Andre Villas-Boas: Europa League deserves respect says Tottenham manager

 

Paul Hirst
Thursday 04 October 2012 11:26
Comments
Andre Villas Boas: The Spurs manager cannot understand the Europa League’s status in England
Andre Villas Boas: The Spurs manager cannot understand the Europa League’s status in England

Andre Villas-Boas is struggling to understand why the Europa League is valued so poorly in England. The Tottenham Hotspur manager's career took off two years ago when won the competition with Porto. In that campaign he won four trophies, then replaced Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea.

The former Spurs manager Harry Redknapp described participating in the tournament as a "punishment" but ahead of today's Group J encounter in Panathinaikos his successor said: "The profile of the competition is raised in other countries, but not England. I don't understand it.

"I'm also not in a position to criticise other managers' approach to the competition. I respect the competition. I certainly think it is viewed as a punishment in England and I cannot understand why. It is a traditional trophy. We have lost the Cup Winners' Cup, which I did not think was a good decision. But it was taken to enrich the Europa League."

The last time Spurs were in Greece to play in the Europa League, Redknapp made his contempt towards the competition clear when he fielded a side with an average age of 23. In contrast, Villas-Boas picked almost his entire first team for the 0-0 draw against Lazio in the first match of this campaign.

The goalkeeper Brad Friedel was the only fit senior squad member not to make the trip to Athens and Villas-Boas believes success in Europe can help Tottenham's chances of lifting the ultimate prize in European football. "For us to go on and eventually win the Champions League we have to get used to playing in these situations, both physically and mentally," he said. "I am always to field the strongest team possible. And that can be a benefit in the learning process."

Friedel's absence means Hugo Lloris is likely to make his second start since his £8m move from Lyons. Emmanuel Adebayor has not travelled with the team due to a hamstring injury, but could be fit for Sunday's home game against Aston Villa.

Probable teams

Panathinaikos (4-4-1-1): Karnezis; Vyntra, Boumsong, Velaquez, Spyropoulos; Christodoulopoulos, Mavrias, Vitolo, Zeca; Sissoko; Fornaroli.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Walker, Caulker, Dawson, Vertonghen; Dembele, Huddlestone; Townsend, Sigurdsson, Bale; Defoe.

Referee F Meyer (Ger).

TV ITV4 6pm kick-off.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in