01 June 2013

Hey, Spurs, enjoy the Europa!

Far be it from me to rub salt in someone's wounds, but it does get hard to resist. While we stroke our chins and ponder whom to pursue with our purses laden with Champions League money and prestige, our poor, benighted neighbors have to worry and fret over whom to keep with their Europa League status. As much as I don't want them to lose Bale
after finishing 5th in the Prem, I couldn't resist having a bit of fun at their expense. I've been dabbling a bit in photoshop, and this is my second endeavor. The first, "Koscielny, ninja from Lorient", commemorated his game-winning and 4th-place earning goal against Newcastle. All in good fun. This one, I'm not ashamed to admit, indulges in a bit of Spurs-bashing as they are consigned to yet another year of Spursdays in the Europa, visiting Europe's backwaters (no offense, backwaters) in search of a trophy of some kind.

I'm not claiming to be the next Michaelmelangelo here, but I do have some fun with this stuff. It's a nice diversion from statistical analyses and dithering over points and tables and so on.

I don't mean to knock the Europa League. Even if it's little more than a consolation-bracket compared to the Champions League, I like the idea of the international flavor. Yes, the national teams compete here and there, but the Champions League and Europa League throw the doors open for clubs to try to amass talent regardless of nationality in hopes of grabbing some glory.

On one hand, then, I don't mind that Chelsea went on to win; it burnishes the Europa's credentials a bit for one of the Prem's biggest clubs to win it. On the other, I do resent Abramovich all the more for dismissing Benitez despite winning the Europa. It may not be on-par  with Ferguson's decision not to compete in the FA Cup in 1999, but Benitez's dismissal further undermines the Europa's reputation. That's a shame for all involved.

It would be nice to see the Europa lay claim to a bit more prestige. However, that's an issue for some other club to grapple with. In the meantime, we'll just have to content ourselves [sigh heavily here] with yet another Champions League appearance. It's been so many that I've quite lost track. What's it now? 16 years? That's effin' brilliant, no matter who criticizes us for "settling" for a 4th-place trophy over the last few years. We are set to compete on the football world's largest stage yet again. Our current squad had this year's champions on the ropes for fifteen minutes (if not more). A little sprucing-up could see us through to the next round, if not further.

Along the way, let's not forget to wish our dear neighbors good luck in the Europa. Have at 'em, Spurs!