary of the toll it will take. Only certain clubs have the capability of performing on all fronts, and even the best, struggle to do that. The Europa League, unless you win it from 2015 onwards, is not worth it!

About Charlie Clark

I am currently in the final year of a Media Studies degree at the University of Derby. I would love one day to venture into sports media, but for now I am excited to write for FootyBlog.net, and share my views and opinions on the beautiful game. I am a huge football fan and I have the pleasure of supporting Tottenham Hotspur, which constantly keeps me on my toes!

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