Chalkboard for AEL | The ‘You Get Nothing But a Trophy’ Edition
Nowt more glamorous than a Europa League qualifier against last season’s runner-up in the Cypriot League, that’s what I always say.
Alright, Captain Scorn, that’s enough out of you.
Don’t worry, it’s not just your stance on the 16-game ordeal which has cooled since the change in format. When Southampton looked to be accidentally creeping toward admission last season, Mauricio Pochettino said he would rather receive a lifetime of boozy texts from Malky Mackay than ever set foot in the Europa League. It kills teams, he added, somewhat dramatically.
The entry exam into Europe’s secondary competition takes on added weight this year as the overall victors will qualify for 2015/16’s edition of the Champions League. They’ve only gone and incentivized the b*stard. So, while in the past twotting five beyond Hearts and Dinamo Tbilisi was a fun way to spend an evening, the significance of actually giving a damn about getting through to the group stage is all the more, well, significant.
Team news and some of the chaps who didn’t do too terribly at the World Cup have made the trip to the Cyprus. We’re led to believe that Nacer Chadli, Jan Vertonghen, Moussa Dembele and Paulinho are all amongst those available for selection. Meanwhile Michael Vorm, Vlad Chirches and Kyle Walker remain in various states of broken. Expect Soldado and Kane to start in a let’s-get-this-bloody-over-with themed attacking line-up.
To the chalkboards! :