Category: UEFA Europa League


Ben Watson's 90th minute header confirmed the biggest headline in football this week (Image | The Sun)

Ben Watson’s 90th minute header confirmed the biggest headline in football this week (Image | The Sun)

Last week may have seen the first significant news of the football off-season, but it certainly wasn’t the last. Following the retirement of the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, and David Moyes’ arrival at Old Trafford as his successor, there has been plenty more big news in the past seven days.

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Too much praise for Pulis?

Tony Pulis received an honorary doctorate from Staffordshire University in 2009. Matt Scrafton hopes it wasn’t in football development. (Image | BBC)

We’re often told Tony Pulis is doing a wonderful job at Stoke City and the fact he’s managed to keep them in the Premier League for so many years should be admired.

Such lectures can usually be found at Match of the Day HQ – you know, the usual suspects. But just how true is this overused, tired cliché?

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Alan Pardew, along with first-team coach Steve Stone (right) and several other members of the Newcastle United back-room staff, have been rewarded for the team’s fine form with long-term contracts (Image | Getty)

Alan Pardew has made an impressive impact thus far in his Newcastle United tenure. Now, he’ll have longer than even he could have dreamed to work on restoring the Toon Army to its former glory.

Pardew signed a historic eight-year contract yesterday which will keep him at St James’s Park the Sports Direct Arena until 2020. The move signals a significant change of focus for a team which has had eight permanent managers – Pardew included – in as many years. The deal is the longest offered to a manager in English football’s living memory.

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Not so super? | This could be a regular match-up should the European Super League ever be seriously considered by the powers that be. (Image | Bleacher Report)

The European Super League. It has been talked about for a long time, but will it ever actually happen? Writing in September 2012 and looking ahead, in two years time a European Super League could be on the agenda.

This is because in 2014 the agreement that is in place between FIFA, UEFA and Europe’s leading clubs expires. As the leader of the European Club AssociationKarl-Heinz Rummenigge points out, said teams will be free to do what they want. However, would they actually look to create a super league?

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One has to wonder whether Diego, or any of his team mates, would accept English clubs’ blanket assertion that the Europa League is not an important part of modern football. (Image | Bleacher Report)

Atlético Madrid won the Europa League last night, thanks primarily to a concerted display of attacking football from Radamel Falcao. The Colombian hit man has netted 12 times in the competition this season, and this impressive strike rate will likely see England’s big guns make a move for the 26-year-old in the summer. Still, if you asked Harry Redknapp, Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Roberto Mancini or any other manager from the footballing “elite” of this country, they would tell you that the Europa League is a worthless competition. Some may even go so far as to suggest that it ought to be abolished, because it simply “doesn’t matter.” Tell that to the Spanish. And the Portuguese.

The disdain for the Europa League in England is typical of the haughty, arrogant manner in which we judge the various merits and weaknesses of our own competition, which disgracefully extends to the Premier League and nothing else, and that of the rest of Europe. Are we missing something here? The answer is yes. Far from being some sort of mickey-mouse, two bit little tournament, the Europa League is the second most prestigious pan-European competition.

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