Our Europa Conference opponents (and then laugh)
By Don Scully
Yes, we are in one of the worlds most fantastic European competitions – not. Well, I tried to build it up a bit and failed on the first hurdle. In fact, you can’t get any lower than the UEFA Europa Conference league for let-downs. But the draw has been presented to us, and in a breathtaking moment, I shall presently reveal the teams to you.
The draw took place at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.
Yes, we have learned who we will face in the draw for the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League play-offs. And I bet you are all excited? We enter the competition at the final qualifying round after finishing seventh. We will take on either Pacos de Ferreira (Portugal) or Larne (Northern Ireland) to decide who goes into the group stage, which will be played over two legs on 19 and 26 August.
Yes, we will meet two of the hottest teams in Europe, Pacos de Ferreira or Larne. Try saying that without smiling. What it actually shows you is how far we’ve sunk from the heady days of the UEFA Champions League final to this sinkhole European football competition. But we did pip Arsenal to the down and outs of European football, that is something.
We don’t discover our exact opponent until after the third qualifying round has concluded, which will be on Thursday, August 12. The teams that we could have theoretically faced were the winner of CSKA Sofia vs NK Osijek, Pacos de Ferreira vs Larne, Bredablik vs Aberdeen or FK Cukaricki vs Hammarby. All Europa Conference League games will be played on Thursday nights alongside the Europa League superior competition (but below the Champions League).
UEFA have split the teams down into mini-groups ahead of the draw, decreasing the number of sides who could be paired together. The teams were drawn into 22 ties, with the winners advancing to the group stage alongside ten teams eliminated in the UEFA Europa League play-offs.
Coming from the Champions League, via Europa league, we should – in theory – win this trophy easily; however, nothing is that easy for Spurs.
Some fans have taken to Twitter to share their views on the draw. Some have seen this as an easy-peasy draw and an easy way to win a trophy. Somebody else said that they “Can’t blame Kane leaving”. Others have said that we’ve sunk really low, just not as low as Arsenal (which is some sort of consolation). And we should win this tournament.
I agree with most of what is displayed. But that is what happens when you try to get cheapness in the transfer market. Let us hope that we rise like a phoenix from the ashes this season and not end up like a diving blubber whale.
By Don Scully
I have been following Spurs since the sixties and work in London. My current job is as a professional writer (working in the media), and I have work connections to the club and had previously worked for them. Including working at the old White Hart Lane stadium.
I also have my own blog and have written for the SpursWeb app & its website.