Belfast Telegraph

Alan Green: Europa League, you’re havin’ a laugh

Aside from intense disappointment that English representation in the Champions League is now halved — how on earth were Manchester United unable to negotiate a group as easy as that one? — the lingering memory of last week was the welcoming applause of Channel 5 and ITV4. ITV4, I ask you!

Roberto Mancini may have been genuine in his admiring appraisal of the Europa League but I thought the dismissive response of Fabrice Evra was far nearer the mark.

Who really wants the disruption to your fixture list — Thursday night football — that’s inherent through presence in one of the worst European club competitions anyone could think up?

The UEFA Cup was something most any club aspired to win. Who gives a hoot about its successor? Ask yourselves this: given a choice between winning the Champions League or the Premier League it’s pretty obvious that both Manchester clubs would take the European option; as would Arsenal or Chelsea.

Instead choosing between the domestic competition and the Europa League? Don’t make me laugh.

Belfast Telegraph

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