Don’t assume European football’s hierarchy cannot change

THE last time a team from outside football’s top 20 clubs won the UEFA Champions League was in 2004, Porto beating Monaco 3-0 and launching the career of a certain José Mourinho. Since then, eight clubs have won the competition and the likelihood is that future winners will come from a select band of wealthy, […]

Vulnerable it may be, but the Europa League certainly seems weaker

MANCHESTER UNITED and Wolverhampton Wanderers may be feeling good about their UEFA Europa League hopes this season. The last 16 of the competition includes some big names, such as Inter Milan, Roma and Glasgow Rangers, but the Premier League duo must fancy their chances of going all the way to the Gdansk final. It looks […]

If Europa fatigue exists, it is a symptom of a bloated structure

WOLVERHAMPTON Wanderers have been playing competitive football since the last week in July. Before they kicked off their Premier League programme on August 11, they had played three UEFA Europa League games and in total, they have now completed seven ties in addition to their five Premier fixtures. Their latest game, a 1-0 home defeat […]

Manchester United, Porto, Arsenal, Sevilla, Roma – the Europa has some big guns

THE EUROPA League struggles to win public acclaim until the very last stages, but one look at this season’s list of entrants is a reminder that some big names are among the contenders. Wolverhampton Wanderers may have been playing in the competition since early summer, but they have clearly been stimulated by European football coming […]

The revival of Valencia – Arsenal’s next Europa League opponents

VALENCIA is the third largest city in Spain, which dovetails nicely with its football club’s status in its home country. Most neutral observers would say that Valencia Club de Fútbol is Spain’s fourth club, and given two of the three above it are from the capital Madrid, Els Taronges (the oranges) know their place in […]

Club of the Month: Atlético Madrid – firmly among the elite

IF YOU’VE visited Madrid recently, you’ve no doubt flown over the gleaming new home of Atlético Madrid, the Wanda Metropolitano. It’s an impressive site, fashioned out of a stadium built in anticipation of the Spanish capital being awarded the Olympic Games. If Atléti play their cards right, they could be playing at home in the […]