Premier League

Is AVB Dicing With Death Over Europa Pledge?

The one time UEFA cup winner has told the official Tottenham website of his intentions to play the Europa League to full strength as Andre Villas-Boas sets to take Tottenham on a European tour showing their increasing stature on the European stage.

The competition helped to propel Villas-Boas’ name as a top quality manager by steering his Porto side to continental success in his first season and only season in charge at the club in 2010.

The 34 year old told the Tottenham site:

“This competition is very important,” said Andre, who insisted he will be fielding a ‘strong team’.

“It’s a tough competition, you have to play 15 games before you reach the final, so it’s hard and strenuous and the best teams out of the Champions League are playing.

“It gives access to the European Super Cup and, for me, I always thought it was a prestigious competition and it should be promoted like that because after the Cup Winners’ Cup disappeared, it is not only about the Champions League.

“If we can win a trophy, that represents a lot for Tottenham Hotspur’s history as well and would be something really special.”

But should Villas-Boas potentially jeopardize the Premier League form to have a go in Europe?

Well with the trimming down of the Spurs squad, it’s only inevitable that even if a ‘weak’ team is put forward there will still be exceptional talents within the squad to prevent a ‘reserve’ squad being fielded, like what Redknapp did.

Positionally, the likes of Clint Dempsey, Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor up front would mean that one sensational goalscorer will be on the pitch.

The goalkeeper situation is another one which is obviously too talented. With Gomes being third or fourth choice with Cudicini, who are both able to play regularly for teams in the Premier League should they sign for them shows that it will be a strong position.

As well as this, here are the main list of defenders who will challenge for UEFA cup positions: Caulker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Walker, Naughton, Assou-Ekotto, and Dawson.

Midfield consists of: Lennon, Huddlestone, Dembele, Sigurdsson, Bale, Sandro, Livermore, Townsend, Parker and Jenas.

Looking at the squad, the worst possible line up of first team players would be: Carlo Cudicini; Naughton, Gallas, Caulker, Dawson; Jenas, Livermore; Sigurdsson, Townsend, Lennon; Dempsey

Even though the squad obviously lacks the finesse needed for the competition, six of those in the ‘worst-case’ squad featured on the weekend against Reading.

So unless Villas-Boas decides to field the under-18 squad, AVB will be fielding a very good squad in the European competition.

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